Dissatisfaction With Politics As Usual Drives Boothby Independent


by Nicholas Maegraith

Trevor Jones is rejecting preference deals in his bid for the seat of Boothby

Trevor Jones is disillusioned with the state of politics in this country.

Disillusioned with members who place personal interests ahead of their constituents, and whose primary concerns is securing and maintaining power.

So, he has decided to take action, and consequently has launched his campaign as an independent in the marginal South Australian seat of Boothby.

He promotes himself as ‘A Person, Not a Party’. This simple catchphrase provides an excellent summation of Jones’s reasons for running.

“They are just doing what’s going to impact their key voters that they are targeting,” Jones says.

“I’ve got nothing against parties per se, but when their goal is different to what’s in our interests, its just crazy that we keep electing them.”

In keeping with this theme, Jones will not enter into any preference deals prior to the election.

This unusual practice, which could well prove detrimental to his overall vote count, is indicative of his desire to present an alternative to disgruntled voters.

Whilst this is unquestionably a key thread of Jones’s campaign, it is certainly not the only platform on which his campaign is being run.

He has several key policy areas. At the top of the list is asylum seekers.

“Manus and Nauru [Regional Processing Centres] are just harming people and it’s so unnecessary, and it’s costing taxpayers a billion dollars a year,” he says.

Jones – who has visited Manus Island twice – says the closure of these centres makes fiscal and moral sense. He has also called for a more compassionate approach to accepting refugees.

“There’s 20 million refugees in the world… its really a matter of can we help some? Our humanitarian intake is just under 19 thousand a year at the moment, there is plenty of room to have that gradually increased,” he says.

He further endorses policy reform in terms of the manner in which the government accepts refugees on humanitarian grounds. 

“I don’t have a problem with stopping people coming by boat… It’s better that we take from UN camps, people who have been recognised, and we could take more.”

Another contentious policy area close to the independent candidate’s heart is climate change.

In his view, both sides of politics need to acknowledge there will be a cost to individuals involved with combatting the problem

He argues that the major parties tend to interpret any action in terms of cost and popularity amongst the electorate, in what is another example of the shortcomings of the current system in practice.

“It’s a crazy system we’ve got where the politicians of the main parties just follow the public opinion”, he says. 

“We need to get to 0 net emissions by 2050… id like to see both parties come to a bipartisan agreement on that,” he says.

Jones also highlights greater assistance to small businesses and a change in approach to infrastructure spending as key issues facing the electorate.

He is a realistic man, and knows the odds are stacked against him in getting elected, although that remains his goal.

Regardless of the result, he hopes to send a clear message to both major parties about the way in which Australians want their country governed.