SA leaders make opening speeches for elections | Liverpool City Champion

South Australia’s election campaign is on and Prime Minister Steven Marshall has said it’s all about trust and Labor leader Peter Malinauskas has asked voters to look to the future.

Governor Frances Adamson released the election writs on Saturday, kicking off the four-week countdown to the March 19 ballot.

The election is expected to be close and dominated by the impacts of COVID-19.

Mr Marshall said it was clear South Australia had done well in the face of the global pandemic, growing the economy and maintaining jobs.

“The risk is a change of government,” he said.

“This election, more than any previous one, is an election based on trust. Who do you trust to continue to build a stronger South Australia?”

But Mr Malinauskas said the government was tired and divided and had the wrong priorities.

“South Australians have a clear choice for their future,” he said.

“In this election, we have an opportunity unprecedented since the end of World War II.

“This is our chance to ensure that the legacy of the pandemic isn’t just a bad memory.”

Jobs and health care are expected to be key issues for voters, but the impact the government’s handling of the pandemic will have is less clear.

He did well at first as he consistently followed health advice, but drew criticism after the state’s borders opened in November, prompting an increase in virus infections.

That surge subsided, but not before having a significant effect on local businesses which were hit by further restrictions over the usually busy Christmas and New Year trading period.

Special arrangements have been put in place for next month’s ballot to ensure voters can vote safely and allow those who may be isolated with the virus on election day to vote.

Electoral Commissioner Mick Sherry urged voters to ensure their details were correct as the voters list closes in less than a week.

“If you’ve moved, become a citizen or turned 18 since the last election, use this weekend to verify your details or register to vote,” he said.

“We hope all eligible South Australians have registered to ensure they have the opportunity to vote on the issues that matter to them in this election.”

Nominations open on Monday, while the last day for voter registration is February 25.

Early voting will begin on March 7.

The electoral commission expects a significant increase in mail-in and pre-ballot voting, in part due to COVID-19 concerns.

The Liberal government currently holds 22 of the 47 seats in the House of Assembly against 19 for Labour.

The other six are held by independents, although three of them were originally elected as Liberals before leaving the party.

How these independents fare and who they potentially support to form a government could be crucial to the outcome.

Australian Associated Press

Comments are closed.