The liberal government of South Australia is facing another serious challenge from a well-known independent MP, this time in the state’s most marginal electorate.
- Frances Bedford has been an independent MP for Florey since 2017
- She is running in Newland in the March 2022 state election in South Australia
- Health will be a key issue for Northeast Adelaide voters
Former Labor member Frances Bedford has announced a slope at Newland in Adelaide’s northeast as changing boundaries shift many of her existing voters onto the battlefield.
She said health care and Modbury Hospital would be among her key priorities, leaving Liberal incumbent Richard Harvey and Labor candidate Olivia Savvas in more difficult positions.
Mrs Bedford became independent in 2017 and has represented Florey since 1997.
“Newland’s seat is 0.5 [per cent] seat of government, and as is the case now, it is to be independent taste of the month, but this is where I can make the most change for the people of the Northeast, ”Bedford said at the launch of his campaign today.
Next year’s elections are due to take place in March, but may be delayed if a federal election is called in the same month.
Premier Steven Marshall seems relaxed about the challenge.
“We deliver to the people of Newland,” he said.
“Richard Harvey is very focused and delivering for the people of Newland, and I expect it to remain in the Left.”
Mrs Bedford’s decision will make it difficult to get the seat for Labor.
“Frances is a committed person,” said opposition leader Peter Malinauskas.
“I think Frances cares about our community, but what we’re focusing on is putting a new face in front of Newland’s seat.”
New independent push for infrastructure financing
There are six MPs on the current bench, although four of them are former Liberals who have left the party for a number of reasons.
One of them, Kavel MP Dan Cregan, announced on Friday that he would run as an independent.
The first mandate member said his Adelaide Hills seat would not have the necessary infrastructure if voters were a secure liberal seat.
“There has been massive population growth in the hills,” he said Saturday.
“No major political party has a serious plan to meet the population pressures we are experiencing.”
The Prime Minister said that the Liberal Party would choose a “fabulous” candidate in Kavel in advance.
“It is a very important seat for our state and we will make sure to put our best foot forward,” he said.