MEMBER for Schubert Stephan Knoll has told SA Best party leader Nick Xenophon to “bring it on”, accepting his challenge to a debate in the local area.
The former federal senator-turned-state political candidate issued the challenge through The Bunyip last week, after Mr Knoll made a critical speech about him in parliament the week prior.
This week, Mr Knoll agreed to the debate, which Mr Xenophon suggested could be held in the Schubert MP’s home patch, at any time, and facilitated by The Bunyip.
“I kept my comments very much based on Nick’s policies and the constant changing of his positions; it is lamentable that he went straight for a personal attack,” Mr Knoll said, after Mr Xenophon responded by calling him a “toothless Chihuahua” last week.
“Anyone who wants to be a leader in their community should be up for debate, and so I am up for the debate as long as we are there to talk about the issues that matter to our community, and not personal denigration.”
Mr Xenophon – who is contesting the eastern suburbs seat of Hartley in the March 2018 state election – stood by his comments, and said he wasn’t going to back down.
“Stephan’s being a bit silly, now,” he said.
“I look forward to a constructive debate that will, hopefully, be informative to voters in the electorate.
“We need more community debates, not less, where we’re able to speak to the community directly.
“I think it’ll be great.”
The Bunyip intends to further discuss the potential debate, and how it might work, with both politicians before anything is finalised.