Frequently Asked Questions
Questions and answers to frequently asked questions directed to Nick and the team are posted here. If you would like to ask a question, click here to send us an email. You can also read The Facts here.
Q. Is Nick Xenophon the party leader of SA-BEST, or the Nick Xenophon Team? Can he be leader of both?
A. Yes, Nick is the leader of both parties. Nick is all about doing what is best for South Australia and having both federal and state representatives with common principles and purpose to ensure South Australia's interests are well looked after.
Q. Isn't it a waste of my vote voting for you, as you'll never form government?
A. Absolutely not! In fact, voting for SA-BEST will ensure accountable, transparent and responsible government. The more elected members, the greater the ability to influence the shape and direction of SA.
Q. Who will you support to form government? Liberal or Labor?
A. This is a very important question. Both major parties have shown scant regard for what is right for our state. And based on past history, their election promises are discarded or broken when it suits them. Any decision we make will depend on a range of factors, including the views of elected members and their electorates, which party receives the most votes and seats and above all which party can best deliver the SA-BEST agenda.
Q. Who are you preferencing?
A. SA-BEST exists to give you, the voter, a genuine third option so that you don't have to vote for Labor or Liberal. We haven't preferenced any of the major parties, and are leaving it up to voters to allocate their own preferences. You can find SA-BEST's How to Vote cards here.
Q. Where are your detailed and costed policies?
A. We see our primary role as being the watchdog against waste and a promoter of dynamic and practical ideas for the state. Our federal representatives adhere to policy principles that guide our actions. These can be viewed here. Our track record at a federal level is all about ensuring accountability and taxpayers getting value for money. You can read SA-BEST's announced state policies here.
Q. Nick first campaigned on pokies and they are still around. This is a big fail isn't it?
A. Not at all! The major parties have colluded to block essential reforms introduced by Nick. With SA-BEST members in both houses of parliament we will be in a much stronger position to implement reforms such as $1 per spin bets and a maximum of $120 in losses per hour, compared to the $1,200 it is now. More info here.
Q. I voted for Nick at the last federal election. What has he and his team achieved so far?
A. Thanks for asking. The team achieved great success over the last 12 months, including government prioritizing the purchasing of Australian goods and services; ensuring Australian standards are being met on all government projects; protection and compensation for whistleblowers; Carly’s Law, which protects young people from online predators; the introduction of mentoring programs to boost apprenticeships; funding for the Port Augusta Solar Thermal Plant; funding for SA’s life-saving Proton Therapy Centre; increased country road funding; better health facilities for the Adelaide Hills; funding for community radio, independent and regional publications and journalism cadetships. And this doesn't include our relentless work to ensure we maximise local content and jobs for the Future Subs and Naval Ships and the valuable committee and advocacy work and watchdog role all NXT parliamentary members carry out. More info here.
Q. SA Unions and the CFMEU have said Nick is anti-worker. Is this true?
A. Not at all. Their statements have to-date been politically motivated and not based on the truth. Nick has fought tirelessly to improve our procurement rules and anti dumping rules to ensure Australian jobs come first. He has consistently advocated stronger worker safety laws and have been at the forefront of the campaign to highlight the dangers of dodgy imported building products such as flammable building cladding and materials containing asbestos. Nick has also instigated a key inquiry on security of payments in the construction industry, which will lead to tens of thousands of sub-contractors and workers being better protected from dodgy builders.
Q. SA Unions say you want to cut penalty rates. Is this true?
A. No. SA Unions continue to run misleading campaigns stating that Nick and the team are anti-penalty rates. Neither NXT nor SA-BEST are seeking legislative changes to reduce penalty rates and indeed NXT recently voted with Labor and the Greens on a federal bill that would rollback the Fairwork Commission recommendation to reduce penalty rates. More info here.
Q. I have seen media reports that SA-BEST wants to reduce the number of MPs. Is this correct?
A. Yes. Right now we have a bloated and slack state parliament and many South Australians wouldn't have a clue who their state MP is. Reducing the number of MPs from 69 to 51 will save tens of millions of dollars over a four year period that could be much better spent on frontline community services. Making the parliament smaller will put every MP on notice - ensuring they work harder for their electorates. Requiring upper house MPs to face the people every four years, instead of every eight years, will mean a more dynamic and responsive upper house. With fewer MPs we will need fewer Ministers and that means fewer political staffers and spin doctors, which frees up money for real doctors. More info here.
Q. Didn't Nick vote to Privatise ETSA?
A. Nick voted AGAINST privatising ETSA in 1999 at the crucial third reading stage when he was a Member of the Legislative Council in South Australia. The misleading comment comes from his voting for the second reading stage of the debate, months earlier, which was about allowing debate to continue on the Liberal’s Bill, at a time when he was negotiating with them about the possibility of a short-term lease of the electricity assets, with the issue of privatisation being put to the people at the next election. Those negotiations broke down and he voted against the privatisation – the right thing to do. You can view or download Hansard showing the vote on the privatisation Bill and the remarks Nick made here.