Liberal Member for Flinders Peter Treloar has thanked the people of Eyre Peninsula during an outgoing speech, coined his Valedictory Speech, in the State Parliament.
The MP has chosen not to contest the next State Election, to be held in March 2022, after 12 years in the role. Nominations are now open for incumbent Liberal MPs.
Mr Treloar was first elected in March 2010, the sixth member for Flinders since World War II.
He said though Flinders had often been referred to as a "safe seat" he refused to "accept that term".
"You are only ever as good as your last election, but there have been very few members for Flinders over the years," Mr Treloar said.
Prior to being elected, Mr Treloar spent 30 years as a farmer and said he walked straight from the paddock into the House of Assembly.
"I still had dust on my boots, and I was not familiar with the nuances and machinations of this place at all. It was a place like no other. It is a workplace like no other. We all know that," he said.
Speaking of his electorate, which has kept its name since the first legislature was set up in 1857, Mr Treloar said agriculture and seafood were the economic drivers of the Eyre Peninsula.
"We have good seasons, dry seasons, wet seasons - I have farmed for long enough to know that every year is different and I suspect it is the same in the sea as on the land," he said.
He noted service industries and tourism were of growing importance to the region - particularly after COVID drove tourists from Adelaide to the SA coast rather than their usual overseas destinations.
Mr Treloar said "not one" mining proposal had come to fruition on the Eyre Peninsula since he made his maiden speech in parliament.
"I think this is an issue, and I have spent a little bit of time on the select committee with the member for Frome as Chair," he said.
"The report will be tabled and recommendations made, but the real issue for me is that it is not about the land. It is rather about the people and their businesses and the fact that any landowner anywhere can have a mining proposal hanging over their head and that of their business for so many years - 12 or more, it would seem."
He said he was proud the State Government had been able to complete shoulder sealing on the Tod Highway, from Karkoo to Kyancutta - an important freight route.
"We have turned it into a magnificent highway and a much safer stretch of road than it was previously," he said.
He spoke of the challenges of being a country member, not least of all because of the travel to and from Adelaide but also to the over-20 schools, eight hospitals and 11 district council areas in his electorate.
He also spoke of the sacrifices country members make, including being away from home a lot.
Mr Treloar acknowledged his parliamentary colleagues.
He said he met "many wonderful people touring the electorates" and particularly enjoyed the interactions he had with schoolchildren.
He thanked the people of Eyre Peninsula and said it was an "honour and a privilege" to represent them.
"They have elected me three times: 2010, 2014 and 2018. I have come to the conclusion that it is a big thing for any of us to ask someone to vote for us; it is almost as much as you can ask," he said.