Mark Arbib

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Senator The Honourable
Mark Arbib
MarkArbibJerilderieLibraryOpening.JPG
Minister for Sport
In office
14 September 2010 – 2 March 2012
Prime Minister Julia Gillard
Preceded by Kate Ellis
Succeeded by Kate Lundy
Minister for Indigenous Employment and Economic Development
In office
14 September 2010 – 2 March 2012
Succeeded by Julie Collins
Minister for Social Housing and Homelessness
In office
14 September 2010 – 14 December 2011
Preceded by Tanya Plibersek
Succeeded by Robert McClelland
Minister for Employment Participation
In office
9 June 2009 – 14 September 2010
Prime Minister Kevin Rudd
Julia Gillard
Preceded by Brendan O'Connor
Succeeded by Kate Ellis
Senator for New South Wales
In office
1 July 2008 – 5 March 2012
Succeeded by Bob Carr
Personal details
Born Mark Victor Arbib
(1971-11-09) 9 November 1971 (age 42)
Chippendale, New South Wales
Nationality Australian
Political party Australian Labor Party
Spouse(s) Kelli Field
Children 2 daughters
Residence Australia
Alma mater University of New South Wales
Occupation Senator
Profession Union official

Mark Victor Arbib (born 9 November 1971) is a former Australian politician and trade unionist, who was a Labor member of the Australian Senate from July 2008 to 5 March 2012, representing the state of New South Wales. He was the Australian Labor Party State Secretary of the New South Wales branch from 2004 to 2007. In February 2009, he was appointed Parliamentary Secretary for Government Service Delivery, a position within the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet. He later served as Minister for Indigenous Employment and Economic Development, the Minister for Sport and Minister for Social Housing and Homelessness. On 27 February 2012, after former prime minister Kevin Rudd failed in an unsuccessful leadership challenge to Prime Minister Julia Gillard, Arbib announced he would shortly be resigning as a minister and senator. His resignation from the ministry was effective 2 March, and his resignation as a senator was submitted on 5 March.

Personal[edit]

Arbib was born in the Sydney suburb of Chippendale. His father, Eric Arbib, was of Libyan heritage and spoke Italian, moving to Australia in the 1960s and becoming a property developer. His mother Lola was born in Sydney. She raised Arbib and his brother after the death of their father when they were young.[1] He has a Master of Arts in political science and economic history from the University of New South Wales.[2]

He lives in Sydney with his wife Kelli Field and two daughters. He is a supporter of the Sydney Roosters NRL club, Sydney FC A-League club, and is a public Ambassador for Australia's leading Indigenous non-profit education organisation, the Australian Indigenous Education Foundation.

Early career[edit]

While studying, Arbib worked part-time at a Sizzler restaurant in Bondi Junction. When there were moves to remove penalty rates, he negotiated on behalf of the part-time workers and signed up members to the Liquor Trades Union.[3] Later he worked variously as a metal trades assistant, beach inspector and restaurant cook, but became increasingly involved in the trade union movement. In 1989 he had a bit part in the Australian soap opera Home and Away.[4]

He joined the Australian Labor Party in 1992 and was elected as President of NSW Young Labor in 1995. He served as Assistant General Secretary from 1999 and was the ALP State Organiser between 1996 and 1999.[2]

Career as General Secretary[edit]

Arbib was elected General Secretary of the Australian Labor Party (NSW Branch) in June 2004.[2] In 2005, he was elevated to the role of national convener of the party's right wing.[5] In 2007, Arbib was Campaign Director for Morris Iemma's successful 2007 state election campaign.[2] Following the 2007 Election victory for the Labor Party, he was credited by former premier Bob Carr as "one of the best campaigners in the business."[6] However the opposition has criticised his role in procuring political donations for the Labor party from business groups.[7]

In January, 2008, the Sydney Morning Herald quoted an organisation which makes political donations to the Labor Party as saying that Mark Arbib made an art form out of extracting political donations from businesses. Said the donor: "There's no doubt Arbib wrote the book in terms of both political donations ... and their importance ... It's fine to take the higher ground and say 'we won't make donations' ... but if you don't you have got zero chance of getting (to see them)." Arbib denied the allegations.[7] Arbib was named in the ABC television program Four Corners in relation to political donations to the NSW Labor Party.[8]

Arbib was preselected for the number one position of Labor's New South Wales Senate ticket and won a seat at the 2007 federal election.[9]

Federal politics[edit]

From 1 July 2008 to 30 March 2009, Arbib served on the Senate Committees for Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade, Corporations and Financial Services, and Education, Employment and Workplace Relations. He was also the co-convenor of a bipartisan parliamentary group: Parliamentarians Against Child Abuse and Neglect (PACAN) and is an Ambassador of the Australian Indigenous Education Foundation.

Arbib is a member of the ALP National Executive (from 2004) and a member of the ALP National Executive Committee (from 2007). In February 2009, he was appointed Parliamentary Secretary for Government Service Delivery.[10][11] In the June 2009 reshuffle, he was promoted to Employment Participation Minister and Minister Assisting the Prime Minister on Government Service Delivery.[12] On 24 June 2010 he was one of the main players in the downfall of Kevin Rudd, then in his first term as Prime Minister. Arbib used his power as leader of the NSW right faction to shore up numbers to depose Rudd in favour of Julia Gillard.[13] In August 2010 Arbib stood down from the ALP National Executive to concentrate on his portfolio duties. In November 2010 Arbib was the first Federal Labor Party front bencher to support same-sex marriage.[14] He spoke in favour of marriage equality at Labor's National Conference in December 2011 and has called on the Liberal Party to allow its members a conscience vote. As Minister for Sport Arbib has championed a National Policy on Match Fixing in Sport which includes nationally consistent criminal legislation.

The United States diplomatic cables leaks revealed that Mark Arbib was in regular contact with staff at the US embassy in Canberra[15] and provided them with inside information and commentary on the workings of the government and the Labor Party.[16][17][18] Arbib strongly denied having a special relationship with the United States and was highly critical of Fairfax's reporting of the cables which he claims contained a number of serious factual errors. [19]

In the December 2011 reshuffle, Arbib was appointed as Assistant Treasurer, Minister for Small Business and Manager of Government Business in the Senate.[20]

On 27 February 2012, hours after the ALP leadership ballot, Arbib announced his resignation from the Cabinet from 2 March, and his intention to also resign from the Senate.[21] He cited wanting to spend more time with his family than being a Minister and Senator can allow. He also hoped his resigning would help the Labor Party to heal.[22] His resignation from the Senate was submitted on 5 March. The following day on 6 March 2012, Arbib was replaced as a Senator by Former New South Wales Premier Bob Carr who the following week on 13 March 2012 became the Foreign Minister of Australia following the resignation of Kevin Rudd from that position.

Post politics[edit]

On 27 April 2012, Australian Rugby Union (ARU) announced Arbib would conduct a major review into ARU’s corporate governance. The review followed the decision of other major sports, including the Australian Rugby League Commission, Cricket Australia and Football Federation Australia, to review their governance structures.

The recommendations contained in Strengthening the Governance of Australian Rugby[23] (the Arbib Review), were endorsed in full by the Board of ARU in October 2012. On 10 December 2012, ARU’s State and Territory Member Unions voted in favour of a new constitution adopting Arbib’s recommendations. The changes from the Arbib Review established an Independent Board of Directors and reformed the Membership of ARU to better reflect the Rugby Union community across Australia, both amateur and professional.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Wainwright, Robert (22 July 2006). "The party planner". Sydney Morning Herald (Fairfax). Retrieved 10 December 2010. 
  2. ^ a b c d Australian Labor Party : Mark Arbib – Senator Elect for New South Wales
  3. ^ Steketee, Mike (16 March 2005). "The Right's friendly new face". Australian. News Limited. 
  4. ^ "Mark Arbib had a bit part in a TV soap before he became a Labor Party powerbroker". The Australian. 1 March 2012. 
  5. ^ Snow, Deborah (19 February 2005). "Labor's New Right Sparks". Sydney Morning Herald (Fairfax). Retrieved 27 June 2010. 
  6. ^ Benson, Simon (26 March 2007). "Arbib's Mastermind Campaign". Daily Telegraph (News Limited). Retrieved 10 December 2010. 
  7. ^ a b Clennell, Andrew (28 January 2008). "Anger over Iemma's lopsided election campaign war chest". Sydney Morning Herald (Fairfax). Retrieved 1 August 2008. 
  8. ^ Ferguson, Sarah (14 April 2008). "Dirty, Sexy Money". Four Corners. Australian Broadcasting Corporation. Retrieved 27 June 2010. 
  9. ^ Coorey, Phillip; Humphries, David; Clennell, Andrew (2 May 2007). "ALP preselection bloodletting begins". Sydney Morning Herald (Fairfax). Retrieved 27 June 2010. 
  10. ^ Karvelas, Patricia (2 February 2009). "Fast rise for former ALP state secretary Mark Arbib". Australian (News Limited). Retrieved 19 February 2009. 
  11. ^ Hudson, Phillip (19 February 2009). "Rudd promotes favourite Arbib". Sydney Morning Herald (Fairfax). Retrieved 19 February 2009. 
  12. ^ Hudson, Phillip (8 June 2009). "Arbib to be Labor's man on the jobs". Sydney Morning Herald (Fairfax). Retrieved 27 June 2010. 
  13. ^ Tatnell, Paul (25 June 2010). "Gillard must watch her back: Latham". Sydney Morning Herald (Fairfax). Retrieved 27 June 2010. 
  14. ^ Karvelas, Patricia (6 November 2010). "Mark Arbib wants Labor to back gay marriage". Australian (News limited). Retrieved 9 November 2010. 
  15. ^ Maley, Paul; Dodd, Mark; Wilson, Peter (10 December 2010). WikiLeaks outs Mark Arbib as US informant "WikiLeaks outs Mark Arbib as US informant". Australian. News Limited. Retrieved 10 December 2010. 
  16. ^ Dorling, Philip (9 December 2010). "Yank in the ranks". Sydney Morning Herald. Fairfax. Retrieved 10 December 2010. 
  17. ^ Dorling, Philip (9 December 2010). "Arbib revealed as secret US source". The Age. Fairfax. Retrieved 10 December 2010. 
  18. ^ Dorling, Philip (9 December 2010). "The American friend: Arbib secret source". Canberra Times. Fairfax. Retrieved 10 December 2010. 
  19. ^ http://www.theaustralian.com.au/national-affairs/fairfax-got-its-facts-wrong-reporting-from-wikileaks-cable/story-fn59niix-1225972992028 The Australian 18 December 2010
  20. ^ "Changes to the Ministry" (Press release). Press Office of the Prime Minister of Australia. 12 December 2011. Retrieved 27 February 2012. 
  21. ^ Arbib expected to resign from the Senate, ninemsn, 27 February 2012.
  22. ^ Arbib resigns as minister and senator, The Sydney Morning Herald, 27 February 2012.
  23. ^ http://www.rugby.com.au/ARUHQ/GovernanceReview.aspx

External links[edit]

Political offices
Preceded by
Brendan O'Connor
Minister for Employment Participation
2009–2010
Succeeded by
Kate Ellis
Preceded by
Tanya Plibersek
Minister for Social Housing and Homelessness
2010–2011
Succeeded by
Robert McClelland
Preceded by
Kate Ellis
Minister for Sport
2010–2012
Succeeded by
Kate Lundy
New title Minister for Indigenous Employment and Economic Development
2010–2012
Succeeded by
Julie Collins
Party political offices
Preceded by
Eric Roozendaal
NSW Secretary of the Australian Labor Party
2004–2007
Succeeded by
Karl Bitar