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Liberal MP defects and gets Speaker's
The Member for Kavel in the Adelaide Hills, Mr Dan Cregan quit the
Liberal party earlier this month, saying he could achieve more for his
electorate as an independent.
Several days later, he became Speaker of the House of Assembly
after the Labor Party and other crossbenchers changed the state's
constitution to require the speaker to be independent of the major
South Australia's government has been plunged into turmoil just
months out from the next election, with the Speaker of parliament
ousted during an extraordinary, day of events.
Mr Cregan's defection has further loosened the Liberals' grip on
power, with the party now firmly in minority government and
occupying only 22 seats of a 47-seat Lower House.
As ABC reports, "Labor sided with crossbench MPs — including two
other former Liberals, Sam Duluk and Troy Bell — to support
legislation to require the speaker to be independent of the major
political parties, paving the way for Mr Cregan's ascendancy".
Premier Steven Marshall led other Liberal MPs in a walk-out from the
chamber as Mr Cregan — who is a first-term MP, and the member
for the Adelaide Hills seat of Kavel — was taken to the chair.
Mr Cregan, who quit the Liberal Party last week, saw off the Member
for Flinders, Peter Treloar, in the secret ballot.
After being led to the chair, Mr Cregan addressed the house, saying
he was committed to "more scrutiny" at this "historic moment".
"I will well and truly serve this parliament. It is my hope that I will
bring honour to the proceedings here.
"I take this role, as I say, without any criticism of the former speaker
but simply because a call has been made by parliament tonight to
send a speaker to preside, who is not serving the interests of the
"I have great respect for the government. I have great respect for the
opposition. I hope that I will discharge my functions clearly, with
great respect for all members present."
Speaking on ABC Radio Adelaide after the events, Mr Marshall said
Mr Cregan had "put his own self-interest before that of his
"He's left the party, he's got a big pay bump, he's got a car, he's got a
driver, he's got a huge amount of influence and it's hard to see how
this benefits, in any way, shape or form, the people of Kavel," he
Mr Cregan last week pledged to keep driving his Ford Falcon rather
than accepting the chauffeur-driven car he is entitled to as Speaker.
Mr Cregan also promised last week to hand over his extra pay as
Speaker to local charitable causes.
Adelaide, South Australia