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SA election: it's all down to the independents


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Labor’s position has firmed in key marginal seats in the latest election counting, putting the decision on the state’s political future firmly in the hands of independent MPs Geoff Brock and Bob Such.

Yesterday’s counting saw the Labor-held marginal seats of Colton and Elder slip further away from the Liberals.

Unless something unexpected happens, Labor should win 23 seats and the Liberals 22, with the independents to decide which party gains power. The Electoral Commission says that a final position won’t be known until Sunday, but the Liberals would need to pick up an unlikely proportion of remaining votes in order to pick up an extra seat.

The two independents signalled they will make their decisions sometime after the official count ends on Sunday.

Such, the veteran member for Fisher, has gone quiet for a couple of days. He’s giving no indication about which way he’ll fall.

Brock, however, has finalised his wish list.

Brock listed water prices concessions, council rates relief, road funding and the re-instatement of funding cuts to Regional Development Australia on his long list of demands.

“I’m looking after my electorate and improvements in general for regional South Australia as well as concessions across the state,” he told radio FIVEaa this morning.

“Assistance with waters  costs and council rates are the broader concessions.”

Brock said he had acknowledged the value of the State Government’s focus on infrastructure projects in metropolitan Adelaide, but it was now time for the regions to get their share.

“It’s fine to put everything into Adelaide, but it’s time now for the regions.

“The funding for Regional Development Australia was cut by the State Government and that should be reinstated,” he said.

“We must regain our focus on primary production, our grain, our mineral resources.

“This process has highlighted the regions – things such as roads; there’s a road in my electorate that’s the third worst in the State.”

Brock said he also spoken in recent days with representatives of Primary producers SA, Grain producers SA and the Local Government Association.

“There’s no deadline, no pressure from either leader.

“I spoke to Bob Such last night and we’ll talk again  Sunday.”

Brock left open the possibility that the two independent MPs could split their support.

“If Bob Such goes with Labor (giving ALP govt) some of what I’m trying to do may be in vain.”

– additional reporting by David Washington

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