John Gardner MP



Please tell us a little about yourself – your upbringing, family, interests etc.

I am the child of migrants from the UK. Dad came out with his family after the Second World War.  His family had a difficult time of it when they migrated and Dad went into the Navy at 16.  After an injury forced him out of service he had a range of trades and careers before starting a business in the water treatment industry which he ran for forty years – and which I worked in as one of my first jobs.  Mum was a nurse who came out to work in Northern Territory aboriginal communities for a couple of years in the late sixties – but she loved Australia so much that she stayed for good.  My parents instilled in me from a young age the importance of taking personal responsibility, of working for what you want, and contributing to the community.


What are the two top priorities that you want to achieve for your electorate?

The Morialta community is diverse and so are its local needs – I support a range of local projects such as the Liberal promise the upgraded Paradise interchange car park. However jobs and the cost of living are the two biggest issues in the electorate.


No one wants to see any child bullied at school for any reason. But recent anti-bullying program seem to have gone beyond this aim. Do you agree with state funding of the SHINE SA Safe Schools program which applies contested and scientifically unsound gender theory into all SA state schools without the need for parental consent? The program also seems to promote radical LGBTIQ concepts to children without parental consent.

A Marshall Liberal Government will replace the controversial Safe Schools programme with a broad evidence-based anti-bullying programme with a particular focus on stopping online bullying. This new programme will be based on the successful NSW programme.


If elected will you support an independent inquiry into the implementation of the SHINE SA Safe Schools program and the mandating of the Supporting Same sex attracted, Intersex and Gender Diverse Students Policy November 2016: and the Transgender and Intersex Students Support Procedure November 2016?

A Marshall Liberal Government will replace the controversial Safe Schools programme with a broad evidence based anti-bullying programme with a particular focus on stopping online bullying. This new programme will be based on the successful NSW programme.


The SA parliament has unsuccessfully attempted to reform prostitution law in SA for many years. It is clear that prostitution degrades women by objectifying them as commodities for men’s sexual gratification. Internationally, policies discouraging demand for sexual services are proving to be the most effective way of limiting both the size of and the harms resulting from prostitution. The progressive “Nordic model” criminalises the buyer of sex, not the provider, and provides viable pathways for those wishing to exit prostitution. Would you support a Nordic Model Bill in the next parliament to help vulnerable women in SA?

This is a complex area of law and I would need to see the detail of any proposed legislative change before finalising my position on the bill.


Euthanasia has been rejected by SA parliaments on 15 occasions. Would you oppose or support any future attempts to legalise euthanasia in SA?

I voted against the recent Euthanasia bill in the Parliament. While I tend to prefer laws that maximise personal autonomy rather than governments making decisions for individuals, I am yet to see a bill allowing Euthanasia that has sufficient safeguards to prevent abuse that would allow me to support it.


According to Palliative Care SA about 6000 South Australians will die this year without adequate palliative care. Would you support:

  1. Increased funding for palliative care in this State?
  2. an inquiry into improving end of life treatment for South Australians and in particular into how palliative care may be improved?

A Marshall Liberal Government will support increased funding for palliative care in South Australia and details will be released prior to the election.


Drugs continue to wreak havoc in our community. Some are suggesting the decriminalisation of small volume use and possession of illicit drugs. Would you support or oppose legislation to enable this?

A Marshall Liberal Government will not support any legislative change to permit the decriminalisation of small volume use and possession of illicit drugs. In fact, a Marshall Liberal Government will ensure the maximum penalties for cannabis possession will be increased from $500 to $2000.


Given that the advances in medical science mean that children are now capable of being born alive at 24 weeks of a woman’s pregnancy, would you support a review of section 82A(8) of the Criminal Law Consolidation Act 1935 which says that “evidence that a woman had at any material time been pregnant for a period of twenty-eight weeks or more shall be prima facie proof that she was at that time pregnant of a child capable of being born alive” with a view to bringing it into line with current medical science and so changing the period to 24 weeks?

A Marshall Liberal Government will not be introducing legislation on this issue.


Do you support faith-based organisations’ current right to, if they so choose, restrict employment or enrolment to those who share their ethos, just like political parties do?

I support religious freedom, and that extends to faith-based organisations.


Poker machines cause a great deal of social harm to vulnerable South Australians. Over $60 million is lost monthly on poker machines in South Australia, with a significant portion of this attributed losses suffered by women. Do you support legislating for $1 bets? B. What other measures do you support to help at-risk South Australians and their families?

The Liberal Party has not supported further reducing the maximum betting limit for gaming machines to $1. Maximum betting limits have only recently been halved from $10 to $5 from 1st January 2017. Recent growth in gambling has occurred in online gambling options as opposed to gaming machines. A Marshall Liberal Government will continue, review and expand where required
existing programmes that seek to reduce the number of problem gamblers and assist those who do have a gambling problem.


How would you like to be remembered as a parliamentarian?

I see my work as a parliamentarian as an opportunity to serve my community, not build a name for myself. If I am remembered in that way then I will have done my job well.