Murray Bridge scholar Mark Keough will stand again as the Greens candidate for the Barker electorate in the coming federal election.
As a third generation Mallee man, Mr Keough said he would provide a strong voice for regional South Australia in Canberra that he believed current Member for Baker Tony Pasin was not providing.
He also expressed concern for the values of Nick Xenophon candidate James Stacey after he ran for the National Party at the last federal election.
Mr Keough identified four main areas of interest.
Rural Mental Health
Based on a strong need in the region, Mr Keough would tap into the Greens’ plan for a $280 million national investment for rural mental health to assist Barker.
“There is a need for it here; you hear about depression and the ice epidemic but there are many more issues in Barker that are under addressed,” he said.
“Half of the $280 million would go to an increase of mental health services and half would go to on the ground work, directly to the people.”
Half of the $280 million would go to an increase of rural mental health services and half would go to on the ground workMark Keough
In the hope of changing perceptions, Mr Keough hopes to prove that the Greens are not anti-mining.
“We want sustainable mining and viable land for food security to boost local production,” he said.
“We also have a strong track record of securing local food production.”
If elected, Mr Keough would support the ban on coal gas and fracking, particularly in the South East of Barker, in the fight against global warming.
“It’s about stopping companies from ignoring the future of our environment and not taking care of the land.”
The fight for same-sex marriage was another key focus for Mr Keough, as he believed the reasons for it needed a high profile across Barker.
He would call for a conscience vote immediately.
“A referendum to change to the constitution is inappropriate, we need a free conscience vote on the legislation,” he said.
- Mr Keough will attend the Barker forum hosted by The Standard on June 28.