Leon Bignell

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Leon Bignell

Member of the South Australian Parliament
for Mawson
Assumed office
18 March 2006
Preceded by Robert Brokenshire
Personal details
Political party Australian Labor Party (SA)

Leon William Kennedy Bignell (born 1966), Australian politician, is the member for Mawson representing the South Australian Branch of the Australian Labor Party since the 2006 election.


Bignell was a high-profile ABC sports reporter and later a media adviser to Pat Conlon.

Political career

Bignell finished ahead of incumbent Liberal member Robert Brokenshire with a 52.2 percent two party preferred vote at the 2006 state election, delivering Mawson to Labor for the first time since it was lost in the 1993 election landslide. He increased his two-party-preferred vote to 54.4 percent at the 2010 election, bucking not only the statewide trend, but decades of voting patterns in the seat. Mawson was Labor's second most marginal seat, and on paper it should have been among the first to be lost to the Liberals in the event of a uniform swing large enough to topple Labor from office. Bignell's victory was critical in allowing Labor to eke out a narrow two-seat majority.

Bignell increased his majority to 55.6 percent at the 2014 election, again against the statewide trend.

The 2016 draft redistribution ahead of the 2018 election proposed to redistribute Bignell's seat of Mawson from a 5.6 percent Labor seat to a notional 2.6 percent Liberal seat, taking in areas down the coast as Kangaroo Island.[1][2][3][4]

Bignell is affectionately known as "Biggles" in media circles, and was once caught drawing caricatures of his opposition colleagues while in the chamber.[5] Bignell was engaged to Labor colleague and former member for Bright Chloë Fox between March 2006 and March 2007.[6]

Bignell entered cabinet in January 2013 as the Minister for Agriculture, Food and Fisheries, Minister for Forests, Minister for Tourism, Minister for Recreation and Sport and Minister for Racing in the Weatherill Labor cabinet until the 2018 state election.[7]

He is aligned with Labor's left faction.[8]


  1. ^ Draft Report (PDF): Electoral Districts Boundaries Commission 15 August 2016
  2. ^ Electoral boundary reform in South Australia does not go far enough, Opposition says: ABC 15 August 2016
  3. ^ Libs seething after another boundaries blow: InDaily 15 August 2016
  4. ^ South Australian electoral boundaries redraw: The reaction: The Advertiser 16 August 2016
  5. ^ Duffy, Mike (25 October 2006). "Biggles' doodles waste oodles of time". The Advertiser. Retrieved 2006-10-25.
  6. ^ "Trackside at the Cup: Russian to conclusions?". The Advertiser. 13 March 2007.
  7. ^ Cabinet of South Australia: Premier.sa.gov.au Archived 21 September 2015 at the Wayback Machine
  8. ^ Owen, Michael (2010-03-23). "Left MP Tony Piccolo refuses to back move on Right's Kevin Foley". The Australian. Retrieved 2016-01-20.

External links

  • Parliamentary Profile: SA Parliament website
  • Parliamentary Profile: SA Labor website
Political offices
Preceded by
Gail Gago
Minister for Tourism
Succeeded by
David Ridgway
as Minister for Trade, Tourism and Investment
Preceded by
Tom Kenyon
Minister for Recreation and Sport
Succeeded by
Corey Wingard
as Minister for Recreation, Sport and Racing
New title Minister for Racing
Preceded by
Gail Gago
Minister for Agriculture, Food and Fisheries
Succeeded by
Tim Whetstone
as Minister for Primary Industries and Regional Development
Minister for Forests
South Australian House of Assembly
Preceded by
Robert Brokenshire
Member for Mawson
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