Government of South Australia

The Government of South Australia, also referred to as the South Australian Government, SA Government or Her Majesty’s Government is the Australian state democratic administrative authority of South Australia. The Government of South Australia, a parliamentary constitutional monarchy, was formed in 1856 as prescribed in its Constitution, as amended from time to time. Since the Federation of Australia in 1901, South Australia has been a state of the Commonwealth of Australia, and the Constitution of Australia regulates its relationship with the Commonwealth. Under the Australian Constitution, South Australia ceded legislative and judicial supremacy to the Commonwealth, but retained powers in all matters not in conflict with the Commonwealth.

Government of South Australia
State Government
Founding documentConstitution of South Australia
State South Australia
Country Australia
Legislative branch
LegislatureParliament of South Australia
Meeting placeParliament House
Executive branch
Head of stateGovernor
Main bodyCabinet of South Australia
Head of governmentPremier
AppointerGovernor on behalf of the Queen of Australia in right of the State of South Australia.
HeadquartersParliament House
Main organExecutive Council of South Australia
Judicial branch
CourtSupreme Court
SeatSupreme Court building, Adelaide

Legislative powers

Legislative power rests with the Parliament of South Australia, which consists of the House of Assembly and the Legislative Council, with general elections held every four years.[1] At these fixed four yearly elections the whole Assembly is up for re-election and half of the Council is, the only exception is after a double dissolution held in accordance with Section 41 of the state Constitution, after which the whole Assembly and Council are up for re-election.[2] Unlike the federal double dissolution procedure, the SA double dissolution procedure can only be used if the same bill, or much the same bill, has been twice rejected by the Council, after being introduced by the Assembly, with the two rejections separated by a general election.[2]

Executive and judicial powers

South Australia is governed according to the principles of the Westminster system, a form of parliamentary government based on the model of the United Kingdom.

Executive power rests formally with the executive council, which consists of the governor and senior ministers. In practice, executive power is exercised by the premier of South Australia and the cabinet, who are appointed by the governor, but who hold office by virtue of their ability to command the support of a majority of members of the House of Assembly.

Judicial power is exercised by the Supreme Court of South Australia and a system of subordinate courts, but the High Court of Australia and other federal courts have overriding jurisdiction on matters which fall under the ambit of the Australian constitution.

Current ministry

The current ministry of the South Australian Government comprises the following Liberal members:[3][4][5]

Portfolio Minister Party affiliation Term start Term end Term in office
The Hon. Steven Marshall MHA Liberal 19 March 2018 (2018-03-19) incumbent 1185 days
The Hon. Vickie Chapman MHA Liberal
The Hon. Rob Lucas MLC Liberal
  • Minister for Education
The Hon. John Gardner MHA Liberal 22 March 2018 (2018-03-22) 1182 days
  • Minister for Trade, Tourism and Investment
The Hon. David Ridgway MLC Liberal
  • Minister for Human Services
The Hon. Michelle Lensink MLC Liberal
  • Minister for Industry and Skills
The Hon. David Pisoni MHA Liberal
  • Minister for Health and Wellbeing
The Hon. Stephen Wade MLC Liberal
  • Minister for Energy and Mining
The Hon. Dan van Holst Pellekaan MHA Liberal
  • Minister for Child Protection
The Hon. Rachel Sanderson MHA Liberal
  • Minister for Primary Industries and Regional Development
The Hon. Tim Whetstone MHA Liberal
  • Minister for Police, Emergency Services and Correctional Services
  • Minister for Recreation, Sport and Racing
The Hon. Corey Wingard MHA Liberal
  • Minister for Environment and Water
The Hon. David Speirs MHA Liberal
  • Minister for Transport, Infrastructure and Local Government
  • Minister for Planning
The Hon. Stephan Knoll MHA Liberal

Government agencies

The South Australian Government delivers services, determines policy and regulations, including legal interpretation, by a number of agencies grouped under areas of portfolio responsibility. Each portfolio is led by a government minister who is a member of the Parliament. As of March 2020 there were 28 government departments and agencies listed on, being:[6]

A range of other agencies support the functions of these departments.

  • The Legal Services Commission is a statutory authority, independent of government, "funded by both the South Australian and the Commonwealth Governments to provide legal assistance to South Australians".[12]


  • SA Health is "the brand name for the health portfolio of services and agencies responsible to our Minister, the Minister for Health and Wellbeing", including:[13]
    • Department for Health and Wellbeing
    • SA Ambulance Service
    • Commission on Excellence and Innovation in Health
    • Wellbeing SA
    • Various regional health networks

Government business enterprises

See also


  1. Constitution Act 1934 (SA) s.4
  2. "Constitution Act 1934 - SECT 41". Australasian Legal Information Institute. Retrieved 5 December 2019.
  3. "The South Australian Government Gazette, March 19 2018, No. 18, Supplementary Gazette" (PDF). Retrieved 19 March 2018.
  4. MacLennan, Leah (22 March 2018). "SA election: Who's who in the new South Australian Liberal Government?". ABC News. Australia. Retrieved 22 March 2018.
  5. "The South Australian Government Gazette, 22 March 2018, No. 20, Supplementary Gazette" (PDF). Retrieved 23 March 2018.
  6. "Government". SA.GOV.AU. 28 January 2020. Retrieved 25 March 2020.
  7. "Home". Government of South Australia. Attorney General's Department. 25 March 2020. Retrieved 25 March 2020.
  8. "Organisation". Environment Protection Authority. Retrieved 25 March 2020. Note link to document behind "Environment and Water Portfolio", showing an organisational structure chart: Environment & Conservation Portfolio as at 22 April 2018. Green Industries SA, EPA and DEW all report to the Minister.
  9. "Home". Department for Energy and Mining. 24 March 2020. Retrieved 25 March 2020.
  10. "About Green Industries SA". Green Industries SA. Retrieved 25 March 2020.
  11. "Home". South Australia. Department for Innovation and Skills. Retrieved 25 March 2020.
  12. "About". Legal Services Commission of SA. 25 March 2020. Retrieved 25 March 2020.
  13. "About SA Health". SA Health. 30 May 2017. Retrieved 26 March 2020.
  14. "ForestrySA Corporate Overview". ForestrySA. Archived from the original on 24 September 2015. Retrieved 18 August 2015.
  15. "About us". SA Water. Retrieved 18 August 2015.