Thursday, December 8, 2022

Member for MacKillop announces leadership ambitions

Recent stories

Sheryl Lowe, Naracoorte Community News

MacKillop MP Nick McBride has begun campaigning to lead the SA Liberals in opposition, following his convincing re-election and the Liberal Party’s demoralising loss in last Saturday’s 2022 State Election.

Nick McBride
Nick McBride celebrated his win on Saturday with his wife, Katherine.
Photo courtesy Naracoorte News.

The decision to “throw his hat into the ring” follows the announcement by former Premier Steven Marshall that he would step down as Liberal Party leader, following Labor’s win.

“I had a beautiful win in MacKillop but the loss by the (Liberal) Party has been staggering and I am still digesting that,” Mr McBride said.

“Saturday night was hard and so was Sunday, but… I have my smile back and I’m ready for work.”

The South East farmer said crossing the floor during his first term in government could either help or harm his aim for the top job.

“Those who see my ‘stand’ as someone who wants to see change and will lead, will support me,” he said.

“Those who think that’s not what a team player does, won’t.”

The Liberals’ loss on Saturday was the first defeat of an Australian sitting government since the pandemic.

Mr McBride said believed the Liberals lost the election, rather than Labor winning it.

“We could have been a whole lot better than we were,” he said.

“When I took time out to consider my parliamentary future last year, I was quoted quite correctly as saying, ‘Now I know why we (Liberals) were in opposition for the past 16 years’.

“But in saying that, what party comes into government after 16 years in opposition, is faced with a global pandemic, and doesn’t get the opportunity of a second term?”

Mr McBride said he believes if the election had been held six months ago, ex-premier Steven Marshall would have won easily.

“We were in protection mode; we were keeping South Australia safe,” he said.

“But the new variant of Omicron entering South Australia just as we opened the borders in November, increased cases of the virus and the recent restrictions on small businesses, negatively impacted the election result.

“(However), it was only one part of the issue. We did not communicate the reasons for many of our decisions about the pandemic well enough in the past three months.”

Nick McBride
Nick McBride.
Photo courtesy Naracoorte Community News.

Mr McBride’s first-preference vote increased by 5 per cent on the 2018 figures, while his two-candidate preferred vote lifted by 3 per cent.

He also registered the most first preference votes in the traditionally strong Labor town of Millicent.

“Even though there was a strong swing to Labor across the state, this showed me that I have earned the trust of my constituents,” he said.

“MacKillop is now the safest Liberal electorate in the state.”

Meanwhile Mr McBride said he if he failed in his bid to become opposition leader, he may consider the deputy role.

“I would have to know who the Leader is before I could answer that,” he said.

“I would have to know I could trust the leader with my life and (the person) will lead differently than we have been.”

Meanwhile in a prepared statement Mr McBride said he was “honoured and humbled”.

“I have fought hard to get results for MacKillop, but I know there is much more that needs to be done,” he said.

“While I am obviously disappointed in the result for the Liberal Party, this does not diminish my resolve to keep working for the people who have put their trust in me.

“I am looking forward to the challenge of the next four years. I am committed to getting results on roads, health, education, housing and communications. The Limestone Coast and Mallee region are so important to the economic success of the state. I will work to ensure that our region gets a fair share of funding.”

“Thank you for your ongoing support. It is a privilege to be in this role, and I look forward to representing you as your… Member for MacKillop.”

Newly elected Premier Peter Malinauskas was sworn in as the 47th Premier of South Australia on Monday.

Mr McBride said he would work with the new premier and his government to make sure the promises of the Labor campaign were followed through for his electorate of MacKillop and across the Limestone Coast.

Naracoorte Community News 23 March 2022

This article appeared in the Naracoorte Community News.



Sign up to the Australian Rural & Regional News weekly newsletter

We don’t spam! Read our privacy policy for more info.

For all the news from Naracoorte Community News, go to