Danna Vale

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The Honourable
Danna Vale
Member of the Australian Parliament
for Hughes
In office
2 March 1996 – 19 July 2010
Preceded by Robert Tickner
Succeeded by Craig Kelly
Personal details
Born Danna Sue Ward
(1944-11-14) 14 November 1944 (age 69)
Sydney
Nationality Australian
Political party Liberal Party of Australia
Spouse(s) Robert Vale
Occupation Solicitor

Danna Sue Vale (née Ward; born 14 November 1944), Australian politician, was a Liberal member of the Australian House of Representatives from March 1996 to July 2010, representing the Division of Hughes, New South Wales. She did not re-contest her seat at the 2010 federal election.[1]

Background and early career[edit]

From 1984 until 1988, Vale was a full-time wife, mother and student, studying arts and law at Sydney University.[2] In 1988, she began practising as a solicitor and held this position until entering parliament.

Political career[edit]

Vale was first elected to the House of Representatives for Hughes, New South Wales in March 1996, re-elected in 1998, 2001, 2004 and 2007. Following re-election in 2001, she was appointed Minister for Veterans' Affairs (26 November 2001 to 22 October 2004) and Minister Assisting the Minister for Defence (26 November 2001 to 29 September 2003). Vale was first elected in Hughes when she defeated the sitting ALP member and Aboriginal Affairs Minister Robert Tickner, a defeat that has been largely attributed to his handling of the Hindmarsh Island Bridge controversy.

Vale notably opposed several of the Howard Government's policies and proposals, often on local issues, in particular the proposed construction of a second Sydney airport at Holsworthy and a nuclear waste processing plant at Lucas Heights, both of which would have been located in her electorate. In the government's second term, she spoke against mandatory sentencing of juveniles in the Northern Territory.[3] In June 2009, Vale was one of four Liberal MPs to support a Labor move to abolish the practice of charging asylum seekers the cost of their detention.[4]

She was a member of the House of Representatives Standing Committee on Science and Innovation[5] established to look at the technology of geosequestration of carbon dioxide. The committee reported in August 2007. However, Vale was one of four MPs issuing a dissenting report in which they stated, "We do not believe the evidence unequivocally supports the hypothesis of anthropogenic global warming". Among the evidence cited in the dissenting report were claims of global warming on other planets including Mars, Jupiter, Pluto, Neptune and Triton (a moon of Neptune).[6] Vale was ridiculed in The Sydney Morning Herald[7] and the local media[8] for her views.

In 2004, Vale unwittingly became involved in the "cash for comment affair" when she mistakenly faxed a letter of support, meant for radio talkback host Alan Jones of 2GB, to Jones' former station 2UE. At the time, questions were being raised about the impartiality of David Flint, the head of the Australian Broadcasting Authority, when a letter of praise from Flint to Jones was revealed after the ABA had cleared Jones of wrongdoing.[9] Vale's letter, urging Jones to "stay brave and true", was lampooned by the ABC TV program Media Watch, which adopted "Stay Brave and True" as its unofficial motto.[10]

In 2006, Vale suggested that Australia is going to become a Muslim nation, as a result of Australians "aborting themselves out of existence"[11] She made these comments in supporting a Coalition-backed amendment to a bill on the abortion drug RU486, and expressing concern at the rate of abortion by Australian women.[12]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Danna Vale to quit politics at next poll". The Age. 4 August 2009. 
  2. ^ Women in Australia
  3. ^ Danna Vale to quit politics at next poll: Turnbull, The Sydney Morning Herald, 5 August 2009.
  4. ^ Narushima, Yuko: Regret, redemption as MPs put end to detention debt, The Sydney Morning Herald, 26 June 2009.
  5. ^ Current members, Standing Committee on Science and Innovation, Parliament of Australia, 17 October 2007.
  6. ^ Between a Rock and a Hard Place the science of geosequestration, House Standing Committee on Science and Innovation, Parliament of Australia, 13 August 2007.
  7. ^ Crabb, Annabel: Aliens in the house from the Planet Propaganda, The Sydney Morning Herald, 14 August 2007.
  8. ^ "Your View", St George and Sutherland Shire Leader, 28 August 2007.
  9. ^ Vale misdirects letter of support for Jones, ABC News, 29 April 2004.
  10. ^ Brave and true (and magnetic), Media Watch (ABC TV), 10 May 2004.
  11. ^ Muslim nation 'not possible': Vanstone, The Sydney Morning Herald, 14 February 2006.
  12. ^ MP raises Islamisation fear in RU486 debate, ABC News, 13 February 2006.

External links[edit]

Political offices
Preceded by
Bruce Scott
Minister for Veterans' Affairs
2001–04
Succeeded by
De-Anne Kelly
Parliament of Australia
Preceded by
Robert Tickner
Member for Hughes
1996–2010
Succeeded by
Craig Kelly