Brian Austin

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Brian Douglas Austin (born 22 March 1943) was a Queensland politician and Minister of Health (1980 to 1983) who represented the state seat of Wavell for the Liberal Party (1977–1983) and then for the National Party (1983–1986). Austin switched to the National Party (along with Don Lane, who was the Minister for Main Roads) in 1983 after Premier Joh Bjelke-Petersen lobbied several Liberals to cross the floor, thus enabling the National Party to form government with a very slim majority, as prior to the swap the Nationals were one seat short of governing in their own right. At the 1986 Queensland state election, Austin became the first MP for the new Queensland electorate of Nicklin (1986–1989).

In 1987, Austin was one of three ministers who told Governor Walter Campbell that Petersen no longer had enough support to govern. This was a key event in the caucus coup that saw Bjelke-Petersen deposed as premier later that year.

Austin was subsequently implicated in the Fitzgerald Inquiry and was forced to retire in 1989.[1][2][3] [4]

Austin was convicted on 25 counts of misappropriating public funds, regarding $8700 spent on private accommodation, travel and meals, and was sentenced to 15 months' jail.[5]

In 2010 his profession was reported by the Courier-Mail newspaper to be selling real estate in the exclusive Brisbane suburbs of Ascot, Hamilton and Clayfield.[5]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Lock, Stock & Barrel: A Political Biography of Mike Ahern, by Paul Reynolds, University of Queensland Press, ISBN 0-7022-3294-7, c2002, pages 51, 89.
  2. ^ "Queensland Young Libs say they are glad the 'misfits' defected", by Damien Murphy, Sydney Morning Herald, 31 January 1984, p.3
  3. ^ Antony Green (7 September 2006). "Queensland Election: Nicklin". Australian Broadcasting Corporation. Retrieved 2010-05-30. 
  4. ^ Tony Koch (6 February 2010). "The Liberal who stood up to Joh". The Australian. Retrieved 2010-05-30. 
  5. ^ a b Elizabeth Allen (14 May 2007). "Players in a vast drama". The Courier-Mail. Retrieved 2010-05-30.