Frequently asked questions

Why are you running for the Senate?
Because I believe I can do more for South Australians in the Senate.  As a State MP the whole State was my electorate – the same applies with the Senate.  I feel that the last best hope to get massive and rapid change on the Pokies is to push in the Senate for change – in Canberra where the Federal Government effectively controls the purse-strings and has the power to act. On water, the Eastern States have hung us out to dry. On these and other issues, I want to push to get the best deal for our State. For more details on my reasons for running for the Senate click here.

Are you leaving South Australia?
NO! NO! NO! If I am elected to the Senate I will be representing all South Australians at the Federal Parliament which is based in Canberra.  I will have to travel to Canberra when Parliament is sitting but my main office will be in Adelaide, as will my home.

Why did you resign as a State MP?

According to Australian law, I had to resign from the South Australian Parliament so I could run for the Senate.  

What happens if you don’t get elected to the Senate?

Don’t even ask that! Seriously, I will always continue to fight for people, issues and causes that I am passionate about. 

Who will replace you as a State MP in the Upper House of the South Australian Parliament?
My seat in the South Australian Parliament will be taken by John Darley.  John was my second running mate in the State Election in March 2006 and he will continue to follow through on the issues and causes I raised in State Parliament.  John is an ex-Valuer General for SA and a Land Tax Reform campaigner.

I have always voted for a major party - how can I support them and you at the same time?

I respect everyone’s right to support the major parties.  My suggestion is that you vote for them in the Lower House (ie your local member in the House of Representatives) and for me in the Senate.

Who will your preferences be going to?

I will have a ‘split ticket ‘ which means my preferences will be divided between the Liberals  and the ALP, as well as the smaller parties like The Greens, Democrats and Family First. Full details of my preferences are available here.

Are you running alone or with a running mate?

My running mate wil be Roger Bryson, Manager of the Adelaide Central Market and an ordained Baptist Minister. For more information about Roger see the 22 October media announcement.

How can I vote for you?
You can vote for me by putting a ‘1’ above the line next to my Group letter on the Senate Ballot Paper.  I will know this group letter on November 2.  You can download a 'How to Vote' card from this website after 2 November.  But if you want to make a real difference to my campaign you can Volunteer to hand out 'How to Vote' cards on Election Day, Saturday 24 November. Please sign up here.

You are only one person with one vote – how can you have any effect in Parliament?

In the Senate I will be a loud, uncompromising and clear voice for the interests of our State. I will work my guts out to keep whoever is power on their toes and accountable to South Australians.  And I will have better resources to help more people and to cover more issues. 

I know you are against Pokies but what other main issues you will fight for in Canberra?
Water is the big issue that is critical to South Australia’s future.
We deserve special consideration from Canberra  because we are at the tail-end of a once great river system that has been abused and neglected. Our Riverland irrigators are facing economic ruin -  this is a challenge for SA to be a world leader in water management, and we deserve Commonwealth help to achieve it.

What are your views on the war in Iraq - should the troops be withdrawn?
We should never have gone to Iraq in the first place. The government needs to acknowledge that it was a mistake. The big dilemma is if you are to leave now do you leave things worse than they are. There’s a role for reconstruction for Australia but it can’t be open-ended commitment. It’s a question of trying to extricate ourselves in a way that minimizes bloodshed to the local community.  My view is that we should be spending money on aid and building up the political infrastructure. At the same time we need to be starving the terrorists of oxygen.

What about WorkChoices – is it delivering a fair deal to Australian workers?

The WorkChoices legislation went too far. There definitely needs to be some revisiting of it – you need to consult with small businesses that are nervous. There’s scope to have a good look at it away from the heat of the federal election campaign and scope to improve it. A big issue for me in Canberra would be industrial health and safety. In terms of the guarantee of minimum conditions, if someone doesn’t want a certain shift or expanded shifts there should be some safeguards.

What's your view of the Murray Darling Basin rescue package?
South Australia needs to be given special consideration as we are at the tail end of failed water policy in the Eastern States. There’s an interesting constitutional argument under section 100 of the Constitution for the Commonwealth to override Victoria if they continue to hold it up. I think we should push the envelope and ensure that federal legislation guarantees SA gets a fair share. The other thing is that headline grabber – Howard's $10 million water plan. That’s over 10 years. A lot of that money is back ended. Not much is happening in the next three years. We need that money to be spent sooner rather than later to help irrigators.

Should Australia sell uranium to India?
We have to be careful about where uranium is sold and the safeguards so it doesn’t end up being used other than for peaceful purpose. I’m a bit concerned India has not signed the nuclear non-proliferation treaty and that worries me. If they are dinkum about it why won’t they sign?

Should the pulp mill be built in Tasmania?

I wouldn’t have voted for it because the Tasmanian Government fast-tracked it.  They didn’t have appropriate scientific evaluation and didn’t go through the right process. You can’t say it’s world best practice because dioxins will be released into the water system. I think it’s an act of folly.

Should Australia ratify the Kyoto Protocol?

Yes.  It isn’t that radical a target. If you know what the rules are, businesses can plan accordingly. But if it’s kept vague you are not going to get that impetus for change. Australia needs to be leading the world on environmental change.

If Labor wins the election but you hold the balance of power, would you ever vote with the Liberals to block supply?

No. I believe what happened in 1975 when supply was last blocked damaged the fabric of our democracy and I wouldn’t want to be part of a repeat of that. 

What would you do about petrol prices?

As a State MP I instigated a Parliamentary Inquiry into the Port Stanvac Oil Refinery and fuel storage facility. I believe there is strong evidence that the ‘moth-balling’ of the massive fuel storage facility at Port Stanvac and the lack of access to it by independent fuel wholesalers, and lack of competition  is costing SA motorists up to 6 cents per litre.

I will push for changes to competition laws to give easier access on fair commercial terms to major items of infrastructure if it’s in the public interest. I also support encouraging bio-fuels, including ethanol, on the proviso that the production of the crops and processes used is environmentally sustainable.

What would you do about housing affordability?

This is a major issue that affects not just young people who are looking at buying their first home, but also those who changes of personal circumstances (eg separation or divorce) are now back in the housing market.

The policies of both the Coalition and the ALP announced during the campaign are welcome – in terms of encouraging savings, but still more needs to be done to tackle the underlying causes of this problem.

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