John Watkins (Australian politician)

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The Honourable
John Watkins
MA, LLB, DipEd
Deputy Premier of New South Wales
In office
10 August 2005 – 3 September 2008
Preceded by Andrew Refshauge
Succeeded by Carmel Tebbutt
Constituency Ryde
Chancellor of the University of New England
Incumbent
Assumed office
17 April 2013
Preceded by Richard Torbay
Personal details
Born (1955-12-07) 7 December 1955 (age 58)
Sydney, New South Wales
Nationality Australian
Political party Australian Labor Party
Spouse(s) Deborah Watkins
Profession Teacher
Religion Roman Catholic

John Arthur Watkins (born 7 December 1955) is a former Deputy Premier of New South Wales, serving between 2005 until his resignation from Parliament in 2008. In 2008 Watkins was appointed as Chief Executive Officer of Alzheimer's Australia (NSW); and in 2013 he appointed as the eighth Chancellor of the University of New England.

Watkins was an elected member of the New South Wales Legislative Assembly representing the electorates of Gladesville (between 1995 and 1999) and then Ryde (between 1999 and 2008) for the Australian Labor Party. During his parliamentary career, Watkins served in a range of ministerial portfolios including Fair Trading, Sport and Recreation, Police and Corrective Services, Transport, Finance, State Development, and Education and Training. Often touted as a possible Labor premier,[1] Watkins was from the minority Labor Left faction.[2]

Ministerial career[edit]

Watkins was the former Deputy Premier of New South Wales, Minister for Transport and Minister for Finance. Watkins was appointed Deputy Premier in August 2005, following the resignation of Andrew Refshauge and upon the appointment of Morris Iemma as Premier. Watkins held the cabinet position of Transport Minister from January 2005. He was appointed Minister for Finance on 30 March 2007 following the reelection of the Iemma Government. Watkins resigned from Cabinet and retired from Parliament in 2008. His retirement triggered the unintentional downfall of Premier Morris Iemma.[3] His resignation came at a bad time for the government; its polling numbers were in free fall only a year after winning reelection. In the ensuing by-election, Ryde was resoundingly lost to Liberal Victor Dominello on a swing of 23.7 percent; only a year earlier, Watkins had been reelected with 60 percent of the two-party vote.

Prior ministerial posts included Minister for Police (2003–2005 and 2006–2007), Minister for Education (2001–2003) and Minister for Fair Trading and Sports (1999–2001).

Early years and background[edit]

Watkins is married to Deborah and together they have five children. He holds a Bachelor of Laws degree, a Master of Arts degree and a Diploma of Education. Prior to becoming a politician, Watkins was a school teacher at St. Joseph's College, Hunters Hill.

Watkins was a former Alderman on Hunters Hill Municipal Council from 1987 to 1991, and held the position of Deputy Mayor.

Post politics[edit]

In 2008 Watkins was appointed as Chief Executive Officer of Alzheimer's Australia (NSW). In April 2013, Watkins was appointed to succeed Richard Torbay as the eighth Chancellor of the University of New England.[4]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Clennell, Andrew (10 July 2007). "Watkins was sized up to fill Carr's shoes, and he may follow Iemma". The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 11 November 2011. 
  2. ^ "NSW Deputy Premier Watkins announces retirement". ABC News (Australia). 3 September 2008. Retrieved 3 September 2008. 
  3. ^ Smith, Alexandra; Robins, Brian (5 September 2008). "NSW Premier Morris Iemma quits as Premier, will leave politics". The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 11 November 2011. 
  4. ^ "John Watkins new UNE chancellor". Armidale Express. Fairfax Regional Media. 18 April 2013. Retrieved 18 April 2013. 

External links[edit]

Parliament of New South Wales
Preceded by
Ivan Petch
Member for Gladesville
1995 – 1999
District abolished
New district Member for Ryde
1999 – 2008
Succeeded by
Victor Dominello
Political offices
Preceded by
Jeff Shaw, QC
Minister for Fair Trading
1999 – 2001
Succeeded by
Reba Meagher
Preceded by
Gabrielle Harrison
Minister for Sport and Recreation
1999 – 2001
Succeeded by
Sandra Nori
as Minister for Tourism,
Sport and Recreation
Preceded by
Bob Debus
Minister for Corrective Services
2001
Succeeded by
Bob Debus
Preceded by
John Aquilina
Minister for Education and Training
2001 – 2003
Succeeded by
Andrew Refshauge
Preceded by
Paul Whelan
Minister for Police
2003 – 2005
Succeeded by
Carl Scully
Preceded by
Michael Costa
as Minister for Transport Services
Minister for Transport
2005 – 2008
Succeeded by
Eric Roozendaal
Preceded by
Michael Egan
Minister for State Development
2005 – 2006
Succeeded by
Morris Iemma
Preceded by
Andrew Refshauge
Deputy Premier of New South Wales
2005 – 2008
Succeeded by
Carmel Tebbutt
Preceded by
Carl Scully
Minister for Police
2006–2007
Succeeded by
David Campbell
Preceded by
John Della Bosca
Minister for Finance
2007 – 2008
Succeeded by
Joe Tripodi
Academic offices
Preceded by
Richard Torbay
Chancellor of the University of New England
2013 – present
Incumbent