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Former Member of Parliament Details

  Hon Robert Richards


Full Name Robert Stanley Richards
Date of Birth 31 May 1885
Public ActivitiesBorn to a Cornish mining family, Robert Richards spent the first years of his life in Moonta. He left school at the age of thirteen to work in the mines - first in menial jobs and later as a tradesman. The mining culture brought him into contact with union politics and Richards became prominent in the movement. This led to his candidature and election as the Labor member for Wallaroo in the House of Assembly - a seat he held for the three decades between 1918 and 1949. Richards played a role in the Labor governments of Gunn and Hill, becoming deputy Opposition leader under Hill on Labor's defeat in 1927. With the onset of the Depression, the Labor Party was elected in 1930. The second Hill administration was a deeply troubled one, seemingly unable to respond effectively - or at times even tactfully - to the State's myriad problems. The implementation of frugal deflationary measures embodied in the 1931 Premier's Plan saw the emergence of widespread discontent within the community, and the expulsion of Hill, Richards and their Cabinet colleagues from the Labor Party. Hill struggled on as Premier until Feb 1933, leaving Richards with the thankless task of leading a divided minority government to the next election. Labor was soundly defeated in the elections of that year, and Richards became Opposition leader, a position he held until 1949. After leaving Parliament Richards sat on a number of government boards, was appointed Commonwealth Administrator of Nauru in 1949 but returned to South Australia after two years. Respected by his political colleagues as a vigorous and skilled opponent, Richards died in Moonta in 1967.
Deceased24 Apr 1967


DateHouseDistrictPartyReason (If Retired)
06 Apr 1918 - 22 Nov 1949House of AssemblyWallarooPremiers Plan LaborResigned


Offices Held

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24 Jul 1924 - 17 May 1927Deputy Speaker and Chairman of Committees

Ministerial Appointment

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17 Apr 1930 - 18 Apr 1933Commissioner of Crown Lands
17 Apr 1930 - 18 Apr 1933Minister of Mines
30 Oct 1930 - 18 Apr 1933Minister of Marine
12 Nov 1931 - 13 Feb 1933Minister of Labour and Employment
13 Feb 1933 - 18 Apr 1933Minister of Irrigation
13 Feb 1933 - 18 Apr 1933Minister of Repatriation
13 Feb 1933 - 18 Apr 1933Premier
13 Feb 1933 - 18 Apr 1933Treasurer

Committee Information

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12 Jul 1933 - 11 Jan 1938Member - Parliamentary Standing Committee on Public Works
12 Jan 1938 - 19 May 1935Member - Parliamentary Standing Committee on Public Works
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