Gary Punch

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The Honourable
Gary Punch
Member of the Australian Parliament
for Barton
In office
5 March 1983 – 29 January 1996
Preceded by Jim Bradfield
Succeeded by Robert McClelland
Personal details
Born (1957-08-21) 21 August 1957 (age 57)
Arncliffe, New South Wales
Nationality Australian
Political party Australian Labor Party
Occupation Industrial relations manager

Gary Francis Punch (born 21 August 1957) is a former Australian politician and government minister.

Punch was born in Arncliffe, New South Wales and educated at Hurstville Boys High School and subsequently obtained a commerce degree. He was an industrial relations and personnel manager before entering parliament. He was an alderman of Hurstville Municipal Council from 1977 to 1983 and was elected mayor in 1978, when he was 21, and held that position until he stood for parliament.[1][2]

Political career[edit]

Punch beat former secretary of the Australian Labor Party David Combe for Labor preselection to the seat of Barton in the Australian House of Representatives and was elected at the 1983 election. He was appointed Minister for the Arts and Territories in January 1988 in the Third Hawke Ministry. In September 1988, he was appointed Minister for Telecommunications and Aviation Support and held this position until 28 March 1989, when he resigned in opposition to cabinet's decision to build the third runway for Sydney Airport, which adjoined his electorate.[3] He was appointed Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Defence in the Second Keating Ministry in March 1993. In March 1994, he was promoted to the outer ministry as Minister for Defence Science and Personnel and held this position until his retirement prior to the 1996 election.[1]

Punch gained a law degree while in parliament and in 1996 he was appointed executive director of the Australian Cotton Foundation, the industry body for cotton growing. He was also the Honorary Chairman of Sydney Olympic FC from 1996 to 1997. In 2000, he began to practise as a lawyer. He was appointed as a director of NRMA Motoring and Services Ltd in 2005.[2][4]


  1. ^ a b "Biography for Punch, the Hon. Gary Francis". ParlInfo Web. Parliament of Australia. Retrieved 12 February 2000. 
  2. ^ a b Askew, Kate (16 April 2005). "No drama as Punch replaces Mr Lunch". The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 12 February 2000. 
  3. ^ Kelly, Paul (1994). The End of Certainty: The Story of the 1980s. Allen & Unwin. ISBN 1-86373-757-X.  P395
  4. ^ "Board of Directors". NRMA. Retrieved 12 February 2000. 
Political offices
Preceded by
John Brown
Minister for the Arts and Territories
Succeeded by
Clyde Holding
Preceded by
Peter Morris
Minister for Telecommunications
and Aviation Support

Succeeded by
Ros Kelly
Preceded by
John Faulkner
Minister for Defence
Science and Personnel

Succeeded by
Bronwyn Bishop
Parliament of Australia
Preceded by
Jim Bradfield
Member for Barton
Succeeded by
Robert McClelland