As the leader of a Senate crossbench party, Nick Xenophon’s position on contentious legislation – currently media reform – is crucial for the government.
He says it’s “not for lack of trying” that the Nick Xenophon Team (NXT) has not yet reached an agreement with the government on media ownership rules. He is pushing for tax breaks for smaller organisations to promote media diversity.
He also opposes concessions that the government has made to Pauline Hanson that would clip the wings of the ABC, saying the NXT would vote against them.
Meanwhile, the discovery of his dual citizenship means he is among the MPs now before the High Court over their eligibility to be in parliament. He’s been advised he has “the best case of the High Court seven”.
He holds serious concerns about another sort of citizenship issue – the government’s proposed tightening of laws for people to become Australians. “I think parts of this legislation simply go too far.”
Authors: Michelle Grattan, Professorial Fellow, University of Canberra