WITH the state election less than six weeks away, only two candidates have been confirmed so far for the Eyre Peninsula seat of Flinders.
The incumbent member for Flinders, Liberal Peter Treloar, and Labor’s Julie Watson are the only two confirmed candidates but nominations for party-endorsed candidates do not close until February 23.
A spokesperson for the Greens said the party would be running a candidate and the Australian Conservatives and SA Best have said they may run candidates.
Mr Treloar said his campaign would focus on more jobs, lower costs and better services, including a policy to invest $20 million into the country health workforce to recruit, train and develop professionals on the Eyre Peninsula.
He said roads were also “top of mind” for country people.
“Our (the state Liberal’s) policy announcement to commit 30 per cent of the state’s mining royalties into country roads and regional infrastructure will allow us to address some of back-log in road funding,” he said.
Ms Watson said her key focuses were education and ensuring schools in Flinders got their share of funding, employment and investing in local industries to ensure young people had opportunities for ongoing employment, and energy security.
“People are also raising concerns around the Patient Assistance Transport Scheme, local regional hospitals and they are asking for more medical services to be provided locally.
“I welcome the $140 million investment government has provided to upgrade the country hospital network and the $14 million per annum boost that SA Country Health will revive over the next decade and I am sure this will go a long way to improve services to regional hospitals and health services.”
Mr Treloar said the last federal election, which saw Nick Xenophon Team candidate Andrea Broadfoot almost win the seat of Grey, was not representative of the state election for Flinders.
“The 27.74 per cent vote achieved by the Nick Xenophon Team (as it was then) represents the vote in the federal electorate of Grey,” Mr Treloar said.
“This was after a strong showing in Whyalla, Port Augusta and Port Pirie with very different and quite specific federal issues at the time.
“In fact, in the 2016 federal election, Rowan Ramsey ultimately won every booth across what is the state seat of Flinders.”
Labor’s Eddie Hughes has held the seat of Giles since 2014 following 20 years as a Whyalla councillor, including two terms as deputy mayor.
“We are on the cusp of major change in Giles with a tidal wave of investment building up which will lead to a surge in employment,” Mr Hughes said.
Mr Hughes said he would work for the viability of oyster growers and he believed Kimba would benefit from its Fund My Neighbourhood success.
So far three other candidates will run for Giles from the Liberal, SA Best and Dignity parties.
Mark Walsh will stand for the Liberal Party and said the cost of living in South Australia was a big concern.
“Our biggest concern is the high cost of living and how there seems to be no money left over after all the bills are paid, especially the power bill, the water bill, the rego bills and council rates.”
Former Whyalla acting mayor and Whyalla councillor of 11 years Tom Antonio will be Nick Xenophon’s SA Best candidate and is looking forward to the challenge.
"My focus is all about championing the needs of Giles, whether it’s jobs, power prices, health, education, aged care, substance abuse, roads and infrastructure to name but a few."
Cyanne Westerman was announced last week as the Dignity Party’s Giles candidate after spending much of her time in Whyalla campaigning for facilities for the disabled.
“Our education and health systems need to get serious about ensuring everyone has more knowledge about people with disabilities.
“The roll-out of the NDIS (National Disability Insurance Scheme) will not change the health and education systems but they need to ensure the dignity of students, teachers and clients.”
The SA Green’s Party is expected to announcement a candidate for Giles shortly.
A final list of candidates will be available on February 26.