|Australian High Commissioner to the United Kingdom|
1 February 2013 – 27 June 2014
|Preceded by||John Dauth|
|Succeeded by||Alexander Downer|
|44th Premier of South Australia
Elections: 1997, 2002, 2006, 2010
5 March 2002 – 21 October 2011
|Preceded by||Rob Kerin|
|Succeeded by||Jay Weatherill|
|37th Leader of the Opposition (SA)|
5 November 1994 – 5 March 2002
|Preceded by||Lynn Arnold|
|Succeeded by||Rob Kerin|
|Member of the South Australian Parliament
11 December 1993 – 13 January 2012
|Preceded by||Lynn Arnold|
|Succeeded by||Zoe Bettison|
|Member of the South Australian Parliament
7 December 1985 – 10 December 1993
|Preceded by||New district|
|Succeeded by||District abolished|
|Born||Michael David Rann
5 January 1953
Sidcup, United Kingdom
|Political party||Australian Labor Party|
|Spouse(s)||Jenny Russell (divorced)
Sasha Carruozzo (2006–present)
|Alma mater||University of Auckland|
Michael David Rann CNZM (born 5 January 1953) was the Australian High Commissioner to the United Kingdom from 2013 to 2014 and a former Australian politician who served as the 44th Premier of South Australia. He led the South Australian branch of the Australian Labor Party (ALP) to minority government at the 2002 election, before attaining a landslide win at the 2006 election. Rann Labor was elected to a third four-year term at the 2010 election, retaining majority government despite a swing. He resigned from the premiership in October 2011 to be succeeded by Jay Weatherill.
He is the third-longest serving Premier of South Australia behind Sir Thomas Playford and John Bannon. He also served a record 17 years as South Australian Labor parliamentary leader from September 1994 until October 2011. He was a South Australian MP in the House of Assembly from the 1985 election until his parliamentary resignation on 13 January 2012.
Rann's post-parliament appointments include professor at the South Australian Flinders University, a visiting fellowship at the University of Auckland in New Zealand, and Australian High Commissioner to the United Kingdom.
Rann was born in Sidcup, England, to working class parents. His father had served in World War II at El Alamein, while his mother was employed in an armaments factory. Most of Rann's childhood was spent with his father, an electrician in South London. In 1962, when he was nine, his family emigrated from Blackfen to Mangakino, a small town north of Taupo on the Waikato River. His family then moved to Matamata, then to Birkenhead on Auckland's North Shore.
He completed a Bachelor and a Master of Arts in political science at the University of Auckland. He was Vice President of the New Zealand Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament and editor of the student newspaper Craccum. As a member of Princes Street Labour, he also spent considerable time working on New Zealand Labour Party campaigns including that of Mike Moore. After university, Rann was a political journalist for the New Zealand Broadcasting Corporation. Haydon Manning has stated that "it was reported that" Rann "struggled with being an objective reporter".
Rann visited his brother Chris in Adelaide during 1977. Shortly afterwards he moved to that city, to carry out a position with then Premier Don Dunstan's Industrial Democracy Unit. He subsequently worked as Dunstan’s press secretary, speech writer and adviser, and went on to serve Labor premiers Des Corcoran and John Bannon after Dunstan's retirement from politics. Manning has stated that one commentator reported that Rann was "frankly inspired by Dunstan's idealism" as opposed to "Bannon's cool electoral pragmatism". Rann sometimes talked during this period of his ambitions to one day become Premier himself. Meanwhile Rann wrote speeches on, and assisted in policy development for, civil liberties, Aboriginal land rights, gay and women's rights, and opposition to uranium mining. Revealing a vein of idealism, his early predilection was left of centre.
Rann was elected to Parliament as the Member for the safe Labor seat of Briggs in north Adelaide at the 1985 election. After the 1989 election, he entered the ministry, becoming Minister for Employment and Further Education, Minister of Youth Affairs, Minister of Aboriginal Affairs and Minister assisting in Ethnic Affairs. After Bannon resigned as premier over the State Bank collapse, Rann became Minister for Business and Regional Development, Minister of Tourism and Minister of State Services in the Lynn Arnold cabinet from September 1992.
When Briggs was abolished in an electoral redistribution, Rann was elected to the equally safe seat of Ramsay at the 1993 election. Labor lost government in a landslide due to the State Bank collapse, falling to only 10 seats. Following the defeat, Rann was named Deputy Leader of the Opposition; however, Arnold resigned as leader in September 1994. Rann became leader with the support of Labor Right powerbroker Don Farrell, who promised Rann two terms in the position. In the 1997 election, Rann regained much of what Labor had lost in its severe defeat of four years earlier. Labor achieved a swing of 9.5 percent and 11 seats, reducing the John Olsen-led Liberal Party to minority status.
Rann remained Leader of the Opposition until the 2002 election. The Labor opposition took three seats from the Liberal-led minority government, now headed by Rob Kerin. This left Labor one short of a majority while the Liberals were four seats short. Despite this, it initially appeared Kerin would remain in office with the support of four independents. However, one of those independents, former Liberal Peter Lewis, agreed to support Labor in return for a constitutional convention and being named Speaker. Lewis' decision was controversial, prompting Kerin to announce that since the Liberals had won a bare majority of the two-party vote, he would stay in office until Labor demonstrated it had support on the floor of the House of Assembly. Three weeks of deadlock ended when the new legislature met for the first time. With Lewis presiding, Kerin proposed a motion of confidence in his government. The motion failed, and Kerin's government immediately resigned. Rann then advised Governor Marjorie Jackson-Nelson that he could form a government, and was duly sworn in the next day.
Rann later secured the support of conservative independent Rory McEwen and the Nationals' Karlene Maywald by adding them to his cabinet. He also agreed to back Liberal-turned-independent Bob Such as Speaker after Lewis retired. South Australia's debt achieved a AAA rating under the Rann Labor government, prompting Business SA chief executive Peter Vaughan to praise Labor's economic management.
Rann was comfortably reelected in 2006, taking 28 seats to the Liberals' 15—to date, Labor's largest majority since the abolition of the Playmander. Labor also garnered a two-party vote of 56.8 percent, a significant comeback from its low of 39 percent in 1993 under Arnold. Rann personally likened his government to Dunstan's, stating "I'm a totally different person to Don Dunstan, but in the 70s for different reasons South Australia stood head and shoulders above the crowd. We stood out, we were leaders. Interestingly, the federal Government is setting up a social inclusion unit based on ours. Again it's about us not only making a difference locally, but being a kind of model for others, which is what Dunstan used to say he wanted us to be ... a laboratory and a leader for the future." Rann says he expected other reforms to be based upon those enacted under his government, citing the state's strategic plan, a 10-year framework for the development of government and business. "It's a plan for the state, not just promises at each election. A lot of colleagues interstate thought I'd gone mad when we named targets. Well we didn't want to set targets we could easily pass and then pat ourselves on the back for, what's the point of that?" A total of 79 economic and social targets were set, and in 2010 Rann commented "with most of its targets achieved, on track or within reach". However, the state's Integrated Design Commissioner, Tim Horton, said in 2011: "Its targets are really great, but I don't think any of us have signed on to why those targets exist or what we can do to further them. It's a top-down approach. I worry the document exists in the minds of agencies but not in the minds of people."
Rann's achievements included raising job numbers and lowering unemployment, increasing new project funding, increasing expenditure on schools, university, health and mental illness, halving rough-sleeping in the streets, increasing Aboriginal employment, making the state home to the largest amount of wind power in Australia, developing hot rock power, and utilising solar power for the public service. He subsidised theatres, added Guggenheim galleries, introduced the Festival of Ideas and Adelaide's Resident Thinker program, and encouraged the idea that film festivals fund movies. He introduced WOMAD, the Adelaide Fringe Festival and the Adelaide Festival of Arts, with the closeness of events on the calendar earning the third month of the year the title of "Mad March".[dubious ]
In addition to Premier, Rann also served as the Minister for Economic Development, Minister for Social Inclusion, Minister for the Arts, and Minister for Sustainability and Climate Change. Rann was appointed chairman of a new Australian Federation Council in July 2006, a council which was created to improve state-federal ties. Rann also ran for national presidency in the National Executive in August 2006, and made senior-vice presidency with 27 percent of the vote. As such, he also served a rotation of the Presidency of the ALP National Executive in 2008.
Popularity in earlier years
During Rann's first and second terms, Rann was often the most popular Premier in the country, with his approach to government generally moderate and crisis-free. Newspoll early in 2007 saw Rann peak at a historic 64 per cent as Preferred Premier, and 61 per cent on the two-party-preferred vote. University of Adelaide Professor of Politics Clem Macintyre said that after the State Bank collapse, Rann had to re-establish Labor's credentials as an economic manager as a matter of urgency, and "in that sense Rann had a whole lot of priorities to concentrate on that Dunstan didn't even think about", with a legacy built on economic achievements, achieving the triple-A credit rating, as well as its capacity to deliver infrastructure projects.
Fourth quarter 2007 polling saw a reduction in the strong support for Rann's Labor government since the previous election, on 54 percent of the two-party-preferred vote, a fall from the previous poll of five percent. Rann's Preferred Premier rating was at 50 percent compared to 25 percent for then Liberal leader Martin Hamilton-Smith. Third quarter 2008 polling saw a more pronounced drop in the primary vote, down three to 38 percent, with the Liberal vote up five to 40 percent, breaking to a two-party vote of 50–50 after preferences – the Preferred Premier figure recorded a six-point drop to 48 percent for Rann and up three to 30 percent for Hamilton-Smith. Some commentators put the poll slump down to "labour movement ructions" over the underfunded WorkCover liability (see 2008 Parnell–Bressington filibuster), consolidation of rural health services, and the continued degradation of the River Murray.
Newspoll saw Labor back in a winning position on 54 to 46 in late 2008, and then 56 to 44 in early 2009 along with increases in the Preferred Premier rating. Polling taken from The Sunday Mail during the 50-50 polling suggested that whilst there had been large swings away from the government in country areas, polling held relatively firm at 2006 election levels in the metropolitan areas.
The 2009 Frome by-election saw Labor pick up a small increase in the two-party-preferred vote. This, coupled with the "dodgy documents affair", also known as "dodgy-gate", saw Hamilton-Smith step down from the Liberal leadership, to be replaced by Isobel Redmond.
On 22 November 2009, Seven Network's Sunday Night current affairs program aired a paid television interview alleging that Rann had an affair with a Parliament House waitress between March 2004 and October 2005. She blamed the affair for the break-up of her marriage, stating "I lost my family over this", although she later revealed that she wanted her estranged husband back.
The waitress said her husband became aware of her relationship with Rann in 2005, and that her husband wrote a series of letters to the Premier. At a Labor Party fundraiser at the National Wine Centre on 1 October 2009, a man later identified as her husband was observed to have hit Rann in the face several times with a rolled-up magazine. An aggravated assault charge was laid over the matter. The charge was subsequently downgraded to basic assault. The accused plead guilty to the downgraded charge, and on 4 March 2010 he was given a two-year good behaviour bond, with no conviction recorded.
Rann commented before the interview went to air that claims of a sexual relationship were "wildly sensational", and that once he had seen the program, he would respond with a "brief statement". He also expressed frustration that he had been unable to "clear the air" because matters were before a court.
On 23 November 2009, the day after the allegations were aired, Rann called a press conference where he denied the allegations made in the interview, stating that they were malicious lies aimed at damaging him politically and personally. He said, "I have not had sex with her", that he had "never ever hid the fact that I had a friendship with" the lady "over many, many years, and that friendship was one that was based on confidences and discussions, it was funny, it was flirty, just like any other friendship would be". Rann also responded that "Channel Seven's program was, in my view, outrageous."
In February 2010, the Seven Network paid an out-of-court settlement to Rann and issued an apology for suggesting the affair had an effect on Rann discharging his duties as Premier of South Australia. The following month, during a televised debate as part of the state election campaign, Rann also apologised for any stress that the friendship may have caused.
Polling was conducted by The Advertiser in December 2009 with answers to questions revealing little voter interest in the allegations. Others have suggested that it was the turning point for Rann's decline, with the issue causing indirect damage over a sustained period of time.
The Rann Labor government won a third four-year term at the 2010 state election with 26 of 47 seats though with only 48.4 percent of the two-party preferred vote. It was the first Rann Labor election campaign that took to YouTube and social networking. Assuming Labor holds government until the 2014 state election, with four-year terms, it will be the longest-serving period of South Australian Labor government in history. Rann has also served as Labor leader since 1994, a record period as Labor leader.
New and continued projects for Rann Labor's third term were claimed to be the biggest infrastructure spend in the state's history, which included electrification of Adelaide's train lines, expansion of the Adelaide tram line, construction of the new Royal Adelaide Hospital, the Adelaide Oval redevelopment, expansion of the Adelaide Convention Centre, redesigning the River Torrens Riverbank precinct, expanding mining and defence industries, the Port Stanvac Desalination Plant, and various major road works including the duplication of the Southern Expressway.
Public sector budget cuts due to decreased tax receipts stemming from the global financial crisis introduced after the 2010 election caused protest amongst unionists and other traditional Labor voters. Rann defeated a motion against his leadership at the yearly Labor convention in 2010.
In early 2011 Rann reshuffled his cabinet after Deputy Premier and Treasurer Kevin Foley resigned from both positions but remained in the cabinet. Attorney-General John Rau became Deputy Premier and Jack Snelling became Treasurer.
The first Newspoll of the third term of the Rann Labor government in March 2011 showed Rann's personal satisfaction-dissatisfaction rating at a new low of 30–59 and a two-party vote of 44–56, a swing against Labor of 4.4 percent since the 2010 election. Labor's primary vote dived to 29 percent, down 8.5 percent, the Liberal vote remained at 42 percent, whilst the Greens surged to 14 percent, an increase of 6 percent, with "other" slightly higher. The subsequent Newspoll saw the two-party vote narrow to 46–54, a swing against Labor of just 2.4 percent, however there was no statistical change in Rann's personal satisfaction-dissatisfaction ratings.
In late July 2011, the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) and The Advertiser reported that senior figures within Labor had indicated to Rann that the left and right factions had formally decided to replace Rann with Education Minister Jay Weatherill as party leader. A day later, Rann confirmed he would stand down and undergo a party leadership transition to Weatherill, with the handover occurring in October 2011.
In the last weeks of Rann's premiership, he signed off on a record $30 billion Olympic Dam mining deal with BHP Billiton, opened the new South Australian Police headquarters, and oversaw the commencement of operation of the Port Stanvac Desalination Plant. He voiced his support for a further Tram expansion. Rann also voiced his support for same-sex marriage, prompting Liberal leader Isobel Redmond to also support same-sex marriage.
His final public engagement as Premier was the opening of the South Australian Film Corporation's Adelaide Studios. The gala event was interrupted by two protests. The first involved a group of activists opposed to uranium mining, who entered the event wearing faux radiation protection suits and carrying a large banner. His public address was later interrupted by a man offering him a cuttlefish piñata and a copy of The Advertiser to hit it with. Both protests were responses to the possible environmental impacts of BHP Billiton's controversial Olympic Dam mine expansion project.
Rann formally resigned from the premiership on 21 October 2011. Weatherill was elected unopposed as his successor.
Rann resigned from parliament on 13 January 2012 which created an 11 February 2012 Ramsay by-election. Zoe Bettison easily retained the seat for Labor with only a slight swing against her, and Ramsay remained the safest of Labor's lower house seats.
Rann's post-parliamentary appointments include the new Urban Policy Forum created by the federal government, as a professor in the School of Social and Policy Studies with Flinders University and as a visiting fellowship in political studies at the University of Auckland. He has also joined the International Leadership Council of The Climate Group, and the International Advisory Board of the Ecological Sequestration Trust. Rann was also appointed Adjunct Professor in Public Policy at Carnegie Mellon University, Fellow for Democracy and Development at the Washington DC-based Center for National Policy and as Member of the Council of the Royal Institution Australia.
Rann was announced on 23 August 2012 as the next Australian High Commissioner to the United Kingdom. Rann is also Permanent Representative to the United Nations International Maritime Organisation, Commonwealth War Graves Commissioner and Trustee of the Imperial War Museum.
Rann was married to Jenny Russell until the late 1990s and had two children with her, David and Eleanor. On 15 July 2006, he married his second wife, actress Sasha Carruozzo. It was revealed in December 2011 that she is undergoing treatment for breast cancer.
Global Champion of Climate Change by Indian environmental NGO Exnora International in 2010.
- 2009: Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit (CNZM) for services to New Zealand – Australian relations, in the New Year's Day Honours of 2009.
- 2008: Commander's Cross of the Order of Merit of the Republic of Poland
- Manning, Haydon (2005). "Mike Rann: A fortunate 'king of spin'". In Williams, Paul, Bob Faulkner and John Wanna. Yes, Premier: Labor Leadership in Australia's States and Territories. University of New South Wales Press. pp. 197–224. ISBN 978-0-86840-840-8.
- Greg Ansley (4 December 2004). "Cosying up to the Kiwis". New Zealand Herald. Retrieved 13 February 2010.
- Barker, Ann: Premier crowned in Sth Australia, The 7.30 Report (ABC), 5 March 2002.
- Economic climate has Rann in the sun, The Adelaide Review, 23 December 2004. Retrieved on 3 February 2007.
- RANN SLAM: The Advertiser 18 March 2006[dead link]
- Leader of the bandwagon, The Australian, 12/1/2008.
- South Australia’s Strategic Plan Summary of Targets: SA Government
- SA on track with strategic plan: Rann, SMH 28 July 2010
- Citizens in dark on state plan for South Australia's strategic future: The Advertiser 24 March 2011
- In the end, Rann the rabbit just couldn't outrun them: ABC 2 August 2011
- Mike Rann, ALP website. Retrieved 6 March 2008.
- 1001 Australians You Should Know, Google Books
- Rann, a premier for his time: NineMSN 1 August 2011
- Rann's poll streak halts, The Australian, 28 December 2007.
- Why Rann is feeling unpopular, The Advertiser, 31 December 2007.
- Rann's 'winter' puts South Australian Liberals back in the picture, The Australian, 24 September 2008.
- When panic starts to build, The Independent Weekly, 1 October 2008.[dead link]
- Poll boost for Rann in key seats, The Sunday Mail, 31 October 2008.
- "We had sex on Premier's desk: waitress". ABC Online. 22 November 2009. Retrieved 22 November 2009.
- Tory Shepherd, Gold Coast (29 November 2009). "Michelle Chantelois reveals she wants her hubby back: The Advertiser 29/11/2009". News.com.au. Retrieved 11 February 2011.
- "Rann attack: Govt 'business as normal'". ABC Online. 5 October 2009. Retrieved 22 November 2009.
- "SA Premier Mike Rann Wine Centre assault charge downgraded'". Adelaide Now. 2 December 2009. Retrieved 2 February 2010.
- Owen, Michael (5 March 2010). "No conviction for man who 'lost it' to hit Rann". The Australian. Retrieved 5 March 2010.
- Barmaid says she had affair with Premier Mike Rann, news.com.au, 21 November 2009. Retrieved 21 November 2009.
- David Nason and Pia Akerman (2009) Former Parliament House barmaid tells of affair with Premier Rann, The Australian, 21 November 2009. Retrieved 21 November 2009.
- "Waitress to detail Rann 'affair'". ABC Online. 22 November 2009. Retrieved 22 November 2009.
- Steve Larkin (2009) Rann denies having sex with ex-waitress, AAP, 23 November 2009. Retrieved 23 November 2009.
- Kate Kyriacou, Greg Kelton, Ben Hyde (14 February 2010). "Bombshell as Seven apologises to Rann over Chantelois saga: The Advertiser 14 February 2010". Adelaidenow.com.au. Retrieved 11 February 2011.
- AAP (4 March 2010). "Rann apologises for Chantelois 'friendship'". The Sydney Morning Herald (Sydney, Australia). Retrieved 5 March 2010.
- Greg Kelton (11 December 2009). "Labor poll boost despite sex allegations: The Advertiser 11 December 2009". News.com.au. Retrieved 11 February 2011.
- Comment: Greg Kelton (11 December 2009). "Worries melt for nervous Labor: The Advertiser 11 December 2009". News.com.au. Retrieved 11 February 2011.
- Peccadillo caused Rann's plunge in popularity, says old enemy: The Australian 5 August 2011
- Sex, power & politics: SMH 2 August 2011
- Kelton, Greg (15 February 2010). "Rann targets YouTube votes". The Advertiser. p. 4. Retrieved 14 March 2010.
- More than $10 billion being spent on infrastructure: AEOL
- "Rann, Foley defy calls for their scalps: ABC 28 November 2010". Abc.net.au. 28 November 2010. Retrieved 11 February 2011.
- "Rann: voters will reward tough love – The Advertiser 7 January 2011". Adelaidenow.com.au. 7 January 2011. Retrieved 11 February 2011.
- "Rann stays as SA gets new deputy premier". News.smh.com.au. 7 February 2011. Retrieved 11 February 2011.
- Rann says he will hand over to Jay Weatherill: The Advertiser 31 July 2011
- Hunt, Nigel (30 July 2011). "Premier Mike Rann told to stand down". AdelaideNow. Retrieved 30 July 2011.
- "Rann to be ousted in leadership coup". ABC News. 30 July 2011. Retrieved 30 July 2011.
- Mike Rann handed deadline to stand down as South Australian premier: The Australian 30 July 2011
- SA premier facing a leadership coup: SMH 30 July 2011
- Historic indenture agreement signed for $30 billion Olympic Dam mine expansion by BHP Billiton and State Government: AdelaideNow 13 October 2011
- Rann, Foley leave police legacy: AdelaideNow 9 October 2011
- Water starts to flow from desal plant: AdelaideNow 15 October 2011
- Adelaide City Council reveals $60m plan to save Rundle Mall: AdelaideNow 4 October 2011
- SA Libs back Rann's call for gay marriage: West Australian 10 October 2011
- Conflict as MPs talk gay unions: AdelaideNow 13 October 2011
- The Australian "Protesters crash Mike Rann farewell party" (2011-10-20)
- "SA gets new premier and cabinet shuffle". ABC News Online (ABC). 21 October 2011.
- Labor by-elections candidates confirmed: AdelaideNow 6 November 2011
- Mike Rann to quit politics this week: NineMSN 9 January 2012
- Rann says goodbye to parliament: SMH 13 January 2012
- Former premier Mike Rann to take up series of academic appointments: AdelaideNow 27 January 2012
- Mike Rann appointed professor at Flinders University: The Australian 27 February 2012
- Former premier Mike Rann trades hats and gets real on politics: The Australian 28 January 2012
- "Gillard government gifts top UK job to Rann". The Sydney Morning Herald. 17 August 2012.
- "Rann's UK job backed". The Advertiser (Adelaide). 17 August 2012.
- "Rann confirmed as UK high commissioner". ABC News (Australia). 23 August 2012.
- Rann's wife battles breast cancer: AdelaideNow 10 December 2011
- South Australia Premier Mike Rann honoured, The Hindu, 8 September 2010.
- Premier Mike Rann receives New Zealand honour, The Australian, 31 December 2008.
- "Polish Hill River Church Museum homepage". http://www.phrcm.org.au/home.html. Retrieved 5 March 2012.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Mike Rann.|
- Official website
- Parliament profile
- Premier profile
- Premiers and Ministers profile
- ALP profile
- Poll Bludger article
|Parliament of South Australia|
|New district||Member for Briggs
|Member for Ramsay
|Party political offices|
|Leader of the Labor Party in South Australia
|Leader of the Opposition of South Australia
|Premier of South Australia
|Australian High Commissioner to the United Kingdom
|Australian Ambassador to Italy
To assume office