Jay Weatherill

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The Honourable
Jay Weatherill
Jay Weatherill.jpg
45th Premier of South Australia
Elections: 2014
Assumed office
21 October 2011
Monarch Elizabeth II
Deputy John Rau
Preceded by Mike Rann
Treasurer of South Australia
In office
21 January 2012 – 26 March 2014
Preceded by Jack Snelling
Succeeded by Tom Koutsantonis
Member of the South Australian Parliament
for Cheltenham
Assumed office
9 February 2002
Preceded by Murray De Laine
Personal details
Born Jay Wilson Weatherill
(1964-04-03) 3 April 1964 (age 50)[1]
Adelaide, South Australia
Nationality Australian
Political party Australian Labor Party
Spouse(s) Melissa
Relations George Weatherill (father)
Profession Lawyer

Jay Wilson Weatherill (born 3 April 1964) is an Australian politician who is the 45th and current Premier of South Australia, serving since 21 October 2011. Weatherill has represented the South Australian House of Assembly seat of Cheltenham as a member of the Australian Labor Party since the 2002 election.

Early life[edit]

Born in the western suburbs of Adelaide, he is the son of English-born former South Australian politician George Weatherill.[2][3]

Weatherill attended Henley High School. He later studied at the University of Adelaide, graduating with degrees in law and economics.[4][5] During his university days, he had a relationship with current federal senator and former cabinet minister Penny Wong.[5]

Between 1987 and 1990, he worked for the Australian Workers' Union.[6]

In the early 1990s, he worked at the law firm Duncan Basheer with Patrick Conlon and Isobel Redmond.[7] With fellow Adelaide lawyer Stephen Lieschke, he established industrial law firm Lieschke & Weatherill in 1995 where he practised law until his election to Parliament in 2002.[4]

Political career[edit]

Prior to the 2002 state election he won Labor preselection for the electorate of Cheltenham, defeating incumbent Labor MP Murray De Laine.[8] Weatherill, from the Labor Left faction,[9] has held positions in the Labor government ministry since his election in 2002.

Following the 2010 state election, Weatherill, at the time the environment minister in Mike Rann's government, unsuccessfully challenged Kevin Foley for the position of deputy premier.[10] Weatherill said the election day backlash against Labor made it evident that a fresh approach was needed; however he lost along factional lines.[11]


In late July 2011, senior figures within Labor had indicated to Rann that the left and right factions had agreed to replace Rann with Weatherill as party leader.[12][13][14][15][16] In early August 2011 Weatherill's attempts at contacting Rann on his trade mission to India had been met with silence leaving the party leadership in limbo until Rann's return to Australia.[17] Weatherill refused to rule out challenging Rann in a caucus ballot if he did not stand down on his return to Australia.[17] Weatherill was sworn in as the 45th Premier of South Australia on 21 October 2011.[18]

During his first term as premier, Weatherill introduced a conscience vote for a Greens-initiated gay marriage bill in August 2012, following the announcement of Tasmania's planned changes.[19] On 21 January 2013, Weatherill assumed the additional portfolios of treasury, arts and public-sector management, following a cabinet reshuffle triggered by the resignation of two members of his ministry.[20]

Following the 2014 state election, Weatherill Labor formed a minority government, the first since 2002.[21] During his second term as premier, Weatherill joined with Liberal premiers and stated that he would lead a national campaign against the federal Abbott Government's 2014 federal budget.[22] Hieu Van Le was announced on 26 June 2014 as the next Governor of South Australia to replace Kevin Scarce.[23] The July to September 2014 Newspoll saw Labor leading the Liberals on the two-party-preferred vote for the first time since 2009.[24] Following the 2014 Fisher by-election, Labor went from minority to majority government.[25]

Personal life[edit]

Weatherill is a supporter of the Port Adelaide Football Club.[26]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ McGuire, Michael (8 April 2013). "Forty-nine things the Premier could put on his birthday wish-list". AdelaideNow. 
  2. ^ "Cheltenham". The Poll Bludger. Retrieved 10 April 2012. 
  3. ^ Anderson, Lainie (6 August 2011). "Jay Weatherill has never shirked a challenge". The Advertiser (Australia). Retrieved 17 August 2011. 
  4. ^ a b "Profile: Hon Jay Weatherill". Parliament of South Australia. Retrieved 31 July 2011. 
  5. ^ a b Crabb, Annabel (8 December 2007). "Freakish powers of a formidable operator". Sydney Morning Herald. 
  6. ^ Mayne, Stephen (25 January 2006). "Tracking the unionists in parliament". Crikey. Retrieved 28 April 2014. 
  7. ^ Kelton, Greg (9 July 2009). "Isobel Redmond wins South Australia Liberals leadership". The Advertiser. 
  8. ^ Parker, Lachlan (15 August 2001). "Costly Labor factions in South Australia". ABC PM. 
  9. ^ "Hartley". The Poll Bludger. Retrieved 10 April 2012. 
  10. ^ Kelton, Greg (21 March 2010). "Jay Weatherill to challenge Kevin Foley for job of Deputy Premier of South Australia". Adelaide Now. 
  11. ^ "Foley survives challenge to deputy's spot". ABC News (Australia). 23 March 2010. 
  12. ^ Hunt, Nigel (30 July 2011). "Premier Mike Rann told to stand down". Sunday Mail (SA). 
  13. ^ "SA premier facing a leadership coup". AAP. 30 July 2011. 
  14. ^ Owen, Michael (30 July 2011). "Mike Rann handed deadline to stand down as South Australian premier". The Australian. 
  15. ^ Johnson, Angelique (30 July 2011). "Rann to be ousted in leadership coup". ABC News. 
  16. ^ Anderson, Geoff (2 August 2011). "Factional coup may prove problematic for SA's new premier". Sydney Morning Herald. 
  17. ^ a b Martin, Sarah (5 August 2011). "Jay Weatherill may take on South Australia Premier Mike Rann". The Advertiser. 
  18. ^ "New faces as Weatherill takes reins in SA". ABC News. 24 October 2011. 
  19. ^ Crouch, Brad (14 August 2012). "Weatherill staunches Labor opposition to back gay marriage Bill". AdelaideNow. 
  20. ^ Martin, Sarah (21 January 2013). "SA Premier Jay Weatherill cites jobs growth as he assumes treasury portfolio". The Australian. Retrieved 21 January 2013. 
  21. ^ "Re-elected SA Labor Government gets down to business". ABC News (Australia). 27 March 2014. 
  22. ^ "Weatherill to lead national revolt". The Sydney Morning Herald. 14 May 2014. 
  23. ^ "Hieu Van Le to be next SA Governor, from war-torn Vietnam to vice-regal post". ABC News (Australia). 26 June 2014. 
  24. ^ "Newspoll: 51–49 to Labor in South Australia". Crikey. 29 September 2014. 
  25. ^ "Fisher by-election win for Labor gives Weatherill Government majority in SA". ABC News (Australia). 13 December 2014. 
  26. ^ "SA Premier backs troubled Power". The Daily Telegraph (Australia). 6 August 2012. 

External links[edit]

South Australian House of Assembly
New district Member for Cheltenham
Party political offices
Preceded by
Mike Rann
Leader of the Labor Party in South Australia
Political offices
Preceded by
Mike Rann
Premier of South Australia
Political offices
Preceded by
Jack Snelling
Treasurer of South Australia
Succeeded by
Tom Koutsantonis