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Former Member of Parliament Details

  Hon Dr David Tonkin AO


Full Name David Oliver Tonkin AO
Date of Birth 20 Jul 1929
QualificationsAO (1993), MB, BS, DO, RCPS
Public ActivitiesTrained as an ophthalmic surgeon, David Tonkin entered politics in 1970 as Liberal member for Bragg, a position he held until his retirement from politics in 1983. He was instrumental in the development of the Sex Discrimination Act (1975), and was elected leader of the opposition in 1975. Tonkin became Premier and Treasurer following the defeat of the Labor Government in 1979, and remained in power until the 1982 elections which returned Labor to government. The reduction of the public service which has continued to the present day had its beginnings under Tonkin, and many of Dunstan's urban affairs plans were reformed or discontinued. Technology, mining and tourism were seen as the areas which could lead South Australia's fiscal recovery, but no growth was forthcoming as the state slid into economic decline. Since his retirement from politics in 1983, Tonkin has been Chair of the State Opera Company, Secretary-General of the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association (1986-92) and served as Chair of the South Australian Film Corporation. He was appointed an Officer of the Order of Australia (AO) in 1993, and died in 2000.
Deceased01 Oct 2000


DateHouseDistrictPartyReason (If Retired)
30 May 1970 - 10 Apr 1983House of AssemblyBraggLiberal PartyResigned


Offices Held

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10 Apr 1983Former Member

Ministerial Appointment

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18 Sep 1979 - 10 Nov 1982Minister of Ethnic Affairs
18 Sep 1979 - 10 Nov 1982Minister of State Development
18 Sep 1979 - 10 Nov 1982Premier
18 Sep 1979 - 10 Nov 1982Treasurer
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