Sir Allen Fairhall
|Member of the Australian Parliament
10 December 1949 – 29 September 1969
|Preceded by||New seat|
|Succeeded by||Frank O'Keefe|
24 November 1909|
Morpeth, New South Wales
|Died||3 November 2006(aged 96)|
|Political party||Liberal Party of Australia|
|Occupation||Electrical fitter, radio officer|
Sir Allen Fairhall KBE (24 November 1909 – 3 November 2006) was an Australian politician and Member of the Parliament of Australia for the Division of Paterson from 1949 to 1969. During that period he held a number of ministerial portfolios, most notably Supply and Defence.
Fairhall was born at Morpeth, New South Wales, and attended East Maitland Boys' High School. After school he was apprenticed as an electrical fitter at the Walsh Island Dockyard in Newcastle, while attending Newcastle Technical College. At the same time he developed an interest in radio and gained an amateur radio licence. He was able to convince the then Postmaster-General's Department that Newcastle needed a second commercial radio station. In 1931 he established 2KO. During World War II he worked on the supply of signals equipment for the Australian armed services. From 1941 to 1944 he was an alderman of the City of Newcastle.
In 1949, Fairhall entered the Federal Parliament as the Liberal Member for Paterson. He was Minister for Interior and Minister for Works (1956–58), Minister for Supply (1961–66) and Minister for Defence (1966–69). In the latter role, he was responsible for the introduction of the F-111 fighter aircraft and the reintroduction of conscription for the Vietnam War. The purchase of the F-111 was a major political issue in the late 1960s and early 1970s due to price escalation and late delivery, although many of them are still in service and some of them are now expected to have a service life of well over 50 years.
Fairhall retired before the 1969 election. After retirement he wrote a book on Henry George, Towards a New Society. He was made a Knight Commander of the Order of the British Empire (KBE) in 1970, received an honorary Doctorate of Science by Newcastle University, and was awarded the James N Kirby Medal from the Institution of Production Engineers (Australian Division) and life membership of the Wireless Institute of Australia.
He died in November 2006, aged 96.
- "Sir Allen Fairhall, K.B.E". Retrieved 2008-02-03.
- Farquharson, John (10 December 2006). "A fair bet for PM, but he declined". Sydney Morning Herald.
- Sir Allen Fairhall, K.B.E. - Prime Minister of Australia ... if he had nominated?
- Fairhall, Allen (1997). Towards a New Society. Newcastle: Allen Fairhall. p. 114. ISBN 0-646-30921-8.
Wilfrid Kent Hughes
|Minister for Interior
Minister for Works
|Minister for Supply
|Minister for Defence
|Parliament of Australia|
|New division||Member for Paterson