On the corner of Jetty Road, the rain pouring down with the same ferocity as Clive Palmer’s electoral campaign, Peter Salerno is working the polling booth to gain support from Boothby residents.
Salerno is not a politician and never aspired to be one, instead, he comes to Boothby as a businessman. Experience which he believes is the fresh perspective Australia needs.
“You wouldn’t run a company the way we’re running our state,” Solerno says.
“Our state has been left behind.”
Salerno is Boothby’s candidate for the United Australia Party, having lived here all his life he says he is tired of the mismanagement from the major parties.
However, running with the UAP has been no easy task due to the controversy and drama associated with party leader, Clive Palmer.
A couple of Boothby voters turned down the UAP’s how to vote card.
“They’re afraid of the publicity. The newspapers haven’t been kind and they’re running their own polls and underestimating what’s happening.”
Palmer’s reputation hasn’t stopped Solerno, who is passionate about reinvigorating industry in SA.
“We need to look at not just supporting industry, but creating industry,” He says.
“We have no industry in our area.”
Solerno cites the closure of the Mitsubishi and Coca-Cola factories as evidence that no Liberal or Labor Government is working to support manufacturing in SA.
The UAP has campaigned heavily on a platform of protecting Australian interests from international concerns, with key policies seeking to reduce the sale of local assets overseas.
“What we grow in Australia, should be growing us. What we mine in Australia, should be growing us.”
Locally, Solerno is working to make the interest on home loans tax-deductable, and easing financial pressures for Boothby residents, particularly young families.
The big issue for Boothby is infrastructure, with residents calling for improvements to several railway and road junctions.
“Brighton Road has been forgotten,” Solerno says.
“Everybody’s talking about Daws Road and Goodwood Road and Springbank Road. But little to nothing has been done to Brighton Road.”
Solerno has his work cut out in Boothby, the state’s most marginal seat.
The polls show little for support for the UAP, with only three percent of voters giving him their first preference vote.
This hasn’t deterred Solerno from having a say, “Now I’m realistic, I don’t think I stand a hope in hell of getting into Boothby because it’s so held tight between Liberal and Labor, but I believe we’ll get it a good shake up.”
“I believe that if we get some people in the senate we’re going to have control, or at least some say in the senate and that’s what it’s all about – trying to help Australia overall.”