Jay Weatherill was a great Premier and a fine Labor leader.
In the six and a half years he led the Government, Jay was one of the most transformative Premiers in the history of South Australia, guiding our state through a period of significant economic transition.
As Premier he successful managed the exit of automotive manufacturers, goaded to leave Australia by the Federal Liberal Government, by investing in infrastructure, driving growth in advanced manufacturing and revitalising our capital city – with Adelaide Oval, the riverbank precinct and the health and medical research precinct transforming Adelaide.
Jay also championed social reform by:
- Delivering once in a generation reforms for LGBTIQ South Australians – taking South Australia from a laggard to once again leading Australia in respect to LGBTIQ rights;
- Championing gender equality – achieving 50% female representation on Government boards, helping women become more financially and economically secure, and supporting women’s sport; and
- Advancing reconciliation with Aboriginal South Australians – commencing treaty discussions with Aboriginal nations.
Jay’s Government led the nation by transitioning our electricity supply network to deliver greater self-sufficiency, more generating capacity and more competition, increasing reliability and bringing down prices.
He took action when others dithered, building the battery, intervening in the market and investing in gas fired power. All South Australians are benefiting from his far-sighted leadership.
Jay always stood up for South Australia and always fought for our interests.
Whether it was fighting for the River Murray, fighting to save automotive jobs, fighting to ensure a local submarine build, fighting against the Federal Liberals’ cuts to health and education funding, or fighting Josh Frydenberg to protect our GST share – Jay always put the interests of South Australians first.
Jay’s vision and leadership saw him, against the odds, lead Labor to a 4th term of government in 2014.
In 2018 Jay secured a swing to his Government and only narrowly lost the election after a redistribution which left him starting the campaign seven seats seven behind the Liberals, itself a historic achievement.
I wish Jay and Mel and their children all the best for this next stage in their lives.
Jay’s legacy is a more confident, progressive and secure South Australia, and I thank him for his service to our state, his leadership, and his wise counsel and friendship.
Authorised by Noah Carroll, ALP, Canberra.