Brendan O'Connor (politician)

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For other people named Brendan O'Connor, see Brendan O'Connor (disambiguation).
The Honourable
Brendan O'Connor
MP
The Hon Brendan O'Connor MP, Federal Member for Gorton
Minister for Employment
In office
1 July 2013 – 18 September 2013
Prime Minister Kevin Rudd
Preceded by Bill Shorten (Employment and Workplace Relations)
Succeeded by Eric Abetz
Minister for Skills and Training
In office
1 July 2013 – 18 September 2013
Prime Minister Kevin Rudd
Preceded by Craig Emerson (Tertiary Education, Skills, Science and Research)
Succeeded by Office abolished
Minister for Immigration and Citizenship
In office
4 February 2013 – 27 June 2013
Prime Minister Julia Gillard
Preceded by Chris Bowen
Succeeded by Tony Burke
Minister for Small Business
In office
5 March 2012 – 4 February 2013
Prime Minister Julia Gillard
Preceded by Mark Arbib
Succeeded by Chris Bowen
Minister for Housing
In office
5 March 2012 – 27 June 2013
Prime Minister Julia Gillard
Preceded by Robert McClelland
Succeeded by Julie Collins
Minister for Human Services
In office
14 December 2011 – 5 March 2012
Prime Minister Julia Gillard
Preceded by Tanya Plibersek
Succeeded by Kim Carr
Minister for Home Affairs
In office
9 June 2009 – 14 December 2011
Prime Minister Kevin Rudd
Julia Gillard
Preceded by Bob Debus
Succeeded by Jason Clare
Minister for Employment Participation
In office
3 December 2007 – 9 June 2009
Prime Minister Kevin Rudd
Preceded by Sharman Stone (Workforce Participation)
Succeeded by Mark Arbib
Member of the Australian Parliament
for Gorton
Incumbent
Assumed office
9 October 2004
Preceded by Constituency established
Member of the Australian Parliament
for Burke
In office
10 November 2001 – 9 October 2004
Preceded by Neil O'Keefe
Succeeded by Constituency abolished
Personal details
Born (1962-03-02) 2 March 1962 (age 52)
London, England
Political party Australian Labor Party
Alma mater Monash University
Harvard University

Brendan Patrick O'Connor (born 2 March 1962 in London, England), an Australian politician, is a member of the Australian House of Representatives representing Burke between 2001 and 2004 and Gorton (both in Victoria) since October 2004. O'Connor is a member of the Australian Labor Party and was the Minister for Employment and the Minister for Skills and Training in the Second Rudd Ministry; having previously served in a range of ministerial portfolios in the First Rudd Ministry and the First and Second Gillard ministries.

Background and early career[edit]

O'Connor was born in London, England, to Irish parents and held Irish citizenship until 1995, when he became an Australian citizen. He was educated in Ireland and Australia, taking degrees in Arts and Law at Monash University. In 1995, he participated in the Harvard Trade Union Program at Harvard Law School, Harvard University.

He firstly began his union career as an organiser with the now defunct Municipal Employees Union of Victoria; and was then appointed as Assistant National Secretary with the Australian Services Union before entering politics. He is a member of the Ferguson Left faction of the Victorian branch of the Labor Party.

Political career[edit]

At the 2001 election, O'Connor was elected as the Member for Burke, When the division was abolished by the 2003 redistribution, O'Connor successfully contested the new electoral division of Gorton at the 2004 election.

In December 2005, he was elected to the position of Chair of the Federal Labor Industrial Relations Taskforce in a caucus ballot. The Taskforce investigated the adverse effects of the Howard Government's WorkChoices legislation, a controversial package of industrial relations changes.

Shortly after the election of Kevin Rudd to the office of federal Labor leader and Leader of the Opposition on 4 December 2006, O'Connor was appointed Shadow Parliamentary Secretary for Industrial Relations.

Following the Labor victory at the 2007 federal election, Prime Minister Rudd announced that O'Connor would serve as the Minister for Employment Participation from 29 November 2007.[1] As Minister he reformed the Job Network, replacing it with Job Services Australia.[2] This streamlined seven separate employment services programs into a 'one-stop-shop' to provide job seekers with a more personalised service.

On 6 June 2009, O'Connor was announced as the Minister for Home Affairs in the First Rudd Ministry, replacing Bob Debus who retired at the 2010 election.[3] Following Labor's narrow victory, Prime Minister Julia Gillard allocated increased responsibilities to O'Connor. He became Minister for Home Affairs, Minister for Justice and Minister for Privacy and Freedom of Information. In this portfolio, O'Connor enacted several key policy reforms including: new and tougher laws to protect children from being procured and groomed online,[4] achieving consensus for an R18+ video game classification after 10 years of debate at Standing Committee of Attorney-General;[5] and introducing significant reforms of the anti-dumping regime in 20 years.[6]

In December 2011, O'Connor became the Minister for Human Services and Minister Assisting for School Education.[7]

On 5 March 2012, O'Connor was sworn in as Minister for Small Business, Minister for Housing and Minister for Homelessness. He was also promoted to Cabinet for the first time,[8] becoming the first small business minister in Cabinet for more than a decade.[9] In this role O'Connor introduced the first Australian Small Business Commissioner, on 2 January 2013.[10] On 30 August 2012, O'Connor and the Council of Australian Governments released the Housing Supply and Affordability Reform report, proposing reforms to increase housing affordability in Australia.

On 4 February 2013, O'Connor was sworn in as Minister for Immigration and Citizenship.[11] Following the June 2013 Labor leadership spill, O'Connor was appointed Minister for Employment and Minister for Skills and Training in the Second Rudd Ministry.[12]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Rudd drops six: report". The Sydney Morning Herald. 29 November 2007. Retrieved 29 November 2007. 
  2. ^ "$4 billion new employment services: Job Services Australia". Media Release. 1 April 2009. Retrieved 11 January 2013. 
  3. ^ "Kevin Rudd announces reshuffle". The Sydney Morning Herald. 6 June 2009. Retrieved 6 June 2009. 
  4. ^ "Online sex offenders face more jail time". The Sydney Morning Herald. 4 February 2010. Retrieved 11 January 2013. 
  5. ^ "After years of debate, R18+ games are getting closer". News.com.au. 22 July 2011. Retrieved 11 January 2013. 
  6. ^ "ALP boosts anti-dumping laws". The Australian. 23 June 2011. Retrieved 11 January 2013. 
  7. ^ "Gillard announces cabinet reshuffle". ABC News (Australia). 12 December 2011. Retrieved 5 March 2012. 
  8. ^ "Small business gets boost to cabinet". The Sydney Morning Herald. 5 March 2012. Retrieved 5 March 2012. 
  9. ^ "We put Small Business Minister Brendan O'Connor under the start-up spotlight". StartupSmart. 22 May 2012. Retrieved 11 January 2013. 
  10. ^ "First National Small Business Commissioner begins". Media Release. 2 January 2013. Retrieved 11 January 2013. 
  11. ^ Ireland, Judith (4 February 2013). "Dad duties done, ministers take the oath". The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 4 July 2013. 
  12. ^ "Second Rudd Ministry" (PDF). Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet. Commonwealth of Australia. 1 July 2013. Retrieved 4 July 2013. 

External links[edit]

Parliament of Australia
Preceded by
Neil O'Keefe
Member for Burke
2001–2004
Constituency abolished
New constituency Member for Gorton
2004–present
Incumbent
Political offices
Preceded by
Sharman Stone
as Minister for Workforce Participation
Minister for Employment Participation
2007–2009
Succeeded by
Mark Arbib
Preceded by
Bob Debus
Minister for Home Affairs
2009–2011
Succeeded by
Jason Clare
Preceded by
Chris Ellison
as Minister for Justice and Customs
Minister for Justice
2010–2011
New office Minister for Privacy and Freedom of Information
2010–2011
Office abolished
Preceded by
Tanya Plibersek
Minister for Human Services
2011–2012
Succeeded by
Kim Carr
Preceded by
Mark Arbib
Minister for Small Business
2012–2013
Succeeded by
Chris Bowen
Preceded by
Robert McClelland
Minister for Housing
2012–2013
Succeeded by
Mark Butler
Minister for Homelessness
2012–2013
Preceded by
Chris Bowen
Minister for Immigration and Citizenship
2013
Succeeded by
Tony Burke
Preceded by
Bill Shorten
as Minister for Employment and Workplace Relations
Minister for Employment
2013
Succeeded by
Eric Abetz (Designate)
Preceded by
Craig Emerson
as Minister for Tertiary Education, Skills, Science and Research
Minister for Skills and Training
2013
Succeeded by
Office abolished