Michael Atkinson Biography
Michael John Atkinson is an Australian politician in the South Australian Branch of the Australian Labor Party. He is the 34th Speaker of the South Australian House of Assembly for the Jay Weatherill government, serving since 5 February 2013. First elected to the House at the 1989 election, Atkinson is Father of the House.
Atkinson attended Glenelg Primary School and Unley High School. He then studied at the Australian National University and received a Bachelor of Arts (Hons) degree in history and also a Bachelor of Laws degree. He worked as a sub-editor and journalist for the Adelaide Advertiser from 1982 to 1985, an adviser and press secretary to federal minister Chris Hurford from 1985 to 1987, before becoming an advocate for the Shop, Distributive and Allied Employees Association (SDA) in 1989.
Michael Atkinson Political Career
Atkinson, a founding member of the Labor Right faction, was first elected to Parliament at the 1989 election.He was shadow minister ,following the 1993 election, in a range of portfolios until Labor won government at the 2002 election. He subsequently became Attorney-General, Minister for Justice, Minister for Consumer Affairs and Minister for Multicultural Affairs in the Rann cabinet. In a minor cabinet reshuffle in 2004, Atkinson lost his portfolio of Consumer Affairs. He became Minister for Correctional Services in 2006.
He was re-elected at the 2006 election landslide in his seat of Croydon with a 76 percent two-party vote from a 6.9 percent two-party swing toward him. At the 2010 election Atkinson was again re-elected, but with a 12 percent two-party swing against him, significantly higher than the statewide 8.4 percent two-party swing. Following his re-election, he announced he would resign from the Rann ministry but remain on the backbench. Atkinson was re-elected at the 2014 election where he picked up a 3.5 percent two-party swing toward him.
Atkinson replaced Lyn Breuer as Speaker of the South Australian House of Assembly ,on 5 February 2013 .In September 2016, Peter Malinauskas moved house and into Atkinson’s electorate of Croydon. He said of Atkinson: “Mick [Atkinson] knows the movements of every single one of his constituents – I suspect I’m no exception.” In February 2017, Atkinson announced that he would be retiring from parliament as of the 2018 election.
Michael Atkinson Political views
Atkinson has blocked attempts to introduce a R18+ for video games in Australia. In a letter on the subject, Atkinson stated, “I don’t support the introduction of an R18+ rating for electronic games, chiefly because it will greatly increase the risk of children and vulnerable adults being exposed to damaging images and messages.”
He withdrew his support for a discussion paper released for public consultation on the subject of an “R18+” rating. Unanimity from Atkinson and his fellow state and federal Attorneys-General is required for the introduction of the rating (or a change to that requirement). Australia’s rating system lacked a classification for games above MA15+ at the time. It therefore lacked not only an equivalent rating to the ESRB’s AO (adults only) rating but also an equivalent to its Mature (17+) rating.
In 2009, Atkinson, in his role as attorney-general of South Australia, introduced laws into parliament that made internet commentary on the upcoming 2010 election illegal unless the commenter provided their real name and postcode. The laws were passed, and came into effect on 6 January 2010. Following public criticism, Atkinson later promised to repeal the section following the 2010 South Australian election and indicated it would not be enforced during the electoral period.
Michael Atkinson Wife
Atkinson is separated from his wife, Joan, with whom he has three sons and a daughter. Atkinson’s long-term and current de facto partner is fellow state Labor MP Jennifer Rankine.
Michael Atkinson Age
He was born on 17th June 1958 in Australia. He is 60 years old.