|Member of the Victorian Legislative Council for Eastern Metropolitan Region|
3 October 1992
15 May 1953 |
|Political party||Liberal Party of Australia|
Bruce Norman Atkinson (born 15 May 1953) is an Australian politician. He has been a Liberal member of the Victorian Legislative Council since October 1992, representing Koonung Province from 1992 to 2006 and Eastern Metropolitan Region since. He is currently the President of the Legislative Council.
Atkinson was born in Melbourne, and attended Mitcham High School. He undertook a cadetship with the Leader group of newspapers after graduating, and worked as a journalist for a period. However, he soon made a move into the business world, first into small business, and later into several more prominent operations, including a stint managing a shopping centre. He has also been a writer for the Foodweek and Inside Retailing publications since 1981, and operates his own business consultancy firm, The Atkinson Group.
However, it was through local government that Atkinson made a name for himself in the political arena. He was elected to the Nunawading city council in 1975, where served as a councillor for seventeen years. This also included two terms as mayor in 1981–1982 and 1990–1991.
In the lead-up to the 1992 election, Atkinson succeeded in winning Liberal pre-selection for the moderately safe upper house seat of Koonung Province. He was ultimately elected, and soon nominated for the Family and Community Development Committee, which he served on from 1992 to 1996. In 1996, he was promoted to his first ministerial position, as Parliamentary Secretary for Planning and Local Government by Premier Jeff Kennett.
Atkinson subsequently spent four years on the backbenches, neither serving in any ministerial portfolios or any committees. However, when the party's devastating defeat at the 2002 election (after first losing government three years earlier) wiped out a significant portion of the shadow ministry, the party was suddenly forced to reconsider Atkinson as a ministerial prospect. When the Liberal Party regrouped after the election, Atkinson was appointed as the party's spokesperson for small business. He also began serving on the House and Economic Development Committees, and was appointed as the Deputy Chair of the latter. He was also appointed spokesman for sport and recreation in January 2004. In December 2006 he was elected Deputy President of the Legislative Council and relinquished his shadow ministry positions. He was Shadow Parliamentary Secretary, Business Development from November 2009. Following the Coalition's victory in the 2010 state elections, Atkinson was elected President of Victoria's Legislative Council.
in March 2014, it was reported that the premier Denis Napthine had asked Atkinson not to re-contest his upper house electorate in order to provide cabinet minister Mary Wooldridge with a seat in parliament, having had her Legislative Assembly seat of Doncaster abolished and having failed to be preselected as a candidate for Kew.
- "Bruce Atkinson". Parliament of Victoria. Retrieved 2 January 2011.
- Gordon, Josh (2014-03-14). "Denis Napthine accused of demanding senior Liberal step aside for Mary Wooldridge". The Age. Retrieved 2014-03-14.