Parliament in the Periphery: Sixteen Years of Labor Government in South Australia, 2002-2018

Mark Dean

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


    This article examines the sixteen years of Labor government in South Australia from 2002 to 2018. With reference to industry policy and strategy in the context of deindustrialisation, it analyses the impact and implications of policy choices made under Premiers Mike Rann and Jay Weatherill in attempts to progress South Australiabeyond its growing status as a 'rustbelt state'. Previous research has shown how, despite half of Labor's term in office as a minority government and Rann's apparent disregard for the Parliament, the executive's 'third way' brand of policymaking was a powerful force in shaping the State's development. This article approaches this contention from a new perspective to suggest that although this approach produced innovative policy outcomes, these were a vehicle for neo-liberal transformations to the State's institutions. In strategically avoiding much legislative scrutiny, the Rann and Weatherill governments' brand of policymaking was arguably unable to produce a coordinated response to South Australia's deindustrialisation in a State historically shaped by more interventionist government and a clear role for the legislature. In undermining public services and hollowing out policy, the Rann and Wethearill governments reflected the path dependency of responses to earlier neo-liberal reforms, further entrenching neo-liberal responses to social and economic crisis and aiding a smooth transition to Liberal government in 2018.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)6-39
    Number of pages34
    JournalAustralasian Parliamentary Review
    Issue number2
    Publication statusPublished - Sept 2018


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