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

I believe the most important part of my job is speaking up for people who might not otherwise have a voice. I guess how I feel about what I do is summed up in the last line of my first speech in the Senate:

I would rather go down fighting, than still be standing because I stayed silent.

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I am not driven by politics. But through politics, I have the opportunity to drive change.

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My colleagues and I look forward to being a strong voice for South Australia. We're all about taking a common sense approach to issues and not being driven by political ideologies.

We believe that government and elected members should be there for the people, and not their own self interests.

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There is no greater honour than to represent my community in our nation's capital. I will do everything I can to keep democracy as close as possible to our communities so that our voice is heard. My focus, my energy, my heart will be dedicated to making Mayo Matter

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Policies

Ageing Population

Australia is a prosperous country built on the contribution of older Australians. Our ageing population deserves to be treated with dignity and respect. 

Australia’s ageing population is growing at a rapid rate which has major implications for our health system and our workforce, so we must ensure that government, and the wider community, assist our ageing population with their evolving needs. 

What needs to be done:

  • Pension - NXT does 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 to be 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.
  • 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.
  • Aged Care Workforce - As our ageing population grows, demand for labour in the aged care sector also increases so we need to encourage employment within the sector.
  • Dementia - The amount of people living with dementia continues to rise, and may become the leading cause of death in the near future, so we need to ensure that adequate funding is provided for research into the causes of dementia and preventative measures. 

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:

  • Labelling laws must be overhauled to provide consumers with truth in labelling as to the ingredients and their country of origin.
  • Introduce an Australian Made labelling category where 75% or more of the labour component to manufacture or assemble the product was undertaken by Australian residents.
  • 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.
  • 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

Action is required to reduce carbon emissions and our reliance on fossil fuels and inefficient forms of energy generation. 

Australia is uniquely placed to embrace renewable energy resources. Government at all levels must play an integral role in leading a best-practice approach. It is about being smart and efficient for the benefit of the planet.

We support a 50% renewable (electricity only) target by 2030.

What needs to be done: 

  • Have an efficient and effective emissions trading scheme (ETS) 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.
  • Australian tax payer 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 fostered.
  • The importation of substandard and unsafe products related to renewable energy and or climate change must be curtailed.

Education

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 to learning through quality early childhood experiences that nurture and develop.

What needs to be done:

  • Implement and fully fund the Gonski reforms to address the inadequate and piecemeal approach to funding for our schools. Currently, schools in South Australia receive less Federal Government funding than if they were in any other state or territory. If this funding inequity continues, South Australian independent school students will receive on average $400 less in funding each year, increasing each year from 2017 compared to students in other states. This funding discrimination against South Australian schools and their students must be reversed as a matter of urgency.
  • Provide further support for students with special learning needs, including students with disability and high achievers.
  • All Year 7 students in South Australia should receive the same amount of Federal Government funding as Year 7 students in other states. Year 7 students in South Australia receive less Federal Government funding per year than students in other states and territories. This is because the Federal Government funds them at the primary school student rate even though all Year 7 students in Australia now use the Australian Curriculum.
  • A Senate inquiry into Australia’s education system should be established, with a particular focus on best practice in teaching and learning and how this can be supported by government funding.
  • Education funding should be tied to practical educational outcomes so that students of all ages and socioeconomic statuses have the best opportunity to achieve their potential and goals.
  • Maintain university fee regulation to ensure students from all backgrounds are able to access higher education as a way to address socioeconomic disparity.
  • Place greater emphasis on trade, work-ready and entrepreneurial courses from years 10+.
  • Ensure that the VET Student Loans scheme is properly implemented to minimise the amount of student disruption.
  • The Federal Government must consider extending the VET Student loan scheme to all Vocational courses that lead to good employment outcomes, not just those courses that operate within a STEM discipline or are on a two state skills needs lists. 

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.
  • Ensure politician entitlements and claims are reported in a timely and transparent way.
  • Implement national whistleblower protections in the corporate, public and not-for-profit sectors that protect the informant and compensates them for any loss of income due to their actions.
  • 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.
  • Medical practices should be addressed to ensure that quantity is pursued 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 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.
  • Overhaul outdated online gambling laws, to take into account the impact of emerging technologies.
  • End sports betting ads during games.
  • The Commonwealth needs to develop an approach to wean state governments off their $5 billion 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 focused 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.

Utilities

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.

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.
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