Before I became involved in politics, I was running a small suburban legal practice in Adelaide. In the mid 1990s I began to see client after client whose lives had been damaged in some way by the introduction of poker machines into pubs and clubs. At the time hardly anyone was talking about the harm caused by pokies in our community and I just thought, ‘enough is enough'.
I stood for the SA upper house in the 1997 State election on a ‘No Pokies’ platform and suprised everyone (especially myself) when I was elected. Re-elected in 2006 to State Parliament, I decided to run federally for the Senate in the 2007 election because I believed I could do more for SA on a whole range of issues. Since starting in the Senate in July 2008, I have fought on key issues for SA - pokies, online gambling, water security, food labelling, education, health, aged care, cost of living pressures and a whole lot more.
I believe the most important part of my job is speaking up for people who might not otherwise have a voice.