5 Apr 2018
Tom Staggard | Gawler News
FORMER Gawler resident and Member of the Legislative Council John Dawkins has been selected to head a new Liberal Party suicide prevention council, a week after withdrawing his nomination for the presidency of the Upper House.
Mr Dawkins was announced as the Premier’s Advocate for Suicide Prevention this week and will head a State Government council into suicide prevention.
As part of his new position, Mr Dawkins will work with Health and Wellbeing Minister Stephen Wade on reforming policy and providing services to assist with suicide prevention.
Mr Dawkins – a long-time suicide prevention advocate – said he was “honoured” to be given the opportunity to lead the suicide prevention council.
“In many ways, what I’ll be doing is similar to what I’ve been doing for a very long time,” he said.
“Except now, I’ve got the backing of the Premier and the resources of government, which I’m very pleased about.”
The new position comes just days after Mr Dawkins and colleague Terry Stephens withdrew their Upper House president nominations, leaving fellow Liberal MP Andrew McLachlan to take the position unopposed.
Mr Dawkins had previously served as the Opposition Whip in the Upper House from 2002, and held the position for the entire time the Liberal Party was in Opposition.
He and Treasurer Rob Lucas are the only two current MPs who were part of the previous South Australian Liberal Government.
Mr Dawkins said the president position was something he’d given considerable thought to, but, ultimately, decided not to contest the role.
“It was very much on my mind, but there were other things that have arisen and I was very happy to support Andrew in that role,” he said.