Mike Rann is one of the most influential political figures in Australia. He was the 44th Premier of South Australia and was elected thrice before he resigned in the year 2011. His political career spans across two decades and throughout his tenure as the Premier of South Australia, his government contributed abundantly to the development of Australia.
Let us go through some important contributions of Mike Rann to the development of Australia.
2002 to 2006
- Social Responsibility: Mike Rann was elected as the Premier for the first time in the year 2002. His government largely focused on reducing unemployment, increasing job numbers, increasing funding for medical facilities and educational infrastructure and taking measures to protect the environment, like promoting solar power for common use. It was during his regime that the debt of South Australia achieved AAA rating.
- Cultural Achievement: He also subsidized theaters, introduced Festival of Ideas, and encouraged film festivals. Adelaide Fringe Festival, Adelaide Festival of Arts and WOMAD were made annual festivals during his regime.
- Ban on State Assets: During his first term as the Premier, a total ban was imposed on the privatization of the state assets and shop trading across Adelaide metro area was introduced.
- Educational: Even the school leaving age was increased to 16 and was again increased to 17.
- PACE Scheme: The government also took up new projects in mining and introduced PACE scheme for encouraging and subsidizing mining explorations.
2007 to 2011
Mike Rann was re-elected as the Premier in the 2006 and 2010 elections.
- Focus on Infrastructure: The investments in infrastructure between 2007 and 2011 are the biggest in the history of South Australia. Some of the most important projects during this period, include rail electrification of the train lines in Adelaide, tram line expansion in Adelaide, redevelopment of Adelaide Oval, construction of Royal Adelaide Hospital, redesigning of the riverbank at River Torrens, expansion of defense and mining industries, along with several major road projects.
- Focus on Environment and Recycling: In the year 2008, the government announced that the people in South Australia would receive 10 cents for every bottle or cans they recycle. In 2009, the government also imposed a complete ban on the use of non-reusable polyethylene bags which were commonly used in supermarkets.
- Protecting the Ecosystem: In 2011, Mike Rann announced that the Nullarbor Plain which stretches almost 200kms would be given a Wilderness Protection Status to increase the total amount of area under protection in South Australia.
- Ban on Mining: In the same year, Rann Government imposed a ban on mining in the Arkaroola Protection Area and he also nominated this area to achieve a world heritage site status.
Right from the environment-protecting measures now practiced in South Australia, stable economy, to improving job scenario, it was Mike Rann who laid the foundation of rich benefits which the people of South Australia are now reaping. Mike Rann’s regime as the Premier of South Australia is one of the longest in the history of this state and not just when he was elected as the Premier, but throughout his political career of almost two decades, he has extensively contributed to the development of Australia.
While he currently resides in London where he is the CEO of Rann Strategy Group and a member of King’s Commission, he said that they would soon call Adelaide home again.