Craig Knowles

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Craig John Knowles (born 27 February 1959) is a former Australian politician and member of the New South Wales Legislative Assembly from 1990 to 2005.


Early life[edit]

Knowles' parents were Marie and Stan Knowles, member for Ingleburn from 1981 to 1988 and Macquarie Fields from 1988 to 1990. He was born in Liverpool, New South Wales and educated at Liverpool Boys High School, Sydney College of Technical and Further Education. He worked in the New South Wales Department of Business and Consumer Affairs from 1988 and was the Western Sydney Co-ordinator in the Office of State Development of New South Wales Premiers' Department from 1987 to 1988. He was an alderman on Liverpool City Council from 1982 to 1994 and Mayor from 1986 until 1988.

Political career[edit]

Knowles served as an Australian Labor Party member for Macquarie Fields from May 1990 to May 1991, Moorebank from 1991 to 1999 and Macquarie Fields from 1999 to 2005. He was Minister for Urban Affairs and Planning from 1995 to 1999, Minister for Health from 1999 to 2003 and Minister for Infrastructure and Planning and Minister for Natural Resources from 2003 to 2005.

Knowles introduced a number of changes during his time as Planning Minister. These included the introduction of private certification of buildings. Another controversial change was the introduction of Part 3A of the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act, which increased the powers of the Minister in approving major developments and superseded heritage and environmental protection legislation.

Knowles' political career was damaged by allegations raised by nurse Nola Fraser in relation to deaths at Campbelltown and Camden hospitals when he was Minister for Health. An Independent Commission Against Corruption inquiry into Knowles' behaviour cleared the minister in September 2005, but he had already been moved from the health portfolio.[1] He was also damaged by the Orange Grove affair, as a supporter of a retail outlet, which was later found to have been opened in contravention of zoning regulations in his electorate, while he was Minister for Urban Affairs and Planning. In April 2005, he was charged with drink-driving at a random breath test, with a low-level over the limit reading.[2]

Knowles had been considered a possible successor to Bob Carr as Premier but declined to be nominated when Carr retired in September 2005. Knowles resigned in August 2005, sparking the 2005 Macquarie Fields by-election. He was ultimately succeeded by ALP candidate Steven Chaytor.[3]

After politics[edit]

After his retirement from politics, Knowles became a consultant and political lobbyist.[4] Knowles holds a number of advisory roles, statutory appointments, and non-profit directorships including:


  1. ^ "ICAC makes no findings of corrupt conduct in relation to the Hon. Craig Knowles MP". Parliament of New South Wales. 13 April 2005. Retrieved 2007-03-02. [dead link]
  2. ^ Kidman, John; Alex Mitchell (3 April 2005). "Over-limit Knowles blows his chances". The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 2007-03-02. 
  3. ^ "The Hon. Craig John Knowles (1959 - )". Members of Parliament. Parliament of New South Wales. Retrieved 16 February 2010. 
  4. ^ Catharine Munro (29 May 2007). "Former planning boss goes back to the office to lobby". The Sydney Morning Herald (Fairfax Media). Retrieved 2007-05-29. 
  5. ^ "Our people - Board of Directors". About us. Asthma Foundation NSW. 2008. Retrieved 2011-01-27. 
  6. ^ "Who's who - Craig Knowles". Board of Directors. Black Dog Institute. Retrieved 2011-01-27. 
  7. ^ "Our people - Craig Knowles". About us. Children's Medical Research Institute. 2006. Retrieved 2011-01-27. 
  8. ^ "Board/Council Members". Our people - the Học Mãi Foundation. The University of Sydney. 3 November 2010. Retrieved 2011-01-27. 
  9. ^ "Management team - Advisory Board". About us. Built Holdings Pty Limited. 2007. Retrieved 2011-01-27. 
  10. ^ Coorey, Phillip (28 January 2011). "Ex-NSW minister Craig Knowles to be Murray Darling supremo". The Sydney Morning Herald (Fairfax Media). Retrieved 2011-01-28. 
Political offices
Preceded by
Andrew Refshauge
Minister for Health
Succeeded by
Morris Iemma
Parliament of New South Wales
Preceded by
Stan Knowles
Member for Macquarie Fields
1990 – 1991
Succeeded by
Preceded by
New seat
Member for Moorebank
1991 – 1999
Succeeded by
Preceded by
New seat
Member for Macquarie Fields
1999 – 2003
Succeeded by
Steven Chaytor