The Government of South Australia, also referred to as the South Australian Government, SA Government or more formally, Her Majesty’s Government, is the Australian state democratic administrative authority of South Australia. It is modelled on the Westminster system of government, which is governed by an elected parliament.


Until 1857, the Province of South Australia was ruled by a Governor responsible to the British Crown. The Government of South Australia was formed in 1857,[1] as prescribed in its Constitution created by the Constitution Act 1856 (an act of parliament of the then United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland under Queen Victoria), which created South Australia as a self-governing colony rather than being a province governed from Britain.[2]

Since the federation of Australia in 1901, South Australia has been a state of the Commonwealth of Australia, which is a constitutional monarchy, and the Constitution of Australia regulates the state of South Australia's relationship with the Commonwealth.[3] 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.[4][5]

In 1934, the 1856 Act was repealed, along with a few other acts which had amended it, and replaced by the Constitution Act 1934,[6] which is still in force, with amendments.[7]

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.[8] At these fixed four-yearly elections the whole Assembly is up for re-election, as is 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. 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.[9]

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.[10]

Executive power rests formally with the Executive Council, which consists of the governor and senior ministers. In practice,[10] executive power is exercised by the premier of South Australia and the Cabinet of South Australia, who advise the Governor. The Cabinet comprises 15 ministers, headed by the Premier, who are either members of the House of Assembly or the Legislative Council. Cabinet is responsible for determining policies which are submitted to Parliament.[10]

Judicial power is exercised by the Supreme Court of South Australia[11] and a system of subordinate courts,[12] but the High Court of Australia and other federal courts have overriding jurisdiction on matters which fall under the ambit of the Australian Constitution.[13]

Current ministry

As of 24 March 2022, the ministry of the South Australian Government comprised the following 14 Labor Party members and 1 Independent member:[14]

Minister Portfolio Party affiliation Shadow Minister Portfolio Party affiliation
Peter Malinauskas MP Peter Malinauskas (cropped).png Labor Liberal
Susan Close MP Susan Close MP during 2018 election campaign.jpg
  • Deputy Premier
  • Minister for Industry, Innovation and Science
  • Minister for Defence and Space Industries
  • Minister for Climate, Environment and Water
  • Deputy Leader of the Opposition
Kyam Maher MLC
  • Attorney-General
  • Minister for Aboriginal Affairs
  • Minister for Industrial Relations and Public Sector
  • Shadow Attorney-General
Tom Koutsantonis MP Tom Koutsantonis.jpg
  • Minister for Infrastructure and Transport
  • Minister for Energy and Mining
Labor Liberal
Stephen Mullighan MP Stephen Mullighan.jpg Labor
  • Shadow Treasurer
Zoe Bettison MP
  • Minister for Tourism
  • Minister for Multicultural Affairs
Labor Liberal
Chris Picton MP
  • Minister for Health and Wellbeing
Labor Liberal
Katrine Hildyard MP
  • Minister for Child Protection
  • Minister for Women and the Prevention of Domestic and Family Violence
  • Minister for Recreation, Sport and Racing
Labor Liberal
Nat Cook MP Nat Cook MP 2022.jpg
  • Minister for Human Services
Labor Liberal
Clare Scriven MLC
  • Minister for Primary Industries and Regional Development
  • Minister for Forest Industries
Labor Liberal
Blair Boyer MP
  • Minister for Education, Training and Skills
Labor Liberal
Geoff Brock MP
  • Minister for Local Government
  • Minister for Regional Roads
  • Minister for Veterans Affairs
Independent Liberal
Andrea Michaels MP
  • Minister for Small and Family Business
  • Minister for Consumer and Business Affairs
  • Minister for Arts
Labor Liberal
Joe Szakacs MP
  • Minister for Police, Emergency Services and Correctional Services
Labor Liberal
Nick Champion MP Nick Champion (cropped).jpg
  • Minister for Trade and Investment
  • Minister for Housing and Urban Development
  • Minister for Planning
Labor 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:[15]

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".[21]


  • As of 2017 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:[22]
    • 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. ^ "History". Parliament of South Australia. Retrieved 9 March 2022.
  2. ^ "Constitution Act (No 2 of 19 Vic, 1855-6)". 4 January 1856. Retrieved 9 March 2022 – via Austlii.
  3. ^ "Australian system of government". Parliamentary Education Office. Australian Government. 8 November 2021. Retrieved 9 March 2022.
  4. ^ "Three levels of government: governing Australia". Parliamentary Education Office. 19 January 2022. Retrieved 9 March 2022.
  5. ^ "The roles and responsibilities of the three levels of government". Parliamentary Education Office. 29 June 2021. Retrieved 9 March 2022.
  6. ^ "Constitution Act 1934 - Notes". Retrieved 9 March 2022 – via Austlii.
  7. ^ "Constitution Act 1934". Government of South Australia. Retrieved 9 March 2022 – via Austlii.
  8. ^ Constitution Act 1934 (SA) s.4
  9. ^ "Constitution Act 1934 - SECT 41". Retrieved 5 December 2019 – via Austlii.
  10. ^ a b c "The Government of South Australia". Parliament of South Australia. Retrieved 9 March 2022.
  11. ^ "Supreme Court (SA)". Legal Services Commission of South Australia. Retrieved 9 March 2022.
  12. ^ "Supreme Court". CAA. 3 November 2021. Retrieved 9 March 2022.
  13. ^ "Role of the High Court". High Court of Australia. Retrieved 9 March 2022.
  14. ^ "Governor's Instruments (19)" (PDF). South Australian Government Gazette. Government of South Australia. 24 March 2022. p. 894-895. Retrieved 24 March 2022.
  15. ^ "Government". SA.GOV.AU. 28 January 2020. Retrieved 25 March 2020.
  16. ^ "Home". Government of South Australia. Attorney General's Department. 25 March 2020. Retrieved 25 March 2020.
  17. ^ a b "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.
  18. ^ "Home". Department for Energy and Mining. 24 March 2020. Retrieved 25 March 2020.
  19. ^ "About Green Industries SA". Green Industries SA. Retrieved 25 March 2020.
  20. ^ "Home". South Australia. Department for Innovation and Skills. Retrieved 25 March 2020.
  21. ^ "About". Legal Services Commission of SA. 25 March 2020. Retrieved 25 March 2020.
  22. ^ "About SA Health". SA Health. 30 May 2017. Retrieved 26 March 2020.
  23. ^ "ForestrySA Corporate Overview". ForestrySA. Archived from the original on 24 September 2015. Retrieved 18 August 2015.
  24. ^ "About us". SA Water. Retrieved 18 August 2015.

External links