Bruce Baird

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The Honourable
Bruce Baird
AM
Member of the Australian Parliament
for Cook
In office
3 October 1998 – 17 October 2007
Preceded by Stephen Mutch
Succeeded by Scott Morrison
Personal details
Born (1942-02-28) 28 February 1942 (age 72)
Sydney
Nationality Australian
Political party Liberal Party of Australia
Children Julia Baird
Michael Bruce Baird
Steve Baird
Alma mater University of Sydney
University of Melbourne
Occupation Trade commissioner
Religion Anglicanism

Bruce George Baird, AM (born 28 February 1942), is a former Australian politician whose career included having a stint as Deputy Leader of the Liberal Party in New South Wales.

Early life[edit]

Baird was born in Sydney, and was educated at the University of Sydney and the University of Melbourne, holding a master's degree in business administration from the latter. He was Assistant Trade Commissioner at the Australian Embassy in Bonn, Germany, 1972–76 and Trade Commissioner at Australian Consulate-General in New York 1977–80. He was Government Affairs Manager for Esso Australia 1980–84.[1]

Political career[edit]

Baird was a member for the electorate of Northcott in the New South Wales Legislative Assembly 1984–95. He was Minister for Transport 1988–95, Minister for Sydney's Olympic Bid 1990–93 and Minister for Tourism and Roads 1993–95. He was also deputy leader of the Liberal Party from 1992 to 1994.[1]

Baird was a Liberal member of the Australian House of Representatives from October 1998 to November 2007, representing the electorate of Cook, New South Wales. He also held the positions of chairman of the National Rail Corporation, and was a board member of ABN Amro Hoare Govett, Tourism Training Australia and Tourism Education Services.[2] Baird along with fellow Liberal MPs Petro Georgiou, Russell Broadbent and Judith Moylan opposed mandatory detention of asylum seekers.[3]

In April 2007, he announced that he would retire at the next election.[4] A fierce battle over his successor ensued; Michael Towke was initially preselected as the Liberal candidate, but was subsequently disendorsed and replaced with Scott Morrison, who went on to win the seat.

Despite being a former deputy leader of the Liberal Party in New South Wales, Baird never served as a Federal Government minister during his time in Federal Parliament. Baird had been overlooked for promotion by Prime Minister John Howard due to him being a supporter of Deputy Liberal leader and Howard's heir apparent Peter Costello.[5]

After politics[edit]

Baird was appointed Chairman of the Tourism and Transport Forum, a peak industry lobby group, in 2008. In the same year, he was also appointed as chair of the Refugee Resettlement Advisory Council, which advises the Australian government on resettling refugees in Australia.[6] In 2010 on Australia Day, he was appointed a Member of the Order of Australia for service to the Parliament of Australia, and to the community of New South Wales through a range of business, tourism and welfare organisations.[7]

Baird's children are Steve Baird, Marketing Head for Velocity Frequent Flyer, Julia Baird, columnist with the Sydney Morning Herald, and Mike Baird, the Premier of New South Wales.[8] (In fact Bruce himself made an unsuccessful attempt to become Premier when he was a candidate to succeed Nick Greiner in 1992 but lost out to John Fahey.)[9]

Following the financial collapse of a number of providers of education to international students, in 2009 Baird agreed to head up a review into international education in Australia.[10] Baird delivered the report in a joint press conference in March 2010. Included in his recommendations were tighter regulation including stronger entry requirements, improved risk assessment, and where breaches occur, tougher penalties.[11]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ a b "Mr Bruce George Baird (1942 – )". Members of Parliament. Parliament of New South Wales. Retrieved 19 February 2010. 
  2. ^ "Biography for BAIRD, the Hon. Bruce George". Parliament of Australia. Retrieved 19 February 2010. 
  3. ^ "Rebel MPs, Howard fail to agree on detention". The Age (Melbourne). 13 June 2005. 
  4. ^ Coorey, Phillip (16 April 2007). "Baird bows out as challenge looms in seat". The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 15 April 2007. 
  5. ^ http://www.smh.com.au/news/national/baird-bows-out-as-challenge-looms-in-seat/2007/04/15/1176575687704.html
  6. ^ "The Refugee Resettlement Advisory Council". 
  7. ^ "Baird, Bruce George". It's an Honour. Retrieved 19 February 2010. 
  8. ^ "Baird replaces O'Farrell as NSW premier". Herald Sun. News Corp. 17 April 2014. Retrieved 17 April 2014. 
  9. ^ http://www.theage.com.au/comment/smh-editorial/after-promising-start-baird-has-it-all-to-do-20140417-36utg.html
  10. ^ "Bruce Baird to head up international students review". Media release. Minister for Education. Minister for Employment and Workplace Relations. 8 August 2009. Retrieved 12 April 2011. 
  11. ^ "Transcript of joint press conference interview" (Transcript). Baird Review into International Education. Commonwealth of Australia. 9 March 2010. Retrieved 12 April 2011. 
Parliament of New South Wales
Preceded by
Jim Cameron
Member for Northcott
1984 – 1995
Succeeded by
Barry O'Farrell
Political offices
Preceded by
Terry Sheahan
Minister for Transport
1988 – 1995
Succeeded by
Brian Langton
Preceded by
Robert Webster
Minister for Tourism
1992 – 1993
Succeeded by
Virginia Chadwick
Preceded by
Tim Moore
Minister for the Environment
1992
Succeeded by
Chris Hartcher
Preceded by
Wal Murray
Minister for Roads
1993 – 1995
Succeeded by
Michael Knight
Party political offices
Preceded by
Peter Collins
Deputy Leader of the New South Wales Liberal Party
1992 – 1994
Succeeded by
Kerry Chikarovski
Parliament of Australia
Preceded by
Stephen Mutch
Member for Cook
1998 – 2007
Succeeded by
Scott Morrison