Alan Brown (Australian politician)

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Alan John Brown (born 25 January 1946), Australian politician, was a Liberal member of the Victorian Legislative Assembly and Leader of the Opposition from 1989 to 1991.

A local businessman before entering politics, Brown entered the Legislative Assembly at the 1979 election as the Liberal member for the now abolished seat of Westernport, in western Gippsland, easily defeating Doug Jennings who had been expelled from the Liberal Party in 1977.[1] Brown served on the backbench during the Hamer and Thompson governments.

After the Liberals lost government at the 1982 election Brown was promoted to the shadow ministry where he served as Shadow Minister for Youth, Sport and Education, Shadow Minister for Housing and Aboriginal Affairs and Shadow Minister for Transport under the leadership of Jeff Kennett. However after the Liberals were narrowly defeated at the 1988 election many Liberals became unhappy with Kennett's leadership, and those opposed to him in the party room managed to install Brown as leader. While Brown failed to take full advantage of the various crises involving the Labor government, he did successfully negotiate a Coalition agreement with the Nationals with whom relations were traditionally poor in Victoria.[2] The Liberals had come up five seats short of winning the 1988 election, and it was thought that they would have won if not for a number of three-cornered contests in rural areas.

In 1991, Kennett's followers, with Kennett's tacit support, organised a partyroom coup against Brown. When the spill motion carried, Brown opted not to recontest, allowing Kennett to take the leadership unopposed. As a concession to Brown, Kennett kept him on the frontbench.

After the Liberals were returned to power after the 1992 election Brown served as Minister for Public Transport. In late 1996 the Kennett Government appointed him as Agent General for Victoria. The resulting by-election in his safe seat of Gippsland West (Westernport having been renamed in 1985) was won by Independent Labor candidate Susan Davies who would go on to play an decisive role in defeating the Kennett government.[1]

Brown remains prominent in his local community and unsuccessfully ran for the Bass Coast Shire Council (Hovell Ward) in 2012.[3][4]


  1. ^ a b Green, Antony: ABC Elections Victoria 2006: Bass (Key Seat), Australian Broadcasting Corporation, 22 November 2006.
  2. ^ Brown, Alan John, re-member (Parliament of Victoria).
  3. ^ Alan Brown seeks to overhaul council, 7 June 2012, retrieved 24 September 2013 
  4. ^ Simone Short (30 October 2012), Axe falls in Bass Coast, retrieved 24 September 2013 
Party political offices
Preceded by
Jeff Kennett
Leader of the Liberal Party of Australia in Victoria
Succeeded by
Jeff Kennett