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Bressington's race appears over


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Maverick Upper House MP Ann Bressington is unlikely to stand for re-election.

Bressington, who has been battling Ross River virus, hasn’t been sighted at parliament house since mid-November and her staff haven’t been able to contact her.

“We have no idea what she’s doing; she hasn’t told us,” office staffer Michael Figwer told InDaily this week.

“She has been ill for some time and we haven’t seen her and don’t know if she’s standing again, but I don’t expect so.”

InDaily’s calls and messages also remain unanswered.

Bressington, elected as the number two on the Nick Xenophon ticket in 2006, became estranged from Xenophon shortly after he left the state Upper House and went to the Senate in Canberra in 2007.

In 2013 she sponsored the South Australian registration of Queensland MP Bob Katter’s “Katter Australia Party”, but has told associates she won’t be a candidate for the party.

Bressington originally hailed from Queensland where she grew up as the youngest of seven children in Toowoomba.

She moved to New Zealand where she married before returning to Australia in 1974.

The family moved to South Australia in 1994, but life took a cruel twist when Bressington learned that her 18-year-old daughter, Shay Louise, who had remained in Queensland, was a heroin addict.

She died of an overdose in 1998, by which time her mother had become a drug treatment campaigner.

In 1999, the Liberal Government Health minister Dean Brown provided premises that could be used as a drug treatment and rehabilitation facility, known as Shay Louise House, with Bressington as its founder and principal director.

It runs the DrugBeat program.

When Bressington was elected to parliament in 2006, she said it was a “shock”.

She had won the eight year job off the back of a massive swing to Xenophon which gave him two quotas in the Upper House.

Political analysts have told InDaily she “would barely get a vote” if she stood on her own in 2014.

After she split from Xenophon with a stinging speech in 2007, her office quickly became a “go-to” place for people who couldn’t get a hearing from other MPs; as a result she attracted a wide range of cause-pushers and conspiracy theorists.

She became an enthusiastic supporter of British climate skeptic Christopher Monckton, sponsoring his trip to Adelaide in early 2013.

Her introduction speech at Monckton’s local appearance went viral, racking up more than 100,000 views on YouTube.

Bressington was also deeply concerned about fluoride in the water which she says may be the biggest “health fraud” of our time.

InDaily reported in September last year that Michael Figwer, a lawyer struck off the Roll of Legal Practitioners, had been employed by Bressington as a researcher.

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