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Malinauskas makes his first visit as Premier


Mr Malinauskas made a beeline from Government House up North Terrace to the Royal Adelaide Hospital for his first stop as the state’s 47th premier to talk to health workers about challenges in the job and express his gratitude at their commitment.“I’m here with our doctors, nurses, ambos, cleaners, healthcare workers and staff in the hospital because I want to thank them for everything they do,” he said in a social media post accompanied by photos.“Words matter — but my government will be working very hard to action and implement our health policies.”Leaving behind the media teams who covered the swearing-in ceremony, Mr Malinauskas made it a low-key visit to express his thanks and reiterate his plans to invest heavily in the health system to ease pressure on staff.His legion of social media followers were soon “liking” and re-tweeting his post.The visit was highly symbolic of his commitment to upgrading the health system is his top priority including the pledge of 300 extra beds, 350 extra paramedics and ambulance officers, 300 extra nurses and 100 extra doctors — and that links to shutting the Repat now are a distant, fading memory of a long-discarded policy.Earlier, Mr Malinauskastook questions from the media after being sworn in as South Australia’s 47th premier following Labor’s landslide election win on Saturday. Mr Malinauskas was sworn in by Governor Frances Adamson at a private Government House ceremony at 10am this morning. The Premier received a round of applause as he became the state’s new leader, smiling at his wife Annabel West, who sat holding their three children in the front row.“I want to thank the people of South Australia for investing in me their confidence to take on this extraordinary responsibility, to be able give the oath of allegiance this morning in the presence of my family before an outstanding Australian in her excellency Francis Adamson,” Mr Malinauskas said. “We will have a cabinet and a caucus where a lot of people are mothers and fathers of children of varying ages, that gives us a completely different lived experience as we navigate government and all the responsibility it holds, but I think it enhances our position. “Having you children brings with it complexity in managing everything buy also means sitting around the cabinet table we are going through all the things other South Australian as are going through.”He also conceded his kids got lost in the Government House garden after the ceremony and security cameras had to be used to find them.“This is the biggest gated playground in our state,” Mr Malinauskas quipped.Deputy Premier Susan Close and Treasurer Stephen Mullighan also took the oath, both taking on their respective roles for the first time in their political careers. Ms Close said she was honoured to be one of the state’s first female deputy premiers.“I urge every political party, particularly the liberal parties, to consider being conscious of the need to bring more women in.“We’ve seen a lot of noise, a lot of talk, and a lot of debate about the culture of politics in Australia and in South Australia in the last few years. The best response to it is to have greater diversity on the benches.”Mr Mullighan said he was “looking forward to seeing the Budget position and doing the hard work in working on that Budget position”.The trio will begin work today as a Labor government returns to South Australia after defeating the Liberals after only one term.It’s a feat that hasn’t happened for 40 years since David Tonkin lost power after one term in 1982.Mr Malinauskas triumphantly led Labor back into majority government and is now tasked with forming his first ministry.Final appointments will be made by Mr Malinauskas in the coming days, with a swearing in ceremony of the full Cabinet scheduled for later in the week. On who he will appoint as speaker, Mr Malinauskas he said it would likely be an independent.“We will wait to see the make up of the parliament before we make a decision (on the Speaker) but we believe in an independent Speaker,” he said.On department heads, the premier said there will be changes, but not change for change’s sake. He said he did not wish to leave changes to senior staff hanging longer than they needed to be but was also managing a smooth transition“All of those individuals are human; we are going to treat them with the respect that they deserve. But they are also professionals who are highly paid and understand the robustness of being in the chief executive world,” he said.It comes as two men have emerged as the frontrunners for the Liberal leadership ticket after Saturday’s election bloodbath – and as Steven Marshall visits Government House to formally resign.Mr Malinauskas will now head to a meeting with the state’s Covid-19 authorities over rules on mask wearing, close contacts and isolation within hours of being sworn into the state’s top job.In one of his first moves as Premier, Mr Malinauskas will demand explanations about South Australia being inconsistent with national rules, such as a 15-minute period for close contacts rather than the national four-hour time frame.“I’ll be scrutinising why that’s in place, I am the new leader I have an opportunity as the premier now to fully examine all of the reasons why the policy settings are what they are,” Mr Malinauskas said.“My preference is to make sure that we are doing the right thing by everybody in the interest of the state.“I’ve always said if I became premier I would follow the health advice, I’d back in the health advice in my former capacity but I also said that I would thoroughly scrutinise all of that advice and the decisions being made and that’s what I intend to do.“I’ve been very deliberate in the words that I use about my intentions with Covid, as is reflected on the front page of the paper this morning.”

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