John Faulkner

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For other people named John Faulkner, see John Faulkner (disambiguation).
Senator The Honourable
John Faulkner
John Faulkner Jan 2010.jpg
Father of the Australian Senate
Incumbent
Assumed office
1 July 2014
Preceded by Ron Boswell
Minister for Defence
In office
9 June 2009 – 13 September 2010
Prime Minister Kevin Rudd
Julia Gillard
Preceded by Joel Fitzgibbon
Succeeded by Stephen Smith
Vice-President of the Executive Council
In office
3 December 2007 – 13 September 2010
Prime Minister Kevin Rudd
Julia Gillard
Preceded by Nick Minchin
Succeeded by Robert McClelland
Special Minister of State
In office
3 December 2007 – 9 June 2009
Prime Minister Kevin Rudd
Preceded by Gary Nairn
Succeeded by Joe Ludwig
Minister for the Environment, Sport and Territories
In office
25 March 1994 – 11 March 1996
Prime Minister Paul Keating
Preceded by Graham Richardson
Succeeded by Robert Hill (Environment)
Warwick Smith (Sport, Territories and Local Government)
Minister for Defence Science and Personnel
In office
24 March 1993 – 25 March 1994
Prime Minister Paul Keating
Preceded by Gordon Bilney
Succeeded by Gary Punch
Minister for Veterans' Affairs
In office
24 March 1993 – 25 March 1994
Prime Minister Paul Keating
Preceded by Ben Humphreys
Succeeded by Con Sciacca
Senator for New South Wales
Incumbent
Assumed office
4 April 1989
Preceded by Arthur Gietzelt
Personal details
Born (1954-04-12) 12 April 1954 (age 60)
Leeton, Australia
Political party Labor Party
Alma mater Macquarie University
Website Official website

John Philip Faulkner (born 12 April 1954) is an Australian politician. He has been a Labor member of the Australian Senate since 1989, representing the state of New South Wales. Following a period serving on various Senate Committees and as Deputy Whip, he was a Minister in the Keating Labor government 1993–96. Following several years in opposition as a Shadow Minister, he was appointed in 2007 as Vice-President of the Executive Council and Special Minister of State in the First Rudd Government. He was Minister for Defence from June 2009 to September 2010.[1]

Faulkner, the longest currently-serving Labor member of the Australian Senate, has sat on the backbench since the 2010 election,[2][3] is considered by some as an elder statesman,[4] and on 1 July 2014 became the Father of the Australian Senate. Faulkner will not seek re-election and his current Senate term, which expires in June 2017, will be his last.[5]

Background and early career[edit]

Faulkner was born in Leeton, New South Wales on 12 April 1954, and was educated at Macquarie University, Sydney, where he graduated in Arts and Education (BA, DipEd). He worked as a Special Education teacher in government schools before entering politics from 1977 to 1979. In 1980 he was employed as a Research officer to the New South Wales Minister for Sport and Recreation, Ken Booth. Gaining prominence within the ALP, he was made Assistant General Secretary of the NSW party in 1980, serving for nine years and became a member of the ALP National Executive in 1989.[1]

Political career[edit]

A leading member of the Socialist Left faction of the ALP, Faulkner was appointed to the Senate in 1989 to succeed the former left-wing minister Arthur Gietzelt, who had resigned mid-term. In the Keating Labor government, Faulkner was Minister for Veterans' Affairs and Minister for Defence Science and Personnel 1993–94, and Minister for the Environment, Sport and Territories, with a seat in the Cabinet, 1994–96.

After the defeat of the Keating government in 1996, Faulkner became Leader of the Opposition in the Senate, and was a member of the Opposition Shadow Ministry 1996–2004. He was at various times Shadow Minister for Social Security, Public Administration and Home Affairs. He was a key Labor strategist in the 1998, 2001 and 2004 federal elections, and was a particularly close advisor to Mark Latham during the 2004 election. In the wake of Labor's defeat in that election, he resigned his positions.[6] In October 2006 John Faulkner was elected as the National President of the Australian Labor Party until February 2008 and chaired the Labor's National Conference in 2007.

Faulkner with Chief of the Defence Force Air Chief Marshal Angus Houston and former Chief of the Defence Force Peter Cosgrove in 2009.
John Faulkner (left) with US Defence Secretary Robert Gates (right).

In the First Rudd Ministry, Faulkner served as the Vice-President of the Executive Council, Special Minister of State and Cabinet Secretary. In his role he introduced new rules for ministerial conduct and fundraising aimed at reducing the influence of lobbyists on government decisions. He also introduced new guidelines reducing the overt political control of government funded advertising.[7]

On 9 June 2009, Faulkner was sworn in the Minister for Defence, replacing Joel Fitzgibbon, who had stepped down on 4 June.[8][9] He retained this portfolio in the First Gillard government until the 2010 federal election following an earlier announcement that he would step down as Defence Minister and return to the backbench.[10]

In 2014 Faulkner began a process of reforms that sought to stamp out perceived corruption and factional infighting within the New South Wales branch of the Australian Labor Party. Faulkner proposed to include rank–and–file members in decisions such as the selection of candidates for Senate and Legislative Council vacancies and party tickets, and a vote in the direct election of the New South Wales parliamentary leaders.[11] However, Faulkner's reform proposals were mostly rejected at NSW Labor's 2014 conference.[12] The direct election of party leader gained support with effect from after the 2015 election.[13]

Personal life[edit]

Faulkner was formerly married to fellow Labor politician Sandra Nori and they have two children.[14]

Major published works[edit]

  • Costar, Brian; Lees, Meg; Coonan, Helen; Faulkner, John; Evans, Harry (2000). Deadlock or Democracy? The Future of the Senate. Sydney: UNSW Press. 57 pages. ISBN 0-86840-570-1. 
  • Faulkner, John; Macintyre, Stuart (2001). True believers: the story of the federal parliamentary Labor Party. Crows Nest: Allen & Unwin. 328 pages. ISBN 1-86508-609-6. 
  • Faulkner, John (2005). Parliamentary privilege: precedents, procedure and practice in the Australian Senate 1966–2005. Canberra: Senate Committee of Privileges. 201 pages. ISBN 0-642-71601-3. 

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "Biography for FAULKNER, the Hon. John Philip". Parlinfo. Parliament of Australia. Retrieved 21 April 2007. 
  2. ^ "Gillard minister to quit: Faulkner to go to backbench". The Age. 7 July 2010. 
  3. ^ White, Cassie (1 September 2010). "Gillard unveils major frontbench shake-up". ABC News (Australia). 
  4. ^ Grattan, Michelle (11 July 2010). "Enough is enough – it's time to name the date as election climate heats up". Brisbane Times. 
  5. ^ Owens, Jared (30 April 2014). "Labor Stalwart John Faulkner to retire". The Australian. Retrieved 3 August 2014. 
  6. ^ "No bluff, Faulkner just resigns". The Sydney Morning Herald. 12 October 2004. 
  7. ^ "Liberals play spot the hypocrite on political accountability". Crikey. 11 November 2008. 
  8. ^ "The Inheritor". Inside Story. 1 September 2009. 
  9. ^ "New faces sworn into Rudd ministry". SBS World News. 9 June 2009. 
  10. ^ "Faulkner to step down". The Age. 7 July 2010. 
  11. ^ Bourke, Latika (8 April 2014). "John Faulkner flags rule changes to Senate selection process to stamp out corruption in Labor Party". ABC News (Australia). Retrieved 3 August 2014. 
  12. ^ Evans, Brett (29 July 2014). "The winter of Senator Faulkner’s discontent". Inside Story. ISSN 1837-0497. Retrieved 3 August 2014. 
  13. ^ Gerathy, Sarah (26 July 2014). "NSW Labor to allow rank and file members to vote on next state leader". ABC News (Australia). Retrieved 3 August 2014. 
  14. ^ "Nori, Sandra (1953 – )". Australian Women's Archives Project. National Foundation for Australian Women & University of Melbourne. Retrieved 31 January 2010. 

External links[edit]

Parliament of Australia
Preceded by
Ron Boswell
Father of the Australian Senate
2014–present
Incumbent
Political offices
Preceded by
Ben Humphreys
Minister for Veterans' Affairs
1993–1994
Succeeded by
Con Sciacca
Preceded by
Gordon Bilney
Minister for Defence Science and Personnel
1993–1994
Succeeded by
Gary Punch
Preceded by
Graham Richardson
Minister for the Environment, Sport and Territories
1994–1996
Succeeded by
Robert Hill
as Minister for the Environment
Succeeded by
Warwick Smith
as Minister for Sport, Territories and Local Government
Preceded by
Gary Nairn
Special Minister of State
2007–2009
Succeeded by
Joe Ludwig
Preceded by
Nick Minchin
Vice-President of the Executive Council
2007–2010
Succeeded by
Robert McClelland
Preceded by
Joel Fitzgibbon
Minister for Defence
2009–2010
Succeeded by
Stephen Smith
Party political offices
Preceded by
Gareth Evans
Leader of the Labor Party in the Senate
1996–2004
Succeeded by
Chris Evans