Deborah O'Neill

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Deborah O'Neill
Senator for New South Wales
Assumed office
13 November 2013
Preceded by Bob Carr
Member of the Australian Parliament
for Robertson
In office
21 August 2010 – 7 September 2013
Preceded by Belinda Neal
Succeeded by Lucy Wicks
Personal details
Born (1961-06-04) 4 June 1961 (age 53)
Parramatta, New South Wales
Nationality Australian
Political party Australian Labor Party
Spouse(s) Paul
Children Caitlin, Brianna and Noah
Profession University lecturer

Deborah Mary O'Neill (born 4 June 1961) is an Australian federal politician, formerly representing the seat of Robertson as a member of the Australian House of Representatives from 2010 to 2013 for the Australian Labor Party. On 13 November 2013, O'Neill was chosen to fill a casual vacancy in the Senate, representing the state of New South Wales.[1]

Early years and background[edit]

O'Neill grew up in Western Sydney, a child of Irish immigrants, before moving to the Central Coast when she got married.[2] She was a local teacher and a lecturer in the Faculty of Education and Arts at The University of Newcastle, Central Coast Campus.[3]

Political career[edit]

At the NSW state election in 2003, O'Neill challenged Chris Hartcher in the seat of Gosford and lost by only 272 votes.[4] After that seat was redistributed, O'Neill again challenged Hartcher for the new seat of Terrigal but was defeated.

In 2010, O'Neill was endorsed as Labor candidate for Robertson following a very public process that saw incumbent Labor member, Belinda Neal, lose preselection.[5][6] At the 2010 federal election O'Neill was challenged by Liberal candidate Darren Jameson, but won the seat with an increased margin for Labor of 1 percent.[7] At the 2013 election, O'Neill suffered a 3.8% swing against her and was defeated by the Liberals' Lucy Wicks.

Following the resignation of Bob Carr from the Australian Senate on 23 October 2013, O'Neill was preselected by Labor to fill the casual vacancy. In an unprecedented situation where Carr resigned both his current term and the following six-year term, the NSW Government sought legal advice regarding the tenure of O'Neill's appointment.[8]


  1. ^ Griffith, Emma. "Deb O'Neill chosen to replace Bob Carr in the Senate". ABC News. Retrieved 30 October 2013. 
  2. ^ Rodgers, Emma (2010). "Robertson: What legacy will Belinda Neal leave?". ABC News (Australia). Retrieved 22 August 2010. 
  3. ^ "Deborah O'Neill". Labor People. Australian Labor Party. 2010. Retrieved 22 August 2010. 
  4. ^ Tally Room: Terrigal - NSW 2011
  5. ^ "Neal loses preselection challenge". ABC News (Australia). Retrieved 6 March 2010. 
  6. ^ Morello, Vincent (7 March 2010). "Belinda Neal dumped from Central Coast seat in landslide pre-selection vote". (News Limited). Retrieved 7 March 2010. 
  7. ^
  8. ^ Martin, Lisa (5 November 2013). "O'Neill to miss first week of Senate". Herald Sun. AAP. Retrieved 9 November 2013. 

External links[edit]

Parliament of Australia
Preceded by
Belinda Neal
Member for Robertson
Succeeded by
Lucy Wicks
Preceded by
Bob Carr
Senator for New South Wales