The Wright man for Labor

BACK ON THE FIELD: Andrew Wright will enter the battleground for Stuart at the next election as Labor's candidate. Photo - supplied.
BACK ON THE FIELD: Andrew Wright will enter the battleground for Stuart at the next election as Labor's candidate. Photo - supplied.

Back in 2008 Andrew Wright was busy kicking goals for Crystal Brook as he helped break their 16-year premiership drought in the Northern Areas Football Association.

Now he's aiming to score a major goal for the Labor Party - winning the seat of Stuart in the upcoming state election.

Andrew Wright, an industrial relations lawyer, business owner and former Australian Army soldier, will compete against Liberal Energy Minister Dan van Holst Pellekaan and Independent Frome MP Geoff Brock for the coveted seat.

Mr Wright has previously lived in Crystal Brook and continues to work in the region with offices in Port Pirie, Port Augusta and Whyalla.

Currently he resides in Adelaide, and says his journey into politics started when he was representing workers in the Mid North and through work for a union.

"Working in employment law and representing workers in Tribunals and Courts felt like I was always surrounded by law and politics ... that's probably where (my political ambitions) started," he said.

In recent weeks Mr Wright said he had spoken with a number of Labor party members who believed he was a "worthy candidate" for Stuart.

"Whilst I don't live in the electorate I do have a house there and we have offices in the Upper Spencer Gulf, as well as friends in Crystal Brook," he said.

"I think the connection with the region was always there."

Mr Wright said Stuart was arguably the most diverse and important seat in the state, claiming "if Stuart works correctly, the state works correctly".

"From renewable energy infrastructure, manufacturing capabilities, small business, including agribusiness, the healthcare system ... I've always had a soft spot for the region of Stuart," he said.

"That's why I've put my hand up."

Addressing issues with regional healthcare is at the top of Mr Wright's list, who says there needs to be a focus on ensuring regional South Australia gets its "just desserts".

"At the moment they have been left behind, there needs to be a huge injection into healthcare in the regions and in Stuart in particular," he said.

"As far as jobs are concerned, I think the capacity to increase jobs around Stuart is huge, and we need to keep focusing on the areas that are currently working but build on areas that are yet to take off.

"There is 10% unemployment in the regions compared to 5.6% in and around the city, that tells me we need an advocate that understands how we can effectively grow jobs in the seat of Stuart.

"We need to use local steel for supporting local jobs. If there is infrastructure created within the state then we need to buy from this state for that infrastructure.

"The steelworks in Whyalla is a prime example of businesses that should be given first priority for local projects".

This story The Wright man for Labor first appeared on The Transcontinental.