McBride connects with constituents at Longridge

On Thursday April 18 Member for MacKillop Nick McBride reflected on his first year in parliament as he visited Longridge Aged Care.

He also gave residents a summary of his background. His ancestors were originally Scottish before emigrating to Ireland, and the Australian branch of his family first settled in Burra circa 1860.

Their trade was farming and fencing, and RJ McBride became a successful pastoralist. In acts of charity, he used to build housing blocks for widows and also fund hospitals.

Through the family line Nick McBride is related to AJ and PA McBride, the founders of a pastoral company which now own land in South Australia, and now Victoria. His great-grandfather Sir Philip McBride served in Robert Menzies' government, as the Minister for the Army and Minister for Repatriation (1940), Minister for Supply and Development and Minister for Munitions (1940-1941), Minister for the Interior (1949-1950), and Minister for Defence (1950-1958). He was integral to the formation of the Liberal Party.

With that heritage and an understanding of regional issues, Mr McBride decided to put his hand up for preselection for the seat of MacKillop.

On the day that he went to do his speech, which would decide whether he would get the candidacy, it was an unreasonably hot day in March 2017. Already under stressful conditions, his wife, Kathryn, was dismayed that he had not prepared any notes.

"But I just spoke from the heart, and I believe that this is what gave me the candidacy," Nick explained to the crowd.

He had already worked with previous member Mitch Williams before, and so he had an understanding of the communities within the MacKillop electorate.

He also knew that successive state governments, whether Labor or Liberal, could take safe seats "for granted" and that he didn't believe that it should be the case with MacKillop.

As an electorate, we produce an incredible amount of economically strong primary industries. In Bordertown and Naracoorte there's meat processing facilities, and further south in Millicent there's a wood pulp mill. Timber, seafood, lamb, wool, and beef all comes from MacKillop.

In other issues, whether it's mining, housing, or hospitals, Mr McBride assured the crowd that he was working well with the Federal Member for Barker, Tony Pasin, and the various councils within the MacKillop electorate.

In the past 12 months Nick McBride and the state government have worked to ban fracking; increase paramedic services at Robe; make the Penola Bypass a reality, and create regional health boards.

After his presentation Mr McBride stayed for questions and afternoon tea.