This was a different budget. The SA Budget papers were coated in soft blue hues and carried a picture of a nurse and a baby. Even before state Treasurer Jack Snelling opened his mouth yesterday to tell assembled reporters all about his first budget the message was clear. This is a different Treasurer and a new era.
The hard edges that so oftened characterised his predecessor Kevin Foley were to be buffed smooth by Snelling. Foley used to love Budget day. He would relish the battle with the media, jumping in boots and all, to defend, sell and promote his budget.
That was all very well in the days when the Rann Government was flying high. When elections were being won and the cash was rolling in from Canberra there was plenty to shout loud about.
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Within weeks, South Australians will have a clear idea of who will replace Premier Mike Rann before the 2014 state election.
It’s a race between Employment Minister Jack Snelling and Attorney-General John Rau - both ministerial cleanskins with with less than a year’s experience in the ministry.
Both men are jostling to take over the role of Deputy Premier which the incumbent Kevin Foley is set to step down from when he returns in three weeks from a defence industry trip to the US.