Breaking boundaries: Changes cause constituent concern

A “disappointed and frustrated” incumbent Member for Frome Geoff Brock said he will contest the seat of Stuart at the next state election following sweeping changes to the state’s electoral boundaries.

Mr Brock said he had made a tough decision to leave behind Frome as its new boundary moves away from his home town of Port Pirie.

The news follows the release of the Electoral Districts Boundaries Commission’s (EDBC) final redistribution report last week, outlining changes to boundaries across the state’s 47 House of Assembly electoral districts.

Under the changes, among the towns included in Stuart are Port Pirie, Peterborough, Orroroo, Melrose, and part of Port Augusta.

Among the towns included in Frome are Jamestown, Terowie, Burra, Clare, Spalding, Eudunda, Freeling, Kapunda and across to Two Wells, Mallala and Dublin.

Mr Brock said he could not leave behind Port Pirie, where “the community has stood behind me in thick and thin”, and so would follow the town into the seat of Stuart to contest the next election.

Despite facing boundary changes at every election since he was elected in 2009, Mr Brock said this was by far “the worst and most dramatic”.

“Port Pirie now moves into Stuart, and the frustrating part of it for me, and it’s absolutely ludicrous, they’re splitting Port Augusta into two which is an insult to Port Augusta and the Upper Spencer Gulf,” he said.

“That area currently has three state representatives in parliament and moving forward they’ll have only two so again the northern areas are being discriminated against.”

Mr Brock said he could understand if people from the southern areas of Frome were disappointed with his decision.

“I can understand people being peeved but at the same time if I go somewhere where my hometown is not, I would not be doing justice to my own community,” he said.

“I’m bloody disappointed, I’m cut, I’m really – excuse me, but I’m p****d off that I’ve had to make this decision.

“I know it doesn’t send a good message to the people down south but at the same time if I go with the new Frome, what message does that send to the Port Pirie people?

“I wish to God I did not have to make this decision.”

Mr Brock said over the next 15 months he would continue to represent the people in the existing Frome and said he was still “fighting” for the Horrocks Highway upgrade and also duplication of the Augusta Highway.

“You can rest assured I am not going to ignore the people of those southern areas,” he said.

“I’ve got 14-15 months where I am the elected representative of the people of Frome and I will continue to represent those people.

“I will give my 100 per cent to the people in the current boundary.”

In the neighbouring electorate of Narungga, Redhill, Port Broughton, Blyth, Brinkworth and Port Wakefield along with the ‘leg’ of Yorke Peninsula fall into the new boundary.

Incumbent Member for Narungga Fraser Ellis said he would nominate for the seat again at the 2022 election.

“The final boundary redistribution has meant that Adelaide Plains communities have largely been removed from the state seat of Narungga,” he said.

“Unfortunately, communities like Mallala, Dublin and Long Plains which I have come to love will find themselves in the new seat of Frome.

“Narungga, which I intend to nominate for at the next election, has extended north to communities like Blyth, Brinkworth and Redhill.

“I will miss those communities I have served for the past three years dearly, but I look forward to getting to know the new communities in Narungga, if I am lucky enough to be elected again.”