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Former Member of Parliament Details

  Hon John Gunn


Full Name John Gunn
Date of Birth 16 Dec 1885
Public ActivitiesA self-educated man, John Gunn came to South Australia from Victoria and was active in Union politics before entering the Lower House as a Labor representative in 1915. Gunn resigned his seat, failing in his attempt to win Boothby on an anti-conscriptionist platform in 1917, though he won a seat for Adelaide in 1918. After Vaughan split from the mainstream Labor Party, Gunn was elected Party leader, and acted to increase Labor's influence in both metropolitan and country areas. He became Premier in 1924 after Labor's victory and, although many of the government's proposals were defeated by a conservative Upper House, it was under Gunn's leadership that the State Bank of South Australia was established. Gunn made the most of the State's booming economy, investing in housing projects, road programmes and environmental development. He also significantly increased government expenditure on education. Popular with the public and respected by his political opponents, Gunn caused widespread surprise when he resigned as Premier after two years to take up a position in Melbourne on the Commonwealth Development and Migration Commission. The Commission was wound up in 1930, and Gunn moved to the Prime Minister's department, where he served as Director of Development at a much reduced salary before his contract was terminated in 1935. Separated from his wife and family, Gunn suffered a nervous breakdown and his career was effectively over. He died in obscurity in New South Wales in 1959.
Deceased27 Jun 1959


DateHouseDistrictPartyReason (If Retired)
12 Mar 1915 - 21 Mar 1917House of AssemblyAdelaideAustralian Labor PartyResigned
06 Apr 1918 - 28 Aug 1926House of AssemblyAdelaideAustralian Labor PartyResigned


Ministerial Appointment

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16 Apr 1924 - 29 Jan 1925Minister of Irrigation
16 Apr 1924 - 29 Jan 1925Minister of Repatriation
16 Apr 1924 - 28 Aug 1926Premier
16 Apr 1924 - 28 Aug 1926Treasurer
29 Jan 1925 - 28 Aug 1926Minister of Railways

Committee Information

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22 Aug 1918 - 05 Sep 1921Member - Parliamentary Standing Committee on Railways
06 Sep 1921 - 16 Apr 1924Member - Parliamentary Standing Committee on Railways
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