Martin Ferguson

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For the Scottish footballer, see Martin Ferguson (footballer).
The Honourable
Martin Ferguson
AM
Martin Ferguson - World Economic Forum on East Asia 2012 crop.jpg
Martin Ferguson at the World Economic Forum on East Asia in 2012
Minister for Resources and Energy
In office
3 December 2007 – 22 March 2013
Prime Minister Kevin Rudd
Julia Gillard
Preceded by Ian Macfarlane
Succeeded by Gary Gray
Minister for Tourism
In office
3 December 2007 – 22 March 2013
Prime Minister Kevin Rudd
Julia Gillard
Preceded by Fran Bailey
Succeeded by Gary Gray
Member of the Australian Parliament for Batman
In office
2 March 1996 – 5 August 2013
Preceded by Brian Howe
Succeeded by David Feeney
Personal details
Born Martin John Ferguson
(1953-12-12) 12 December 1953 (age 61)
Sydney, New South Wales
Political party Australian Labor Party
Website MartinFerguson.com.au

Martin John Ferguson, AM (born 12 December 1953), Australian politician, was an Australian Labor Party member of the Australian House of Representatives from March 1996 until August 2013 representing the Division of Batman, Victoria. He is a son of the late Jack Ferguson who was Deputy Premier of New South Wales from 1976 to 1984. His brother is Laurie Ferguson, also a long-serving federal MP.

Ferguson retired from parliament at the 2013 Australian federal election.[1]

Life and career[edit]

Born in Sydney, Ferguson was educated at St Patrick's College, Strathfield and then the University of Sydney. He was successively research officer, Assistant General Secretary and General Secretary of the Miscellaneous Workers' Union, a member of the executive of the Australian Council of Trade Unions (ACTU)(ACU) 1984–90. He was Vice-President of the ACTU 1985–90 and President of the ACTU 1990–96. A member of the Governing Body of the International Labour Organization 1990–96, he was admitted to the Order of Australia in 1996.

Ferguson won preselection for the seat of Batman (traditionally a solid ALP electorate) in 1995, after a deal had been negotiated between the right-wing Labor Unity faction in Victoria and the ALP National Executive. At the local level, the majority Greek party membership, largely resulting from heavy branch stacking,[2] was likely to support a candidate other than Ferguson; but no local candidate was likely to receive support from the 50 per cent vote in the preselection panel which had been elected by the Victorian ALP State Conference. Both the other candidates, Jenny Mikakos and Theo Theophanous, then members of competing Left factions, were forced to withdraw from a local preselection plebiscite in favour of Ferguson, as a result of these negotiations.[3]

Elected to the Opposition Shadow Ministry in March 1996, Ferguson served as Shadow Minister for Regional and Urban Development and Shadow Minister for Transport and Infrastructure 2001–04. He was then Shadow Minister for Primary Industries, Resources and Tourism from October 2004, being moved back to Shadow Minister for Transport, Roads and Tourism from December 2006.

On 29 November 2007, after Labor, led by Kevin Rudd, had won the federal election, Ferguson was appointed Minister for Resources and Energy and Minister for Tourism. He continued in these portfolios after Julia Gillard succeeded Rudd as prime minister in 2010.

Ferguson resigned his ministerial portfolio on 22 March 2013 after he supported an unsuccessful attempt to re-install Rudd as prime minister. He decided to leave parliament at the September 2013 election.

Uranium debate[edit]

In 2005, Ferguson addressed an Australian Uranium Conference and said "We as a community have to be part of the ever-complex question of how we clean up the world's climate. And part of that debate is going to be nuclear power."

Friends of the Earth have strongly opposed Ferguson's advocacy for expanding the export of uranium beyond the existing Three mine policy which Ferguson sought to overturn at the ALP's national conference in April 2007 [1]. The lobby group Northern Anti Nuclear Alliance has distributed 60,000 leaflets critical of his policy in his electorate of Batman. He also supported – in scientific terms – the proposal of former Prime Minister Bob Hawke for Australia to become the world's storage facility for nuclear waste although he said that it was politically not possible [2].

He told ABC Radio that it was wrong to ban uranium exports to the People's Republic of China: "The Labor Party adopts the view that we're open for investment. It's about economic growth and jobs in Australia. Is China to be treated any different to South Korea, Japan, France, United States? I don't think so. We don't have one rule for China in terms of overseas investment and economic growth and jobs and another rule for Japan."

Potential Expulsion from the Australian Labor Party[edit]

On 19 May 2014, the Australian Labor Party's WA Executive endorsed a motion to expel Martin Ferguson from the Party.[3]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Labor MP Martin Ferguson announces he will retire at election.
  2. ^ Ernest Healy (1995), 'Ethnic ALP Branches – The Balkanisation of Labor Revisited,' People and Place, Vol.3, No.3, p.48-54
  3. ^ Lyle Allan (1995), '"Sam Benson for Batman and Australia"-Labor Preselection Problems, The Ethnic Vote and the Ghost of Benson,' People and Place, Vol.3, No.3, pp.54–56

External links[edit]

Political offices
Preceded by
Ian Macfarlane
Minister for Resources and Energy
2007–2013
Succeeded by
Gary Gray
Preceded by
Fran Bailey
Minister for Tourism
2007–2013
Succeeded by
Gary Gray
Parliament of Australia
Preceded by
Brian Howe
Member for Batman
1996–2013
Succeeded by
David Feeney
Trade union offices
Preceded by
Simon Crean
President of the Australian Council of Trade Unions
1990–1996
Succeeded by
Jennie George
Preceded by
Ray Gietzelt
General Secretary of the Federated Miscellaneous Workers' Union
1984–1990
Succeeded by
Jeff Lawrence