John Madigan (Australian politician)

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John Madigan
Senator for Victoria
Assumed office
1 July 2011
Personal details
Born (1966-07-21) 21 July 1966 (age 48)
Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
Nationality Australian
Political party Democratic Labour Party
Children 2
Residence Ballarat, Victoria
Occupation Blacksmith
Religion Catholic

John Joseph Madigan (born 21 July 1966) is an Australian politician.[1] He is a member of the Democratic Labour Party (DLP), elected to the Australian Senate with 2.3 percent of the primary vote in Victoria at the 2010 federal election, serving a six-year term since July 2011.[2][3]

Early life[edit]

Born into a Catholic family, Madigan belonged to a youth group run by the National Civic Council founder, B.A. Santamaria, in Melbourne.[3][4] Madigan was a blacksmith and boilermaker from 1983 to 2011, self-employed in his own engineering workshop in Hepburn Springs, Victoria. He has an apprenticeship in Structural Steel Fabrication from Newport TAFE. He lives in Ballarat and is married with two children.[3][5][6]


Madigan served as vice-president of the Victorian DLP from 2008 to 2009, now serving as president of the Victorian DLP and vice-president of the federal DLP since 2009.[6]

2010 federal election[edit]

Madigan won the sixth and last Victorian Senate seat at the 2010 federal election. He took office on 1 July 2011 as the first "DLP" senator from Victoria since Frank McManus and Jack Little, who were both defeated at the double-dissolution election in 1974. Preference counts indicated that the primary DLP vote of 2.3 percent (75,000 votes) in Victoria reached the 14.3 percent quota required by gaining One Nation, Christian Democratic and Building Australia preferences to edge out Steve Fielding of the Family First Party with a 0.2 percent lead and thus gained their preferences. When the Australian Sex Party candidate was excluded, the DLP gained Liberal Democratic Party preferences, overtaking the third Liberal/National candidate and gaining their preferences to win the last seat.[3][7][8][9]

Madigan took his seat in the Senate on 1 July 2011. The then Labor government held 31 seats, eight short of a majority, with the Greens holding nine seats, a sole balance of power position, therefore Madigan's vote is unlikely to be a decider in a senate division because the Green bloc paired with either Labor or the coalition is enough to win a division in the current 2011-14 Senate composition.

Political views[edit]

Madigan takes a pro-life stance, describing himself as "unashamedly pro-life".[3] He opposes legislation on same-sex marriage.[10] He is against the sale of public infrastructure.[10] Madigan indicated he is opposed to a carbon tax on behalf of the DLP, stating "We're not in favour of a carbon tax because we believe it's a tax on people and a tax on life."[10] Madigan is an advocate for shops closing at midday on Saturdays.[3] Madigan addressed the Inaugural Jack Kane Dinner in July 2011, where he advocated Chifley protectionist economics.[4][11]

In his maiden speech to the Senate on 25 August 2011, Madigan denounced "inhumane" abortion laws and committed to help restore Australia's dwindling manufacturing sector. He called for a "good Labor government that will bring something better to the people". He said that the DLP and ALP differed in a number of ways, however "we both came from the same lineage and however some members on both sides may dislike it, we are kin, of sorts. The ALP has a chance to reaffirm its commitment to that unchanging labour movement. The DLP intends to pursue that vision":[12]

During my time here there will no doubt be a number of controversial bills proposed. I do not intend to be deliberately controversial simply for a few cheap headlines but on some issues I cannot be complicit by my silence.[12]

Madigan also praised fellow crossbench Senator Nick Xenophon in his maiden speech, saying he had "done his best to address the plight of the Australian worker and the Australian family".[12] Madigan was one of only a couple of Senators present when Xenophon used parliamentary privilege in September 2011 to make claims about Catholic Church coverups of alleged sexual abuse.[13]

External links[edit]


  1. ^ Turnbull, Jeff. "DLP an outside chance for Senate". The Age (Fairfax Media). Retrieved 7 September 2010. 
  2. ^ Levy, Megan (16 September 2010). "Family First's Steve Fielding loses Senate seat". The Age (Fairfax Media). Retrieved 17 September 2010. 
  3. ^ a b c d e f Fyfe, Melissa (12 September 2010). "Red-leather day for the DLP". Sydney Morning Herald (Fairfax Media). Retrieved 16 September 2010. 
  4. ^ a b Ex-blacksmith may be needed to hammer out Senate deals: SMH 16 August 2011
  5. ^ "Democratic Labor Party of Australia: Victoria". Democratic Labor Party of Australia. Retrieved 22 August 2010. 
  6. ^ a b Biography: Australian Parliament website
  7. ^ "2010 election Victorian Senate preference flows: ABC Elections". Retrieved 7 September 2010. 
  8. ^ Victorian 2010 Senate results: AEC
  9. ^ Colebatch, Tim (18 September 2010). "Labor has edge in tightest race ever". The Age (Fairfax Media). Retrieved 7 October 2010. 
  10. ^ a b c Preiss, Benjamin (15 September 2010). "DLP stakes its position on issues". The Courier (Fairfax Media). Retrieved 16 September 2010. 
  11. ^ Allan, Lyle (2011), "Historical parallels: ALP preferences and the resurgent DLP," in Recorder (Australian Society for the Study of Labour History, Melbourne Branch) No. 270, July, pp.6-7.
  12. ^ a b c Senator Madigan calls to bring something better to the people: The Courier 26 August 2011
  13. ^ Xenophon speech puts parliamentary privilege in spotlight: 7.30 report ABC 15 September 2011