Insight: Geoff Brock, Member for Frome

Insight: Geoff Brock, Member for Frome

Digital Journalist Joanne Fosdike spoke with Member for Frome, Geoff Brock.  The Independent member is re-contesting his seat at the 2014 state election.

Mr Brock was elected in a bi-election in 2009, taking over from former South Australian Premier and Liberal Party leader.

Firstly, one of the issues I don't think people understand is the reliance we have on the River Murray – it feeds the whole of my electorate as it feeds the whole of South Australia. Without the River Murray we would have to rely on desalination plants.

Health, education, police protection and decent roads are also on the list. 

I would like to see more coverage of health resources. In the regions you don't expect the specialist services but we do expect to get some concessions to help make them more accessible.

This is an issue that isn't understood my metropolitan community or media. There is a cost factor to get to Adelaide for treatment and public transport is not an option as it is missing in most of my region.

The placing of regional hospitals is important. The Government put a big hospital at Whyalla but they should have been more strategic. Port Pirie is our region's biggest catchment – there are 35,000 to 40,000 people in the Whyalla catchment while we have 60,000 to 65,000 people living within one hour of Port Pirie.

I am a very dedicated person and have been involved with the community in Port Pirie since I moved back from Adelaide 38 years ago. I am a conscientious person to the point that sometimes I take the issues of my constituents personally.

I can also relate to people's problems because of the personal issues I have had to deal with in my own life. 

I am not afraid to use the Opposition to get what I want and I never work through an issue alone. I prefer to work with others for ideas, strength and to show a united front.

I am not constrained by party lines and as such I answer to the community. I have dealt with around 1,800 issues in the past four years and had a 92 per cent success rate for the constituent.

I am not prepared to accept defeat when it is feasible to win. I won't accept a department's recommendation to a minister on an issue when I feel the recommendation is wrong.

I believe there is no such word as can't. If you want a shot at something you should ask how can it be done?

The biggest issue recently has been to get a unique deal between the state and federal governments on Nyrstar at Port Pirie. Now we've negotiated the in-principal support we need to get the Nyrstar board to make a decision.

We also need to attract as many specialist services to our hospitals as possible and to maintain and improve the facilities and services we have.

I want to see improved road infrastructure as there are a lot of roads here that need work. I will be focusing on road safety and infrastructure for the region.

I am also looking at the bargaining opportunity with Chinese and Australian consortiums out of Port Pirie. It would be similar to what they do in Whyalla. It is a big issue and would accommodate the emerging mines in the region.

On a state-wide level we have mining opportunities and we need to negotiate water and  power to support this industry. I would like to see excess water from the Ord River piped down the rail corridor to feed the graziers and mines.

I've traveled nearly 400,000 in the past four years looking after the electorate. I don't think I would have done anything better except maybe spent more valuable time with the family. My job will come and go but my family won't. Then again, I am elected to represent people and do a good job at it.