Prominent businessman Theo Maras has endorsed former Director of Public Prosecutions Stephen Pallaras’ bid for an Upper House seat, shortly after declaring his support for the Labor Party.
Prominent businessman Theo Maras has backed former Director of Public Prosecutions Stephen Pallaras, who is running for an Upper House seat.
Mr Maras posted a video to Facebook, encouraging people to consider voting for Mr Pallaras, who launched his party Real Change SA in September last year running on a platform of improving domestic violence services, care and housing of the elderly and the state of the health system, as well as areas of law reform.
Mr Maras last month threw his support behind opposition leader Peter Malinauskas, abandoning his support for Premier Steven Marshall, saying the government failed to plan adequately for how to protect the economy once borders were opened in November last year.
Mr Maras, who has been a Liberal Party donor in the past, endorsed Mr Malinauskas on social media, saying he represented “leadership that looks to the future and a team that will work together for the benefit of all South Australians’.
Mr Maras said that Mr Pallaras was “a family man, a man of integrity, and he is a man who believes in social justice’’.
“Stephen Pallaras has been very, very highly recommended by the Australian Government as a … justice of the High Court,.
“I think it is very rare to get a very straight-talking, honest person who does not give the political jargon that we normally get, and a person who will create action rather than the verbiage that you get from politicians.
“I warmly ask that you consider supporting Steve in his endeavours to represent us in the Upper House of the South Australian Parliament.’’
Mr Pallaras served as the state’s top prosecutor from 2005 until 2012, after being appointed a Queen’s Counsel in 2000.
Mr Maras, who owns a number of properties in Adelaide’s East End and has seen first-hand the impact of capacity restrictions and isolation measures on hospitality businesses, told The Advertiser last month he’d decided to speak out about the government’s recent handling of the pandemic “because the state is teetering on the edge of the cliff’.
“We needed a plan before we opened the gates, we needed contingencies in case of the worst case scenario,” he said. “We needed strength, leadership and conviction. That did not happen from our Premier or our government.”
Asked why he had endorsed Labor, Mr Maras said he decided it was “time to give somebody else the help that I have given the Liberals.”
“I believe we want leaders and teams that work with their leaders to be able to have a formidable government moving forward,” he said. “It’s time we all spoke out as South Australians. We have to say enough is enough. I am encouraging others to think about what I’m saying.”
Mr Pallaras said he had great respect for Mr Maras and was honored to receive his endorsement.