South Australia's future in Brock's hands

BALANCE-OF-POWER...Re-elected Independent Member for Frome Geoff Brock could shape the future of South Australia.
BALANCE-OF-POWER...Re-elected Independent Member for Frome Geoff Brock could shape the future of South Australia.

Standing in the morning sun in Port Pirie, the small, unassuming figure of Geoff Brock holds the future of the South Australia in his hands.

After the state election failed to deliver an outcome on Saturday night, both major political parties are wooing the re-elected Independent Member for Frome.

Brock, whose public utterances are often the opposite of the polished political style of his opponents, stood beside the immaculate garden of his Port Pirie home on Sunday morning, revelling in the new-found importance of his electorate to Labor and the Liberals.

In an exclusive interview with Fairfax Media, Mr Brock said he had recieved a phone call from caretaker and Labor Premier Jay Weatherill and a text message from would-be State leader Steven Marshall, of the Liberals.

He said his next move was to drive to Adelaide to make himself available to meet Mr Weatherill to discuss opportunities that would allow his electorate to benefit from government programs.

Mr Brock said the electorate had been neglected by both major parties and he was determined to extract the best deal for its residents from whoever formed the next government.

Asked who he would support amid the crisis vote-counting happening now, he was unwilling to commit.

“I am not going to make a decision until I have heard from both the leaders," Mr Brock said.

“I don’t owe any allegiance to any political party, as hard as it is for some media people to understand that.”

Mr Brock’s support in his electorate jumped to 58 percent of the two-party-preferred vote, allowing him to defeat the Liberals’ Kendall Jackson.

Mr Brock said he wanted to “get the best outcome for Frome and regional South Australia,” not just Port Pirie where he lives.

“That would be very much part of my discussions with both leaders and the need for me to lend my support form a government,” he said.

“We need a stable and responsible government in management of both infrastructure and in finances. I want far more emphasis placed on regional issues and I want a clear plan for South Australia, not just talk as there has been.

“Talk is easy. Plans are what I am looking for. Both sides talk and talk.”

Mr Brock wants a commitment on infrastructure projects, employment opportunities, increased health services, boosts to education and access for youth to affordable and accessible training facilities without having to go to Adelaide.

“The scenario three or four days ago was a massive swing to the Liberals,” he said.

“It may be a balance-of-power scenario and I will give both sides the opportunity to give something back to the electorate and back to regional SA.

“Neither party has taken the seat seriously.”

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