Kym Richardson

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Kym Richardson
Member of the Australian Parliament
for Kingston
In office
9 October 2004 – 24 November 2007
Preceded by David Cox
Succeeded by Amanda Rishworth
Personal details
Born (1958-03-16) 16 March 1958 (age 56)
Nationality Australian
Political party Liberal Party of Australia
Occupation Police officer

Kym Charles Richardson (born 16 March 1958) is an Australian politician. He was a Liberal member of the Australian House of Representatives between 2004 and 2007, representing the South Australian electorate of Kingston.

Richardson joined the South Australia Police (SAPOL) at a young age, serving in the elite Star Force unit for thirteen years. Investigated for unethical behaviour while a police officer he was precluded from receiving the National Medal, but he did receive the Police Service Medal (a SAPOL award).[citation needed] Richardson shared his police career with a number of other activities, only resigning from the force upon entering federal parliament in 2004.

While actively involved in police duties, he also played Australian rules football for the West Torrens club, and spent several years coaching local teams. After retiring from football, he moved into sports management. His clients included international cricketer Jason Gillespie and football player Byron Pickett. While a police officer he was charged with six counts of promoting a pyramid marketing scheme. However no evidence was tendered in the case and all charges were dropped.[1]

Richardson was a friend of former state MP Robert Brokenshire and was approached to stand as a Liberal candidate at the 1998 election, but declined for family reasons.[citation needed] In 2003 he was again approached, and this time accepted the offer to nominate for the seat of Kingston. There was some speculation that former Australian Football League player Nigel Smart was also being encouraged to nominate, but this did not eventuate. Richardson won preselection for the Kingston with broad factional support.[citation needed]

Kingston was held by the incumbent Australian Labor Party MP, Assistant Shadow Treasurer David Cox, by a narrow margin. Polling in the lead-up to the 2004 election suggested that Cox was likely hold the seat. Several commentators, including Antony Green, agreed with that conclusion. However there was a swing to Richardson and the Liberal Party at the poll. After eleven days of counting Richardson overtook Cox on postal and absentee votes, eventually winning by 119 votes after preferences.

Richardson is socially conservative. In the abortion debate that occurred in 2005, he argued that abortion is unacceptable in all cases apart from when rape is involved. However he largely concentrated on the issue of road safety, a focus of much of his career with the police force. He pushed for a number of reforms to decrease road deaths, including raising the driving age in South Australia to 17, limiting the engine capacity of cars driven by young drivers, and doubling demerit points for speeding or drink-driving.[citation needed] He also repeatedly advocated the extension of the Noarlunga Centre railway line to Sellicks Beach, but no federal government funding was forthcoming.

Richardson's Labor opponent for the 2007 federal election was psychologist Amanda Rishworth, who had previously stood for the State seat of Fisher. A January 2007 poll in the The Advertiser showed that on two party preferred terms, Rishworth was ahead in Kingston by 56% to 44%.[2] A July poll in the same newspaper reported that Rishworth was ahead 57% to 43%.[3] A mid-campaign October 2007 poll in The Advertiser had the margin at 56% to 44% and Richardson's primary vote at 34%.[4]

In October 2007, Richardson attracted controversy for pulling out of a debate on industrial relations with his Labor rival, arranging for industrial relations minister Joe Hockey to debate his challenger instead.[5][6] Richardson was defeated by Rishworth at the election.

Richardson was preselected to contest the state seat of Mawson at the 2010 election, but he stepped down amid revelations that he faced the criminal charge of impersonating a police officer.[7][8] On 14 January 2010 a pre trial hearing into the matter was heard in the Adelaide Magistrates Court.[9] It was revealed in the pre-trial hearing that the allegation was related to an attempt to dissuade a witness from testifying in an assault case against Richardson's son. The telephone call had been traced to federal Parliament House where Richardson was then serving as an MP. Police did not proceed with a charge of impersonating a police officer as the statute of limitations had expired, and he was eventually acquitted on a charge of attempting to pervert the course of justice.[10]

Richardson then became a real estate agent with the Morphett Vale branch of Elders Real Estate in South Australia.[11] He was elected as a councillor with the City of Onkaparinga, topping the poll for the Mid South Coast Ward in the 2010 council elections.[12]

At the 2014 state election, he contested the seat of Kaurna as an independent[13] and received 9.3% of the vote.[14]

References[edit]

Parliament of Australia
Preceded by
David Cox
Member for Kingston
2004–2007
Succeeded by
Amanda Rishworth