Thomas Playford


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(1896–1981), premier of SA from 1938 to 1965, was the longest-serving premier in the history of Australia. Playford is popularly regarded as the greatest SA premier because his incumbency oversaw the state's economic transformation from pre-Depression dependency on agricultural production to post-World War II optimism of industrial development. He is particularly remembered for the development of low-cost workers' housing which attracted manufacturing investors; the establishment of Whyalla; the opening of the Leigh Creek coalfield; the relief of semi-arid country areas by water piped from the River Murray; centralising the state's power supply; and encouragement of a variety of manufacturers, especially in motor cars.


From The Oxford Companion to Australian History in Oxford Reference.

Subjects: Australasian and Pacific History.

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