Independent Senator and Whyalla advocate Rex Patrick has made a strategic move ahead of the next federal election, starting his own political party to ensure his name will be 'above the line' on the Senate ballot paper.
Senator Patrick quit Centre Alliance earlier this year, leaving behind colleagues Rebekha Sharkie and Stirling Griff to set out as an Independent.
Now he's formed the Rex Patrick Team and plans to run at least one more candidate under that banner as he fights to keep his seat in the next election.
"Being above the line on the ballot paper is pretty important if I'm to have any chance to represent South Australia after the next election," he said.
"Otherwise you end up being buried amongst a whole heap of names below the line."
The established political parties, including the Liberals, Labor and Greens, are listed at the top of the ballot paper while the actual candidates themselves are listed below the line.
Forming the Rex Patrick Team allows Senator Patrick to appear above the line in the form of his party.
"I'm not actively looking for anyone to run in a lower house seat, I may put someone as a second on the Senate ticket, which would be more of a fall back plan," he said.
The name of Senator Patrick's party is reminiscent of the Nick Xenophon Team, from which the Centre Alliance party emerged following Mr Xenophon's failure to win a seat in the 2018 state election.
Senator Patrick said the idea of calling the party a 'team' came from the need to have a recognisable label in the Senate.
"In the Senate you either have a well-branded party like Labor, Liberals or Green, or you have a person that people know, like Nick Xenophon, Pauline Hanson, Jacqui Lambie or hopefully Rex Patrick," he said.
Senator Patrick has long been an advocate for Whyalla in the political realm and has close ties to the town as he attended school in the steel city.
He has championed a number of causes including successfully pushing for the federal government to limit the financial impact of security screening at the Whyalla Airport and lobbying the Commonwealth to select Ferretti International to produce transmission towers for the SA-NSW Interconnector