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Steven Marshall

MHA
PremierMarshall2018.jpg
Marshall in 2018
46th Premier of South Australia
Elections: 2014, 2018
Assumed office
19 March 2018
Monarch Elizabeth II
Governor Hieu Van Le
Deputy Vickie Chapman
Preceded by Jay Weatherill
Leader of the Opposition in South Australia
In office
4 February 2013 – 19 March 2018
Premier Jay Weatherill
Deputy Vickie Chapman
Preceded by Isobel Redmond
Succeeded by Peter Malinauskas
Deputy Leader of the Opposition in South Australia
In office
23 October 2012 – 4 February 2013
Preceded by Mitch Williams
Succeeded by Vickie Chapman
Leader of the South Australian
Liberal Party
Assumed office
31 January 2013
Deputy Vickie Chapman
Preceded by Isobel Redmond
Member of the South Australian Parliament
for Dunstan
Assumed office
15 March 2014
Preceded by District established
Majority 6.1%
Member of the South Australian Parliament
for Norwood
In office
20 March 2010 – 15 March 2014
Preceded by Vini Ciccarello
Succeeded by District abolished
Personal details
Born
Steven Spence Marshall

21 January 1968 (1968-01-21) (age 53)
Woodville South, South Australia, Australia
Political party Liberal Party of Australia (SA)
Spouse(s) Sue (divorced)
Children 2
Education Ethelton Primary School
Immanuel College
Alma mater University of South Australia
Profession Businessperson

Steven Spence Marshall (born 21 January 1968) is an Australian politician serving as the 46th and current premier of South Australia. He has been a member of the South Australian Division of the Liberal Party of Australia in the South Australian House of Assembly since 2010, representing the electorate of Dunstan (known as Norwood before 2014).

Marshall has been the Leader of the SA Liberals since February 2013, and was the Leader of the Opposition between 2013 and 2018. He had previously been the party's deputy leader from October 2012 to February 2013. Initially unsuccessful at the 2014 state election, Marshall led the opposition into government at the 2018 state election and on 19 March was sworn in as Premier by the Governor.

Early life and education

Marshall attended Ethelton Primary School and Immanuel College, before studying business at the South Australian Institute of Technology (now the University of South Australia). He completed an MBA at Durham University in the United Kingdom.

Early career in business

In 1997, Marshall's father retired from running the family business, Marshall Furniture, and Steven Marshall took on the role of managing director. While acting as managing director, the company won the South Australian small business prize in the national 2001 Employer of the Year awards, due to the company's commitment to hire people with disabilities. He continued running the firm until 2001, when mounting pressure from imports forced the family to sell the business to Steinhoff International. This led to a role on the Steinhoff Asia-Pacific board, which he then left in order to take on a number of different positions in the South Australian business sector, including chairman of Jeffries and general manager of Michell Pty Ltd.

Marshall served on the South Australian Manufacturing Industry Advisory Board prior to entering politics in 2010.

Politics

Marshall entered South Australian Parliament at the 2010 state election, winning the seat of Norwood as a candidate for the South Australian Division of the Liberal Party of Australia. In the December 2011 reshuffle of the opposition's front bench, Marshall was moved from the back bench to take on the shadow portfolios of industry and trade, defence industries, small business, science and information economy, environment and conservation, sustainability and climate change.

Marshall said in August 2012 that he would be willing to sign a pledge that he would not challenge Isobel Redmond for the Liberal Party leadership or Mitch Williams for the deputy leadership. On 19 October 2012, Martin Hamilton-Smith and Marshall declared a leadership spill against Redmond and Williams. In a partyroom ballot occurred on 23 October 2012, Redmond retained the leadership by one vote; however, Marshall was elected to the deputy leadership. Marshall was denied his preferred treasury portfolio by Redmond, but instead was given the health and economic development portfolios, while retaining his roles in industry and trade, defence, small business and science.

Leader of the Opposition

On 31 January 2013 after Redmond resigned as Leader of the Opposition and Leader of the SA Liberals, it was speculated that Marshall would succeed her. At the ballot on 4 February 2013, Marshall was elected unopposed.

2014 state election

The 2014 state election was held on 15 March. Marshall faced Labor leader Jay Weatherill, who had replaced Mike Rann in 2011. Leading up to the election, the SA Liberals had led Labor in every recorded Newspoll since 2009. The election resulted in a hung parliament with 23 seats for Labor and 22 for the Liberals with the Liberals winning a majority of the two party preferred vote. The balance of power then rested with the two crossbench independents, Bob Such and Geoff Brock. Such did not indicate who he would support in a minority government before he went on medical leave for a brain tumour, diagnosed one week after the election. With 24 seats required to govern, Brock provided support to the incumbent Labor government, allowing Weatherill to continue in office as head of a minority government, with Brock given a ministry portfolio.

The day before the election, Marshall made a political gaffe, saying by mistake "If people in South Australia want change, they want a better future, they want to grow our economy then they need to vote Labor tomorrow". Marshall contested Dunstan, essentially a renamed version of Norwood, and suffered a 1.7% two-party (2PP) swing. A swing against the Liberals occurred in seven of the nine Liberal-retained metropolitan seats.

After the election, Marshall continued to lead the Liberals in opposition. Former Liberal leader Martin Hamilton-Smith became an independent two months after the election and indicated his support for the government. Following the death of Such and the subsequent 2014 Fisher by-election which Labor won by five votes from a 7.3% 2PP swing away from the Liberals, Labor went from minority to majority government. Brock and Hamilton-Smith maintained their confidence and supply support for the government which provided a 26 to 21 parliamentary majority.

2018 state election

The 2018 state election was held on 17 March. The July to September 2014 Newspoll had seen Labor begin to lead the Liberals on the two-party-preferred vote for the first time since 2009. The October to December 2015 Newspoll saw Marshall's leadership approval rating drop 11 points to 30%, the equal lowest Newspoll approval rating in history for a South Australian Opposition Leader since Dale Baker in 1990. At the election, Marshall again faced Weatherill and Labor which were seeking a record fifth term in office and the "wild card" centrist party, SA-Best, led by former Senator Nick Xenophon, who was seeking the balance of power in the Assembly. The 2016 electoral redistribution had given the Liberals an advantage of 27 seats to Labor's 20 seats heading into the election.

Four hours after the close of polls on election day, at approximately 10pm ACDST, Weatherill telephoned Steven Marshall and conceded defeat. Marshall was introduced to the election day function by former Liberal Premier John Olsen and claimed victory. The SA Liberals had won the election with 25 seats to Labor's 19, a bare majority of two – the first time the Liberals had won a state election since Olsen's victory in 1997. Despite the outcome, there was actually a state-wide two-party-preferred swing away from the Liberals toward Labor.

Premier of South Australia

Two days after the election, with the result beyond doubt even though counting was still under way , Marshall had himself, deputy leader Vickie Chapman, and Father of the South Australian Parliament Rob Lucas sworn in as an interim three-person government by the Governor of South Australia, Hieu Van Le. Marshall became Premier, Chapman Deputy Premier and Attorney-General, and Lucas Treasurer. Lucas had previously served as Treasurer in the last Liberal government. The full ministry was sworn in on 22 March. In addition to serving as Premier, Marshall retained responsibility for portfolio areas of The Arts, Aboriginal Affairs and Reconciliation, Defence and Space Industries, Veterans' Affairs and Multicultural Affairs, although these were no longer named as ministries.

In late 2018, Arts South Australia was dismantled and its functions transferred to direct oversight by the Department of the Premier and Cabinet. On 11 January 2020, Marshall assumed the responsibilities of the Tourism ministry when he relieved David Ridgway of the role in the immediate aftermath of the devastation of key South Australian tourist areas during the 2019–20 bushfires.

Following the resignation of David Ridgway on 26 July 2020, Marshall assumed the role of Minister for Trade and Investment.

Other roles

As of 2017 he was an ambassador for scosa, having previously served on the board for five years. He was a board member for Reconciliation SA for some years and has been a White Ribbon ambassador. He is the founding chairman of Compost for Soils, a program started in South Australia that has subsequently been implemented nationally.

Recognition

In 2001, he received a Centenary of Federation Medal for services to the disability sector.

Personal life

Marshall has lived in the Dunstan electorate for his entire adult life.

Marshall is divorced and has two adult children.

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