Frequently Asked Questions
Questions and answers to frequently asked questions are posted here. If you would like to ask a question, click here to send us an email.
Q. Is Nick Xenophon still involved with SA-BEST?
A. Nick remains an important member of the SA-BEST team. Nick will continue to be a strong advocate for greater accountability and transparency regardless of whether he is a Member of Parliament. Drawing on his 20 years of experience representing SA at the state and federal level, Nick will provide valuable advice and guidance to the SA-BEST team.
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. 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 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. Our two SA-BEST Members of Parliament will continue to advocate for much-needed reforms such as $1 per spin bets and a maximum of $120 in losses per hour, compared to the $1,200 it is now.
Q. SA Unions and the CFMEU have said SA-BEST are anti-worker. Is this true?
A. Not at all. Their statements have to-date been politically motivated and not based on the truth. Nick and the team have fought tirelessly to improve our procurement rules and anti dumping rules to ensure Australian jobs come first. We have 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 SA-BEST are anti-penalty rates. Neither Centre Alliance (previously NXT) nor SA-BEST are seeking legislative changes to reduce penalty rates and indeed our Federal team recently voted with Labor and the Greens on a bill that would rollback the Fairwork Commission recommendation to reduce penalty rates.
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.
Q. Is SA-BEST and Centre Alliance the same party?
A. Centre Alliance is a federally registered party that can field candidates in any state or territory of Australia. SA-BEST is a SA registered party than can field candidates in SA state elections only. Whilst both parties have a common heritage (Nick Xenophon) they are separately incorporated bodies and have different management structures. The SA elected members of Centre Alliance are strong advocates for their state and work closely with the SA-BEST elected members.