18 May 2016
Nick Xenophon Team: 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.
Parliamentary members and candidates are encouraged to propose and debate the most workable solutions and options possible.
Ageing PopulationAustralia 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.
- Workforce participation
NXT does not support an increase in the pension age, but we do believe older Australians should be both encouraged and supported to be involved in the paid or community service workforce. For those who receive a pension, income tests should be relaxed further so that they can supplement their income without penalty. Community service volunteers should be automatically covered by a government funded insurance scheme.
- Cost-of Living
Utility cost increases should be pegged to be no greater than the CPI. Any increases above the CPI should be rebated to those on a government pension, or self-funded retirees who have reached the eligible pension age.
- 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.
- 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.
- Labelling laws must be overhauled to provide consumers with truth in labelling as to the ingredients and their country of origin.
- Introduce an Australian Made labelling category where 75% or more of the labour component to manufacture or assemble the product was undertaken by Australian residents.
- A single federal authority should be formed to accredit the use of all Made in Australia symbols.
- Government departments should be required to procure a much greater proportion of Australian produced and manufactured products and services.
- Have more effective anti-dumping laws to prevent below-cost imported goods flooding the market and destroying Australian jobs in the process.
- 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.
- 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.
- All Australians should have access to and be encouraged to participate in lifelong learning to further their individual aims and assist in lifting Australia’s competitiveness and innovation.
- Implement the Gonski recommendations to address the inadequate and piecemeal approach to funding for our schools.
- Tie education funding to practical educational outcomes so that students of all ages and socio-economic statuses have the best opportunity to achieve their potential and goals.
- Maintain university fee regulation to ensure students from all backgrounds are able to access higher education as a way to address socioeconomic disparity Place greater emphasis on trade, work-ready and entrepreneurial courses from years 10+.
- 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.
- 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.
- Politicians must be open and up front with the Australian people. Government's primary role is to provide public infrastructure and services and to drive both national economic growth and personal growth. The public have the right to expect that governments will deliver services efficiently and fairly without unnecessary waste and duplication. Australians who speak out against corrupt practices deserve to be protected.
- Establish a national anti-corruption commission.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- With pokies being the biggest cause of problem gambling, the immediate implementation of the Productivity Commission’s recommendation for $1 maximum bets per spin and $120 in hourly losses (compared to $10 per spin and $1200 an hour) is required.
- Challenge the major parties to conduct a referendum on implementing $1 maximum bet reforms.
- Ensure the Productivity Commission regularly updates its gambling research End micro-betting on sports events, which can lead to corruption and match fixing in sports.
- Remove ATMs from venues with poker machines.
- Overhaul outdated online gambling laws, to take into account the impact of emerging technologies.
- End sports betting ads during games.
- The Commonwealth needs to develop an approach to wean state governments off their $5billion a year of gambling taxes.
- Ordinary Australians' privacy needs to be safeguarded against potential abuse from businesses and governments.
- 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 centres around Australia present a prime opportunity for both investment in development and economic growth.
- 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
Small BusinessAs 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.
- 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.
Substance Abuse & RehabilitationWith 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 is the first place.
- 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 trafficking and distribution.
UtilitiesIdeally 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.
- 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