Peter Batchelor

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Peter Batchelor with Victorian Premier Steve Bracks in February 2006 at the launch of the Geelong Regional Fast Rail project upgrades

Peter John Batchelor (born 21 September 1950) was an Australian politician before retiring at the Victorian State Election on 27 November 2010. He was an Australian Labor Party member of the Victorian Legislative Assembly since 1990, representing the electorate of Thomastown. He served most recently as Minister for Energy and Resources and Minister for Community Development. He was Minister for Transport from 1999 to 2006.

Prior to entering politics he was the state secretary of the Australian Labor Party from 1983 to 1990. Before that he worked for a time at the Furnishing Trades Union.

While state secretary of the Labor Party, Batchelor was involved in a scandal surrounding the 1985 Nunawading by-election. He was accused of distributing misleading how-to-vote cards which claimed to be a vote for "nuclear disarmament", leading voters to conclude they were voting for the Nuclear Disarmament Party. [1] Unilateral nuclear disarmament was a popular cause within the Left during the 1980s. Police investigated the matter and Batchelor was not charged with any criminal offence.

The biggest project undertaken in transport while Batchelor was minister was the $750 million Regional Fast Rail project. In 2000 the State Government approved funding to upgrade rail lines to provide fast rail passenger services between Melbourne and Ballarat, Bendigo, Geelong and Traralgon. The Victorian Auditor General noted that in spite of money spent, the "average journey time savings for all passengers using these services are likely to be more modest than implied by the government’s target journey times".[1]

On 7 October 2010, Batchelor announced that he would not re-contest his seat at the 2010 state election and he retired at that election.

In February, 2012, Peter Batchelor was appointed President of the Community Broadcasting Foundation. The Foundation, based in Melbourne, is the independent funding body for Australian community radio and television, distributing more than $15m of federal grant monies annually.

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Victorian Legislative Assembly
Preceded by
Beth Gleeson
Member for Thomastown
1990–2010
Succeeded by
Bronwyn Halfpenny