South Australia Election

With the pending South Australian Election coming up I wanted to look at the different parties that are vying for our votes.

I honestly don’t know who I am voting for but I today we will be looking at the Nick Xenophon Team.

When you log on to their page we are greeted with the following:

We’re all about looking at issues on their merits and working out the best outcome for everyone.

We stand for: 

  • Honest and accountable government
  • Looking after the national interest – not vested interests

Our core focus is: 

  • Predatory Gambling
  • Australian Made & Australian Jobs
  • Government & Corporate Accountability

Their policies are split into eleven different areas.

Ageing Population

Australia is a prosperous country built on the contribution of older Australians. Our ageing population deserves to be treated with respect and dignity and assisted where needed by government and the wider community.

What needs to be done:

Workforce participation

We do not support an increase in the pension age, but we do believe older Australians should be both encouraged and supported to be involved in the paid or community service workforce. For those who receive a pension, income tests should be relaxed further so that they can supplement their income without penalty. Community service volunteers should be automatically covered by a government funded insurance scheme.

Cost of Living

Utility cost increases should be pegged at no greater than the CPI. Any increases above the CPI should be rebated to those on a government pension, or self-funded retirees who have reached the eligible pension age.

Housing/Retirement/Aged Care

Government policy should encourage and deliver where possible affordable, comfortable and well-maintained retirement and aged care accommodation. Developers and providers of retirement accommodation must meet all existing government requirements, as well as be required to provide transition accommodation options for residents who may require low or high care facilities in the future. These transition options should be on, or adjacent to, the existing retirement estate.

Bill Free by Mail

We believe that older people who are less familiar with the internet should not be charged by corporations or utilities for delivery of paper bills or documents by mail.

Australian Made

Australians and government in particular should support Australian businesses and our quality Australian made goods because of the hugely beneficial flow-on effects to the Australian economy. The term ‘Australian Made’ should mean just that, so consumers can make an informed choice.

What needs to be done:

  • The Government should take steps which will require manufacturers to regularly disclose the percentage and country of origin of specific ingredients to the Department of Industry for publication on its website
  • The Government should undertake an analysis and report on the benefit of an administrative mechanism which will give manufacturers the ability to apply for a ruling on Country of Origin Labelling claims
  • A single federal authority should be formed to accredit the use of all Made in Australia symbols
  • Government departments should be required to procure a much greater proportion of Australian produced and manufactured products and services
  • Government departments should be required to procure a much greater proportion of Australian produced and manufactured products and services
  • Have more effective anti-dumping laws to prevent below-cost imported goods flooding the market and destroying Australian jobs in the process

Climate Change and Energy

Climate change is real and poses a huge challenge for our environment and economic future. Australia must stick to the Paris agreement, which involves reducing greenhouse gases by 26-28% on 2005 levels by 2030.

This must involve a smart energy mix that provides affordable and reliable baseload power, and electricity grid stability. It also involves making sure we have enough gas for domestic consumption, instead of the current situation where Australian gas is being sold overseas at half the price it is here.

What needs to be done:

  • Have an efficient and effective Emissions Intensity Scheme (EIS) based on world’s best practice
  • Australia needs to quickly move toward a cleaner and more affordable energy future. This will involve reduced reliance on economically unsustainable technologies
  • Government policies need to facilitate innovative and job creating energy industry opportunities through research, adoption, education and manufacturing of new technologies
  • Australian energy resources should be available to Australians before being available for sale to the rest of the world. An allocation for domestic use prior to export would also help lower the cost of energy for consumers. And gas producers must comply with a strict ‘use it or lose it’ rule to their gas reserves
  • Australian taxpayer funded research into renewable energy and climate change needs to be made more easily available to Australian industry to ensure our competitive advantage in these areas is encouraged
  • The importation of substandard and unsafe products related to renewable energy and or climate change must be stopped


Our vision is realising the full potential of education in Australia to propel all learners to be the best that they can be now and in the future so they can further their individual aims and assist in lifting Australia’s competitiveness and innovation.

We support transforming schooling to drive a new era of development and growth across the full range of expectations for 21st Century learning. We support building upon the strengths of our schools and driving and amplifying leading edge research driven teaching in Australia.

Children should have the best start for learning through quality early childhood experiences that nurture and develop the whole child.

See media release here.

Government Accountability

Politicians must be open and up front with the Australian people. Government’s primary role is to provide public infrastructure and services and to drive both national economic growth and personal growth. The public have the right to expect that governments will deliver services efficiently and fairly without unnecessary waste and duplication. Australians who speak out against corrupt practices deserve to be protected.

What needs to be done:.

  • Establish a national anti-corruption commission and ensure that the SA ICAC can hold meetings in public for maladministration cases
  • Ensure politician entitlements and claims are reported in a timely and transparent way
  • Put in place whistleblower legislation that protects the informant and compensates them for any loss of income due to their actions. The changes brought about by the Nick Xenophon Team at a federal level last December are a big step forward, but these need to rolled out to the corporate and public sectors as per the governments firm commitments.
  • Government services (federal, state, local) must be delivered quickly and efficiently and be fully accountable to the public
  • Review duplicated services at a federal, state and local government level and determine the most appropriate entity to deliver these services

Health Care

High quality, easily accessible health care is a fundamental right for all Australians. With an ageing population and rising health costs that outstrip the CPI, there needs to be a new approach that focuses on preventative health care.

What needs to be done:

  • Government resources should be directed to maximising patient outcomes that involve enhancing local care and existing GP clinics
  • Preventative health care must be an absolute government priority, with targeted funding to reduce chronic medical conditions such as diabetes, heart disease and osteoporosis. This should include comprehensive and effective public education campaigns
  • Telemedicine should be expanded for regional communities to improve access to specialist medical care
  • Address medical practices which pursue quantity over quality
  • The 30% private health insurance rebate should be reinstated to ensure greater participation and affordability. This in turn takes pressure off the public hospital system
  • The Australian health care system should be subject to rigorous evidence based assessment to identify and eliminate waste and maximise efficiency

Predatory Gambling

Targeted gambling reform is required. We have the world’s highest per capita gambling losses and level of problem gambling. Our governments are totally out-of-touch with the overwhelming community desire to rein in the damage caused. 

What needs to be done:

  • With pokies being the biggest cause of problem gambling, the immediate implementation of the Productivity Commission’s recommendation for $1 maximum bets per spin and $120 in hourly losses (compared to $10 per spin and $1200 an hour) is required
  • Challenge the major parties to conduct a referendum on implementing $1 maximum bet reforms.
  • Ensure the Productivity Commission regularly updates its gambling research
  • End micro-betting on sports events, which can lead to corruption and match fixing in sports
  • Remove ATMs from venues with poker machines
  • Reinstate ban on EFTPOS acess in SA poker machine rooms
  • Ban the ability to bet on the outcome of a lottery, for example Lottoland
  • The Commonwealth needs to develop an approach to wean state governments off their $5billion a year of gambling taxes

Substance Abuse and Rehabilitation

With one of the highest levels of substance abuse in the world, we need a total revamp to ensure those with a problem can access help. We must develop programs and an Australia wide culture that seeks to minimise addiction in the first place.

What needs to be done:

  • Treat personal drug use as primarily a health issue, rather than a criminal issue, with well funded rehabilitation programs – including mandatory rehabilitation in certain circumstances.
  • Develop programs and an Australia wide change in culture that seeks to minimise addiction in the first place
  • Explore innovative ways to disrupt and minimise the drug business model
  • Enable the ability of the public to simply and safely “inform” on dealers to significantly reduce any localised interest in dealing and cut off the sale and revenue elements of any drug based business model
  • Current resources should be focussed more on prevention and rehabilitation
  • An increase in spending is required to establish better access to rehabilitation clinics along with a clear transition into skills and job training
  • Drug trafficking legislation should be modified to allow authorities to rapidly and simply seize assets of those involved in trafficking and distribution


Ideally all essential utilities (electricity, water, gas and NBN) should be owned by the public. Current rules need to change to have a greater focus on the rights of consumers and small businesses.

What needs to be done:

  • There should be an option for all new utility proposals (such as generation and network assets) to be community owned (or owned through a co-operative)
  • Change the National Electricity Market rules and enhance the power of the Australian Energy Regulator to rein in the wasteful and costly gold-plating of electricity assets that consumers end up paying for. Over time this will have a greater impact on reducing electricity prices than any other single measure.
  • Price increases should be set at no greater than the CPI

Water Security

The existing national framework must be strengthened.  Water security is vital to the national interest.

Examples of what needs to be done:

  • Storm water harvesting – which is more efficient than desalination – must be fast-tracked
  • States which were early adopters of water-efficiencies must be acknowledged in any federal scheme. Irrigators should be able to access federal infrastructure grants for value-adding to agricultural produce more easily
  • Wasteful practices throughout the Murray-Darling Basin must be addressed as a matter of urgency to ensure a fair distribution of water rights across the entire system

Government Procurement

Government procurement should not be about ‘price’. Instead it should be about ‘value’. Both Federal and State Government should consider the total economic benefit of all significant procurements to the local economy. Officials need to assess and appreciate the value to the economy of local employment, local investment and local supply chain activity that flows from the procurement of products and services by Governments. Officials also need to consider quality when considering the value  

What needs to be done:

The Federal Government must ensure government procurement officers conduct procurement in accordance with the full intent of the new Commonwealth procurement rules negotiated by NXT in December 2016 and which came into effect on 01 March 2017. Those rules require officials to:

  • ensure applicable Australian Standards are mandated in all procurements
  • ensure that the procurement is carried out considering relevant regulations and/or regulatory frameworks, including but not limited to tenderers’ practices regarding a) labour regulations, including ethical employment practices; b) occupational, health and safety; and c) environmental impacts.
  • consider the economic benefit for all procurements above $4 million dollars

Compliance with the new rules must be made mandatory for any Federal funding granted to the States.

We believe that voting for Nick might be a good thing.

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