Adjournment Debate: Gumeracha Kersbrook Liberal Party Branch


Mr GARDNER ( Morialta ) ( 17:30 ): I thank members of the house for giving me the opportunity to make a brief adjournment speech tonight. As is the custom of the house, if the house adjourns before 5.30, we can make some comments. I want to talk about the history of the Gumeracha Kersbrook branch of the Liberal Party. 

I very rarely talk about the internal machinations of political activity, as it is not really appropriate, but the significant history of the Gumeracha branch over a very long time warrants an exception to this rule. I want to pay tribute to some of the volunteers of the Liberal Party who have contributed not only to the Liberal Party in Gumeracha but, more broadly, to South Australia, such is the importance of this branch's history. 

The Gumeracha Kersbrook branch's final AGM was on 27 April 2017. The redistribution has meant that the branch, along with some other local branches, has assessed where they should go in the future, and Gumeracha will no longer be operating as a single branch. However, its members will continue to support the Liberal Party, and I thank them for that. 

I want to make some comments on the history of the branch. It was a terrific final meeting held in a terrific atmosphere. I particularly pay tribute to the president, Michael Guthrie, who was the president of the Gumeracha branch and then the Gumeracha Kersbrook branch for a combined 26 years, and Bob Jackson, who served as the secretary and treasurer of the Gumeracha and Gumeracha Kersbrook branches for 21 years. They gave tremendous service to the Liberal Party over that period. Members of parliament, including Roger Goldsworthy, John Olsen and of course the current member for Kavel, Mark Goldsworthy, all appreciated their tremendous support. 

At the AGM, particular tribute was paid to stalwarts of the past: June Dick, Nell McGuire, Joan and Don Scanlan, Edna Amber and Milton Checker. I particularly note from Michael Guthrie's president's report of Nell McGuire's sad passing that she was the longest serving member of the Gumeracha branch. She passed away last year in her 99th year, and she was the last surviving member who personally knew Sir Thomas Playford as Premier of South Australia and as the parliamentary member for Gumeracha. I want to quote some of Michael Guthrie's final president's report to give some context to the significant role the branch played not only for the Liberal Party but for the district. Michael wrote: 

As written earlier Gumeracha has had a proud parliamentary history having its own parliamentary seat from 1857-1970, one hundred and fifteen years and being a two member seat from 1857 to 1902. It provided South Australia with two Premiers, Sir Arthur Blyth and Sir Thomas Playford and a Speaker to the House of Assembly Robert Dalrymple Ross. 

Sir Thomas Playford, the Parliamentary Member for Gumeracha was the longest-serving incumbent holding the seat from 1938-68, 30 years. Sir Thomas was also the longest serving premier of South Australia and also of the Commonwealth serving for 26 years and 126 days. It could be argued that Sir Thomas is the greatest South Australian and he chose Gumeracha as his Parliamentary Seat. 

Gumeracha unfortunately now does not wield the influence that it did in the past. However I would like to propose that we initiate a commemoration of some kind in Gumeracha to acknowledge South Australia's most famous citizen, the State Parliamentary Member for Gumeracha for a record thirty years, Sir Thomas Playford, Premier of South Australia. 

The branch acknowledges that its final act before merging with a neighbouring branch will be that the members will work with the Adelaide Hills Council to establish a plaque in honour of Sir Thomas Playford, local member for 30 years in Gumeracha. 

As the local member for Morialta, a district which will take in the area of Gumeracha from the next state election, I add my support for that proposal and I look forward to working with members of what was formerly the Gumeracha branch and, hopefully, members of the Adelaide Hills Council, the local councillors being Malcolm Herman and Linda Green in particular, to achieve the commemoration of the significant role that Sir Thomas Playford played in that district. I thank the members of the Gumeracha Kersbrook branch for their ongoing service to the Liberal Party and to the state of South Australia. I acknowledge the significant work done by so many over so many years when it was the Gumeracha branch.