Geoff Brock

For the American poet and translator, see Geoffrey Brock.
The Honourable
Geoff Brock
Minister for Regional Development
Assumed office
26 March 2014
Premier Jay Weatherill
Preceded by Gail Gago
Minister for Local Government
Assumed office
26 March 2014
Premier Jay Weatherill
Preceded by none (created)
Member of the South Australian Parliament for Frome
Assumed office
17 January 2009
Preceded by Rob Kerin
Personal details
Born Geoffrey Graeme Brock
Political party Independent

Geoffrey Graeme "Geoff" Brock (born 1950[1]) is a South Australian politician, representing the seat of Frome in the South Australian House of Assembly as an independent since the 2009 Frome by-election. Since the 2014 election Brock has been Minister for Regional Development and Minister for Local Government in the Weatherill Labor cabinet.


Brock had worked in Port Pirie's lead smelter, which was eventually acquired by Nyrstar, since arriving in the town in 1976. He was first elected to the Port Pirie Regional Council (at that time a City Council) in 1989, and served on numerous community committees before being elected mayor in May 2003, defeating sitting mayor Ken Madigan by 3,297 votes to 2,173.[2][3] He retired from Nyrstar in September 2007, and he and his second wife Lyn have 12 grandchildren between them.


2009 by-election

Brock had a shock win at the 2009 Frome state by-election, defeating the Liberal candidate Terry Boylan.[4][5] He had a high local profile prior to the election, having served for almost six years as council mayor. Independent Senator Nick Xenophon also campaigned for Brock.[6][7][8]

On 23.6 percent of the primary vote and 51.7 percent of the two-candidate-preferred vote, Brock's election depended on preferences from Labor, Nationals SA, and the SA Greens, the former two having placed him second on their how-to-vote card. His own how-to-vote card saw him preference the Nationals, Labor, Liberal, Greens, and One Nation, in that order.[9] The by-election was closely contested, with the result being uncertain for over a week. Initial reports suggested a slight swing to the Liberal candidate Terry Boylan on the two-party-preferred count against Labor, with Brock close behind Labor. By 21 January 2009, both the ABC's Antony Green and the state electoral office were indicating a 2-point swing against the Liberals toward Labor on 51.4 percent, but not enough to lose the seat.[10][11][12] Liberal leader Martin Hamilton-Smith claimed victory on behalf of the party.[13][14][15]

However, the result hinged on the performance of Brock against Labor in the competition for second place. Brock won the primary vote in the Port Pirie area and picked up enough National and Green preferences to overtake the Labor candidate for second place by 30 votes. He then picked up enough Labor preferences to take the seat off the Liberals on a two-candidate-preferred vote of 51.7 percent (a majority of 665 votes), despite a slight improvement in the Liberal vote since the previous count.[16][17]

2010 election

Brock increased his primary vote to 37.7 percent and two-candidate vote to 57.5 percent at the 2010 election. Labor won from the Liberals the two-party-preferred vote on 50.1 percent.

2014 election

Brock increased his primary vote to 45.2 percent and two-candidate vote to 58.8 percent at the 2014 election. The election resulted in a hung parliament with 23 Labor seats, 22 Liberal seats, and two independents. The balance of power was held by crossbench independents Brock and Bob Such.[18] Such did not indicate who he would support in a minority government before he was diagnosed and hospitalised with a brain tumour and took medical leave one week after the election. University of Adelaide Professor and Political Commentator Clem McIntyre said Such's situation virtually guaranteed Brock would side with Labor. With 24 seats required to govern, Brock backed Labor. McIntyre said:[19]

If Geoff Brock had gone with the Liberals, then the Parliament would have effectively been tied 23 to 23, so once Bob Such became ill and stepped away then Geoff Brock, I think had no choice but to side with Labor.

Brock accepted the cabinet positions of Minister for Regional Development and Minister for State and Government Local Relations. Brock agreed to support the Labor government on confidence and supply while retaining the right to otherwise vote on conscience.[20]

Martin Hamilton-Smith resigned from the Liberals and joined the Labor cabinet two months after the election. Labor achieved majority government when Nat Cook won the 2014 Fisher by-election which was triggered by the death of Such. Despite this, the Jay Weatherill Labor government kept Brock and Hamilton-Smith in cabinet, giving the government a 26 to 21 parliamentary majority.[21]

Current portfolios

Brock represents the following portfolios in the Cabinet of South Australia:[22]


  2. "Shock results in local govt elections in SA". ABC Online. 13 May 2003. Retrieved 25 January 2009.
  3. "New mayors elected". Local Government Association of SA. 13 May 2003. Retrieved 25 January 2009.
  4. Pepper, Chris; Crouch, Brad; Castello, Renato; Kyriacou, Kate (25 January 2009). "Shock Frome loss rocks SA Liberals". The Advertiser. Retrieved 25 January 2009.
  5. "Brock claims victory in Frome by-election". ABC Online. 24 January 2009. Retrieved 25 January 2009.
  6. Deals put former SA premier's seat on line: The Australian 14/1/2009
  7. Independents unite to support Brock in bid for by-election glory: Flinders News 15/1/2009
  8. Greens to run open ticket in Frome: The Independent 14/1/2009
  9. ABC Antony Green's Frome by-election Results blog
  10. "Frome by-election goes down to the wire". ABC Online. 18 January 2009. Retrieved 25 January 2009.
  11. Green, Antony. "Frome By-election Results". ABC Online. Retrieved 25 January 2009.
  12. Emmerson, Russell; Pepper, Chris (18 January 2009). "Liberals confident they'll hold Outback seat of Frome". The Advertiser. Archived from the original on 20 January 2009. Retrieved 25 January 2009.
  13. "Liberals claim victory in Frome". Poll Bludger (Crikey). 21 January 2009. Retrieved 25 January 2009. This article reproduces the original Liberal press release, no longer available on the SA Liberal site.
  14. Frome one loss to another: Independent Weekly 30/1/2009
  15. Frome, a lost moment for the Libs: Independent Weekly 30/1/2009
  16. Pepper, Chris (25 January 2009). "Shock Frome loss rocks SA Liberals". The Advertiser. Retrieved 25 January 2009.
  17. Peace plea as Nationals take revenge on Liberals at polling booth: The Australian 31/1/2009
  18. "Independents Bob Such, Geoff Brock likely to hold balance of power as hung parliament looms". 16 March 2013.
  19. By-election for Bob Such's seat of Fisher expected to put pressure on Weatherill Government: ABC 13 October 2014
  20. Labor to form minority government with support of independent Geoff Brock: ABC 23 March 2014
  21. Fisher by-election win for Labor gives Weatherill Government majority in SA: ABC 13 December 2014
  22. Cabinet of South Australia:

See also

South Australian House of Assembly
Preceded by
Rob Kerin
Member for Frome
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