Australian Conservatives’ candidate for the South Australian Legislative Council is Nicolle Jachmann who was interviewed yesterday on local ABC Radio.
Question: What’s been your background, what can you tell us about yourself?
“I actually was raised on a fruit property in the Riverland, I’m married to a local farmer, we’ve got farming properties in the Riverland and on Kangaroo Island. I was a bank manager, I’m a CPA-qualified accountant, I’ve worked for Regional Development Australia, Murraylands and Riverland heading up the Riverland end of RDA working with business, industry, and the three tiers of Government. Currently I’m the CEO of an aged care facility in Loxton … I’m a wife and a mum as well.”
Question: Aged care, what specifically do you think we need to focus on in South Australia for our ageing populations?
“Australian Conservatives have actually recently released a palliative care policy. With the ageing population at the moment it’s actually really important that we look after our ageing people. We want country health services kept and not to be shrinking, as they are currently in rural and regional South Australia. We definitely need to do more when it comes to nursing care and palliative care. We’ve actually committed $24.5 million a year of extra money to provide palliative care for country South Australia as well as the city because at the moment we’re just not getting enough funding for palliative care in regional South Australia.”
Question: Often older people are considered the invisible voters. Lots of the policies that come out from our Government and Opposition Government don’t necessarily address those older members of society, is that something that’s in the forefront of your mind?
“Yes, in South Australia and particularly in rural South Australia we have an ageing population. Those people are a really important part of our community, a lot of them have contributed significantly to where we are at the moment as a state. It’s actually really important that we give them the due respect and care that they actually deserve at that time of their life.”
Question: Why an interest in the Legislative Council?
“I’m actually really concerned that regional South Australia is currently not well represented at all in the Upper House, whilst in the Lower House each region in SA is represented by their own electorate. When it actually comes to the Upper House Robert Brokenshire is currently the only regional Member of the Legislative Council. That really concerns me. Regional South Australia gets forgotten about and left behind all the time. It’s actually really important that the Government governs for the whole and the Parliament for the whole of South Australia. Regional SA is a significant engine room and economic driver for the state. It’s really important that we have a louder voice in the Parliament.”
Question: What about in terms of primary production. What issues would you like to see brought forward?
“We actually need to allow primary producers to do what it is that they actually do best. We need to look at cutting some of the red tape and some of the taxes that inhibit both our businesses and our primary producers from doing business at the moment that’s of significant concern. Up here in the Riverland water is something that is of significant concern, but more so across the board is energy and the cost of power prices at the moment. That’s particularly concerning right across the whole of South Australia.”
Question: What say do you feel we’ll get when it comes to the Murray Darling Basin negotiations currently going on?
“South Australia has been a leader as far as water in the past and we need to make sure that we’re actually acknowledged for that, we’ve been leading edge in the technology that we’ve put in, we’ve been leading edge in saving water and we need to make sure that we’re not short changed out of this whole deal. Just because we’re located at the end of the river it doesn’t mean that we’re any less significant than anybody else so we need to continue to be fighting to make sure that everybody else holds their end of the bargain.”
Question: Nuclear has been a pivotal point in the Australian Conservatives’ campaign for this election. Neither you or Robert Brokenshire live in an area that’s currently being considered for a nuclear project. How do you explain the party’s position to those who do?
“What we’re simply talking about is showing some leadership to finish off what the Weatherill Government did have the fortitude to do. They were badly let down by the Liberals and we believe that we need to finish the business case on the nuclear cycle. If the business case comes up positive where we can get cheap baseload sustainable power like in France with the best technology that’s safe, that can deliver household power for $30 a month instead of $300 a month, can allow irrigators and farmers cheap power, businesses cheap power, reliable, sustainable and affordable then we say let’s actually show some leadership and say let’s actually finish the business case. If we can bring $6.5 billion to this state with a repository and if they can do it in Bordeaux, produce wine and have a clean, green image there then surely we can look at putting one somewhere like Woomera which has got some of the safest geology in the world because we desperately need new opportunities to bring back $6.5 billion to this state, get rid of a heap of taxes, allow affordability for households, businesses, and farmers, and have a situation where we’re the lowest taxing state, the cheapest for electricity, then businesses will come to us, not leave us as they’ve been doing. Let’s actually have a look at it, let’s finish it off, and then sit down and look at it properly and have some adult conversation about whether that would actually in fact be the best thing for this state.”
Question: Why the Australian Conservatives?
“I used to be a Liberal voter and watched the party drift from where it had been initially. I watched Mr Xenophon come up here when he wanted to use our river to get into the Senate but then we didn’t see him again after we got behind him. I’d been watching formerly Family First and the Australian Conservatives for a while. What really appeals to me is the principled values and common sense approach that they actually take to policy and legislation. I decided to join Australian Conservatives because I also want to give us the best chance to get the strongest voice for regional South Australia. I’ve seen Robert Brokenshire for years out in the regions batting hard for regional SA. We need a stronger voice for regional SA.”
Question: What does running second on the ticket mean for getting elected?
“In the Upper House it works on a quota system. It depends on how many votes we get as Australian Conservatives as to how many people we actually end up getting. Robert Brokenshire is number one. If we received enough votes either in our own right or with preferences then I would be the second person to be elected behind Robert.”
Question: Why would we number a box with your name on it on Election Day?
“Australian Conservatives won’t apologise for fighting for values for this state and in doing whatever we can to refit the social engineering damage and refocus on families in this state. When it comes to the economy at the moment we seem to be the only ones talking about the economy. There’s currently a $14 billion debt in this state that no one’s talking about that actually needs to be fixed, there are problems with the recurrent budget. Australian Conservatives we don’t apologise for being a country party and the country is a massive engine-room for this state. We need to turn the state around. A lot of that will be driven from regional SA. We’ve always punched above our weight and if we can get the support from the voters out there to get us into the Upper House we’ll be the strongest voice for rural and regional that we’ve ever had in the State Parliament. We’re not going to let them down.”
To read about the Australian Conservatives' plan for investing in rural and regional South Australia click here.
Picture: Australian Conservatives' MLC Robert Brokenshire and Nicolle Jachmann