Nick Xenophon is an Independent Senator. Before entering Federal politics, he served as a Senator in South Australia’s parliament.
Nick first became involved in politics in the 1997 South Australian election, where he campaigned on a ‘No Pokies’ platform. He ran to simply make a point. Nick scraped in with a little under three per cent of the statewide vote due to a large number of preferences being directed to him. Nick was re-elected to the State’s Upper House in 2006 with just over 20.5 percent of the state’s vote.
Over the next eight years, Nick worked to fight the spread of poker machines. He also campaigned on issues where individuals and communities weren’t getting a fair go, including asbestos victims, victims of crime and land tax.
Nick made the decision to leave state politics and run in the November 2007 Federal Election because he believes that he can do more for South Australians in the Senate on key issues such as gambling regulation and water. Nick was elected to the Senate with just under fifteen per cent of the vote. He is the first Independent to be elected to the Senate in a generation.
Since assuming his role in the Senate in July 2008, Nick has continued to push for changes in the key areas of gambling reform, the water crisis, consumer law and food labelling.
In the 2013 Federal Election where Nick was up for re-election in the Senate, the Nick Xenophon Group polled 25% of the overall vote in South Australia, polling higher than the Labor Party as a whole and almost on par with the Liberal Party.
Believing that he and his team could do more it was decided that the Nick Xenophon Team would endorse candidates in the 2014 State election for the Upper House. With a final poll of 12.9% John Darley was comfortably re-elected as a Member of the Legislative Council, and will champion Nick’s current platform with a focus on Australian made products and a strong national aviation industry. Of great importance is national food security, supporting small business and greater housing affordability.
Some of Nick’s biggest achievements to date is negotiating the fast tracking of $900 million in funding for the Murray Darling Basin, river communities and stormwater harvesting as part of the 2009 stimulus package; his campaign for victims of Scientology; consumer rights; and the many Private Senator’s Bills he has introduced on gambling, consumer law and water management.
Nick believes the most important part of his job is speaking up for people who might not otherwise have a voice.
His approach to politics is perhaps best summed up in his First Speech in the Senate when he simply said:
I would rather go down fighting, than still be standing because I stayed silent.