Airlie Keen will run as independent candidate for Hammond in 2022

The Murray Bridge councillor will take on Liberal MP Adrian Pederick at the next state election.

Airlie Keen will run as an independent candidate for Hammond at next year’s state election.

The Murray Bridge councillor and former Liberal Party staffer announced on Friday afternoon that she would look to unseat Liberal MP Adrian Pederick.

She said her priorities would include:

She would also advocate for duplication of the South Eastern Freeway’s Swanport Bridge.

Those aims were more likely to be achieved under an independent MP, she said.

“Hammond is an ultra-safe seat that has always been overlooked by the government,” she said.

“I’m standing to bring real competition to the seat.

“Independents have a record of success in securing more funding for their communities.”

One example was in the Adelaide Hills, she said, where the state and federal governments had committed $250 million to a Hahndorf freeway interchange.

The area is represented at a federal level by another former Liberal staffer, Centre Alliance MP Rebehka Sharkie, and at a state level by Liberal-turned-independent MP Dan Cregan.

“In their different ways, Dan Cregan and Rebekha Sharkie have each raised the bar through sheer hard work and close connection and engagement with their communities,” Cr Keen said.

“The people of Hammond deserve that same level of representation.”

Airlie Keen, centre, has previously advocated for the Monarto woodlands with Garry Duncan, Harry Seager, Steve Coombe and Barry Wilson. Photo: Peri Strathearn.

Asked to describe her political philosophy, Cr Keen said she was “not hard right and not hard left”, and focused more on issues than politics.

She said she was “absolutely” running to win, and that if she were elected she would work harder, fight harder and deliver more.

Although she has been a member of the Liberal Party in the past, and worked under Premier John Olsen and MP Mark Goldsworthy as well as Mr Cregan, she said she was not currently a financial member.

Cr Keen, who lives at Callington, has served on the Murray Bridge council since 2014.

She also had an exemplary career as a soccer referee, officiating at Women’s World Cups and Olympic Games and earning a place in Football SA’s Hall of Honour.

She attended Tailem Bend Primary School and Murray Bridge High School during her childhood.

Correction: An earlier version of this post incorrectly named one of Cr Keen’s previous employers.

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