Insight: Adrian Pederick, Member for Hammond

Digital Journalist Joanne Fosdike spoke with Member for Hammond Adrian Pederick. Mr Pederick is re-contesting his seat at the 2014 state election and is a member of the Liberal Party.

Mr Pederick was elected in 2006 after winning the seat of Hammond from Independent Liberal MP Peter Lewis. He grew up in Coomandook on the family farm.

It took a long time for people to notice how bad a state the River Murray was in and I will never forget the struggle we faced from 2006 to 2010.The state Liberals picked up the problem early but it took until it was affecting Adelaide to become a trendy subject for the media and the premier. 

We see the same thing happening with the state of agriculture. It doesn't get the time it needs from the media and it is particularly hard getting the message through to the city media that our producers need help. Agriculture drives 25 per cent of the state's economy and gets taken for granted. 

I think I've been a strong voice for the community. I've advocated for every regional issue from the river and transport to transport, health and disabilities.

I have always advocated for the people in my electorate wherever I can. For example there was one man, a pensioner, who came to me as it was costing him $100 per week for the oxygen he needed. I was able to get the health minister to look at his circumstance and convinced him to drop the cost.

The first year I was elected I was the principle behind getting the Exceptional Circumstances Relief Funding for irrigators. The federal government had to change their arrangements and they listened to me and others fighting for this. I wanted Exceptional Circumstance funding for my constituents in the Mallee and as a result we saw it given for the first time ever to irrigators.

I have also been an advocated for regional management and was always against the Labor Government's Wellington Weir proposal  - I was a strong advocate for fresh water recovery.

I guess I never expected to be a politician but got involved as I wanted to set things right. I am passionate, but I guess a lot of politicians are. I will fight with the government of the day or in the party room for the people of my electorate.

I will always push Hammond's needs as it is where I am elected and the people there are my priority. I don't win every argument  but I will always try.

There are a whole range of projects that I want to tackle when re-elected. Certainly I want to see more money put into agriculture - especially research and development.

I want people to have access to hospitals and medical treatment at a reasonable cost and want more money for the Patient Assistance Transport Scheme.

I am very passionate about getting the freight bypass happening in Hammond and want to see the rail system go around the Adelaide Hills.

The agricultural food corridor in the lower Mallee has great potential and I will be supporting that. I also want to make sure we have water for all of these things - the right amount of water is needed to sustain human needs and agriculture.

I want to see the Gifford Hill racetrack and housing development at Murray Bridge happen – not just for the racing club but for the sale of 3,500 housing block and the jobs it will create.

I have helped organise and been part of a select committee on the grain handling issue and that has since made a lot of good recommendations that have not been followed up on by the current state government. If I am re-elected I will be looking at implementing some of those recommendations which have been ignored.

I would like to always have attracted more money to Hammond as there is always room for improvement. There is always room for more money to be spent on helath, roads, education – you name it. But of course there is not always the money around.