|Leaders of the Opposition of Australia|
9 May 1989 – 3 April 1990
|Preceded by||John Howard|
|Succeeded by||John Hewson|
11 March 1983 – 5 September 1985
|Preceded by||Bob Hawke|
|Succeeded by||John Howard|
|Member of the Australian Parliament for Kooyong|
2 April 1966 – 19 November 1994
|Preceded by||Robert Menzies|
|Succeeded by||Petro Georgiou|
13 February 1939 |
|Political party||Liberal Party|
|Spouse(s)||Susan Renouf (div.)
Margaret Ingram (div.)
Penne Percy Korth (m.2002–present)
|Alma mater||University of Melbourne|
Andrew Sharp Peacock AC, GCL (born 13 February 1939), is a former Australian Liberal politician. He was a minister in the Gorton, McMahon and Fraser governments, and was federal leader of the Liberal Party of Australia 1983–1985 and 1989–1990. He was Chairman of Octaviar Ltd, a financial services and property group based on the Gold Coast, Queensland, during its collapse.
Peacock was born in Melbourne, Victoria, the son of a wealthy company director. He was educated at Scotch College and at the University of Melbourne, where he graduated in law. He practised law in Melbourne while making a rapid advance in the Liberal Party. He was president of the Young Liberals in 1962, and in 1963 he married Susan Rossiter (b. 1940), the daughter of Victorian Liberal MLA Sir John Rossiter and Joan Stewart. They had three daughters, one of them being the horse trainer Jane Chapple-Hyam. By 1965 he was President of the Victorian Liberal Party.
Early political career
In February 1966, former Prime Minister Sir Robert Menzies resigned, triggering a by-election in Kooyong, the eastern Melbourne electorate that he had held for 32 years. Peacock gained Liberal preselection and was elected on 2 April, with a reduced majority. He easily retained his seat in the general election held seven months later. In 1969 he was appointed Minister for the Army, and in this role played a minor part in the drama which brought down Prime Minister John Gorton in 1971. In 1972 William McMahon made him Minister for Territories, in charge of Australia's colonial possession, Papua New Guinea, where he was responsible for bringing in self-government.
When the Liberals went into opposition in December 1972, Peacock became a senior member of the Liberal frontbench. As a party moderate, he was a supporter of the new leader, Billy Snedden. When Snedden lost the 1974 election, Peacock began to be seen as a leadership candidate, but it was Malcolm Fraser who took the initiative and deposed Snedden in 1975. Fraser made Peacock foreign affairs spokesperson, and when Fraser led the Liberals back to power in December 1975 Peacock became Minister for Foreign Affairs, aged 36.
He served as Foreign Minister until 1980, acquiring a reputation as an international playboy, particularly through his well-publicised relationship with Shirley MacLaine (his marriage had by this time ended in divorce). He had a number of acrimonious disputes with Fraser, particularly over the recognition of the Khmer Rouge regime in Cambodia. After the 1980 election he asked for a change of portfolio, and Fraser made him Minister for Industrial Relations. In April 1981 he suddenly resigned, accusing Fraser of constant interference in his portfolio. Fraser called a party meeting, at which Peacock tried to depose him as party leader and Prime Minister. Fraser managed to fend off this challenge.
Leader of the Liberal Party
Fraser's government was defeated in the March 1983 election by the Labor Party under Bob Hawke. Fraser immediately retired from politics, and Peacock contested the party leadership, defeating Howard, who remained as Deputy Leader.
As Opposition Leader, Peacock faced an uphill battle against the hugely popular Hawke. At the 1984 election he was given little chance of winning, but he performed better than expected by reducing Hawke's majority. In 1985, as Labor's position in opinion polls improved, Peacock's popularity sank and Howard's profile rose, keeping leadership speculation alive. Peacock said he would no longer accept Howard as deputy unless he offered assurances that he would not challenge for the leadership. Following Howard's refusal to offer such an assurance, in September 1985 Peacock sought to replace him with John Moore as Deputy Leader. The party room re-elected Howard as Deputy, contrary to Peacock's wishes. Despite possessing greater support in the parliamentary party than Howard, Peacock unexpectedly resigned and Howard was comfortably elected Opposition Leader on 5 September. Howard appointed Peacock Shadow Foreign Minister.
Howard lost the 1987 election to Hawke, and Peacock was elected Deputy Leader in a show of party unity. But Peacock's supporters began to plot against Howard, and in May 1989 they mounted a party room coup which returned Peacock to the leadership. Peacock, now 50, cultivated a new mature image, enhanced by a second marriage to Margaret St George.
On 18 March 1990, Peacock was interviewed by Laurie Oakes on the television program Sunday, regarding his stance on the Multifunction Polis (MFP), a proposal to build a Japanese funded technology city in Australia. Peacock attacked the MFP concept, saying it would become an Asian "enclave".  According to Roy Morgan Research, Peacock's attack on the MFP did not help him politically, and the Labor Party used the issue to highlight division within the Liberal Party, as John Elliott and others supported the MFP. The following day, The Australian newspaper ran a headline titled Peacock a 'danger in the Lodge'.'
Although Hawke's government was in political trouble, with record high interest rates and a financial crisis in Victoria, Peacock failed to defeat Hawke at the 1990 election. Peacock resigned after the election. He became Shadow Attorney-General (1990–92) and Shadow Trade Minister (1992–93) under the new leader, Dr John Hewson. who Peacock supported in getting the job in 1990 over Peter Reith and to stop Howard returning. He returned to Foreign Affairs when Hewson lost the 1993 election to Keating. He retained Foreign Affairs when Hewson was displaced by Alexander Downer.
Peacock resigned from Parliament in September 1994 for unknown reasons. In 1996 when asked about blocking John Howard, Malcolm Fraser said Peacock obviously was, while Peacock claimed he supported John Hewson continuing. When Howard became Prime Minister in 1996, he appointed Peacock as the Australian Ambassador to the United States. Since the end of this appointment in 1999, Peacock has largely lived in the US.
In 2002 he married Penne Percy Korth, a Washington, D.C. society figure and former United States Ambassador to Mauritius. Midway through 2002 Peacock joined Boeing Australia Holdings as President of Boeing Australia.
On 20 December 2006, Peacock announced his retirement from Boeing Australia Holdings, effective at the end of February 2007.
His daughter Ann Peacock married Liberal powerbroker Michael Kroger in 1999. They had two sons before separating in 2009.
Peacock was appointed a Companion of the Order of Australia in 1997.
- Rossiter, Sir John Frederick, Victorian Parliament page
- Jane has pedigree to make grade, The Daily Telegraph, 7 July 2005
- Peacock made 'bird of paradise' chief, Ninemsn, 19 September 2006
- "Political Chronicles: July to December 1985". Australian Journal of Politics and History: p. 264. 1986.
- Kelly, Paul (1994). The End of Certainty: Power, Politics, and Business in Australia. Allen & Unwin. pp. 192, 193. ISBN 1-86373-757-X. Retrieved 5 October 2007.
- Howard's labours are slipping away, Alan Ramsay, Sydney Morning Herald, 6 March 2004
- Morgan, Gary C. (11 July 1990). "Now there's Democracy in Russia – Australia must be Next". Roy Morgan Research. Retrieved 13 January 2008.
- Jupp, James (2007). From White Australia to Woomera: The Story of Australian Immigration. Cambridge University Press. pp. 107–219. ISBN 0-521-69789-1. Retrieved 12 January 2008.
- Jackson, Liz (21 August 2011). "An Average Australian Bloke – 19 Feb 1996". Australian Broadcasting Corporation. Retrieved 16 November 2012.
- Cusack, Agnes (19 November 1999). "Peacock leaves Washington". AM. ABC Local Radio. Retrieved 16 November 2012.
- Official Web Site of the Prime Minister of Papua New Guinea[dead link]
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Andrew Peacock.|