Troy Bell (politician)

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Troy Bell
MP
Member of the South Australian House of Assembly
for Mount Gambier
Assumed office
15 March 2014
Preceded by Don Pegler
Personal details
Born Troy Stephen Bell
(1973-09-05) 5 September 1973 (age 44)
Mount Gambier, South Australia, Australia
Nationality Australian
Political party Liberal Party of Australia (SA) (2014–2017)
Independent (2017–present)
Profession Teacher and Education Facilitator

Troy Stephen Bell (born 5 September 1973) is an Australian politician representing the South Australian House of Assembly seat of Mount Gambier. Representing the South Australian Division of the Liberal Party of Australia at the 2014 state election,[1] he became an independent in 2017, after being accused of misappropriating more than $2 million of public money.[2]

Early life[edit]

Bell was born in Mount Gambier where he attended the Suttontown and Mulga Street Primary School and completed his secondary education at Grant High School.[citation needed] Bell then went on to complete a Bachelor of Education at the University of South Australia.[citation needed]

Bell held many positions within the Education Sector, particularly in rural areas of South Australia.[3]

Bell began his teaching career at the Port Augusta Secondary School. Bell then decided to move to Mount Gambier where he established the Independent Learning Centre at Mount Gambier in 2007.[3]

Political career[edit]

Bell was elected to the South Australian House of Assembly seat of Mount Gambier at the 2014 state election for a four-year term.[4]

In January 2016 Bell was appointed the Chair of the Liberal Party's Regional Affiairs Committee.[5]

Bell quit the Liberals and became an independent on 17 August 2017 after being charged the week prior with 20 counts of theft and six counts of dishonestly dealing with documents. Resulting from the state ICAC, it is alleged that between 2009 and 2013, Bell dishonestly dealt with more than $2million of public money, and that he used documents known to be false, with the intention of claiming a benefit for himself. He released a statement claiming he is "innocent of these allegations of theft and dishonesty and will defend them in court". He intends to remain in parliament. Ahead of the 2018 election, the Liberals re-opened preselection in his seat[2] and instead endorsed Craig Marsh as the Liberal candidate for Mount Gambier. Bell announced he would re-contest Mount Gambier at the 2018 election as an independent candidate.[6][7]

A ReachTEL poll of 655 voters in the electorate was conducted on 13 February 2018, a month before the election, which unexpectedly found Bell who is running as an independent candidate would easily retain his seat after preferences, strongly leading the primary vote on 36 percent. The Liberals were on 28.5 percent (−23.3), Labor was on 13 percent (+2.1), new SA Best was on 11 percent, others were collectively on 6 percent, with the remaining 5 percent undecided.[8] On 17 March 2018 Troy Bell was elected as an independent member for Mount Gambier.[citation needed]

Personal life[edit]

Bell and his wife Michaela have 3 children.[citation needed] They are actively involved in many community and sporting organisations. These include the Rotary Club of Mount Gambier, South Gambier Football Club and the Kongorong Football Club.

References[edit]

External links[edit]

South Australian House of Assembly
Preceded by
Don Pegler
Member for Mount Gambier
2014–present
Incumbent