Patrick Conlon (politician)

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Pat Conlon (left) and Mike Rann opening the extension of the Glenelg Tramline in October 2007.

Patrick Frederick "Pat" Conlon (born 1959) is a South Australian politician representing the Electoral district of Elder in the South Australian House of Assembly as a member of the Australian Labor Party from 1997 to 2014. He was Minister for Transport, Minister for Infrastructure, and Minister for Energy, as well as the Leader of Government Business in the Lower House. Until early 2005, Conlon was also Emergency Services Minister and took part in the Government's response to the Eyre Peninsula bushfire (also known as Black Tuesday) in January 2005. Conlon was the most senior Labor Left figure in the Labor cabinet until April 2010 when he became unaligned.[1]

Early life[edit]

Born in Belfast, Northern Ireland, the seven-year-old Conlon was brought to South Australia by his family in 1966. They lived initially in Elizabeth before settling in Port Adelaide. Conlon was educated at LeFevre Boys Technical High School.

His early jobs included being a roof tiler, storeperson, timberhand, deckhand, and signalperson. In 1983 he became a union organiser and five years later he took part-time Arts and Law classes at the University of Adelaide, which he funded through part-time work as an office cleaner, industrial officer, project officer and workers compensation employee advocate. He graduated with an Arts degree and with first class honours in Law. He won the Howard Zelling prize for Constitutional Law, the Stow Prize, and the David Murray Scholarship for his honours dissertation on employment law.

In the early 90s he worked at law firm Duncan Basheer with Jay Weatherill and Isobel Redmond.[2]


Conlon was first elected as the Member for the south-western Adelaide seat of Elder at the 1997 election. The 2006 election saw Conlon increase his margin by 11.2% to 14.9%. As of the 2010 state election, Conlon holds Elder with a margin of 3.6 percent.

Conlon took over the Industrial Relations portfolio in 2011 following the resignation of Bernard Finnigan.[3]

After announcing in September 2012 his intention not to recontest his parliamentary seat at the 2014 election, Conlon announced in early March 2013 that he would take up immediately a salaried position with national law firm Minter Ellison in Adelaide, working there for the equivalent of three days per week. He would continue to draw his full parliamentary salary and expected to take his full entitlement of superannuation when he left the Parliament.

Personal life[edit]

Conlon and his wife Tania have a daughter born in December 2004. His hobbies include supporting the Port Adelaide Magpies, fishing, fine wine, and cooking.


  1. ^ Kelton, Greg (9 April 2010). "Patrick Conlon rejects Left's change of direction". The Advertiser. 
  2. ^ Kelton, Greg (9 July 2009). "Isobel Redmond wins South Australia Liberals leadership". The Advertiser. 
  3. ^ Crouch, Brad (5 June 2011). "$1b-plus blowout - Expert warning on WorkCover liability". Sunday Mail (SA). 

External links[edit]

South Australian House of Assembly
Preceded by
David Wade
Member for Elder
Succeeded by
Annabel Digance