SA Votes 2018: Marshall’s Ministry Revealed

22 March 2018


The Ministry


South Australia’s new Premier Steven Marshall has revealed his new ministry, five days after the Liberal Party claimed victory in the 2018 State Election. The 14-person Cabinet is a reduction from the previous Weatherill Government’s 16-person team, and also marks a cut in the number of portfolio titles by more than half.


Premier Marshall has said that the changes will increase ministerial accountability by clarifying direct lines of responsibility and “end Labor’s organisational chaos”. He also emphasised that the business experience of the new Cabinet reflects his Government’s focus on growing the SA economy.


Premier Marshall, Deputy Premier and Attorney-General Vickie Chapman, and Treasurer Rob Lucas will lead the new Cabinet, continuing in their long-standing roles. Veteran MP Rob Lucas will be the only Cabinet member with previous experience in government, having served as the Treasurer in the last Liberal Government, which ended in 2002.


While the membership of the shadow cabinet has been retained in the transition to government, Premier Marshall has outlined a reshuffle in portfolios, saying that the “tweaks” would “better utilise the skills of each individual”. In a major change from the previous Labor Government, the Transport, Infrastructure, Local Government and Planning responsibilities will fall under one portfolio, to be taken on by relative-newcomer Stephan Knoll. This move pushes former transport spokesman David Pisoni into the new Industry and Skills ministry, and former industry spokesman Corey Wingard becomes the Police, Emergency Services, Correction, Sport and Racing Minister.


In a direct swap, Liberal Leader in the Legislative Council David Ridgway becomes the Minister for Trade, Tourism and Investment, and Tim Whetstone takes on the Primary Industries and Regional Development portfolio. John Gardner retains Education; Michelle Lensink will continue in the Human Services portfolio; Stephan Wade will remain in Health; and David Speirs holds onto Environment and Water. Rachel Sanderson has been sworn in as Child Protection Minister, despite the results in her marginal seat of Adelaide still yet to be declared.


Vincent Tarzia is expected to be rewarded with the Speakership for his decisive victory over Nick Xenophon in Hartley. The Speaker position will be confirmed in the first meeting of the Lower House Liberal MPs, where Mr Tarzia is anticipated to attract overwhelming support.


The Public Service


Premier Marshall has begun reorganising government departments to ensure that each chief executive reports to only one minster. Changes in portfolios and responsibilities among existing senior public servants are expected, in line with the changes to Cabinet.


The changes started yesterday with the dismissal of chief executives at the Departments of Premier of Cabinet; Planning, Transport and Infrastructure; Environment, Water and Natural Resource; and Attorney-General’s. While replacements are sought, Public Sector Employment Commissioner Erma Ranieri is acting chief executive of the Department of Premier and Cabinet.


Premier Marshall has cited his “very different direction from the previous government” in outlining the need for new key public servants. He added that “We didn’t support the previous government’s overt politicisation, where they basically moved away from merit-based assessments on a huge number of very senior appointments. We’ll be making an appointment of the best person for the job.”


The Premier





Steven Marshall is the Premier of South Australia; he was sworn-into the role following the Liberal Party’s victory at the 2018 South Australian Election. Marshall was first elected to the House of Assembly in 2010 as the Member for Norwood, which was later renamed Dunstan. He was re-elected in 2014 and 2018. Marshall has been the Leader of the South Australian Liberal Party since early 2013.


Marshall entered the shadow ministry in 2011, taking responsibility for the portfolios of Environment and Conservation, Sustainability and Climate Change, Industry and Trade, Defence Industries, Small Business, Science and Information Economy.


Marshall became Deputy Leader of the Opposition in an October 2012 leadership spill, replacing Mitch Williams and serving under Opposition Leader Isobel Redmond. In November 2012, Marshall added additional portfolios to his shadow ministerial responsibilities: Health, Substance Abuse, Mental Health and Economic Development. Marshall was elected unopposed to lead the Opposition following Redmond’s resignation as leader in January 2013. At the same time, he refreshed his portfolio responsibilities, taking on the Arts; Aboriginal Affairs and Reconciliation; State Development; and Veterans’ Affairs shadow ministries.  Following the Liberal Party’s loss at the 2014 State Election, Marshall held the Liberal Leadership and became the Shadow Minister in the portfolios of Defence Industries; Aboriginal Affairs and Reconciliation; and Veteran’s Affairs.


He became Premier of South Australia on 19 March 2018 following the Liberal Party’s formation of a majority government after the 2018 State Election. He also has responsibility for Aboriginal affairs and reconciliation; defence and space industries; the arts; veterans affairs; and multicultural affairs.


Dunstan is a marginal seat that covers the inner eastern city fringe suburbs of Adelaide. The seat has been held by both the Labor and Liberal parties, with former Labor Premier Don Dunstan the electorate’s longest-serving member and namesake. At approximately 15 sq km, Dunstan stretches from Kent Town in the west to Glynde in the east, and Dulwich in the South to Marden in the north. Many small businesses are located within the electorate, with the Norwood Parade a popular shopping and restaurant strip.


Personal information and interests 


Marshall completed high school at Immanuel College before studying business at the South Australian Institute of Technology (now the University of South Australia). He also attained an MBA from Durham University in the UK. Previous to his parliamentary career, Marshall worked as General Manager of his family business, Marshall Furniture. He was also General Manager at SA wool exporter Michell Pty Ltd.


In 2009 Steven was nominated the SA Great South Australian of the Year (Environment Category) for his services to the environmental sector. He also received a Centenary of Federation Medal for Services to the Disability Sector in 2001, after serving on the SCOSA Board for five years. Marshall is on the Board of Reconciliation SA and is a White Ribbon Ambassador.


Marshall lives in the Dunstan electorate and has two teenage children, Charlie and Georgie.


Back to articles