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Thursday, 1 March 2018
Page: 2548


Mr CHAMPION (Wakefield) (10:24): There's a state election in South Australia and a non-existent Liberal Party campaign in the northern suburbs. Scrutiny is naturally starting to fall on candidates of Nick Xenophon's SA-BEST brand. Firstly we have Mr Phil Gallasch of SA-BEST running in the seat of Elizabeth. Mr Gallasch is a lawyer from Leabrook in the eastern suburbs, and has recently shared on his official Facebook page, in a poor attempt at humour, a meme that states:

Don't steal, Don't lie, Don't cheat, Don't sell drugs.

... The Government hates competition.

To which he has added, 'The caption say it all.' This seems inconsistent with Mr Gallasch's obligations as a member of the Law Society whose rule 5 states 'A solicitor must not diminish the public confidence in the administration of justice'. It's certainly an insult to the people of Elizabeth, who rely on the proper administration of justice and have an abiding interest in the confidence of that system. This is a poor attempt at humour but it's posted on his official page. It shows poor political judgement and he should withdraw it and apologise for its sentiments.

The second SA-BEST candidate is Ms Helen Szuty, the SA-BEST candidate for Playford and a former member of the ACT assembly. When last in office in the ACT, Ms Szuty advocated in the Canberra Times for higher incomes for politicians. A Canberra Timesarticle said, 'Independent Helen Szuty wants pay and car use in line with the SES,' which is a senior executive service band, and, 'Most public servants she encountered were senior executives and it did not seem appropriate that they were paid more than she was'. To be clear, the effect of this, if applied in SA, would be to increase a state MP's wage from around $190,000 to as high as $355,000, which is the top executive band currently in operation in the ACT. That's an increase of $165,000. Ms Szuty also advocated a clothing allowance for shoes, clothing and jewellery for politicians. I'm confident the people of Playford don't want massive increases in pay for politicians and I am also confidant they don't want to see an Imelda Marcos style allowance for state politicians for shoes, handbags and jewellery.

Nick Xenophon, who's made great fun of getting around in cheap suits and campaigning against politicians' entitlements, needs to bring his candidates into line and confirm that these are not the official positions of the SA-BEST party and distance himself from these candidates who obviously are out of line with the sentiments and policy of the SA-BEST party.