Nick Xenophon Team
A Common Sense Alternative
Nick Xenophon Team

What's NXT?

A Commonsense Fair Alternative

For us, it's all about looking at issues on their merits and working out the best outcome for everyone. Politics should never just be about left or right, it should always be about right or wrong.

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
Click on the below to view Nick outlining our 2016 federal election priorities.

Click here to view further information on our core focus and here to view our policy principles. 

Nick Xenophon

Nick Xenophon is the founder and leader of Nick Xenophon Team.

Nick first entered parliament in 1997, when he was elected to the South Australian Legislative Council as an independent on a no-pokies platform. He ran for and was elected to the Australian Senate in 2007 and was re-elected to the Senate in the September 2013 federal election. Nick is a passionate advocate and watchdog for South Australia’s interests.

He has pushed for many reforms that benefit not only South Australians, but all Australians - including pokies, water, food labelling, manufacturing, education and healthcare.

To view a copy of Nick's party launch speech in December 2014, click here.

Elected Members

We currently have four elected members - Nick XenophonRebekha Sharkie, Stirling Griff and Skye Kakoschke-Moore.

Policy Principles

For us, policies are all about principles that guide our actions. These principles are set out to inform Australians of our legislative views.

Items shown under 'Examples of what needs to be done' are indicative only and parliamentary members and candidates are encouraged to propose and debate the most workable solutions and options possible.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders

We recognise Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples - the first Australians - as the traditional owners of this continent and acknowledge and respect their ongoing relationship with the land. 

Examples of what needs to be done:

  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and organisations must be consulted and engaged with the process of developing Indigenous Affairs policy
  • Constitutional recognition to reflect the unique role Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders have in Australia’s past, present and future
  • Provide ongoing funding for “Closing the Gap” between Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and non-indigenous Australians
  • In consultation with individual communities, develop micro policies and programs to better meet the diverse needs of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples

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.

Examples of 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 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.

Agriculture

Agriculture is a vital part, not just of the fabric of rural and regional Australia, but of the entire nation.

With agriculture contributing over $55 billion to the nation’s economy, and employing over 300,000 Australians across the agriculture, forestry and fishing sector (with huge multiplier effects), it is essential that it is encouraged to grow.

The $1billion of farmer and government contributions to agricultural research and development (R&D) organisations needs to be effectively targeted to help improve the profitability of Australian agriculture through enhancing the skills and decision making of farmers.

Examples of what needs to be done:

  • Having strong competition laws that that can effectively deal with and penalise predatory abuse of market power from companies in the agricultural to retail supply chain. This needs to include a stronger ‘effects’ test than the federal government is currently proposing, divestiture powers to break up companies for gross abuse of market power, and quicker and more affordable access to justice.
  • Continue to push for clear country of origin labelling for food and ingredients including clear labels showing the source country of imported products. The recently implemented changes federally, whilst welcome, need to be improved upon and monitored for their effectiveness.
  • It’s imperative to scrap the punitive AQIS charges on small exporters that destroy incentives to export.
  • We will continue to push for urgent strong anti-dumping rules to prevent domestic industries being dumping grounds for imported produce such as what happened with tinned tomatoes.
  • Help work to encourage domestic investment in Australian agriculture through investment vehicles such as Australian superannuation funds.
  • Continue to support the full implementation of the Murray Darling Basin Plan. 
  • Support the export of livestock to countries who implement Australia’s strict ESCAS Exporter Supply Chain Assurance System. However, our preference is to encourage the processing of livestock in Australia, in regional Australia, to grow industry and jobs, we understand that different markets exist and that will take time to grow.
  •  Federal drought funding must require that state governments do not unreasonably impede the delivery of drought support.

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.

Examples of 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
  • Have more effective anti-dumping laws to prevent below-cost imported goods flooding the market and destroying Australian jobs in the process

 

Aviation

A safe and strong aviation sector is vital to Australia's needs. Having our aircraft maintained in Australia is an integral part of ensuring high safety standards and trust in the aviation industry. 

Examples of what needs to be done:

  • There should be an Inspector General of Aviation that acts as an impartial watch-dog over all aviation regulators -  in particular CASA and the ATSB - to ensure that they operate in the public interest.
  • Implement recommendations from Senate reports on aviation and safety

 

Childhood Education & Care

Australian families should have access to high-quality, accessible and affordable early childhood education, as well as affordable child care when needed. 

Examples of what needs to be done:

  • Enhance the policy focus on Early Childhood Education, given its critical impact on the stage of life where social and emotional development is most influenced
  • Federal funding for child care should favour centres run by local communities

Climate Change & 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.

Examples of 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, not keep the resources in the ground until a time that best suits them

  • 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

Co-operatives & Mutual Enterprises

Co-operatives and Mutual Enterprises are a bedrock of communities around the country and have enormous potential to grow and play an even bigger role in Australian society. 

Examples of what needs to be done:

  • The senate inquiry (instigated by Nick) report into co-ops is a useful starting point for the reforms needed to allow co-ops to flourish
  • Government policies must be supportive of Co-operatives and Mutual Enterprises
  • Educators should include the Co-op and CME business model in their curriculum

Crime

All Australians have the right to feel safe as they go about their lives. Being tough on crime also means being tough on the causes of crime. Inadequate penalties not only insult victims and their families, they continue to put the community at risk. Substance abuse – a major contributor to violence and theft – must be tackled.

Examples of what needs to be done: 

  • Increase the transparency of plea bargaining and give victims a greater say in the plea bargaining process 
  • Legislation regarding the confiscation of proceeds from crime, particularly drug trafficking, needs to be more effective
  • The mental impairment defence needs to be reformed as it is being abused in some cases
  • Prisons should have more effective rehabilitation programs, rather than being a training ground for more hardened criminals

In South Australia

  • The recent changes to the mental impairment defence aimed at preventing people from blaming their criminal actions on the effects of drugs or alcohol are a welcome development which we have long campaigned for.  But more needs to be done in this space. We will continue to push for preventative detention type orders - similar to those used for suspected terrorists - for those charged with serious drug-related offences, where there is a risk to public safety. This would involve changes to the Bail Acts so that there is a presumption against bail where the alleged offending is drug-related.

Defence

Australian defence policy must focus on the protection of our nation and creating stability in our region. We also believe parliament should be involved in any decision to deploy troops to conflict zones. Above all, Australia needs to be self-sufficient in defence resources.

Examples of what needs to be done:

  • Defence procurement must be overhauled to acknowledge the economic and strategic benefits of local manufacture
  • Our defence strategy must be based first and foremost on Australia's needs
  • The changes to procurement rules negotiated by the Nick Xenophon Team  which came into force on 1 March 2017 are a huge improvement on previous rules and will lead to more local industry content and jobs.

Disabilities

People with disabilities should be treated with dignity and respect and be able to live full and meaningful lives. 

Examples of what needs to be done:

  • The rollout of the NDIS needs to be carefully evaluated to ensure it has the maximum benefit for its clients
  • Respite for those families with a disabled family member needs to be given greater priority

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 for learning through quality early childhood experiences that nurture and develop the whole child.

See media release here.

Employment & Workplace Relations

High levels of workplace participation and productivity are the key to achieving a strong and prosperous economy, particularly in the small business sector. This needs to be set in a framework of mutual fairness.

Examples of what needs to be done:

  • Reviews of the employment and workplace relations system should be ongoing to ensure our standard of living is maintained and small business – the engine-room of jobs growth – prospers
  • Acknowledge and respect the role of responsible unions in the workplace to give a voice to workers who otherwise would face an un-level playing field

Environment

Clean air, clean water and preserving our iconic natural resources are fundamental to guiding what we do for our environment – not just for us, but for Australia’s future generations. 

Examples of what needs to be done:

  • Call on state governments to identify and preserve our best agricultural land as an investment in our future
  • Review the applicability of California’s vehicle emissions standards to Australia
  • Protect groundwater (aquifers, including the Great Artesian Basin) from any adverse impacts of mining and coal seam gas exploration
  • Have an efficient emissions trading scheme based on the Frontier Economics scheme
  • Have federal legislation to protect key environmental assets, rather than being dealt with on a state by state basis
  • Maintain the right of environmental and community groups to pursue legal action under environmental legislation

Family Violence

Australian families should be free from incidents of violence. Police and family violence services must properly protect and support survivors.

Examples of what needs to be done:

  • The creation of a federal body which investigates the circumstances surrounding every fatal family violence incident, with a particular focus on systemic failures in the lead-up to each incident. Currently police forces rarely undertake this level of investigation, which allows flawed systems to remain in place. Often law enforcement agencies have missed opportunities to intervene before a fatal incident occurs.
  • Advocate for uniform laws relating to family violence across all state and territory jurisdictions, to ensure equal protection regardless of where someone lives
  • Create and fund an evidence-based national awareness campaign with a particular focus on the cultural environment which contributes to family violence
  • Provide adequate funding for a coordinated approach to family and intimate partner violence including safe houses, counselling, case management and legal support to ensure survivors have a voice and can enforce their rights
  • Rehabilitation of perpetrators to help reduce the ongoing harm caused by repeat offenders and in turn the damaging intergenerational cycle of this particular type of crime
  • Creation and funding of a national education program in schools focussing on respect and safety in family and other interpersonal relationships

 

Food Security

Australia needs a comprehensive strategic approach to protect, invest and grow our own food production resources. It is an integral part of our national security. 

Examples of what needs to be done:

  • Change competition laws to allow for the break up of companies that abuse their market power in their dealings with farmers
  • Establish a rural development bank that will make it easier for farmers to access finance.
  • Create incentives to invest in agriculture, including for our super funds
  • Overhaul and implement truthful food labelling laws. Our current laws that allow imported produce to be passed off as Australian are costing our farmers jobs
  • Scrap the punitive AQIS charges on small exporters that destroy incentives to export

Foreign Aid

Foreign aid helps people in developing countries escape extreme poverty, improve health outcomes and helps increase regional stability. Through the provision of foreign aid, Australia is able to meet its obligations as a responsible global citizen and also benefits from a heightened level of prosperity and stability in the region

Examples of what needs to be done:

  • Restore the $7.6b of aid funding cut by the Australian government in the 2014 budget
  • Work towards a foreign aid budget that represents 0.7% of Gross National Income, in line with Australia's commitment to the United Nations Sustainable Development goals

Foreign Investment

Australia needs a strategic approach to foreign investment, rather than the inconsistent approach we have now. Foreign investment would be much lower if there were greater incentives for Australians to invest in their own country. 

Examples of what needs to be done:

  • Adapt New Zealand’s foreign investment laws which clearly set out a definition of the national interest and have lower thresholds for foreign investment approval
  • Lower the existing Foreign Investment Review Board threshold ($252m) so that all proposed overseas transactions greater than $5m are subject to greater scrutiny
  • Have a foreign investment register of key assets in order to promote greater transparency 

Genetically Modified Organisms (GMO)

Farmers and consumers should have the right to say no to GMOs. Government has a role to play in supporting continued research into the long-term unknown effects of GMOs on both human and plant health. 

Examples of what needs to be done:

  • Ensure all GMO products are correctly labelled so consumers can make informed decisions 
  • Protect farmers who want their crops to remain GMO free by imposing stricter regulations and legal liability on those responsible for contamination
  • Fund independent research on the long-term health and environmental effects of GMOs

Government Accountability & Transparency

Politicians must be open and up front with the Australian people. Government's primary role is to protect their citizens, 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.

Examples of 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
  • Citizens should have reasonable and timely access to Government information such that they can participate in Government decisions making and, if necessary and as appropriate, criticise Government and demand change and improvement from Government. Freedom of Information laws need to be enhanced to guarantee information is provided within statutory time frames and that review and appeal processes are conducted in a timely fashion. Transparency is also a key preventative to maladministration, misfeasance and corruption.

 

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.

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.

Examples of 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

Housing Affordability

A combination of local, state and federal government taxes and red tape have made housing less affordable, particularly for those trying to enter the housing market for the first time. This needs to be tackled head on. 

Examples of what needs to be done:

  • Form a housing affordability taskforce charged with delivering practical solutions to encourage greater home ownership.  The aim of this taskforce is to examine relevant housing affordability levers and recommend measures to reduce tape and taxes and highlight innovative and cost-effective building and housing concepts.
  • Ensure Australian residents are not priced out of the housing market by foreign investors
  • Modify negative gearing to encourage the creation of new affordable housing stock

Immigration

Immigrants have played a critical role in building Australia. We should continue to encourage safe and orderly immigration to Australia, in particular amongst younger skilled families and investors who will help drive economic growth.

Examples of what needs to be done:

  • A special category of visa should be created to encourage investors to settle in areas of low population and economic growth.

Innovation, Technology, R&D

Government must facilitate and bring together world class research and development, innovative thinkers, venture capital and a highly skilled, creative and diverse work force. This strong platform will revitalise Australia’s economic outlook by strategically growing the innovation and technology sectors.

Examples of what needs to be done:

  • Encourage universities, government agencies and companies to undertake research and development by increasing funding to align with other world leading countries
  • Improve funding strategies to target specific research goals, increase focus on commercialisation and enable longer term research projects
  • Encourage entrepreneurship by legalising equity funding platforms and co-investing with venture capitalists to drive local development of innovative Australian ideas and keep talented Australians onshore
  • Create a ministerial-level position with responsibility for leading a culture of innovation and entrepreneurship throughout all government agencies, research institutions and the private sector

 

Live Animal Exports

It is important that strict controls are placed on live animal exports to ensure animals are treated in accordance with Australian animal welfare standards. However, our preference is to have Australian processing and the exporting of chilled meat.

Marriage Equality

Marriage is a formalised commitment that should be available to all people who wish it, irrespective of their gender. 

Examples of what needs to be done:

  • Remove all discrimination from the Marriage Act to ensure that all people, regardless of their sex or gender identity, have the opportunity to marry
  • Churches and religious bodies should retain the right to decide for themselves whether to perform or recognise any marriage

Mental Health

Mental health is a significant issue affecting millions of Australians. Early intervention can reduce the impact of mental illness in the community and help people receive appropriate treatment and support to recover. Government must prioritise mental health.

Examples of what needs to be done:

  • Government must increase funding for preventative mental health measures and services that provide individual and family support within the community
  • Substance abuse, including alcohol, needs to be considered as part of a wider approach

Overseas Students

Overseas students play an important part in Australia’s economy. We need to focus on providing competitive world-class educational resources and encourage students to utilise theirs skills in Australia.

Examples of what needs to be done:

  • Both state and federal governments need to work with higher education providers to support them in offering high quality, flexible services that support industry needs
  • Overseas students should be offered the opportunity to stay an extra 12 months in low population growth areas after completion of their studies and encouraged to apply for residency if they have needed skills or the ability to invest in our country

Penalty Rates

As a general principle, the Fair Work Commission (FWC) should determine pay and conditions, including penalty rates. However, we do not believe it is fair that in a time of low wage growth workers should have their pay rates cut.

That is why we disagree with the decision of the FWC to reduce penalty rates and we support law reform to prevent penalty rates being cut by the FWC. We support legislative change to protect penalty rates to prevent employees receiving penalty rates that are lower than the rates specified in the relevant Modern Award.

We initiated a Senate Inquiry into penalty rates to examine why it is that some big businesses have been paying a lot less for weekend penalty rates than small businesses. More information about this inquiry can be found here.

Population

People should be encouraged to move to areas where there is low population growth. A more even distribution of the population would allow regional areas to flourish and allow metropolitan cities to grow sustainably

Examples of what needs to be done:

  • Businesses and individuals who commit to moving to low population areas could be provided with tax breaks for the first two years to help them become established
  • Actively seek skilled and business migrants and in particular those who have the means to set up and operate businesses in low population areas via a special category of investor category of visa

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. 

Examples of 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 access in SA poker machine rooms
  • 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 $5billion a year of gambling taxes

Privacy Protection

Ordinary Australians' privacy needs to be safeguarded against potential abuse from businesses and governments.

Examples of what needs to be done:

  • Amend the Privacy Act to prohibit betting agencies from engaging in direct marketing to prospective customers
  • Amend the Privacy Act to ensure that all Australians must provide informed, written consent before their personal information can be disclosed to third party and overseas entities (e.g. banks and telcos outsourcing to overseas data and call centres)
  • Ensure metadata collection only occurs following the issuing of a warrant by an Australian court that deems the collection to be necessary to prevent or investigate serious crime or terrorist activity

Regional Australia

Regional centres around Australia present a prime opportunity for both investment in development and economic growth.

Examples of what needs to be done:

  • Encourage industry and educational institutions to invest in regional Australia via incentives, helping to boost both the economy and increase education pathways
  • Encourage immigrant arrivals to settle in rural and regional Australia first
  • Encourage tourism and the arts to refocus on the regions
  • Economic incentives for families living in regions
  • Call upon government to revisit the recommendations proposed in 2013 House of Representatives report into ‘Fly in, Fly out’ workforce practices in regional Australia
  • Greater incentives for renewable energy in regional areas to boost manufacturing

Refugees/Asylum Seekers

Genuine asylum seekers must be treated with dignity and compassion. The bipartisan support for off-shore processing, in order to discourage dangerous boat journeys to Australia, should be matched with an increase in the humanitarian intake to at least 27,000 places per year. However, priority should be given to timely (preferably within 12 months) resettlement to appropriate countries, working together with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR).  Above all, Australia must play a key role for an orderly regional solution to this crisis.

Examples of what needs to be done:

  • Depending on the outcome of the assessment, individuals must either be returned to their country of origin where safe and practical to do so, or settled in another country with the co-operation of the UNHCR.
  • Government must ensure the safety and security of refugees in offshore processing centres, including timely health and mental health care.
  • International agencies such as the UNHCR, Red Cross and media organisations should have access to any detention centres.
  • Whistleblowers must be protected for speaking out.

Religious Freedom

People of religious faith should be able to practice their religion without persecution. This important right carries with it the mutual obligation to respect other faith-based beliefs (and those who do not believe) and not incite violence or discriminatory behaviour, or harass or use coercion tactics.

What needs to be done:

  • We should look at implementing French laws giving protection to the vulnerable for psychological coercion
  • There needs to be ongoing multi-faith dialogue to encourage tolerance and respect for the beliefs of others

Small Business

As Australia's largest employing sector, small business makes a significant contribution to Australia’s economy. All Australians should be encouraged to develop their own niche and/or nurture and grow their own enterprises. Government must play an integral role in fostering small business growth and in doing so reduce bureaucratic obstacles.  

Examples of what needs to be done:

  • Targeted tax breaks for the first two years of operation
  • Payroll tax exemption for businesses with up to 15 full-time equivalent employees
  • Streamline access to and processing of Government services for small business

Subcontractors

Over the past 10 years the building and construction industry has contributed approximately 10 percent of Australia’s GDP and accounts for nearly the same proportion of employment. However, over the same period the construction industry has experienced nearly one quarter of all insolvencies in Australia. There is a culture of non-payment of subcontractors in the construction industry, as well as serious allegations that phoenixing activity has become an acceptable way to make a profit.

We successfully negotiated for changes to legislation to enhance protections for subcontractors in the building and construction industry. We also negotiated a comprehensive review into security of payment laws, which commenced on 21 December 2016. This review is being undertaken by Mr John Murray AM and will be concluded by the end of 2017.

The review will:

  • examine security of payment legislation of all jurisdictions to identify areas of best practice for the construction industry
  • take into account any reviews and inquiries that have recently been conducted in relation to security of payment, including the December 2015 report by the Senate Economic References Committee on insolvency in the Australian construction industry and the draft legislation developed by the 2003 Cole Royal Commission into the Building and Construction Industry
  • consult with business, governments, unions and interested parties and the Security of Payments Working Group
  • consider how to prevent various types of contractual clauses that restrict contractors in the construction industry from obtaining payments for work that has been completed

 

Examples of what needs to be done:

  • Implementation of all of the Senate Economics Committee’s recommendations in their report on insolvency in the construction industry
  • National legislation for a security of payment regime, and rapid adjudication processes in the commercial construction industry, in line with the recommendations from the review being conducted by Mr John Murray AM
  • Close the legal loopholes that allow phoenixing activity to take place

Substance Abuse & 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.

Examples of 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


 

Superannuation

Encouraging a nest egg for a comfortable and secure retirement is what superannuation policy should be about. That should include greater certainty and a bigger say in how superannuation funds are managed. 

Examples of what needs to be done: 

  • Overturn the unacceptable 7-year delay to increase the superannuation guarantee from 9.5% to 12%
  • Overhaul the superannuation industry to increase transparency, end fee gouging and require that investment choices are made under increased checks and balances
  • Superannuation funds must be required to hold an annual general meeting where members are entitled to ask questions as to how their fund is performing and how it is being administered
  • Tax breaks for superannuation must be re-calibrated so the greatest benefit is directed to those with the least savings, and a reduced benefit is enjoyed by those with very high superannuation savings

Terrorism

There is no excuse for terrorism. Such acts of violence cannot be justified in any circumstances. It is incumbent on community leaders and government to denounce and take action to prevent all acts of terrorism and to keep its citizens safe.

Examples of what needs to be done:

  • Ensure government has sufficient power to deal with terrorists in a way that is effective and not counter-productive
  • Put adequate resources into counter radicalisation strategies, so young and susceptible people are not brainwashed by extremists
  • Extremists that groom susceptible people for acts of violence need to be locked away
  • Rather than stripping Australian citizenship of dual nationals involved in terrorism, which could allow them to retaliate against Australians overseas - they need to be brought back to Australia and locked up for community safety.

 

 

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.

Examples of 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

We welcome your feedback on all of our policy principles and other any other issues you may be concerned about. Please email policy@nxt.org.au.

Frequently asked questions relating to policy can be accessed here.

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News

Nick Xenophon
Australia

Upgrading airline security

The Australian - October 22, 2017

It also remains problematic that passengers can book domestic flights online, present boarding passes, check in bags and fly without verifying their identities. Independent senator Nick Xenophon has pledged to raise further concerns during Senate ...and more »

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Random airport ground staff checks 'a joke'

The Australian - October 22, 2017

But independent senator Nick Xenophon derided it as a “joke'' because the additional screening would involve only random checks of workers accessing secure areas. “Systems of checking can be easily bypassed. People with evil intent can be tipped off by ...and more »

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Nick Xenophon Team senator Stirling Griff accepted flight upgrades ...

Herald Sun - October 22, 2017

NICK Xenophon Team senator Stirling Griff has accepted free upgrades on nine taxpayer-funded flights in the past year, flying in the face of his leaders call to ...

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Aboriginal Rangers Find Evidence of One of Australia's Rarest Birds

Voice of America - October 22, 2017

Aboriginal rangers have discovered new evidence of one of Australia's rarest and most mysterious birds. The Night Parrot was feared extinct until it was spotted in 2013. There have been precious few sightings since, but indigenous wildlife rangers say ...

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Australians paying too much for inadequate health insurance

The Australian - October 22, 2017

The minister has also trimmed some of the prices on Australia's prostheses list, which compels funds to pay about a $1 billion a year more for medical devices than they need to. Policies will receive gold, silver or bronze ratings based on coverage and ...

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Higgins apologises to Irish in Australia for unanswered letters from home

Irish Times - October 22, 2017

Engagements on the second-last day of the President's State visit to Australia struck a deeply personal note as Mr Higgins met scores of distant cousins, descendants of his grandfather's brother Patrick and sister Mary Ann who emigrated to Queensland ...and more »

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Contact

Office hours
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Phone Number
08 8545 0400
Nick Xenophon Team
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Nick Xenophon Electorate Office - (08) 82321144 - nickxenophon.com.au

Rebekha Sharkie Mayo Electorate Office - (08) 8398 5566 - Rebekha.Sharkie.MP@aph.gov.au

Stirling Griff Electorate Office - (08) 8212 1409 - Senator.Griff@aph.gov.au

Skye Kakoschke-Moore Electorate Office - (08) 8232 0220 - Senator.Kakoschke-Moore@aph.gov.au

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Authorised by N. Xenophon 653 Lwr Nth East Rd Paradise 5075