Some more local colour from an otherwise colourless campaign, for an election now less than two weeks away.
A second round-up of local happenings as the sedate campaign for South Australia’s state election crawls to its March 15 conclusion:
Colton (Labor 3.6%): As noted at the tail end of Saturday’s Newspoll post, a Galaxy automated phone poll of 495 respondents published in the Sunday Mail provided Labor with a measure of encouragement by showing Labor incumbent Paul Caica tied with Liberal challenger Joe Barry on two-party preferred, representing a swing to the Liberals of 3.6%. The primary votes were 45% for Labor (46.3% at the 2010 election), 46% for the Liberals (39.9%), 5% for the Greens (8.2%) and 4% for Family First (3.5%). Caica seems to be a very popular and well-recognised local member, recording a 58% satisfaction rating versus 22% dissatisfied, whereas Steven Marshall has a 42-39 edge over Jay Weatherill as preferred premier. Sixty-two per cent of respondents anticipate a Liberal victory against only 27% for Labor.
Lee (Labor 7.7%): Following in the footsteps of Danyse Soester in Wright, another campaigner against the government over its handling of the school sex abuse issue, Mel Calone, will run as an independent under a “put Labor last” banner in the north-western suburbs electorate of Lee. However, Labor has found cause to dispute her bona fides as an independent after the Liberal Party paid for and authorised a radio advertisement in which she states her case. Lauren Novak of The Advertiser reports that Calone is a former ALP member who has worked for the Liquor Hospitality and Miscellaneous Workers Union and the Australian Services Union.
Hartley (Labor 0.1%): The Liberals have complained to the Electoral Commission over a fundraising letter sent by Labor member Grace Portolesi to a public servant at her Education Department workplace, and queried whether its invitation to purchase raffle tickets amounted to an electoral bribe. Portolesi told Michael McGuire of The Advertiser that the material was being sent to those who requested it at the address they nominated.
Adelaide (Liberal 4.2%): Labor has proposed that the site of the soon-to-be-relocated Royal Adelaide Hospital be converted into a second city high school specialising in health and sciences, with construction to begin in 2017 at a cost of $46.5 million over forward estimates. The Liberals want to keep the site as a privately run medical facility and meet demand for city schooling by spending $75 million on a second Adelaide High School campus on West Terrace, to be linked to the existing campus by a foot bridge.
Mitchell (Labor 2.5%): Labor has promised to spend $2.5 million turning Seaview High School into a specialist manufacturing school with a view to preparing students for employment at the manufacturing hub being developed at the site of the old Mitsubishi plant at Tonsley Park.
Elder (Labor 1.7%): A further Labor plan for the Tonsley Park site, announced last week, is to spend $30 million establishing a resources precinct that will consolidate drill core library facilities which currently store rock samples at various locations around the state. The Liberals, who have been kept well supplied by highly sourced leaks during the campaign, were promptly able to point to a business plan which questioned whether the sale of the existing sites would bring in the money budgeted for, raising concerns about contamination at one of the existing sites in Thebarton.
Kaurna (Labor 8.8%): Kym Richardson, who held the federal seat of Kingston for the Liberals from 2004 to 2007, is running as an independent in the corresponding southern suburbs seat being vacated by the retirement of Labor’s John Hill.
UPDATE: Another Galaxy poll for The Advertiser, this time from the seat of Adelaide, shows on swing at all in the one seat Labor were hoping to snare from the Liberals. The poll has Liberal incumbent Rachel Sanderson leading Labor candidate David O’Loughlin 54-46, with primary votes of 49% for Sanderson, 39% for O’Loughlin, the Greens on 8% and Dignity for Disability on 4%. The poll was conducted on Tuesday night from a sample of 587.