Thomas Playford II

17th Premier of South Australia

Thomas Playford II served two terms as Premier of South Australia: 1887-1889 and 1890-1892. Playford started his political career when he was elected to the East Torrens District Council. He was elected to the House of Assembly in 1868, 1875 and 1890. Serving as Treasurer, he is credited with the significant reduction of South Australia’s colonial debt. As Premier, he introduced the colony’s first comprehensive protective tariff and introduced an act in 1887 providing for payment of members of Parliament. Playford represented South Australia at several meetings of the colonies to discuss Federation and contributed to the Australian Constitution. He was elected as a moderate protectionist in 1901 to Federal Parliament where he joined the Deakin ministry.