Ray Groom

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The Honourable
Ray Groom
39th Premier of Tasmania
In office
17 February 1992 – 18 March 1996
Preceded by Michael Field
Succeeded by Tony Rundle
Constituency Denison
Personal details
Born (1944-09-03) 3 September 1944 (age 70)
Elsternwick, Victoria, Australia
Nationality Australia Australian
Political party Liberal Party of Australia

Raymond John "Ray" Groom, AO (born 3 September 1944) is a lawyer and former Australian sportsman and politician, representing the Liberal Party in the Federal Parliament 1975–84 and the Tasmanian Parliament 1986–2001. He was a Federal and state minister for a total of 13 years. He was Premier of Tasmania from 1992 to 1996 and also served as Deputy Premier and Attorney-General.

Early life[edit]

Ray Groom was born in Elsternwick, a suburb of Melbourne. His family moved to Tasmania when he was a young child. He attended schools in both Tasmania and Victoria.

Australian rules football career[edit]

He initially played senior Australian rules football in Tasmania with the Cooee Football Club commencing at 16 years of age. He represented the North Western Football Union and Tasmania before joining the Melbourne Football Club in 1963. He played 96 senior games with Melbourne from 1963 to 1968 at centre half forward, as a ruck rover and at centre half back. On Ron Barassi's retirement, Groom was invited by Melbourne coach Norm Smith to wear the club's prized Number 31 guernsey. He represented Victoria and won the Keith 'Bluey' Truscott Medal as Melbourne's Best and Fairest player in 1968. Groom later represented Tasmania at the 1969 Australian Rules National Carnival in Adelaide.


He won state titles in both Tasmania and Victoria as a sprinter and long jumper. in 1962, at 17 years of age, he represented Tasmania at the National Athletics Championships in Sydney, was a nationally ranked athlete and was chosen as a member of the Australian Commonwealth Games selection squad.

Early legal career[edit]

After obtaining a Bachelor of Laws from the University of Melbourne in 1967 he practised as a barrister and solicitor in Melbourne and later in Tasmania. He was a partner in the Tasmanian firm of Crisp, Hudson & Mann and appeared regularly in the Supreme Court of Tasmania on trial and appeal matters and the Magistrates Courts.

Political career[edit]

Federal politics[edit]

Groom first stood for the House of Representatives seat of Braddon in 1974 at the age of 29 but was unsuccessful. In 1975 he ran for and won Braddon, and held it until 1984. His 1975 election result was significant in that as a Liberal candidate he outpolled a Labor opponent on the West Coast of Tasmania, the first time this had ever occurred.[1] In the 1974 and 1983 Australian federal elections, he achieved the largest swing of any Liberal candidate in the nation. Between the election of 1974 and his last election in 1983, the Liberal vote in Braddon increased from 38% to 63%.

He served in the second Fraser Ministry as Minister for Environment, Housing and Community Development from December 1977 to December 1978 and then Minister for Housing and Construction until November 1980.

He retired from the Australian Parliament immediately prior to the 1984 election.

State politics[edit]

He and his family moved from Burnie to Hobart at the end of 1984 and he was then appointed senior advisor to the Tasmanian Premier Robin Gray.

In 1986 he re-entered politics as a member for Denison in the Tasmanian House of Assembly, topping the poll in that electorate. He immediately became the Minister for Forests, Mines and Sea Fisheries. From November 1988 to June 1989 he was Deputy Premier of Tasmania. In 1991, while in opposition, he defeated Gray to become Leader of the Parliamentary Liberal Party.

Tasmanian Premier[edit]

Groom became Premier of Tasmania after leading the Liberals to victory in the 1992 state election.[2] During the 1996 election, Groom promised he would only govern in majority.

After that election the Liberal Party lost its majority and the Australian Labor Party refused to enter into any agreement with the Australian Greens, so the Liberals were forced into a minority government. Groom resigned as leader of the party and was replaced by Tony Rundle. He remained in Parliament until 2001, serving as Attorney-General, Minister for Tourism and Minister for Workplace Standards until the 1998 election, when the Rundle Government was defeated.

Life after politics[edit]

Groom is actively involved in community affairs and has been a chairman/director of several community organisations since retiring from politics. He is currently Chairman of Southern Cross Care Tasmania and Southern Cross Care Australia.

Since retiring from parliament, he has practised as a barrister and solicitor and as an arbitrator and mediator. He was appointed a Deputy President of the Australian Administrative Appeals Tribunal in 2004 and continues in that position. He is currently a member of the Tribunal's Executive Deputy Presidents Committee and the Practice and Procedure Committee.[3]


In the Australia Day Honours of 2010, he was appointed an Officer (AO) of the Order of Australia.[4]

Personal life[edit]

He is married to Gillian Crisp and they have four sons and two daughters. One of his sons Matthew Groom is currently a member of the Tasmanian Parliament.


  1. ^ Pink. Kerry (2001) Through Hells Gates: A History of Strahan and Macquarie Harbour Fifth edition ISBN 0646366653, p.84 for photo and p.85 text re poll results
  2. ^ Pink. Kerry (2001) Through Hells Gates: A History of Strahan and Macquarie Harbour Fifth edition ISBN 0646366653. epilogue – p.89 and the washup after the Franklin Dam issues had effected state politics
  3. ^ Administrative Appeals Tribunal Annual Report 2009-10, Appendix 1
  4. ^ It's an Honour

External links[edit]

Awards and achievements
Preceded by
Hassa Mann
Keith 'Bluey' Truscott Medallist
Succeeded by
John Townsend
Political offices
Preceded by
Kevin Newman
Minister for Environment, Housing
and Community Development

Succeeded by
James Webster
Minister for Housing and Construction
Succeeded by
Tom McVeigh
Preceded by
Robin Gray
Opposition Leader of Tasmania
Succeeded by
Michael Field
Preceded by
Michael Field
Premier of Tasmania
Succeeded by
Tony Rundle
Preceded by
Geoffrey Pearsall
Deputy Premier of Tasmania
Succeeded by
Peter Patmore
Parliament of Australia
Preceded by
Ron Davies
Member for Braddon
Succeeded by
Chris Miles