Thursday, 27 February 2014

All the Candidates. All the time.

As usual, the majority of media coverage is focussed on the lower house (Legislative Assembly), although it is the upper house (Legislative Council) that has the greatest variety of candidates and, arguably, requires the most information to make an informed choice.

Following the format for the federal election I will be posting a short summary of each party's goals and three direct quotes from their policy platforms wherever possible. This ensures I do not enter any personal bias into the interpretation of policies, although I obviously have to be subjective and selective in determining the three key policies.

This post has been slightly hampered by variable internet access stemming from me being temporarily embedded in a state that is not my traditional state of residence. Links to the original policy documents are provided. Hopefully more information on the more low-profile candidates will also emerge over time.

A: Australian Labor Party (ALP)

The incumbent government and winner of the last three state elections, SA Labor is one of the two major parties battling for the leadership of the state. The ALP (SA Labor still operates under the federal party name) is keen to emphasise the relatively good economic position the state is in, and to win support to continue their work which is heavily focussed on infrastructure in employ people in the short term and bring long-term benefits to the economy and state in the long term.
Policy 1: Growing advanced manufacturing
Our manufacturing sector designs, develops and makes goods in demand locally and around the world. It uses world-leading technology and design that improves living standards, as well as offers rewarding careers... Highly-skilled workforce; Defence and mining sectors drive innovative manufacturing; Business clusters; Capturing and applying research and development; Build on defence and clean tech industries.
Policy 2: Safe communities, healthy neighbourhoods
Crime rates have fallen, yet fear of crime has intensified. At the same time, we are spending less time outdoors. Better public spaces for socialising with others and being active will improve our safety, our health and the strength of our communities... Better walking and cycling options locally; Visibly safer neighbourhoods; Public transport links to larger centres; Places to meet and be active; Strong social connections that support older people.
Policy 3: Premium food and wine from our clean environment
Our food and wine products are under pressure from low labour cost countries and a high Australian dollar. We need to grow the recognition of our premium food, our high standards of food production and our food regions... South Australia is renowned as a producer of premium food and wine from its clean water, clean air and clean soil.
All 47 Lower House seats contested
7 Upper House candidates nominated

B: F.R.E.E. Australia Party (FREE)

The F.R.E.E Australia Party operates under the motto “When Injustice becomes law resistance becomes duty” (capitalisation as per original), so you know these guys are revolutionaries. Thier primary focus is on maximising personal freedoms. Many of their ideas are clearly copied from a national campaign without modification (for example, a constitutional Bill of Rights, which would be a federal issue, as are climate change, a national water strategy and refugees) and others do not make sense to me at all (e.g. their comment on anti-association laws is a single sentence on the seperation [sic] of powers) However, here are some of their more relevant policies.
Policy 1: Individual Sovereignty
We promote the concept that Government has no place in the personal lives of individuals to act as parent. We believe that a Government opposing actions adults may choose to do; as it relates to voluntary euthanasia, associations, gay marriage, home births, surrogacy, abortions, tattoos, employment, clothing, or any other hereby unidentified free choice, are doing so outside their domain and are therefore acting detrimentally towards people. We believe the role of government is to ensure appropriate checks and balances exist and to promote individual and national sovereignty. We believe Government is there to serve, not rule over us.
Policy 2: Aboriginal Politics
We recognise the original inhabitants of this country and support the creation of a Parliamentary seat for an [sic] representative of their choosing. (N.B. Although this, like most of their issues, is probably directed at federal politics it can be applied at a state level.)
Policy 3: Public Assets
We believe it necessary to hold a referendum seeking public consent before a government decides to sell off public assets. (N.B. Same caveat as policy 2.)
1 Lower House seat contested
2 Upper House candidates nominated

C: Dignity for Disability (D4D)

Obviously chiefly focussed on ending discrimination and disadvantage for those with disabilities, D4D is a single issue party. Despite that, they currently have one member (Kelly Vincent MLC) in the upper house, elected last election.
Policy 1: Abuse
Government, regardless of political alignment or agenda, must take every possible measure (legislative, judicial, administrative and social measures, including educational and training measures) to protect all people with disabilities, both within and outside of their home, from all forms of abuse, violence and exploitation.
In cases of proven abuse or exploitation, legislation must provide adequate and appropriate penalties and correctional procedures to ensure that the abuse or exploitation ceases and is prevented from re-occurring.

Monitoring authorities must ensure that all instances of abuse or exploitation against people with disabilities, by any person or organisation, are identified, investigated, reported and, where appropriate, prosecuted.
Policy 2: Employment
Persons with disabilities must be protected from discrimination in accessing work and employment in all areas including the recruitment, hiring, continuance of employment, career advancement, and safe and healthy working environments which must provide protection from harassment, bullying and exploitation.
Policy 3: Accommodation
All people with disabilities must have the right to choose the type of residence and where and with whom they will live in the same way as all other members of our community.
No person with disabilities must be forced to live in a particular type or form of accommodation or with a particular group of people unless they, or their families or advocates who speak for them, have chosen and agreed that this accommodation best meets the person’s needs.
All community facilities and services available to members of the general community must be made available, on equal terms and conditions, to all people with disabilities. These facilities and services should always be responsive to the needs of people with disabilities.
7 Lower House seats contested
3 Upper House candidates nominated

D: The Greens (GRN)

Effectively the third party in Australian politics, and pretty well guaranteed to pick up at least one upper house seat. Formerly a predominantly environmental party, the Greens have developed into a diverse-platformed alternative for left-wing voters disillusioned by the ALP.
Policy 1: Electoral Reform
In 2013, the SA Greens introduced a Bill to abolish preference deals in the Upper House, and put the power back into the hands of each individual voter. In 2014, the Greens will re-introduce this Bill. This will result in a simpler ballot paper, and a fairer and more transparent democratic voting result.
The Greens will:
  • Introduce ‘Optional Preferential Voting’ in the Upper House; and
  • Abolish preference allocations by Parties so that all preference decisions are in the hands of individual voters.
Policy 2: Caring for carers
The Greens recognise the valuable role of carers in society and believes there is a better way to look after them.
The Greens will:
  • Significantly increase respite options for carers to help them cope with their responsibilities;
  • Improve programs, concessions and subsidies for carers to help them fulfil their roles and meet the extra costs of providing care, including help for young carers, retro-fitting homes and help with utility bills; and
  • Develop cross-departmental programs to support young carers with their education, and maintaining their health and social relationships.
Policy 3: Dying with Dignity
The Greens believe that dying with dignity should be a basic human right. In SA, the Greens have twice introduced voluntary euthanasia Bills, which have been defeated by the narrowest of margins. The Greens vision is for a society that respects and values an individual’s right to choose.
The Greens will:
  • Re-introduce a Dying with Dignity Bill to allow voluntary euthanasia for those suffering intolerably from incurable conditions;
  • Protect the right of medical professionals or other medical staff to not be involved in any aspect of voluntary euthanasia unless they choose to; and
  • Support increases in funding and support for palliative care, including both local hospice and home-based care.
All 47 Lower House seats contested
3 Upper House candidates nominated

E: Liberal Party (LIB)

The current opposition and one of the two major parties vying for control of the lower house. Currently tipped to win the election, the Legislative Council is (as always) where the real battle for power will be lost or won. The Liberals believe South Australia's economy is in need of a jump-start, and plan to cut taxes to unburden business in the hopes of encouraging job growth.
Policy 1: Suicide Prevention
If elected, a Marshall Liberal Government will:
  • Provide $350,000 per annum for not-for-profit organisations with a proven history in self-harm and suicide prevention to apply for grant funding to deliver tailored awareness and risk assessment training. This will ensure rural and metropolitan community members improve their ability to identify the warning signs associated with individuals who are at risk of self-harm and suicide.
  • Work with tertiary and higher education facilities to seek inclusion of self-harm and suicide prevention training for medical and other primary health care students.
  • Task a dedicated self-harm and suicide prevention team within the South Australian Department of Health with improving communication and coordination across government to ensure a prioritised, focused and consistent whole-of-government approach.
  • Support the efforts of the National Committee for Standardised Reporting of Suicides. This Committee brings together a wide-range of stakeholders to ensure such reporting is conducted in a reliable, accurate and timely manner.
Policy 2: Stopping the Brain Drain
We want to grow local capabilities in the financial services sector so that local firms are better positioned to manage South Australian funds that are currently managed outside SA.
To help achieve this, a Marshall Liberal Government will:
  • Establish a Financial Services Centre of Excellence;
  • Provide local opportunities for financial services graduates;
  • Grow jobs in the financial services sector; and,
  • Work to increase local management of South Australian funds
Policy 3: Scraping the Carpark Tax
Businesses, industry stakeholders and community leaders have all expressed concern about the impact this unnecessary tax will have on the South Australian economy.
Higher parking prices will mean fewer people visit the CBD, directly taking money out of small business owners’ pockets.
If elected in March 2014, the Liberals will introduce legislation into the SA Parliament at the earliest opportunity to repeal the toxic carpark tax.
All 47 Lower House seats contested
8 Upper House candidates nominated

F: Fair Land Tax Tax Party (FLTTP)

With two taxes in their party name, you know these guys are serious about government income. Almost a single-issue party they have one non-taxation related policy (see below). They are the first Upper House only party on our list, and have a little more nuance than those that follow. For one thing, they are not anti-tax. They have three guiding principles, which can be summarised as: 1) Reducing specific taxes to fair levels, 2) reducing all state taxes to fair levels and 3) ensuring revenue is still high enough to “promote policies that ensure socially just outcomes for all South Australians in the provision of resources for Housing, Education, Health, Sport and Recreation, Water Security, The Provision of Power and Gas and Petroleum Pricing.”
Policy 1: Stamp Duty
Stamp duties on property transfer, motor vehicles registrations, and motor vehicle transfer insurance premiums must be reduced to levels that are equal to or below the lowest rate of any state in Australia.
Stamp duty for first homebuyers should be removed on the purchase of their first home for any property valued at below or equal to the median house value in the Adelaide Metropolitan Area and as registered in regional and country areas.
At the moment the First Home Owners Grant is almost entirely taken up by the Stamp Duty payable on an average first home.
Policy 2: Water Security
The Federal Government must take ownership and control of all Australian Water resources including the Murray Darling System for the equitable distribution, quality and delivery of water to all metropolitan and agricultural users.
In South Australia, one water department responsible to one minister, ie "Minister for Water" to be established in order to ensure a unified approach that eliminates excessive and duplicated administrative costs that exist when water responsibilities are embedded into four separate departments.
Policy 3: Car Park Tax
We believe this proposed tax is unfair, anti-competitive and we want it scrapped.
The very real possibility of the tax making car parking fees rise by $2 to $6 per day will really hit everyday commuters. This is not good for the average mum and dad in SA trying to keep the family budget in check and getting taxed yet again.
No Lower House seats contested
2 Upper House candidates nominated

G: South Australian Fishing & Lifestyle Party (FLP)

The FLP represents the interests of fishers and other users of our waterways. As a single issue party with interests in recreational use of the ocean for jetskis etc. the FLP is strongly opposed to the Labor Government's system of marine parks.
Policy 1: Access Restriction
It is the policy of the SAFLP that only when “proven” hard scientific data is presented which supports the need to exclude or restrict human impacts on an area that it will support such closures only if all access and impact is removed. The SAFLP does not support the biased exclusion of fishers while allowing other impacts such as eco-tourism and environmental degradation to occur.
Public waters, beaches & parks are for public use. They are not to be locked up at the behest of special interest groups whether that is multi-national tourism operators or the green lobby.
Policy 2: Marine Parks & Sanctuary Zones
The South Australian Fishing & Lifestyle Party are totally opposed to the introduction of the “new” marine parks and their associated sanctuary zones, and will do everything in our power to have this legislation repealed Failing this, we will do everything in our power to have the sanctuary zones that restrict entry, reduced in number and size.
We believe in environmentally sustainable fishing, and the continued right to do so responsibly, using the existing legislation and system of aquatic reserves and regime of fishing management.
Fishing practices and the protection of sensitive habitat and threatened species should be reviewed on an ongoing basis, so as to maintain a sustainable resource and an environment which allows continued human interaction and involvement.
Policy 3: Environment
We require the government of the day to be far more accountable for reducing land based pollution (stormwater runoff, sewer outfalls and desalination plant hyper-saline discharge) entering our coastal waters, whilst being more proactive in minimizing the effects of climate change and will support it in this endeavour.
No Lower House seats contested
2 Upper House candidates nominated

H: Liberal Democratic Party (LDP)

The LDP are classic small-l liberals, which basically is the philosophy of freedom and minimal government regulation. Unlike the traditional right who are generally all for freedom of the markets but restrictive on people's civil liberties (same-sex marriage, euthanasia etc.), or the traditional left who support personal freedom but believe industry must be controlled and regulated, the classical liberals support freedom of the markets and personal choice.
Policy 1: Democracy
The Liberal Democrats believe in constitutional democracy and support voluntary voting, citizens initiated referenda, fixed parliamentary terms, recall elections, constitutional protection of private property and sunset clauses on legislation.
Policy 2: Deregulate and privatise
The LDP advocates an immediate end to government ownership of business enterprises including the ABC, SBS, Australia Post, Medibank Private, electricity generation and public transport services. (N.B. Only some of these are state jurisdictions).
Policy 3: Firearms
The LDP regards the right to own firearms for sport, hunting, collecting and self-defence as fundamental to a free society.
No Lower House seats contested
2 Upper House candidates nominated

I: Stop Population Growth Now (SPGN)

Another single-issue party, this one focussed on limiting the population to ease pressure on our economic and social resources. SPGN aims to limit population growth from immigration (including refugees) as well as from births. Their three main objectives are to

  • Reduce Australia's rate of population growth to zero as rapidly as possible.
  • If the resulting stable population is still environmentally unsustainable then to work to reduce the size of the population until we achieve environmental sustainability.
  • To give Australian voters the opportunity to vote on this most important of all issues.
Since they have no obvious state-level policies I have had to provide their other policies.
Policy 1: Refugees
Refugee and humanitarian intake has consistently been a tiny fraction of total intake from abroad.

Australia could easily increase its refugee and humanitarian program within a much reduced overall immigration intake [but] Stop Population Growth Now believes that far more human welfare could be achieved by increasing Australia's foreign aid program aiming to help people to achieve a sustainable lifestyle in their own country.
Policy 2: Baby Bonus
We do not favour any coercive strategies for family planning such as the Chinese one-child policy but we do not believe that couples should be encouraged or rewarded to have families of more than 2 children through baby bonuses or other benefits.
Before the introduction of the baby bonus Australia's fertility rate was slightly below replacement and if maintained would have led to Australia achieving a stable population by the mid 2030s.
Policy 3: Alternative Spending
It is often claimed that Australia needs to import skilled labour. This is another way of saying that our young are insufficiently educated or trained. There is relatively higher unemployment among our young.
Accordingly, we think it far better to spend money, otherwise spent on baby bonus, family tax benefit, and parental leave for the third and subsequent children, on better children's education, training and health care.
No Lower House seats contested
2 Upper House candidates nominated

J: The Nationals (NAT)

The Coalition partners of the Liberal Party, the Nationals are focussed on rural industries like agriculture where the Libs are seen as the urban equivalent (supporting business in the urban environment). In South Australia the coalition is relatively weak, with candidates from both parties running against each other and previous Nationals candidates even serving as ministers under Labor.
Policy 1: Decentralisation
WE BELIEVE in maximising the rights and freedoms of the local community and the individual to govern themselves through the decentralisation of decision-making within the federalist system created by the Australian Constitution.
WE BELIEVE in the balanced development of our economy and the decentralisation of population and services to achieve the full growth potential of regional South Australia.
WE BELIEVE that security of property rights, lower rates of taxation and minimal government intrusion in the economy and industry offers the best means to achieve economic prosperity.
Policy 2: Environment
WE BELIEVE in practical environmental conservation based on the principal of active management of land, water and other resources by those that know it best. Farmers, fishermen, shooters and other interested stakeholders.
Policy 3: Australian Culture
WE BELIEVE that all Australians should foster a spirit of national pride and common Australian identity united as one people under one flag as one country.
WE BELIEVE that the constitutional monarchy is a rich and practical heritage which respects our history and provides the foundation for stable government under the system of Westminster parliamentary democracy.
2 Lower House seats contested
2 Upper House candidates nominated

K: Katter's South Australian Party (KAP)

The Kat in the Hat is back. And when I say back, I mean his party has upper house candidates nominated in the state election. There has been no state website set up that I can find. The ABC links to a facebook page, but I'm going to be recycling their old federal promises, since these were general guiding principles rather than specific federal targets.
Policy 1: Energy
KAP will pursue policies that:
Retain essential energy generation and transmission assets in suitable structures to ensure the public good and national interests are best served, including caveats on private investment

Invest in the national grid to improve generation and transmission efficiency both in terms of cost and also environmental impact
Implement resource reserves that protect Australian supply of resources to meet domestic energy needs ahead of export demand
Support small business to optimise their energy efficiency and minimise energy demand, acknowledging the potential poverty traps that are increasingly occurring where time and cash poor businesses are effectively unable to mitigate rising energy costs.
Policy 2: Jobs and Business
Specifically, KAP will pursue policies that increase demand for Australian products and support Australian jobs and that will:
mandate the use of ethanol in all Australian petrol to stimulate regional economies in the grain and sugar industries;
aggressively wind back the market share and/or market power of monopolistic companies that control access to markets for Australian small business, like Coles, Woolworths, Graincorp, Glencore and CBH;

modify competition policy to give small business the same rights under the law as consumers; and
provide public sector investment in a range of infrastructure initiatives, such as dams, roads, railways, and airports.
Policy 3: Small Business
Specifically KAP will pursue policies that:

give small business the same rights under competition policy as consumers;
give small business the same rights under industrial relations law as employees;
mandate regulatory impact assessments specifically for small business;
provide separate award conditions for small business that recognise the difference between big business and small business, while still providing certainty to employees.
No Lower House seats contested
2 Upper House candidates nominated

L: Family First Party (FFP)

The FFP is a recurrent Upper House party in South Australia and nationally. The party has its origins in a church, although is emphasises its current independence from any religious organisation. Nevertheless, the party remains many of the conservative right trappings so often (and unfairly) associated with Christianity in politics.
Policy 1: Marriage Is Special
Marriage is exclusively between a man and a woman. Family First is committed to promoting policies that support marriage and hold families together.
Policy 2: Small Business
Small businesses are family businesses. Family First is committed to getting the government off your back and out of your pocket.
Policy 3: Climate Change
Family First opposes the carbon tax (and/or the introduction of an emissions trading scheme). It believes it is grossly irresponsible to proceed with such a policy which involves major changes to the Australian economy without having a proper, independent enquiry eg a Royal Commission, which is prepared to listen to the many distinguished scientists who disagree with the current 'climate change doctrine'.
No Lower House seats contested
2 Upper House candidates nominated

M: Multicultural Party (or Multicultural Progress Party, MPP)*

This party is running on a single issue platform of support for any policy that encourages the integration of and prevents discrimination against immigrants. As an extension to this they also oppose discrimination on the grounds of “race, age, ethnicity, disability, class, religion, gender, and marital status”.
Policy 1: Education
MP* recognises that a quality education and training is the key to get better job and better career with a good education is the best creator of opportunity in our nation.
MP* has continuing support for graduated overseas students from Australian Universities and Colleges whose course duration is at least 3 years, must be considered for application to stay in Australia, if their major is beneficial for the Australian Economy because Australia should have a team of multinational graduated experts to run the economy in such a highly technical development 21st century.
Policy 2: Business
MP* believes migrants and refugees from different cultural background have featured Australian Multiculturalism, in which all Australians can benefit from the rich cultural experiences from all corners of the globe, the successive generations of migrants and refugees have made an enormous contribution to Australian society and economy, in other words, they are a priceless treasure of Australia.
Policy 3: Traffic Law
MP* supports Traffic Laws reviews to ensure a better balance between safety to road users and the penalties for breaching Traffic Laws, the current Traffic Fines of South Australia so large, its should be reduced. Offenders should be given the option of paying a fine without losing points or losing points without a fine.
No Lower House seats contested
2 Upper House candidates nominated

N: Shooters and Fishers’ Party (S&F)

Formerly known simply as the Shooters’ Party, the S&F have stirred up a level of animosity between themselves and the Fishing and Lifestyle Party. The latter is concerned that the change in name may lead to a confusion between the parties and could muddy the waters (“muddy the waters”? Oh how I make myself laugh) when it comes to voting. That said, there is considerable similarity in the policies of the two parties. There is no SA website for the S&F, although their national website is gearing up for the NSW 2015 elections so I have used those policies here.
Policy 1: Firearms Legislation
S&F asserts that firearms ownership and use legislation should remain the jurisdiction of the individual State or Territory, and that licences and permits issued in one State should be recognised in all States and Territories.
S&F strongly opposes any attempt to transfer any responsibility for licensing of individuals, or registration or use of firearms, from State or Territory legislatures to the Commonwealth.
S&F does support common technology platforms across the States and Territories with regard to Firearms Registry inter-communication.
S&F strongly opposes any attempt by the Commonwealth Government to circumvent the various State and Territory firearms laws, through the use of customs restrictions, Australia Post restrictions, taxation or levy; or by any other means.
Policy 2: International Treaties
S&F asserts that the Commonwealth Government will not enter into any International agreements, treaties, protocols, or other binding instrument, unless such agreement is previously approved by the Parliament. Specifically, S&F opposes any attempt for Australia to create a Coral Sea Marine Protected Area within Australia’s Economic Zone.
Where the Commonwealth Government has properly entered into an International Agreement, then the Commonwealth Government will abide by the whole of the agreement, unless said agreement is amended by the Commonwealth Parliament (eg. CITES agreements/classifications).
Policy 3: State’s Rights
S&F opposes any transfer of State Legislation to the Commonwealth without a mandate, achieved by Referendum.
S&F supports the amendment of the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act to remove the right for Third Parties to take Court action. Further, the Act is to be amended so as to exclude the Commonwealth veto on State infrastructure projects such as water or power utilities projects.
S&F requires the Commonwealth to fairly compensate citizens where any State or Territory has compulsorily acquired a citizens property as a result of an obligation under a Commonwealth Treaty , Covenant, or Protocol (eg. The Kyoto Agreement). The same principal shall apply where a citizens property use has been alienated or reduced (eg. under State Native Vegetation legislation, or loss of water entitlements).
No Lower House seats contested
2 Upper House candidates nominated

O: Joseph Masika (IND)

Unfortunately I could not find any policies from Dr Masika, but there is a considerable (I would say mind-blowing) list of achievements at the other end of the link. These include receiving the Order of Australia Medal for his volunteer work, his role in various government and non-government agencies and volunteer work in Australia and Tanzinia. Some of this may inform us a little of his interests and opinions:
Dr Joseph Masika OAM has given 27 years of voluntary service to the community in Australia and overseas. Dr Masika’s passion has been particularly in migrants, older people, refugees, Disability, Mental Health and multiculturalism. His outstanding contribution to the community has resulted in a considerable community development and his volunteering and advocacy roles have been instrumental in the strengthening of communities, and individuals to ensure that all enjoy a good quality of life in Australia.
Dr Masika was a manager of Multicultural Health, Advocacy, Counselling and Education at the Migrant Resource Centre of SA. His impressive credentials include a Medical Degree, Masters in Public Health, Certificate in Management and Leadership, Certificate in Environmental Health from South Australian Centre for Public Health and Post Graduate Certificate in Migration Law.
Currently, Dr Masika is Team Leader  Intercountry Services |Statewide Services Directorate the Government of South Australia. He is also Commissioner-South Australia Multicultural and Ethnic Affairs Commission: the Government of South Australia.
(N.B. I will try to track down his Legislative Council preferences for additional information, but there is very little informed opinion that can be made in the absence of policy. I will also attempt to track down information on his running mate.)
No Lower House seats contested
2 Upper House candidates nominated

P: Environment, Education, Disability (IND)

I have found precious little information regarding Karyn Prelc beyond her years of experience as head teacher at a primary school and opposition to currently overcomplicated drivers licensing practices.
Her running mate, Michelle Drummond, ran as an independent in the 2010 election, which means I do have some outdated policies from her. I must stress this is not necessarily the platform that Environment, Education, Disability will be taking to the election. It is, however, the best I can offer.
Policy 1: Safe Communities
Safe communities do not just happen by accident—they are well-planned and properly resourced. Addressing the reason behind crime, funding a more visible police presence and re-establishing the boundaries by which we all agree to live will help reduce some of the fear and disillusionment in the community.
The priorities for establishing safe communities are: higher quality education, including subjects such as life skills, interpersonal skills, conflict management skills, negotiation skills, and drug and alcohol awareness; access to free health care, mental health services and dental care; further funding for mental health care, and the expansion of Medicare to include access to psychologists; drug, alcohol, and gambling rehabilitation; support services and accommodation for individuals with mental health problems; public and emergency housing; increased support and respite for carers, and assurance that they will be entitled to immediate benefits in the event their services are no longer required; expansion and upgrade of public transport, and making public transport costs tax deductible; a community discussion in relation to creating safe communities.
Policy 2: Fair workplaces
Half our lives are spent at work—therefore, we have a right to feel valued, safe and secure within our work environment. The Howard Government's changes to the IR laws, and the introduction of WorkChoices have put all the power into the hands of employers. We need to re-establish safeguards against exploitation and bullying in the workplace. Not only is WorkChoices an issue for all of us, it is especially of concern in relation to young people as they are extremely vulnerable due to their inexperience. Many young workers have limited knowledge of their rights, and few are fully aware of what responsibilities and obligations an employer has to their employees.
Individuals on welfare are also at risk. They have the potential to be breached if they do not accept employment and this makes them vulnerable to unfair and unjust work environments. While the welfare and IR changes have supplied the government with reduced unemployment figures, these results are achieved at a great social cost.
Policy 3: Conserving water
Water is our most valuable resource. Without enough to meet our basic needs, life would be intolerable. Up until recently we have seen water as an endless commodity; however, we are all quickly realising that there is a serious water shortage.
While communities need to participate in individual reduction, it is the role of governments to find lasting solutions. My role as a Senator would be to search for the best solutions. Some of these would include: grey water recycling; stormwater recycling; establishing teams of plumbers to check every house for leaking taps and pipes, and to install water saving shower heads (free of charge); scanning every underground water pipe for leaks and cracks; investigating the Wissen Wind Generator for potential water production; finding alternatives and just solutions for farmers growing water-hungry crops; maintaining or increasing rebates for solar power, solar hot water and rain water tanks; finding ways of reducing water use in businesses, manufacturing and food production; repairing our rivers.
No Lower House seats contested
2 Upper House candidates nominated

Q: Powerful Communities (IND)

No policy information found, although general principles and aspirations are availible at the other end of the link.
No Lower House seats contested
2 Upper House candidates nominated


R: No Domestic Violence (IND)

The only information I can find on the policies or positions of either candidate is a small summary of the campaigns by Annette Elliot with regards to domestic violence, including setting up the first women’s shelter in the state and her influential role in making rape between married people a crime. I am too young to imagine what this country would look like prior to these courageous achievements, but I can appreciate the importance of this work. The name of the group, however, and the lack of a published policy platform suggest to me that this should be treated as a single-issue group.
No Lower House seats contested
2 Upper House candidates nominated

S: Legal Voluntary Euthanasia (IND)

Again I am struggling to find any policy platform for this group. One of the candidates, Stephen Kenny, is the Director in charge of Commercial Litigation at Camatta Lempens, with a legal background in a variety of contexts for a number of different client groups. Focussing on his legal work (including such important cases as the Hindmarsh Island Bridge controversy and the trial of David Hicks) is unlikely to yield more information, since lawyers are ethically required to take on any brief to prevent “hopeless cases” being ignored. However, his non-professional work which involves pro-bono human rights work. It is possible that his Habeas Corpus suit against theUnited States was also pro-bono; I am lacking details at this time.
That said, it seems likely this group is intending to run a single issue (i.e. legalising voluntary euthanasia) campaign.
No Lower House seats contested
2 Upper House candidates nominated

T: Nick Xenophon Team (IND)

With this group cashing in on the perennial popularity of now-senator Nick Xenophon, it is important to note the eponymous politician will not be standing as a candidate since he is already serving in the federal Upper House. Instead, he has selected candidates who will uphold his personal values to represent him – and his brand – in the South Australian legislative council. Unsurprisingly their anti-pokies stance is a key part of their policy platform, but supposedly the party expects to do better under the Xenophon name than “no pokies”.
Policy 1: Pokies
with well over 20,000 South Aussies with a pokies addiction – affecting the lives of 140,000 more – the major parties have sucked up to the pokies barons and let us all down. It is time for decisive action on $1 maximum bets and other initiatives.
Policy 2: Cost of Living and Housing Affordability
the Essential Services Commission needs more power to rein in the cost of utilities and be given power to make councils accountable for their rates and charges. Any proposed increases need to be limited to no more than CPI.
kick starting our housing sector will not only create jobs, but make housing more affordable for first home buyers. Reinstating the housing construction grant for new homes is a must. Stamp duty also needs to be reduced, in-line with other states.
Policy 3: Drugs
they drive crime and mental health problems. A totally new approach is needed. We need to adapt Sweden’s mandatory rehab programme, which has slashed drug abuse and crime there.
No Lower House seats contested
2 Upper House candidates nominated

U: Mark Aldridge (IND)

Repeat candidate Mark Aldridge is a veteran of the political scene. Many of his policies are better (or indeed necessarily) dealt with at the federal level (e.g. constitutional change, human and civil rights, national sovereignty etc.) However, here is an offering of his state-level ambitions for South Australia:
Policy 1: Animal Welfare
Community expectations in regards to animal welfare are not being met by existing legislation. Live export, low to no kill ideals in Animal Shelters, even Rescue groups and Sanctuaries are not being supported in an appropriate manner. As the owner of a Native Wildlife sanctuary, and experienced in animal rights and wildlife rescue, you can be assured I will be a strong voice for genuine animal welfare reforms and improved government funded support services. I will be working with the Australian Alliance to start a national animal welfare campaign in February 2014.
Policy 2: Our fresh food future
Sustainability in the food sector is of national importance and being able to sustain 100% of Australia’s requirements is paramount; I back either the application of government subsidies to match those enjoyed by foreign imports or restrictions on competing imports (Tariff protections). Australia grows some of the best produce in the world. I have spent many years supporting our farmers and growers, and recently set up and running “Farm Direct” markets, promoting buying local, and opposing undue influence in the retail grocery industry.
Policy 3: Empowering your vote
our right to a free and informed vote is diminished by the ideal of forced preferential voting and a lack of adequate information. Election conduct has become dodgy to say the least, our electoral rolls are inaccurate and identity and general security is lack lustre.
Our ailing 2 party system is the direct result of allowing those that have the most to gain from structural biases to write electoral laws and be involved in the conduct of the electoral process.
I stand for an overhaul of the entire electoral system that empowers the people’s free and informed choice and protects the integrity of the voting system, the counting of ballots and to ensure the most preferred is chosen, and that they can freely represent their electorate’s best interests.
No Lower House seats contested
2 Upper House candidates nominated

V: Animal justice (IND)

The Animal Justice Party (though officially listed as an Independent group) runs on a single-issue platform, but is by no means limited to a single-policy. In fact, I have only taken this summary from their 3-page policy index, because I do not want to introduce any additional subjectivity into this post by trying to pick the paragraphs that best represent their views.
Policy 1: Marine Life
Maintain sustainable, healthy aquatic life through the introduction of dedicated, well-kept marine parks nationwide.
Policy 2: Jumps Racing
Jumps racing is an inherently cruel and unsafe form of ‘entertainment’. The Animal Justice Party opposes jumps racing and will work to achieve its abolition in Victoria and South Australia, the only two remaining States of Australia in which it is still allowed to occur.
Policy 3: Animal Experimentation
Put an end to the confinement, pain and distress inflicted on animals during scientific experimentation.
No Lower House seats contested
2 Upper House candidates nominated

W: Palmer United (IND)

The state branch of the Palmer United Party, although not registered as a party. I personally think the PUP was more than a protest vote at the federal election, I think it was a joke vote – the same reason that Mickey Mouse is used as a “write in” vote in the U.S. I think that this makes the Palmer brand into a one-hit wonder for two reasons: firstly, now that Palmer holds the federal seat of Fairfax he has begun to look like an almost credible voting option, and secondly, jokes are only funny the first time. That said, if the Internet has taught me anything (and I doubt it has) it is that people will keep running with a joke or meme for years after its peak. However, I wonder how seriously the South Australian Palmer candidates are taking the state election, given that their only available policy document is titled “National Policy”. As a result I have only been able to provide federal-level policies here.
Policy 1: Using Australian Wealth for Australia
Japan has become the world’s third largest economy by processing Australian resources. Wages in Japan are more expensive. The cost of energy is higher. Japan suffers from the tyranny of distance yet Australia sells its mineral ore at $40 - $200 a tonne and Japan sells final products at up to $20,000 a ton or more. To create jobs, more government revenue and a stronger balance of payments the Australian government needs to encourage the use of the mineral resource wealth of Western Australia and Queensland to support downstream manufacturing in states that don’t have those resources, such as New South Wales, South Australia, Tasmania and Victoria. We can create jobs increase our exports and provide greater revenue and a rising rather than declining standard of living for our country. Higher export revenue means better education and health services for our people.
Policy 2: Immigration
If a person seeking entry into Australia was allowed to board a plane for $800 to fly to one of our airports such as Sydney or Brisbane they wouldn’t need to pay the People Smugglers up to $20,000 for illegal entry to Australia. Any person would require their valid passport to board the flight, so when arriving at the immigration hall we would know who they are and where they came from. At the airport we could have the facilities to deal with them. Each person or family could be given a fair hearing at the airport facilities when they arrive to determine if they had a lawful right of entry into Australia. If they didn’t they could be returned to where they came from on the next flight. This would abolish the detention camps, restore our navy to its traditional role, save the lives of children and families, keep families together and recognise the legitimate rights of those that have a lawful reason for entering Australia. This policy would also reduce the risk of breeches in our quarantine and protect our agricultural industries.
Only the Palmer United Party can stop the boats by taking away the financial incentive that started them in the first place. The billions of dollars saved by this policy can be spent for a change on the people who deserve it the people of Australia.
Policy 3: 25% Wealth for Regions
The Palmer United Party believes 25% of the wealth generated from regions in Australia must be returned to that region so that the wealth can be reinvested in the region that generated such wealth on behalf of the people of Australia.
No Lower House seats contested
2 Upper House candidates nominated

X: Your Voice Matters (IND)

I do not know how to summarise the Your Voice Matters candidates, so I will not try. Their policies appear to have developed from a wide range of guiding principles that cannot be summed up in a few words. However, this does not mean that their policies are inconsistent or poorly thought out, just that we are not dealing with a single-issue group.
Policy 1: Country Fire Service
Our volunteer firefighters willingly put themselves in harm’s way for their communities every day in every corner of our state.
As veterans who have gone in harm’s way to serve our nation, we can relate to their dedication and commitment to protect the lives and property of their fellow South Australians. It is because of our strong affinity with CFS firefighters that we have joined the campaign for equal compensation cover of Country Fire Service firefighters.
Policy 2: Cutting red tape for small business
Small businesses employ nearly half of all South Australian workers, and their success is critical to economic growth and employment in our state. We will push for payroll tax to be paid quarterly instead of monthly, thereby reducing cutting related paperwork by two-thirds and improving cash flow for small business. We will work with small business to cut other forms of red tape that stifles innovation and competitiveness.
Policy 3: Gambling – Minimising the Harm, Maximising the Return
We advocate the range of sensible and practical measures recommended by the Productivity Commission aimed at minimising the harm that problem gamblers can cause to themselves, their families and others. Other measures include:
·         the progressive introduction of mandatory pre-commitment
·         reduction of the maximum bet to $1 per spin
·         restrictions on opening hours
·         phased reduction of poker machine numbers
·         tightening the advertising code of conduct, including sportsbetting
We will oppose any second casino and the introduction of note acceptors on poker machines in SA. We also believe that for-profit poker machine operators should be subject to increased gaming tax rates to ensure poker machines are making a greater contribution to state revenue, and would support modest reductions in gaming tax rates for small to medium-sized not-for-profit poker machine operators such as sporting, community and service clubs.
No Lower House seats contested
3 Upper House candidates nominated

Y: SA Change (IND)

SA Change is a difficult group to pigeonhole, and I think they like it that way. On the one hand all of their policies are geared towards facilitating Aboriginal engagement in society and minimising discrimination and bureaucracy around Aboriginal affairs. On the other hand, to call them a single-issue party is not really appropriate, given that their policies range from environmental protection to political reform to mining. Their current website appears to be under development, so here is a small selection of their policies from 2010:
Policy 1: Constitutional change
[SA Change is calling] for constitutional change via an Indentured Treaty with an inclusive Aboriginal Bill of Rights and a recognition of the Letters Patent, a foundation document drafted in the 1800's that acknowledges our Aboriginal dominium rights in this State. One of the issues is mineral rights that were taken away from us last century.
Policy 2: Accountability
we're calling for accountable practices and models of decision making within government and other institutions that impact our lives. We want to be able to address the issues of health, domestic-violence, housing education, and unemployment, amongst other important issues - and we want to do this by being able to negotiate with all who unilaterally are making decisions on behalf of us and our country without our prior engagement in solution finding to our issues.
Policy 3: Environment
And we are calling for change on issues relating to transitional protection of the environment.
No Lower House seats contested
2 Upper House candidates nominated

*The Multicultural Progress Party prefers the abbreviation MP, however I have opted for the less common MPP to make a clear distinction between the party and Members of Parliament.

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