McBride represents the Sout East seat of MacKillop and had been a vocal opponent of the Government’s handling of border closures and tardy processing of exemptions for returning South Australians.
The issue came to a head last month when he crossed the floor of parliament to block a move to extend the state’s emergency powers into next year.
But after his concerns were given short shrift by Premier Steven Marshall at a party-room meeting last week, according to some attendees, McBride had resolved to take soundings in his electorate about whether to formally break ranks with the party.
However, he has now decided against that move – for now at least – after a meeting with Marshall yesterday and talks with Treasurer Rob Lucas in recent days.
McBride attended a joint party-room meeting late yesterday, after which he confirmed in a statement that “for the past week I have been considering my future within the Liberal Party”.
“As part of this process, I have been in consultation with members of the MacKillop electorate,” he said.
“This has been a challenging time, as I considered how I can best serve my constituents and my electorate.
“I wish to advise my commitment to continue as the Liberal Member for MacKillop.”
He cited “productive discussions with the Premier and the Treasurer”, saying “we have committed to improve the flow of communication between the Parliamentary Party and regional members”.
“The establishment of a monthly regional members forum is a measure that I welcome and look forward to participating in,” he said.
“I intend to continue to work hard for my electorate and my party, and remain committed to ensure the best outcomes for my constituents.”
Earlier yesterday, Marshall told reporters: “I think it was a positive meeting.”
“I love catching up with all members of the Liberal team here in SA,” he said.
Marshall had last week sent a strong message to McBride that his electorate “elected a Liberal and I think they expect that to continue”.
The MP’s continued presence on the Government benches prevents a parliamentary headache for the Premier, who has already lost Sam Duluk and Fraser Ellis to the crossbench since coming to power in 2018.
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