Graham Gunn

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Graham McDonald Gunn, AM (born 5 September 1942),[1] Australian politician, was a member of the South Australian House of Assembly. He represented Eyre 1970 to 1997 and Stuart 1997 to 2010; he was a member of the Liberal Party of Australia.[2] First elected to Parliament at the 1970 state election, Gunn was the longest-serving member of any Parliament throughout Australia in the last years of his term.

Attending Adelaide's prestigious Scotch College, Gunn pursued a career as a farmer and grazier. He served as on the Streaky Bay Council between 1966 and 1970. In 1970, he was elected to the House of Assembly as a member of the Liberal and Country League (which became the South Australian division of the Liberal Party in 1974) for Eyre in South Australia's vast northern outback. Aged 27 at the time, he was one of the youngest politicians in Australia at the time.

Gunn served as Speaker of the South Australian House of Assembly from 1994 to 1997 during the Brown Liberal Government but lost it upon the ascendancy to the leadership of John Olsen.

For most of his tenure, Gunn was reelected with little difficulty. However, before the 1997 state election, his old seat was abolished in a redistribution. Gunn contested Stuart, essentially the eastern half of his old seat. While he went into the election sitting on a notional majority of eight percent, he suffered a seven percent swing against vigorous Labor opposition. He faced a strong challenge from Labor candidate Justin Jarvis in the 2006 state election, with the final result not being known until nine days after the election. Gunn ultimately emerged victorious, though with a narrower margin than previously.

Gunn retired at the 2010 state election, having spent half of his life in parliament. He was the last surviving parliamentarian from the LCL, as well as the last parliamentary survivor of the Dunstan, Corcoran and Tonkin governments. The Liberals pre-selected former national basketball player Dan Van Holst Pellekaan to defend his electorate of Stuart.[3]

On Australia Day 2011, Gunn was appointed a Member of the Order of Australia.[4]


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Parliament of South Australia
Preceded by
Ernest Edwards
Member for Eyre
District abolished
New district Member for Stuart
Succeeded by
Dan van Holst Pellekaan
Preceded by
Norm Peterson
Speaker of the
South Australian House of Assembly

Succeeded by
John Oswald