Ian Macdonald (Australian politician)

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This article is about the Australian federal politician. For the New South Wales politician, see Ian Macdonald (New South Wales politician). For other people with similarly spelled names, see Ian McDonald (disambiguation).
The Honourable
Ian Macdonald
Senator for Queensland
Incumbent
Assumed office
1 July 1990
Personal details
Born (1945-11-29) 29 November 1945 (age 68)
Brisbane, Queensland
Nationality Australian
Political party Liberal Party
Occupation Solicitor

Ian Douglas Macdonald (born 29 November 1945), Australian politician, has been a Liberal member of the Australian Senate since July 1990, representing Queensland. Following the retirement of Ron Boswell, he is set to become the most senior member of the coalition in the Senate.

Early life[edit]

He was born in Brisbane, Queensland, and was a solicitor before entering politics. He was also a Councillor in the Burdekin Shire Council 1979–90. He was Vice-President of the Liberal Party in Queensland from 1987 to 1990.

Early political career[edit]

In 1992, Macdonald was appointed to the Opposition Shadow Ministry[1] under Liberal leader John Hewson as Shadow Minister for Local Government and the Australian Capital Territory. In 1994, following Alexander Downer's accession to the party leadership, MacDonald was given the positions of Shadow Minister for Regional Development and Shadow Minister for Infrastructure and continued to serve at these positions under Opposition leader John Howard.[1]

Howard Government[edit]

Following the election of the Howard Government, Senator Macdonald was appointed Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for the Environment in 1996. In 1998, MacDonald was appointed to the Cabinet of the Second Howard Ministry as Minister for Regional Services, Territories and Local Government In 2001, MacDonald was appointed Minister for Forestry and Conservation in the Third Howard Ministry but switched to the portfolio of Fisheries, Forestry and Conservation in November 2002. He continued in this position in the Fourth Howard Ministry until January 2006 when he lost his position in a Cabinet reshuffle triggered by the retirement of Robert Hill.[2]

Return to Opposition[edit]

Following the defeat of the Howard Government in 2007, MacDonald was appointed to the Opposition Shadow Ministry of Brendan Nelson as Shadow Minister Assisting the Leader of the Opposition and Shadow Minister for Northern Australia. On 22 September 2008, following the election of Malcolm Turnbull as Opposition Leader, Macdonald lost his position as Shadow Minister Assisting the Leader of the Opposition but retained the position of Shadow Parliamentary Secretary for Northern Australia.[3]

In 2009, MacDonald lost his position in the Shadow Cabinet following Tony Abbott's accession to the Liberal leadership, MacDonald lost his position in the Opposition Shadow Ministry[1] but was appointed Shadow Parliamentary Secretary for Northern and Remote Australia. In 2010, he also took on the position of Shadow Parliamentary Secretary for the Defence Force and Defence Support.

Controversy[edit]

On 3 November 2011 during debate on carbon tax legislation, Ian Macdonald stated "GetUp! is the Hitler Youth wing of the Greens political movement."[4] Senator Macdonald stood by his comments when challenged.[5] While he later apologised to the Jewish community for this remark, he did not withdraw the comment in Parliament.[6] He also once likened Stephen Conroy to Joseph Goebbels.[7]

Abbott Government[edit]

On 16 September 2013, following the election of the Abbott Government, it was announced that despite Tony Abbott's stated aim of ministry continuity Macdonald had been dropped from the frontbench. Senator Macdonald described this day as the "one of the worst" days in his life.[8]

In June 2014, MacDonald joined Senator Cory Bernardi in expressing opposition to the Government's proposed deficit levy, claiming that he did not believe the increase "goes far enough."[9] He also threatened to cross the floor over the proposed fuel excise hike.[10]

He will become Father of the Australian Senate in 2017 should he serve out the remainder of his current term following the retirement of John Faulkner.

Notes[edit]

Political offices
New title Minister for Regional Services, Territories
and Local Government

1998–2001
Succeeded by
Wilson Tuckey
Preceded by
Wilson Tuckey
Minister for (Fisheries,)
Forestry and Conservation

2001–2006
Succeeded by
Eric Abetz