State Liberal member for Goyder, Steven Griffiths, was invited to speak at the Adelaide Plains Council June meeting.
Whilst he insisted that his appearance at the meeting was not a ‘swansong’, Mr Griffiths delivered a heartfelt talk on his life, political career and impending retirement.
After working in local government for 27 years and 11 years in Parliament, he said he has come to the conclusion that, “communities win when elected member bodies and community groups work together to achieve a positive outcome.”
“There is a great opportunity when community groups, local governments, state parliament and the feds actually work together to achieve an outcome,” he said.
“Too often it doesn’t happen, too often indeed, political short-term opportunities are taken at multiple levels, which has a long-term consequence to it, and I suppose for me that’s part of the reason why I’ve chosen to no longer seek an involvement in parliament.”
With just nine months left until the next election, Mr Griffiths hopes to do all that he can to try and achieve positive outcomes.
“I’m a glass half full bloke,” he divulged.
“I’m a believer that people have to be involved, they have to understand the community, understand the history and personalities, appreciate the challenges that it has had, but also look at the opportunities that it has before it.
“I came from a single-parent family, my parents were divorced when I was younger, I didn’t go to Year 12, I obviously didn’t go to university.
“But I’ve learnt from people, all through my life.
“And indeed, I’ve tried to react to positive influences that people have brought to me.
“I’m really fearful that it’s going to get harder for people to stand up, because of the level of scrutiny that exists now, on every word or action that you take.”
And on the current rate of unemployment, Mr Griffiths confessed his fear.
“The really high level of youth unemployment scares me terribly,” he said.
“I’ve developed a substantial wish list of what I would like to see occur across the electorate, which is a lot of dollars, because I’m sick of us being treated in regional areas as citizens that don’t count as much. That’s just it.
“It should not be a matter of political opportunity in marginal seats, it should be where a priority exists for a community.”
And on matters relating to the Adelaide Plains Council itself, Mr Griffiths acknowledged the recent debate on rate-capping.
“You’ve had more of a debate about the merits of rate-capping or fiscal responsibility than others, I understand that,” he said.
“Which is good.
“A healthy debate creates the best decisions.”
Mr Griffiths will not stand at the next election in nine months time, resigning from State Parliament.