Doorstop interview, Adelaide
Topics: Nick Xenophon

Simon Birmingham: Well the ultimate attention seeker is pulling another giant publicity stunt. Nick Xenophon who in 2007 cut and run from the South Australian Parliament just 18 months into an eight-year term saying that state politics was largely irrelevant and all the power resided in Canberra, is now cutting and running from the Federal Parliament just 12 months into a six-year term and saying he wants to come back to South Australia. When asked why he is making that change, what’s changed, what is driving him back here, he says it’s because things have gotten so bad, well if things have gotten so bad, why is it that Nick Xenophon will not give a straight answer about who he will support to form government in South Australia? If things have gotten so bad, why won’t he guarantee he will back a change of government in South Australia? I agree, things have gotten so bad, but they’re so bad we need a change of government to a Liberal Government. We need politicians in this state serving in our State Parliament who are committed to what they’re doing, not chopping and changing from one Parliament to another, at whatever whims of changes their mind at any given point in time. We need to make sure we have leaders who are committed to making the difficult long-term decisions to support the state into the future. I know we have that in Steven Marshall, as a strong leader and somebody who is committed to state politics, to serving the state, to serving in the State Parliament, to fixing the mess that we’ve got with the Labor Party. In Nick Xenophon we have someone who ran for the State Parliament, changed his mind, ran for the Federal Parliament, changed his mind, running back to the State Parliament. Somebody who won’t say when he is going to leave the Federal Parliament. When does this resignation take effect? Somebody who won’t say how many candidates he is going to run for the State Parliament. Why not, Nick? Tell us all how many candidates you are backing. Somebody who won’t say if he were going to hold the balance of power who he would support to form government. And that of course is the most fundamental failure in terms of what Nick Xenophon is doing. He is now running but not giving the voters any clarity about the type of choice he is offering. He is not letting the voters know what it is he will do should he be in that position to influence who forms government.

Journalist: Steven Marshall has already ruled out joining Nick Xenophon to form a minority government, is that a strategic error on his behalf?

Simon Birmingham: South Australia needs strong and stable government. It needs strong and stable government to generate investment and jobs in this state. Steven Marshall is best placed to do that and will be able to do that South Australians best by having majority government and giving South Australians the strong leadership they need

Journalist: But beggars can’t always be choosers. If he does have the opportunity to form a minority government, he has already ruled it out

Simon Birmingham: It is critical to make sure that South Australians at this point understand the choice that’s before them. If they vote for Nick Xenophon, that may well result in a Labor Government. So Steven Marshall is making it crystal clear the way to get change in South Australia, the way to turn this state around is to vote for Steven Marshall and the Liberal Party.