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Mike Rann

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The Australian High Commissioner to the United Kingdom since 2013.
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What States Can Do - Part IX: Head towards zero waste
<p>My rationale for this series of blogs has been about how different states in different nations can learn from each other by sharing policy ideas that work. Adopting and adapting policies from other jurisdictions has certainly paid dividends for South Australia over the decades. In Australia, the state of South Australia is often seen as a policy and reform leader but for many of our initiatives we have borrowed ideas from around the world.<br/><br/>One of those areas of leadership is waste management and recycling. South Australia has now achieved a recycling rate of nearly 80%. This means that last year 4.3 million tonnes of materials were diverted from landfill to recycling. On a per capita basis, this was the best result of any state in Australia. In an era of climate change this is important, preventing the equivalent of more than 1 million tonnes of carbon dioxide entering the atmosphere. Environment Minister Paul Caica recently put this achievement into conte

Appointment as Australian High Commissioner to the UK
<p>I am honoured to have been asked by the Australian Government to become Australia's next High Commissioner to the United Kingdom. I look forward to working hard in Britain on behalf of Australians.</p><p>The relationship with the United Kingdom is of extraordinary importance to Australia. The UK is the nation with the highest level of investment in Australia and continues to be a major trading partner.  But the ties go deeper than this. Over the years the United Kingdom has been our greatest source of migration.  We have been the greatest of allies in war and in times of peace. We work closely together through the Commonwealth, the UN, G20 and other international organisations. Our legal, political, defence and cultural ties are immense.</p><p>A number of former South Australian Parliamentarians have served Australia with distinction in diplomatic posts, including former South Australian Premier John Olsen in Los Angeles and New York; Robert Hill

A Thank You
<p>I have received a number of approaches from the media in recent days, requesting interviews on the anniversary of my stepping down as Premier on October 21 last year. I have declined because I do not think it is fair to my successor, Jay Weatherill, or his Ministers for me to be involved in commentary on SA Government affairs, let alone daily local political issues. My predecessors afforded me the same courtesy during my 17 years as SA Labor leader.</p><p>On November 1 I become a Commonwealth Public Servant and from then on I cannot comment on partisan matters.  However, Sasha and I wanted to take this opportunity before I begin my new career simply to say 'thank you'.  The past year has been both difficult and busy, dominated by the discovery last November of Sasha's breast and lymphatic cancer, her tests, surgery, and the long months of chemotherapy and radiotherapy that followed.  We are immensely grateful to her surgeon Melissa, her oncologist Tr

What States Can Do - Part X: Better Planning For Our Cities
<p>In Australia there is renewed national interest in cities after years of neglect.  The current Federal Government, in office for less than five years, has already invested more in urban public transport than all previous national governments combined since Australia's Federation in 1901.  It has also doubled its road budget during difficult economic times.</p><p>Australia, despite its outback image, is one of the world's most urbanised nations.  Just over half the world's population lives in cities. In Australia it's a massive 75%. 85% of Australians live within 50km of the coastline. Cities are also our biggest economic generators accounting for 80% of Australia's GDP and three out of every four of our workers.</p><p>And while four of Australia's cities - Melbourne, Adelaide, Perth and Sydney - routinely rank in the top ten of the world's 140 most liveable cities, they are under increasing strain with growing but ageing p

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