Member for Grey Rowan Ramsey is retiring from federal politics and will not contest the seat in the next election.

The Grey electorate encompasses more than 92 per cent of South Australia, including major regional cities such as Port Pirie, Port Lincoln and Port Augusta.

Mr Ramsey said he did not make the decision “without some misgivings”, but was looking forward to spending more time with his wife and children.

“I’ve been at it for about 16-and-a-half years – it’ll be over 17 by the time of the next election – and I think that maybe we better take a bit of time for ourselves,” he said.

Mr Ramsey has held the seat since 2007 and retained it in the 2022 federal election with a 10 per cent margin over Labor.

He also served as the Liberal Party whip since 2016. 

The improvement of regional roads, including the second bridge at Port Augusta, dual lanes for the Augusta Highway and the sealing of the Strzelecki Track are among what Mr Ramsey sees as his career highlights.

He also said the renewal of the dog fence and the implementation of Country of Origin food labelling were achievements he was proud of.

Preselection looms

Mr Ramsey’s departure leaves an opening for a new Liberal candidate in what is considered to be a safe seat for the party, which has held Grey since 1993.

Emeritus professor of politics Clement Macintyre said he expected the seat to stay in the hands of the Liberal Party the next time the country heads to the polls.

“I suspect there’ll be a lot of interest amongst the Liberal Party for preselection as a candidate there,” he said.

“Because I think whoever is selected can be reasonably confident they’ll be on their way to Canberra after the next election.”

Rowan Ramsey also served as whip in the House of Representatives.(ABC News: Nick Haggarty)

‘A gentleman of the party’

Member for Barker and Liberal colleague Tony Pasin praised Mr Ramsey’s advocacy for regional and remote South Australians.

“I have absolutely no idea who will fill the very big shoes that Rowan leaves behind,” he said.

“There’s a very big Akubra that no doubt he’ll hand on to the next candidate for Grey.”

Opposition leader Peter Dutton thanked Mr Ramsey for his contribution to the party and to the Grey electorate.

“Rowan is a gentleman of the party whose dedication and service has left an indelible mark on his community,” he said.

“His unwavering dedication to serving the interests of Grey has been truly commendable.”