Government

Leon Bignell assumes speaker’s role, as Daniel Cregan joins Labor Cabinet

Leon Bignell has been announced as SA Parliament’s speaker after Geoff Brock announced his resignation earlier this week, prompting a cabinet reshuffle.

Leon Bignell, a seasoned Labor MP, will assume the role of Speaker, necessitating his temporary departure from the Labor party.

Mr Bignell, representing Mawson, will take over from Daniel Cregan in the Speaker’s chair, as he transitions to fill Geoff Brock’s seat in the Malinauskas Government Ministry as an independent.

On Monday afternoon, Mr Bignell adhered to tradition as he was ceremoniously escorted to the Speaker’s chair before being formally introduced to Governor Frances Adamson at Government House.

“Honoured to be chosen by my parliamentary colleagues to be the Speaker of the South Australian House of Assembly,” Mr Bignell said.

“Looking forward to working with all sides of politics in the very best interests of our wonderful state.

“A big thanks to Dan Cregan for the excellent work he has done as Speaker during the past three years and I wish the amazing Geoff Brock all the very best as he steps down from cabinet to look after his electorate which stretches from Port Pirie to the Northern Territory border.”

Mr Brock announced his resignation from the cabinet citing health reasons. Despite this, he expressed his commitment to continue serving as the MP for Stuart and intends to run for re-election in 2026.

“Serving as a minister has been one of the greatest privileges of my life,” he said.

“Each day I have worked hard to try and make a difference and I’ve met some incredible people over the years.

“From Monday, I will no longer continue as minister … my sole focus will be on my electorate of Stuart.”

At the end of his speech, Premier Peter Malinauskas and MPs from across the aisle applauded and embraced him.

“Geoff Brock is a great South Australian,” Mr Malinauskas said.

“Throughout his recovery from his life-changing medical episode, Geoff and I have discussed his ongoing role in the ministry.
 
“I’m grateful that Geoff agreed to stay on in Cabinet through the recent significant Major Economic Summit in the Upper Spencer Gulf.

“Geoff has been a champion for jobs in his community and was integral in securing the future of the smelter in Port Pirie. I know he will continue to ensure the Upper Spencer Gulf realises the full potential of the State Prosperity Project.”

From 2009 to 2022, Mr Brock served as the independent member for Frome before transitioning to represent Stuart due to a redistribution.

Previously, known as the Port Pirie Mayor, Mr. Brock gained prominence and secured a cabinet position following the 2014 election, during which a series of events compelled him to choose between supporting Labor or triggering another election in SA.

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