Mal Brough

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The Honourable
Malcolm Brough
Minister for Families, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs
In office
27 January 2006 – 3 December 2007
Prime Minister John Howard
Preceded by Kay Patterson
Succeeded by Jenny Macklin
Minister for Revenue and Assistant Treasurer
In office
18 July 2004 – 27 January 2006
Prime Minister John Howard
Preceded by Helen Coonan
Succeeded by Peter Dutton
Minister for Employment Participation
In office
14 February 2001 – 18 July 2004
Prime Minister John Howard
Preceded by Tony Abbott
Succeeded by Fran Bailey
Member of the Australian Parliament
for Fisher
Assumed office
7 September 2013
Preceded by Peter Slipper
Member of the Australian Parliament
for Longman
In office
2 March 1996 – 24 November 2007
Preceded by Constituency Created
Succeeded by Jon Sullivan
Personal details
Born (1961-12-29) 29 December 1961 (age 53)
Brisbane, Queensland, Australia
Political party Liberal Party of Australia
Spouse(s) Sue Brough
Relations Rob Brough (brother)
Alma mater Monash University
Military service
Service/branch Australian Army
Years of service 1979–1987
Rank Captain

Malcolm Thomas "Mal" Brough (/ˈbrʌf/ BRUFF; born 29 December 1961) is an Australian politician who is the current Liberal National member for the Division of Fisher in the Australian House of Representatives, elected at the 2013 federal election. Brough was previously the member for the Division of Longman, serving from the 1996 election to his defeat at the 2007 election. He held various positions in John Howard's second, third, and fourth ministries, and sat in cabinet as Minister for Families and Community Services and Indigenous Affairs from 2006 to 2007. In this role, he conducted the controversial Northern Territory Emergency Response founded on fraudulent information. From Brisbane, Brough was initially a member of the Liberal Party, and briefly served as president of the party's Queensland branch in 2008. He resigned following its merger with the Queensland branch of the National Party, but later joined the new Liberal National Party.

Early life[edit]

He was born on 29 December 1961 in Brisbane, Queensland, and was an Australian Army officer and businessman before entering politics. Former Family Feud host and Seven News presenter Rob Brough is his brother. Brough's Aboriginal ancestry is via his maternal grandmother, Violet, whose father was an indigenous Australian.[1]

Political career[edit]

Brough was Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Employment, Workplace Relations and Small Business 2000–01 and Minister for Employment Services from 2001 to 2004. In July 2004 he was moved to the portfolios of Assistant Treasurer and Minister for Revenue. He was Minister for Families and Community Services and Indigenous Affairs from January 2006 to November 2007. In his Indigenous Affairs portfolio, Brough was the chief architect of the government's Northern Territory Emergency Response, a package of measures designed to combat alleged high rates of child neglect and abuse in the territory.

Brough was one of a number of government MPs including John Howard who lost their seat at the 2007 election. Brough suffered a swing of 10.3 points in the two-party-preferred vote in his seat, to finish with a vote of 46.4 percent, and was succeeded by Labor's Jon Sullivan.[2]

Following the 2007 federal election,[3] the parliamentary hopeful Brough was left in limbo. This was until the 2013 federal election when Brough returned to the House of Representatives for the seat of Fisher.

State politics[edit]

Brough was elected as the President of the Queensland division of the Liberal Party in May 2008.[4] He remained in that position after a vote in July 2008 to merge into the new Liberal National Party of Queensland, which he opposed, as the merger had not received final ratification from the federal Liberal Party. On 26 September 2008 he resigned from his post, saying: “You try and do the right thing and, quite frankly, at this point it’s all over the shop and it’s no wonder voters get so disenchanted with the non-Labor side of politics.”[5]

It was because of his opposition of the merger to the LNP that he was not a candidate for his former seat of Longman at the 2010 Federal election as that would have meant securing preselection from the LNP, in order to have a good chance of reclaiming the seat. He also criticised the party leading up to the 2010 election on its absence of policies but did not rule out running for his resident seat of Fisher against former National-turned-Liberal member Peter Slipper.[6]

Later career[edit]

In mid-2012, following the defection of Peter Slipper from the Liberals to become an Independent MP and Speaker of the House of Representatives, Brough announced that he was seeking LNP preselection for the seat of Fisher for the next federal election.[7] On 29 July 2012, it was announced that had won the preselection for the seat,[8] despite criticism over his contact with the former Slipper adviser and sexual harassment accuser James Ashby, where Justice Steve Rares found that Mr Brough had acted with Mr Ashby and another Slipper staffer Karen Doane in abusing the judicial process for the "purpose of causing significant public, reputational and political damage to Mr Slipper".[9] On 9 October 2012, Slipper resigned as Speaker following revelations of mobile phone text messages he had sent to Ashby, and was replaced by Anna Burke.


  1. ^ "In the eye of the storm". The Sydney Morning Herald. 30 June 2007. 
  2. ^ "QLD Division Results - Longman". 2007 Election Tally Room. Australian Electoral Commission. 29 November 2007. Retrieved 30 November 2007. 
  3. ^
  4. ^ "Qld conservatives plan fresh merger talks". ABC News. Australian Broadcasting Corporation. 1 June 2008. Retrieved 13 January 2011. 
  5. ^ "Brough quits Liberal presidency". The Brisbane Times. 26 September 2008. Retrieved 13 January 2011. 
  6. ^ Dennehy, Kate (22 June 2010). "LNP has no idea, says Brough". The Brisbane Times. Retrieved 30 September 2012. 
  7. ^ "Brough to learn if he'll win preselection". 2 August 2012. Retrieved 29 July 2012. 
  8. ^ Parnell, Sean (29 July 2012). "Mal Brough's plan for federal comeback passes a key hurdle, with LNP preselection for Fisher". The Australian. Retrieved 30 September 2012. 
  9. ^ Ireland, Judith (28 Feb 2013). "AFP suspends Mal Brough conspiracy prober". The Age (Melbourne). Retrieved 28 April 2013. 

External links[edit]

Parliament of Australia
New division Member for Longman
Succeeded by
Jon Sullivan
Preceded by
Peter Slipper
Member for Fisher
Political offices
Preceded by
Tony Abbott
Minister for Employment Services
Succeeded by
Fran Bailey
Preceded by
Helen Coonan
Minister for Revenue and Assistant Treasurer
2004 – 2006
Succeeded by
Peter Dutton
Preceded by
Kay Patterson
Minister for Families and Community
Services and Indigenous Affairs

Succeeded by
Jenny Macklin