Nick Xenophon’s party is to reveal its gambling reform package on Monday as campaigning continues.SA-BEST’s gambling policy dominated day three of the South n election campaign, with leader Nick Xenophon making clear the reforms were “a deal-maker and a deal-breaker”.
The package includes reducing the number of poker machines in hotels and clubs from about 12,100 to 8,100 by 2023 and introducing a system of $1 maximum bets per spin.
Mr Xenophon said the reforms would be a “key negotiating plank” should his party win balance of power at the March 17 election.
But Opposition Leader Steven Marshall, who has ruled out doing a deal with SA-Best to form government, criticised the policy as a backflip on Mr Xenophon’s core principles.
“This is the most astonishing backflip, I think, in electoral history in South ,” Mr Marshall said.
“He was a ‘no pokies MP’ now he is an ‘8000 pokies MP’… a guy that has sold out on his single principle policy position.”
He said the Liberal Party proposes no change to the number of poker machines in the state, while Premier Jay Weatherill would not comment directly on Mr Xenophon’s policy.
The premier and opposition leader made infrastructure commitments on Monday, with Mr Weatherill promising $1.3 billion of its $2 billion infrastructure pledge outlined on Sunday would go towards removing rail crossings.
The premier said his government would set up a level crossing removal authority to oversee the removal of seven crossings to combat congestion and increase safety.
The project, which would create about 1000 jobs, would fund upgrades to intersections at Ovingham, Salisbury and Goodwood.
A further $5 million in funds would also be available to support local businesses while construction work is underway.
Mr Weatherill also targeted the youth vote, announcing plans for a $3 million skateboard park in Adelaide’s CBD.
The opposition pledged funds for road upgrades on Monday, with Mr Marshall promising $2.5 million for a business plan to upgrade South Road.
“The people of South need a free-flowing north-south corridor to improve productivity and decrease congestion,” Mr Marshall said.
The project, which would connect the Northern Expressway with the South Road Superway, is a joint venture between the state and federal governments.
Mr Marshall said it had been delayed because Labor had not submitted the required business plan.