South Australia will have a minority Labor government with the support of independent member Geoff Brock, who has accepted a Cabinet post as Minister for Regional Development.
Brock, the member for Frome, announced his decision this morning at a joint press conference with Premier Jay Weatherill. It comes after yesterday’s announcement that the other independent member, Bob Such, is to take two months sick leave from the new parliament.
Counting of results in the election has confirmed that the ALP will have 23 seats, the Liberals 22 and independents 2. Without Such, a minority Liberal government is not possible. With Brock’s support, Labor can govern with 24 votes to 22. After the provision of a Speaker, Labor will have 23-22 on the floor of the House of Assembly. If Such supports the Liberal Party when he returns, the Speaker’s casting vote will be required for the government to survive.
Were Such to resign and cause a by-election, his electorate of Fisher would almost certainly be won by the Liberal Party but the government could still survive with the support of Brock.
Brock said his decision provided stability for South Australia. “I’m here for one reason, security and stability,” he said.
Brock’s agreement is with Weatherill personally, not with the ALP, and it allows him to vote independently in certain situations.
Weatherill has been Premier since 2011. He replaced Mike Rann who took Labor into government in 2002 and led it to re-elections in 2006 and 2010. If the minority government can survive a full term until 2018, it will complete 16 years in office.
Opposition Leader Steven Marshall said the ALP had no mandate from the electorate which supported the Liberals by a margin of 53% to 47% on a two-party-preferred basis.
- Listen to Brock and Weatherill (30m)
- Listen to Marshall (9m)