Our View (14-3-2018): YP already an election winner

THE state election is this Saturday, March 17, and Yorke Peninsula is already a big winner.

For years, our area has been a safe Liberal seat.

Accordingly, we received barely any election promises, as the major parties threw money at other areas of the state where the seats were more hotly contested.

Of the few funding pledges to come our way, next to none eventuated since they were mainly courtesy of the Liberal Party. The Libs have lost the previous four elections, so the promises could rarely be fulfilled.

Enter Nick Xenophon and the SA-BEST Party.

SA-BEST candidate for Narungga Sam Davies is the first potential threat the Liberal Party has had locally in recent memory, and election promises are flowing our way accordingly.

Liberal candidate for Narungga Fraser Ellis has promised funding for health – including surgical services returning to Yorketown Hospital, and accident and emergency funding coming back to Ardrossan Community Hospital.

He has also secured a Liberal commitment to build an overpass at Crash Corner, the entry to Port Wakefield from the Copper Coast.

From all accounts these promises will become reality as long as the Libs form government.

SA-BEST has announced its own YP-specific funding promise of $2million for professional paramedic services.

The SA-BEST pledge requires more pieces to fall into place.

Mr Davies has to be elected in Narungga and SA-BEST has to hold the balance of power, and successfully negotiate a deal with another party, for the promise to eventuate.

None of these scenarios are guaranteed, but this chain of events is not impossible either.

Whatever happens, the spotlight has been on YP more in this state election than in all of the previous few combined.

Both of the key candidates for Narungga, Mr Ellis and Mr Davies, have shown they could be strong voices for our region. This week will be incredibly busy and nerve-racking for both as they desperately try to get over the line.

But they are not alone in the election.

Candidates from the other parties vying for Narungga may not have high chances of winning, but they have all been fantastic representatives of their parties.

Doug Milera, Labor, is knowledgeable and active, and I’d like to see the party give him a chance in a seat where Labor has a chance of winning next time around.

Rebecca Hewett, Australian Conservatives, is a bright and positive leader in the local community and has done her bit to raise the profile of the party as it attempts to ensure Robert Brokenshire MLC is returned to the upper house.

Jason Swales, The Greens, was a latecomer to the election but wasted no time showing passion for issues close to his heart, standing up for the local environment in particular.

These candidates may not win Narungga but their preferences will be crucial.

Each party will have its ideal preferences listed on how-to-vote cards at polling booths, but the ultimate choice is up to voters.

Hopefully the YP Country Times’ election stories, and particularly its series asking each candidate their thoughts about various key issues, help you make up your mind.

And if this is all flying over your head don’t stress – today’s edition features some basic information you need to know before heading to the voting booth.

Your vote matters, so make an informed choice, and make it count.

Nick Perry, Editor
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