The Nationals have called for expanded postal voting at the upcoming state election in South Australia to avoid voters, volunteers and electoral workers catching COVID-19 at polling booths.
The party’s lead candidate in the Legislative Council Gary Johanson says the health of all South Australians needs to be the top priority.
“The SA Nationals are calling on both the Labor and Liberal parties to go back to work and expand the criteria for postal voting to all South Australians, thereby doing away with the need for polling booths for this election,” Mr Johanson said.
“This will eliminate the risk for the public, volunteers and electoral workers. Why should it be compulsory to risk catching COVID at a polling booth.”
SA goes to the polls on March 19, less than four months after the opening of the state’s borders which resulted in a surge in coronavirus cases.
The state has about 34,000 active infections.
Latest modelling suggests SA could have as many as 10,000 cases a day by the time the outbreak peaks.
That’s expected by January 25, but falls in the number of new infections in recent days have given rise to some suggestions the peak may have already been hit.
There is no modelling released at this stage that estimates case numbers into March.
As well as Mr Johanson, a former Port Adelaide Mayor, the Nationals will also run food scientist Lisa Sherry on its two-candidate upper house ticket.
Key policies include the development of training centres of excellence in the SA regions to keep highly-training graduates living and working in their local communities.
The party has also called for all MPs to give up their taxpayer-funded cars and for that money to be directed to improving regional roads.