Jay Weatherill

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The Honourable
Jay Weatherill
Jay Weatherill.jpg
45th Premier of South Australia
Assumed office
21 October 2011
Governor Kevin Scarce
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)
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)[1] is an Australian politician and the current Premier of South Australia. 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]

In the early 1990s, he worked at the law firm Duncan Basheer with Patrick Conlon and Isobel Redmond.[6] 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]


Prior to the 2002 state election he won Labor preselection for the electorate of Cheltenham, defeating incumbent Labor MP Murray De Laine.[7] Weatherill, from the Labor Left faction,[8] has held positions in the Labor government ministry since his election in 2002. Since 2001, he has been a regular patron at the Alberton Hotel in his north-western suburbs electorate.[9]


Following the 2010 state election Weatherill, environment minister under Mike Rann, unsuccessfully challenged Kevin Foley for the deputy Premiership.[10] Weatherill said the election day backlash against Labor made it evident that a fresh approach was needed. Weatherill lost along factional lines.[11]

In late July 2011, senior figures within Labor had indicated to Mike Rann that the left and right factions had agreed to replace Rann with Weatherill as party leader.[12] 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.[13] Weatherill refused to rule out challenging Rann in a Caucus ballot if he did not stand down on his return to Australia.[13]

Weatherill was sworn in as the 45th Premier of South Australia on 21 October 2011.[14] Weatherill used his first question time as Premier to call for greater civility and respect between members of Parliament.[15]

A conscience vote for a Greens-initiated gay marriage bill was announced by Weatherill in August 2012, following the announcement of Tasmania's planned changes.[16]

In late 2012 Weatherill, Grace Portolesi, Simon Blewett and advisers were drawn into an alleged cover-up in 2010 of an eight-year-old girl being raped at a western suburbs school, that led to an investigation into child sex abuse cover-ups in South Australian government schools.[17]

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.[18]

Weatherill Labor formed a minority government following the 2014 state election.[19]

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. ^ Kelton, Greg (9 July 2009). "Isobel Redmond wins South Australia Liberals leadership". The Advertiser. 
  7. ^ Parker, Lachlan (15 August 2001). "Costly Labor factions in South Australia". ABC PM. 
  8. ^ "Hartley". The Poll Bludger. Retrieved 10 April 2012. 
  9. ^ Puddy, Rebecca (2 August 2011). "Lawyer Jay Weatherill lauded as good listener". The Australian. 
  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). "SA premier facing a leadership coup". AAP. 30 July 2011. Owen, Michael (30 July 2011). "Mike Rann handed deadline to stand down as South Australian premier". The Australian. Johnson, Angelique (30 July 2011 (updated 31 August 2011)). "Rann to be ousted in leadership coup". ABC News.  Anderson, Geoff (2 August 2011). "Factional coup may prove problematic for SA's new premier". Sydney Morning Herald. 
  13. ^ a b Martin, Sarah (5 August 2011). "Jay Weatherill may take on South Australia Premier Mike Rann". The Advertiser. 
  14. ^ "New faces as Weatherill takes reins in SA". ABC News. 24 October 2011. 
  15. ^ Hopkins, Nigel (December 2011). "The charm offensive". The Adelaide Review. 
  16. ^ Crouch, Brad (14 August 2012). "Weatherill staunches Labor opposition to back gay marriage Bill". AdelaideNow. 
  17. ^ Novak, Lauren (3 November 2012). "Jay Weatherill's office received email about school sex abuse case - but Premier says he wasn't told". The Advertiser. 
    Holderhead, Sheradyn (4 November 2012). "Jay Weatherill's adviser, Simon Blewett, kept sex-abuse email to himself". Sunday Mail (SA). 
    "Premier Jay Weatherill apologises for sex abuse bungle at western suburbs primary school". Adelaide Now. 13 November 2012. 
    Smithson, Mike (17 November 2012). "Premier Jay Weatherill is keeping too many secrets". Sunday Mail (SA). 
    Owen, Michael (30 November 2012). "Unusual request following alleged cover-up of rape". The Australian. 
    Washington, David (12 December 2012). "Spectre of child protection inquiry hangs over SA Premier". Crikey. 
    Owen, Michael (15 December 2012). "Parents in dark on five sex abuse cases". The Australian. 
    Martin, Sarah (19 December 2012). "Premier Jay Weatherill says: "The position is clear; parents should be told" of sexual abuse". The Australian. 
    Martin, Sarah (20 December 2012). "Parents still in the dark on child pornography charges". The Australian. 
    Novak, Lauren (2 January 2013). "Testing times for Premier Jay Weatherill and Education Minister Grace Portolesi". The Advertiser. 
  18. ^ Martin, Sarah (21 January 2013). "SA Premier Jay Weatherill cites jobs growth as he assumes treasury portfolio". The Australian. Retrieved 21 January 2013. 
  19. ^ Re-elected SA Labor Government gets down to business: ABC 27/3/2014

External links[edit]

South Australian House of Assembly
New district Member of Parliament 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
Preceded by
Jack Snelling
Treasurer of South Australia