Fight for Frome to heat up

In what is set to be a key contest on March 15, the battle for the State Electorate of Frome is heating up.

One of the state’s three-candidate races, the electorate will be faced with a tough choice on election day.

Held by independent politician Geoff Brock since 2009, both Liberal and Labor candidates are putting the gloves on and are gearing up for the political fight of their lives.

The Liberals’ Kendall Jackson’s campaign is set to head into overdrive as she garners support from some of her party’s key parliamentarians.

Legislative councillors John Dawkins, Rob Lucas, Terry Stephens and candidate Andrew McLachlan visited Frome last week as a part of a regional tour.

Mrs Jackson said her campaign is going “really well” despite the weather which she said has been “a bit challenging”.

“I’ve been phone canvassing while it’s been hot, and I’ve been so thrilled with the response,” she said.

And, moving towards the cooler weather, Mrs Jackson is excited about where the campaign will lead.

“I love getting out and about meeting new people while doorknocking,” she said.

Labor’s Marcus Connelly has laid his focus on putting forward the Labor brand, and the “good government” of the last 12 years.

If elected to the South Australian Parliament, Mr Connelly said he’d be part of a government that will be “prepared to do something”.

“We won’t just save money, but will have a vision and spend wisely,” he said.

“The Liberals will just reduce services, reduce spending to gain a surplus at whatever cost.”

As for Frome’s current parliamentarian, Mr Brock listed a number of his key achievements during his interview with The Recorder, namely his involvement in the Nyrstar Transformation project.

“I’ve played an integral role with regards to the transformation and the arrangements between the company, State Government and Federal Government,” Mr Brock said.

On his opponents, Mr Brock took a diplomatic approach.

“I treat everybody as an equal,” he said.

“I congratulate them for running for public office.”

To govern in their own right, the Liberals need to win six seats, meaning Frome, which is notionally Liberal, will be in the spotlight come election night.

Mrs Jackson stressed the importance of voting for her to achieve Liberal governance.

“If people want a Liberal government, they need to vote Liberal in Frome,” she said.

Moving forward, Mr Brock said he wants to fight for more equitable services in the region.

“I want to ensure we have the best education facilities in the regions,” he said.

Having dealt with “over 1800” constituent issues, Mr Brock said he has achieved an estimated 92 per cent satisfactory outcome.

Mrs Jackson, on the other hand, believes that “nothing” has been achieved in Frome.

“I feel that nothing has been achieved in Frome under the Labor government,” she said.

“We’ve had so many opportunities lost.”

Mr Connelly concedes it will be hard for Labor to win a fourth term in government.

“It’s always hard to win after a certain amount of time,” he said.

“Jay Weatherill is a new influence, and with him we can have a new start.

“If you want continuation of good government under Labor, and avoid the cut and slash mentality of the Queensland Liberal National Party government, and the freedom from information that is a characteristic of the Abbott Government, and former state Liberal government, then vote Labor.”

Passionate about her region, Mrs Jackson said if elected she doesn’t think she’d be satisfied “staying on the backbench forever”.

“I’m young, enthusiastic – I have energy to burn and I can’t wait to take that to parliament,” she said.

Mr Brock said he’ll just keep doing exactly what he’s currently doing.

“I’ll continue to serve my constituents,” he said.

“I’m optimistic – I’ve done the best I can to serve my constituents and all of regional South Australia.”

The Family First Party and the Greens have not preselected candidates yet. 

With less than 42 days to go until the people of Frome cast their ballots, Labor’s Marcus Connelly, left, the Liberals’ Kendall Jackson and Independent Member for Frome Geoff Brock all tout their strengths as they all power onto election day, March 15.

With less than 42 days to go until the people of Frome cast their ballots, Labor’s Marcus Connelly, left, the Liberals’ Kendall Jackson and Independent Member for Frome Geoff Brock all tout their strengths as they all power onto election day, March 15.

This story Fight for Frome to heat up first appeared on The Recorder.

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