Mr Xenophon is certainly demanding the attention of the most powerful politician officially, the Prime Minister, Kevin Rudd, by insisting on more water for South Australia in return for the passage of the economic stimulus package.
Now he is backing a possible constitutional challenge by South Australia to remove barriers to water trade in Victoria.
By backing this legal action, he will in effect be supporting the federal bureaucracy against the states – presumably only because he believes it is the federal government that will act in the interests of South Australia.
Given its continual dominance of the national water agenda, it is probably a safe bet.
During the Howard years, South Australians, Nick Minchin and Alexandra Downer, ensured cabinet decisions, including on water, never disadvantaged them.
Now, South Australians can lay claim to not only Mr Xenophon, but also the federal Minister for Climate Change and Water, Penny Wong.
Then there is also Senator Sarah Hanson-Young who, also from South Australia, tends to chime in whenever Mr Xenophon takes the running on an issue.
Last Friday, she repeated Mr Xenophon’s claim that the survival of South Australia’s Lower Lakes and Coorong was dependent on the Federal Government taking control of the Murray River.
Of course it theoretically already has control through the new Murray-Darling Basin Authority.
But there’s a snag: neither Ms Wong or Mr Rudd can make it rain.
They can try and get more water from places where it is raining, like “Tooralee”, down to South Australia, but it’s a long way, and there will be significant losses along the way.
However, there is a simple solution to the problem of the lower lakes and Coorong: they only need to open the barrages currently holding back the sea for the area to become flooded with seawater as it was when Charles Sturt first visited the area in 1830.
But if South Australia started solving its own problems, it might become irrelevant nationally and then they wouldn’t have the most powerful politician in Australia.
First published in The Land newspaper. Rural Press also publish a daily e-newsletter, click here to subscribe.
The photograph of the seagull was taken at the mouth of the Murray River – beyond the barrages – in April 2007 by Jennifer Marohasy.