Andrew Tink

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Andrew Tink
AM
Andrew Tink after treatment for throat cancer 17012012.JPG
Former Member of Legislative Assembly of New South Wales
In office
19 Mar 1988 – 2 March 2007
Preceded by Jim Clough
Personal details
Born (1953-07-13) 13 July 1953 (age 60)
Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
Nationality Australian
Political party Liberal Party of Australia
Spouse(s) Kerry
Children 2 sons
Occupation Writer
Profession Barrister
Website http://www.andrewtink.com

Andrew Arnold Tink AM (born 13 July 1953) is a former Australian politician, having served as a member of the New South Wales Legislative Assembly from 1988 to 2007. He has written two political biographies and a third book on the events and political consequences of a fatal plane crash.

Early life and family[edit]

Tink was educated at Sydney Grammar School. He competed in sailing, for Australia against New Zealand, in the 1967 Interdominion Cherub Championships. During 1970–1971, Tink was an exchange student at Los Altos High School, in Silicon Valley, California. There he was elected vice-president of the student body, later becoming president.[1] Tink graduated as a Bachelor of Arts (1975) and Bachelor of Laws (1977) from the Australian National University where he was senior tutor at John XXIII College in 1976. Before being elected to the New South Wales Parliament, he practised as a barrister. He is married with two sons.

Political career[edit]

Tink represented the seat of Eastwood from 1988 to 1999, and then the seat of Epping from 1999 to 2007, for the Liberal Party of Australia.[2] In 1983 he had been one of the members of a "new guard" in the NSW Liberal Party pressing for change after the party had suffered a number of humiliating defeats at the hands of NSW Labor Premier Neville Wran.[3] After defeating long serving incumbent Liberal Member Jim Clough in party preslection, Tink entered the New South Wales Legislative Assembly.

In 1992, Tink led an enquiry into the police complaints system. As a result, minor complaints came to be dealt with internally by the police, while the Ombudsman was given greater powers to investigate serious matters.[4]

While Tink was Chairman of the Parliamentary Public Accounts Committee, the Committee published over twenty major reports achieving cross party agreement on a number of extremely contentious issues. They included ground breaking reports on public-private partnerships in the provision of infrastructure, as well as proposals for greater public transparency in infrastructure contracts relating to the Sydney 2000 Olympics.[5][6][7]

The Committee also released a report unanimously recommending numerous reforms to curtail the burgeoning $300 million a year cost of the government subsidised free School Student Transport Scheme. The Committee proposed including swipe cards to monitor accurately the number of students using the Scheme. It also proposed including an annual $40 co-contribution to the fares from parents.[8][9] Despite support in principle from subsequent NSW governments, as at 2012 these measures have not been put in place[10][11]

Liberal Premier John Fahey appointed Tink as Parliamentary Secretary to the Premier in 1994.[12] After the Liberals lost office in 1995, the new Liberal Opposition Leader Peter Collins immediately appointed Tink to the Shadow Cabinet as spokesperson for Family and Community Services[13][14]

Later as shadow Minister for Police and then as shadow Attorney General, Tink sponsored over 30 private member's bills. Among them was one to give magistrates power to confiscate the passports of people charged with serious crimes, a measure supported by the government.[15] Another, providing for 11-1 majority jury verdicts in criminal trials, was opposed by the government for a decade, before finally becoming law in 2006.[16] A third, to establish a parliamentary oversight committee for the Director of Public Prosecutions was blocked by the legal profession, despite a similar committee having successfully operating in the House of Commons in Great Britain for some years.[17]

In his valedictory speech to Parliament on 22 November 2006, Tink proposed that juries should play a role in sentencing. If a jury returned a guilty verdict for a crime carrying a standard non-parole period set by Parliament, the jury would be asked whether, on the evidence it had heard during the trial, the standard non-parole period should apply. If the answer was 'yes', the judge would use the non-parole period as the minimum starting point for sentencing and if 'no' then there would be no such restriction.[18]

Shadow Leader of the House for four years, Tink became known for his aggressive yet humorous question time performances and his flair for theatrical debate.[19] Premier Morris Iemma nicknamed him 'the chainsaw'.[20] After John Brogden stepped down as Opposition Leader in August 2005, Tink declined repeated requests that he stand for the leadership.[21][22] He resigned as shadow Attorney General on 20 March 2006, citing health and personal reasons, and did not contest the 2007 State election.[23] He was succeeded by Liberal candidate Greg Smith SC who reclaimed the seat in the 2007 state election.

Political biographer and writer and subsequent appointments[edit]

In 2009, Tink completed the first comrehensive biography of William Charles Wentworth (1790–1872), Australian explorer, barrister, newspaper publisher, politician and landowner, published by Allen & Unwin.[24] In November 2010, for the work entitled William Charles Wentworth: Australia's greatest native son, Tink won 'The Nib' CAL Waverley Library Award for Literature.[25]

In 2011, Tink's second book and the first comprehensive biography on the subject, Lord Sydney: The Life and Times of Tommy Townshend, was published by Australian Scholarly Publishing.[26] Lord Sydney (1733–1800) was a British cabinet minister and statesman. Sydney in Nova Scotia, Canada, and Sydney in New South Wales, Australia were named in his honour, in 1785 and 1788 respectively.

Reviewing the book on Wentworth, Justice Dyson Heydon of the High Court of Australia wrote in 2009:[27]

Andrew Tink's political career was not well synchronised with the electoral cycle… He held senior positions in opposition, but was forced to leave Parliament for health reasons in 2006 and is not there when a change of government seems…[likely] in 2011. But achievements of State Governments tend to be ephemeral. This scholarly but lively work will not be ephemeral. It will be an enduring monument to both its subject and its author. In it the author should take great pride.

In 2006, Tink was appointed a visiting fellow at Macquarie University's law school and in 2012, a member of the Library Council of New South Wales.[28]

Later in 2012, Tink was appointed as trustee of the Historic Houses Trust of New South Wales for a period of three years commencing from 20 July 2012.[29] Vaucluse House, once the home of Wentworth, the subject of Tink's first biography, is one of the properties managed by the Trust.

In February 2013, Tink was recognised for his significant contributions to the cultural and political life of New South Wales with a Doctor of Letters honoris causa from Macquarie University.[30]

Tink's third book was published in April 2013, Air Disaster Canberra: the plane crash that destroyed a government. It covers the events and consequences, both personal and political, of the Canberra air crash of 13 August 1940. The crash killed three senior cabinet ministers in the first Menzies government, Brigadier Geoffrey Austin Street, James Valentine Fairbairn and Sir Henry Somer Gullett as well as Fairbairn's Private Secretary. General Sir Cyril Brudenell Bingham White, Lieutenant Colonel Francis Thornthwaite and four other service personnel were also killed.[31]

On 1 July 2013, Tink was appointed as an Adjunct Professor at the Macquarie University Law School and Centre for Legal Governance in Sydney until 31 May 2018.[32]

On Australia Day (26 January) 2014, Tink was made a Member of the Order of Australia (AM) 'for significant service to the Parliament of New South Wales, to local history, and to the law'.[33]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Los Altos Town Crier, 16 June 1971
  2. ^ "Mr Andrew Arnold Tink, BA, LLB MP". Members of Parliament. Parliament of New South Wales. Retrieved 16 February 2010. 
  3. ^ Gleeson, et al, Michael (1992). An Act of Corruption? Nick Greiner's Years in Power and His Unorthodox Demise. Sydney: ABC Books. pp. 12–13. ISBN 0-7333-0263-7. 
  4. ^ A. Tink, 'Police Complaints', Australian Dispute Resolution Journal, The Law Book Company Limited, Sydney, Volume 4, Number 4, pp. 273–78
  5. ^ Coultan, Mark (14 July 1993). "Toll Contracts Under Scrutiny". Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 4 January 2012. 
  6. ^ Fergan O'Sullivan, 'Call to integrate infrastructure plan', Directions in Government, June 1994
  7. ^ Christopher Jay, ' Private infrastructure scene gets serious for property owners', Building Owner and Manager, May 1994.
  8. ^ Totaro, Paola (16 January 1993). "Students face $40 Travel Levy". Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 4 January 2012. 
  9. ^ NSW Public Accounts Committee (January 1993). Report 68 on the School Student Transport Scheme. Sydney: NSW Parliament. ISBN 0-7240-8820-2. 
  10. ^ Simalis, Linda (2 November 2008). "Nathan Rees Axes Free School Travel". Sunday Telegraph. Retrieved 4 January 2012. 
  11. ^ Mahar, Jessica (21 December 2008). "Rees backflip on bus passes". Sun Herald. Retrieved 4 January 2012. 
  12. ^ Morris, Linda (13 June 1992). "Faithful Fahey claps Tinkabell into new life on Cabinet fringe FRINGE". Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 4 January 2012. 
  13. ^ Morris, Linda (9 April 1995). "Collins gives key spots to newcomers". Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 4 January 2012. .
  14. ^ Collins, Peter (2000). The Bear Pit. Sydney: Allen & Unwin. pp. 201, 262–3, 304, 316. ISBN 1-86508-208-2. 
  15. ^ Bail Amendment (Confiscation of Passports) Bill, NSW Parliamentary Hansard, 14 March 2002
  16. ^ A. Tink, 'Majority jury verdicts have wide support', Sydney Morning Herald, 21 September 2004; Jury Amendment (Majority Verdicts) Bill [1], NSW Parliamentary Hansard, 6 April 2006
  17. ^ Director of Public Prosecutions Amendment (Parliamentary Joint Committee) Bill, NSW Parliamentary Hansard, 30 March 2006; 'Tink Bill's tinkering with DPP opposed', Lawyers Weekly, 9 March 2004 [2]
  18. ^ Valedictory Speech: 22 November 2006
  19. ^ Jonathan Pearlman, ‘Joker in the pack’, Sydney Morning Herald, 4 March 2006.
  20. ^ 'Off the pace and increasingly testy: Tink’, Sydney Morning Herald, 14 March 2006
  21. ^ 'Howard's choice chose not to run'
  22. ^ Andrew Clennell and Michael Pelly, ‘Stress strikes and another political career goes west’, Sydney Morning Herald, 15 March 2006 Retrieved 6 January 2012
  23. ^ "Off pace and increasingly testy: Tink". The Sydney Morning Herald. 14 March 2006. Retrieved 25 February 2007. 
  24. ^ Allen and Unwin: ISBN 978-1-74175-192-5. Retrieved 10 December 2011
  25. ^ The 'Nib’ CAL Waverley Library Award for Literature. Retrieved 28 November 2010.
  26. ^ Australian Scholarly Publishing: Book List: ISBN 978-1-921875-43-4. Retrieved 9 December 2011.
  27. ^ Justice JD Heydon, 'William Charles Wentworth: Australia’s Greatest Native Son’, Supreme Court History Program Yearbook, 2009, Supreme Court of Queensland Library, 2010
  28. ^ Linda Silmalis and Samantha Maiden, ‘Tink’s new chapter’, Tank Stream, Sunday Telegraph, 15 January 2012 Retrieved 6 January 2012
  29. ^ New South Wales Government Gazette: 29/2012, page 3364
  30. ^ Macquarie University awards a Doctor of Letters honoris causa
  31. ^ Andrew Tink: Air Disaster Canberra: the plane crash that destroyed a government: Published by New South Books: 1 April 2013: ISBN 9781742233574: Retrieved 17 April 2013
  32. ^ Macquarie University: Faculty of Arts: Macquarie Law School: Honorary Associates: Andrew Tink
  33. ^ Australia Day 2014 Honours List
Parliament of New South Wales
Preceded by
Jim Clough
Member for Eastwood
1988–1999
District abolished
District created Member for Epping
1999–2007
Succeeded by
Greg Smith