Insight: Michael Pengilly, Member for Finniss

Digital Editor Rebekah Holliday spoke with Member for Finniss Michael Pengilly. Mr Pengilly is re-contesting his seat at the 2014 state election and is a member of the Liberal Party.

Mr Pengilly was elected in 2006 and succeeded Dean Brown (LIB). He grew up on Kangaroo Island and today, shares his time between the island, Victor Harbor and Adelaide.

The cost of living increases to constituents. I've got a considerable number of people on low incomes who simply struggle to pay every day recurring bills like water, power, car registration, insurance. A lot of people don't have insurance. They can't afford it.

Every day, day-to-day [in the media], you don't see much about the affect of the cost of living on Joe Citizen.

I've really got two electorates – Fleurieu and Kangaroo Island. And for people on KI, the cost of commuting across the water is a big one [issue].

Because I've got the experience, having had 25 years in public life. I worked in local government before this.

I've got the passion and the energy to make a difference. If people are serious about wanting a change of government in SA, they simply must vote number one for their Liberal candidate.

I'm a strong believer in pushing issues in my electorate. I don't back off. I believe I connect with everyday constituents. Basically, I'm a people person.

There are two key issues for me.

Education. Providing a good public school system and TAFE facilities across my electorate. I have a big TAFE college at Victor and a small one at Kingscote.

TAFE gives kids the opportunity to stay in the district to train, rather than having to go to the city which is a good thing for everyone.

On health, I've got two hospitals – South Coast District  and Kangaroo Island hospital. It's critical resources are kept up at both locations.

Clearly, road funding is another one. The Adelaide to Victor Harbor road eventually needs duplicating. Myponga to Yankalilla needs a complete upgrade. My colleagues are well aware of the issues.

Penneshaw to Cape Jervis – the cost for residents, primary producers and visitors – is inequitable. There was the Watergap Project by the former Kangaroo Island development board which said the federal government needed to look at [the cost of] freight and the state government needed to look at [the cost for] visitors.

It's always been put in the too-hard basket which annoys me.

When you're in Opposition, not always getting your point of view across to the incumbent government is tough. Some ministers are better to work with than others. You just have to keep arguing your case.