Mike Rann’s Decision
It should be his decision to make. What advantage South Australian Labor will get from forcing the pace of Mike Rann’s resignation is yet to be explained or seen.
Mike Rann is South Australian Labor. Without his deft leadership the party would not have won office in 2002 by the smallest of margins, forming a minority government with an independent. The media had trenchantly supported the coalition government of Rob Kerin, and in a one-newspaper town that meant a lot.
In government Rann facilitated a mining bonanza that saw him give approval to the Olympic Dam mine, the largest known reserve of uranium in the world and potentially worth trillions of dollars. There are a raft of new mines in the pipeline.
It was his leadership that delivered the funding and the plan which will give Adelaide the best hospital in Australia, the rebuilt and consolidated Royal Adelaide Hospital. A private room with ensuite for every patient; gardens and light and air; a transformation of the working conditions of doctors and nurses; all delivered by mobilising private capital (I should declare that I work as a consultant for Macquarie and Macquarie is part of the winning consortium). The hospital was opposed by a claque of the medical profession and the State Opposition which made it an issue in last year’s election.
Under Rann’s leadership South Australia forged ahead in renewables. The government pushed the environmental agenda as far as possible.
Mike Rann has lead South Australian Labor for a total of 16 years. He was planning to retire when he made 10 years as Premier in March next year or shortly after.
The next election is not until 2014. Going at a time of his choosing should have been seen as his right.