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Formation of Advance SA

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Another new political party is being set up in South Australia

Two spurned affiliates of South Australian Senator Nick Xenophon have formed a new political party hoping to win a Seat in State Parliament at the March election. Retired lawyer Peter Humphries will run as the candidate for the new party, known as Advance SA, seeking to join current MP John Darley in the Upper House. Mr Humphries was knocked back for preselection by Nick Xenophon earlier this year after a disagreement over renewable energy policy, while Mr Darley quit the Xenophon Team last month, a day before the party’s leadership was due to meet to expel him. The pair have declined to outline their policies or ideology.

Retired lawyer, Peter Mr Humphries says they won’t be the anti-Xenophon party:

(ABC RADIO ADELAIDE 11am & ABC NORTH & WEST 11am) “Well, we could be the Ex-X-men but, no, that’s coincidence and whilst there might be some sort of symmetry in that, I don't think it counts for anything in the long run.”

(ABC RADIO ADELAIDE 12noon & ABC NORTH & WEST 12noon) “I think it’s fair to say that John and I have a shared concern about a number of things that have happened in recent times in South Australia but as I say in terms of more specifics, then we will be running on some positives.”

John Darley, Independent MP (5AA 10.21-10.27) Launch of ‘Advance SA’ / Parliamentary inquiry into Transforming Health

(Byner: John Darley … he’s left the NXT Xenophon Team and today he’s launched with his lawyer friend a political party … ) … the name of the party is ‘Advance SA’ but … members of the Legislative Council are there to review legislation; I’ll continue to do that as I’ve done for the last 10 years. We’ll base our decisions on the merit of the case and if we believe the legislation needs amending we’ll put up those amendments, and if there’s a deficiency in legislation we’re prepared to put up bills to correct the situation. But basically we’re there to provide fairness and equity to all South Australians in all laws that come through the parliament. (Byner: But wouldn’t every MP say that?) Probably and we’re doing the same. (Byner: … so what makes you different? … you’ll have SA Best, you’ll have Liberal, you’ll have Labor, probably a few other independents and … the Australian Conservatives who look in polling fairly strong, so what makes you different?) … people know the way I vote and basically over 10 years they know my interests. I mean I’m concerned about cost of living pressures in South Australia, I’m concerned about the cost and availability of power … we’re concerned about law and order, we’re concerned about health issues … I’ve just come out from a Transforming Health inquiry that’s been going on for about two years. (Byner: … are you aware of all the palaver that’s been out there about no meals and diabetics not getting fed? … )… that amazes me. (Byner: … is the committee going to look at this?)Well, we’re looking at a whole range of aspects. Today we’re talking to people from Queen Elizabeth Hospital the cardiology unit … the Government was going to centralise that at Adelaide Hospital and I think there’s been a bit of a back flip there. And one of the main things going forward, we’ll be demanding a complete review of Transforming Health on what worked and what didn’t work and what changes are going to be made. (Byner: … this has been a two year inquiry and you find what’s been said in the last few days unbelievable, which the Minister just says ‘cut us some slack, it’s just teething’. What do you say?) Well, we’re not cutting the Minister slack at all. I mean they’ve had … since 2006 to plan this and if they get to a point where they open Adelaide Hospital and the hospital can’t cope, the ambulance service can’t cope and the food is not up to scratch … I think there’s a lot of work to be done. (Byner: Tell us about your colleague … ) Peter Humphries is a well-respected lawyer. He’s retired now and he’s probably best known for the class actions he’s headed up in South Australia … he and I have basically very similar ideas and we’re going to work together on that and hopefully we’ll win a seat. (Byner: … most of what you’ve said in terms of your aims is exactly the same as Liberal, Labor, SA Best, everybody, so what makes you different?) Well, we do things and as you know we get results and we’ll continue to do that. Whenever a person has a problem, if they refer it to us we will do our damnedest to get a decent result. (Byner: What about these councils going to businesses and saying ‘you want to put a sign in your window … we’ll have to ask you to submit a development application and … it’ll probably take until January’?) Well, as a matter of fact I talked about that this morning. That is absolutely ridiculous; that’s just an impediment to business and … this started off with the fish and chip shop – (Byner: What are you going to do about it? … ) Well, I convinced the Minister for Planning that when we come to preparing the regulations under the new Planning Act we’re going to make some significant changes there that ensure that things are done quickly and we will make sure that things that don’t need to be done will not be done. (Byner: … that’s John Darley … I’ll tell you the advantage that the Australian Conservatives have got … people know exactly where they’re at and the polling for them is looking alright.)

John Darley, Upper House Member and Peter Humphries, Retired Lawyer (ABC RADIO ADELAIDE 9.52-9.59) Announcing the establishment of their new political party, Advance SA

(Bevan: Let’s go to John Darley. He’s been a member of the Xenophon Team for many, many years, he’s a member of the State Parliament’s Upper House … he had a falling out with Xenophon a few weeks ago and he’s been an Independent. Now he and the other fellow on the other line is Peter Humphries, he and Peter Humphries have decided to form their own party. Let’s start with John Darley, good morning John … what is Advance SA?) Darley: Advance SA is a new party that we lodged registration with the electoral commissioner yesterday, and the purpose of the party is to provide fairness and equity to all South Australians, through the South Australian parliament. (Bevan: Who’s the boss?) Darley: I don’t think we’ve even talked about that; Peter and I have mutual ideas on a whole range of things and we will work together on these things. (Bevan: Hang on hang on, … you might end up competing for a Coco mug over pointless arguments if you don’t sort this out. Somebody’s got to be the boss.) Darley: Well, if someone has to be the boss I am, because I’m the Member of Parliament at the moment. (Bevan: [laughs] So you got in first so you’re the boss. Peter Humphries is on the other line, good morning … is John Darley the boss?) Humphries: Absolutely. (Bevan: He is the boss, okay so we’ve sorted that out. Had you sorted that out before you came on this program?) Humphries: We hadn’t talked about it but it was clear; he’s the sitting member. (Bevan: Alright, so there we are folks. These things are sorted out for you as you listen. Now Peter Humphries until a short while ago you were hoping to be a Xenophon candidate at the next State election but that all came a cropper, I think after an interview you gave us here on ABC Radio Adelaide.) Humphries: Yes, I blame you entirely. (Bevan: Was it our fault?) Humphries: Absolutely. (Bevan: What happened?) Humphries: I don’t know. Must be your fault. [laughs] (Bevan: What are you hoping to achieve? What is Advance SA?) Humphries: Well as John said, look, it’s a very centrist party … we’ll have some policies announced in the run up to the election, we’ll be certainly running on a positive platform but beyond that, I mean more of what John’s been doing. Sort of a critical analysis of legislation, and adopting a very centrist, and as he put it in an equitable position. So it doesn’t matter who gets government after the next election the Opposition will be the same in respect of either party. (Bevan: Is this the Nick Xenophon Team without Nick Xenophon?) Humphries: … no; no it’s not. It’s … Advance SA with John and hopefully me, and maybe even someone else if we get really lucky at the election. (Bevan: But, but in terms of policy, is it what people would expect from a Xenophon team?) Humphries: I think very similar; yes, yes. (Bevan: Question from a listener: ‘are you pro nuclear or pro nuclear dump?’) Humphries: [laughs] well, interesting; yes, I – let me put it this way: there has to be some method of generating baseload power. And nuclear is one option. I’m not saying it’s the preferred option, but it’s one option and it should be in the conversation. (Bevan: John Darley do you agree with Peter Humphries?) Darley: [unclear]. (Bevan: Sorry, that was a ‘certainly?’) Darley: Certainly, yes. (Bevan: Yep, what sort of policies will you take to the next election? What are people going to get for their vote, John Darley?) Darley: We’ll be looking at a number of things like the [unclear] of power in South Australia, the cost of living situation in South Australia that is imposed on all South Australians, we’ll be looking at a whole range of things really. (Bevan: You’re only going to run in the Upper House, is that right?) Darley: Yes. (Bevan: Okay, so you won’t be in a position to decide Government.) Darley: No; no. (Bevan: No.) Darley: And we’ll do what the Legislative Council does; we’ll review all legislation that comes to us, and if we believe it needs amendment we’ll put up those amendments, and if there’s a deficiency of legislation in particular areas we’ll give consideration to introducing bills. (Bevan: Peter Humphries, if you had to nominate the most important issue facing South Australia, the issue that you would like prosecuted most strongly in the Parliament what would that be?) Humphries: The cost, the affordability and reliability of power. (Bevan: And how would you address that?) Humphries: It affects the whole state on every level, well – by doing what we can do obviously to ensure or bring about a policy mix that’s going to provide electricity, reliably and most cheaply. Now you know that’s a complicated discussion David, and if it wasn’t of course people would have come up with solutions previously. It’s very complicated but it’s been hijacked, by the, between those who say climate change is a reality and those who deny it. Clearly it’s a reality, we’ve got to deal with it, but renewable energy by itself isn’t the answer. It has to be supplemented by baseload power or massive power storage. I mean it’s so obvious I don’t know why it has to be re stated time and again, but it’s clear that if you just have renewables and nothing to back it up you’re going to have power blackouts all over the place. (Bevan: So do you endorse the measures that the Government has put together in its energy package in the last six months, because as we’ve said before on this program, actions speak louder than words. That energy package is not about bringing on more renewables, that energy package is about thermal power, gas and diesel and a battery powered back up. So do you endorse what the Government’s doing there?) Humphries: It’s at long last steps in the right direction isn’t it, battery storage has a long, long way to go. I mean the world’s biggest battery as we’re told, I’m not so reliably informed but led to believe it would power the state for four minutes, so there’s a bit more required in that area. But one way or another there has to be baseload power or sufficient power storage. How that’s achieved is a complex discussion. (Bevan: Politics in South Australia can be very fluid, do you two – and let’s start with you Peter Humphries, do you two ever see an opportunity to return to the Xenophon fold?) Humphries: I don’t think so, no. (Bevan: No? John Darley.) Darley: I don’t think there’s any need to David. (Bevan: No need to. And you don’t see that happening.) Darley: No. (Bevan: Okay. John Darley thank you for your time and Peter Humphries thank you for yours. Two voices that would be very familiar to our audience. John Darley has been a member of parliament for many, many years and Peter Humphries, well-known lawyer, retired recently, with more than 40 years’ experience and personal injury claims. So we’ve spoken to him many, many times over the years getting, particularly on the issue of class actions and big cases involving a lot of people, and it might be sexual abuse claims against various churches or whatever. But very familiar voice I’m sure to many of you. That’s Peter Humphries and also John Darley. So there we are, a new player, six months out from the election.)

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