Mitch Williams (politician)

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The Honourable
Mitch Williams
Deputy Leader of the Opposition (SA)
In office
6 April 2010 – 23 October 2012
Preceded by Martin Hamilton-Smith
Succeeded by Steven Marshall
Member of the South Australian Parliament
for Mackillop
Assumed office
11 October 1997
Preceded by Dale Baker
Personal details
Born Michael Richard Williams
(1953-06-27) 27 June 1953 (age 63)
Nationality Australian
Political party Independent (1997-1999)
Liberal Party of Australia (SA) (1999-current)

Michael Richard "Mitch" Williams (born 27 June 1953) is a farmer and former deputy leader of the South Australian Division of the Liberal Party of Australia.[1] He resigned from the Liberals and was elected to the safe Liberal seat of MacKillop in the state's south east at the 1997 election as an independent, but re-joined the Liberals in 1999. He has been re-elected in MacKillop as a Liberal since the 2002 election.

Political career[edit]

Williams was a member of the Liberal Party when he resigned in 1997 to run against Dale Baker as an independent. Williams took advantage of a public backlash against Mr Baker who was accused of impropriety over a forestry land deal. At the 1997 election Williams halved Mr Baker's primary vote and subsequently won the seat.[2]

Williams rejoined the Liberal Party in December 1999. He was re-elected in MacKillop at subsequent elections.

Williams was elected unopposed as Deputy Leader of the Liberal Party in South Australia on 6 April 2010.[3]

On 19 October 2012, Martin Hamilton-Smith announced he would be challenging Isobel Redmond for the parliamentary leadership of the South Australian Liberal Party, with Steven Marshall challenging Williams for the deputy leadership.[4] A partyroom ballot occurred on 23 October 2012, Redmond retained the leadership by one vote, however Marshall was elected to the deputy leadership after Williams withdrew at the last minute.[5]

Williams will not be re-contesting his seat at the 2018 election.[6]

Political views[edit]

In 2014, Williams personally advocated for reform of the Freedom of Information Act. Williams believes that current legislation allows Ministers unprecedented power to block the release of documents outright. He has drawn attention to more progressive legislation implemented in New Zealand as a potential future model for South Australia. Williams believes that the New Zealand analog favours release over suppression, and points out that it assumes that all government documents are in the public interest and fit for release unless proven otherwise. As of September 2014, Williams has not formally presented a call for FoI reform to his party.[7]


External links[edit]

Political offices
Preceded by
Martin Hamilton-Smith
Deputy Leader of the Opposition
in South Australia

2010 – 2012
Succeeded by
Steven Marshall
Parliament of South Australia
Preceded by
Dale Baker
Member for MacKillop