Andrew Murray (politician)

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For other politicians named Andrew Murray, see Andrew Murray (disambiguation).
Andrew Murray
Senator for Western Australia
In office
1 July 1996 – 30 June 2008
Royal Commissioner for the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse
Assumed office
11 January 2013
Serving with Peter McClellan, Bob Atkinson, Jennifer Coate, Robert Fitzgerald, Helen Milroy
Personal details
Born Andrew James Marshall Murray
(1947-01-29) 29 January 1947 (age 68)
Hove, England
Nationality Australian
Political party Australian Democrats
Alma mater Rhodes University;
Oxford University
Occupation Businessman, consultant

Andrew James Marshall Murray (born 29 January 1947) is an Australian politician. He was an Australian Democrats member of the Australian Senate from 1996 to 2008, representing Western Australia. In 2013, Murray was appointed a Royal Commissioner on the Australian Government Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse.

Background and early years[edit]

Murray was born in Hove, in the United Kingdom. In 1951 he was sent as a child migrant to the British colony of Southern Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe), where he was educated before graduating from Rhodes University in South Africa with degrees in English and History. He continued his education at Oxford University (Rhodes Scholar 1971[citation needed]), where he graduated with degrees in Philosophy, Politics and Economics.[1]

Returning to Africa, Murray worked as an executive in large corporations, then ran his own businesses. He also worked as a consultant, lecturer and industry journalist and served in the Rhodesian Air Force. He was deported from South Africa in 1968 for opposing the apartheid policies of the white minority régime in his role as Deputy Vice President of the National Union of South African Students. The deportation order was withdrawn in 1977. Murray migrated to Australia in 1989.

Political career[edit]

Murray was applauded by some as an intelligent and thoughtful debater in the Senate. Others believe that he acted against the wishes of his party's members in voting for the Goods and Services Tax bills in 1999, a stance which caused an irreparable party-room rift,[2] leading to terminal loss of electoral support.[3]

Murray pushed for greater transparency in government contracting activities by obtaining Senate support for a motion that required federal government ministers to indicate what clauses in contracts are confidential and to then justify the need for confidentiality. The impact of the Senate order resulted in a complex process to identify confidential information in the procurement process. The government issued guidance, updated in 2007, to provide further clarity, whereby tenderers must identify any information they consider is confidential and government procurement officers must assess such claims against four criteria. The legalistic and subjective nature of the criteria and the intrinsic complexity of the process sets the scene for inaccurate application of the test and inconsistent reporting by government agencies. The government's auditor does not report on the number of contracts requested by parliament that contain confidentiality provisions. The parliament has, and always has had, a legal right of access to government contracts.

Murray did not seek re-election at the 2007 federal election and retired at the expiration of his term on 30 June 2008.

Royal commissioner[edit]

On 11 January 2013 the Prime Minister of Australia, Julia Gillard, announced Murray's appointment through Letters Patent[4] as one of six Commissioners to the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse.[5]


  1. ^ "Commissioner Andrew Murray". Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse. Commonwealth of Australia. 2013. Retrieved 11 February 2013. 
  2. ^ ABC World Today broadcast 24 July 2002
  3. ^ ABC 2007 federal election coverage 26 November 2007
  4. ^ "Letters Patent". Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse. Commonwealth of Australia. 11 January 2013. Retrieved 12 January 2013. 
  5. ^ "Sex abuse advocates welcome royal commission". ABC News (Australia). 11 January 2013. Retrieved 11 February 2013. 

External links[edit]