John Rau

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The Honourable
John Rau
John Rau.jpg
12th Deputy Premier of South Australia
Assumed office
7 February 2011
Premier Mike Rann
Jay Weatherill
Preceded by Kevin Foley
48th Attorney-General of South Australia
Assumed office
25 March 2010
Premier Mike Rann
Jay Weatherill
Preceded by Michael Atkinson
Member of the South Australian Parliament
for Enfield
Assumed office
9 February 2002
Preceded by New District
Personal details
Born John Robert Rau
(1959-03-20) 20 March 1959 (age 58)
Nationality Australian
Political party Australian Labor Party (SA)

John Robert Rau SC (born 20 March 1959) is an Australian barrister and politician. He is the 12th and current Deputy Premier of South Australia since 2011[1] and 48th and current Attorney-General of South Australia since 2010[2] for the South Australian Branch of the Australian Labor Party in the Weatherill cabinet. Rau has been the Labor member of the House of Assembly seat of Enfield since the 2002 election.[3]

Legal career[edit]

Rau was admitted as a solicitor and barrister of the Supreme Court of South Australia in 1981. He worked as an adviser to Hawke government ministers Mick Young, Michael Tate and Neal Blewett from 1985 to 1988. He has also served on the ALP State and National Executives.

After concluding his service as a political adviser, Rau worked as a solicitor at Duncan & Hannon and later as a solicitor and barrister at the firm of Johnston and Withers. After becoming a partner at Johnston & Withers,[4] Rau established a private legal practice in Adelaide, specialising in industrial, employment, commercial and personal injuries law. In 1998, he was admitted to the independent bar in South Australia, practising as a member of Murray Chambers.[citation needed]

Rau has appeared as counsel 49 times before the South Australian Industrial Relations Commission, 22 times before the South Australian Industrial Relations Court, 15 times before the Supreme Court of South Australia and 7 times before the Federal Court of Australia (including once in his capacity as Attorney-General).[5]

Political career[edit]

His first political experience as a Labor candidate occurred at the 1993 federal election, when he stood for the Division of Hindmarsh, where he was narrowly defeated by Liberal Party candidate Christine Gallus by 1.6 percent.

Prior to the 2002 state election, Rau contested Labor preselection for the safe seat of Enfield. The seat had previously been Ross Smith, held by Ralph Clarke, who had recently been deposed as the party's deputy leader. The local party branch chose Clarke who received 60 of 74 votes. However, the party's state executive stepped in and installed Rau as the pre-selected candidate. Clarke ran as an independent Labor candidate, receiving a respectable 23 percent of the vote; however, Clarke narrowly fell short of overtaking Rau and winning the seat on Liberal preferences. Rau easily won the seat with a 35.9 percent primary and 65.9 percent two-party vote. He is aligned with Labor's right faction.[3]

Rau gained publicity in 2004 over his involvement in the Real Estate Industry – Reform bill, which was designed in an attempt to stop industry practices such as dummy bidding at auctions.

The 2006 state election saw Rau retain Enfield with a 63.4 percent primary and 74.5 percent two-party vote. At the 2010 state election, Rau suffered a swing to finish with a 52.6 percent primary and 60.5 percent two-party vote.

Rau became Attorney-General when Michael Atkinson stepped down from the position following the 2010 election. Like his predecessor, Rau has also been described as a social conservative.[6]

Rau expressed approval for the introduction of an R18+ video games classification following the resignation of Atkinson.[7] The issue has been one for which his predecessor Atkinson received significant media attention.[8] Rau appears to be taking a different view to his predecessor and is considering allowing an introduction of an R18+ classification.[9][10]

In February 2011, Rau was elevated to Deputy Premier following the resignation of Kevin Foley from the position.

On 22 November 2016, Rau was appointed a Senior Counsel by the Supreme Court of South Australia.[11]

Current portfolios[edit]

In addition to Deputy Premier and Attorney-General, Rau represents the following portfolios in the Cabinet of South Australia:[12]

  • Minister for Justice Reform
  • Minister for Planning
  • Minister for Industrial Relations
  • Minister for Child Protection Reform
  • Minister for the Public Sector
  • Minister for Consumer and Business Services
  • Minister for City of Adelaide

Personal life[edit]

Rau attended Henley High School[13] in Henley Beach and lives in the same suburb.[14] He was married to Anna Rau, councillor for the City of Charles Sturt.[15][16] Rau enjoys cooking, gardening and reading non-fiction.[4]


  1. ^ "John Rau is new SA deputy premier". Adelaide Now. AAP. 7 February 2011. Retrieved 7 February 2011. 
  2. ^ Gary Rivett (23 March 2010). "Liberals concede as Rann outlines new team". ABC News Online. Australian Broadcasting Corporation. Retrieved 23 March 2010. 
  3. ^ a b Owen, Michael (2010-03-23). "Left MP Tony Piccolo refuses to back move on Right's Kevin Foley". The Australian. Retrieved 2016-01-20. 
  4. ^ a b "John Rau". Retrieved 2015-10-22. 
  5. ^ Austlii, accessed at;results=50;submit=Search;mask_world=;mask_path=;callback=on;method=auto;meta=%2Fau;view=database-natural;offset=0
  6. ^ Rann's pillars crumble: The Advertiser 12 November 2010
  7. ^ Andrew Ramadge (25 March 2010). "John Rau open to R18+ rating, says campaigner". News Limited. Retrieved 27 April 2010. 
  8. ^ "ALP 'pledge' to ban R+ games". The Advertiser. News Limited. 5 April 2010. Retrieved 7 April 2010. 
  9. ^ SA takes softer line on R18+ game rating: ABC 6 December 2010
  10. ^ South Australian Attorney-General John Rau opens door to R18+ games rating: 6 December 2010
  11. ^ John Rau: Attorney-General named senior counsel in SA Supreme Court appointments: ABC News 22 November 2016
  12. ^ Cabinet of South Australia:
  13. ^ "Premier Jay Weatherill goes back to school". Retrieved 23 July 2014. 
  14. ^ Brad, Crouch. "South Australian pollies whose homes are far from their voters". News. Retrieved 23 July 2014. 
  15. ^ "Re: Woodville Station Ministerial DPA" (PDF). Community Alliance SA. Retrieved 23 July 2014. 
  16. ^ Brian, Littely. "Charles Sturt Council centre of people's uprising" (PDF). Adelaidenow. The Advertiser. Retrieved 23 July 2014. 

External links[edit]

South Australian House of Assembly
New district Member of Parliament
for Enfield

2002 – present
Political offices
Preceded by
Mike Rann
Minister for Tourism
2010 – 2011
Succeeded by
Gail Gago
Preceded by
Michael Atkinson
Attorney-General of South Australia
2010 – present
Preceded by
Kevin Foley
Deputy Premier of South Australia
2011 – present
Preceded by
Gail Gago
as Minister for City of Adelaide
Minister for Urban Development, Planning and the City of Adelaide
Succeeded by
Patrick Conlon
as Minister for Housing and Urban Development
Succeeded by
as Minister for Planning
Preceded by
as Minister for Urban Development, Planning
and the City of Adelaide
Minister for Planning
2011 – present
Preceded by
Russell Wortley
Minister for Industrial Relations
2013 – present
Preceded by
Tom Koutsantonis
Minister for Housing and Urban Development
2014 – 2016
Succeeded by
Stephen Mullighan
New office Minister for Justice Reform
2014 – present
Minister for Child Protection Reform
2015 – present
Preceded by
Susan Close
Minister for the Public Sector
Preceded by
Gail Gago
as Minister for Business Services and Consumers
Minister for Consumer and Business Services
Party political offices
Preceded by
Kevin Foley
Deputy Leader of the Australian Labor Party (South Australian Branch)
2011 – present