Richard Wynne

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The Hon.
Richard Wynne
Richardwynnemp.jpg
Member of the Victorian Parliament
for Richmond
Incumbent
Assumed office
18 September 1999
Preceded by Demetri Dollis
96th Lord Mayor of Melbourne
In office
1990–1991
Preceded by William Deveney
Succeeded by Richard Meldrum
Minister for Housing
Minister for Local Government
In office
29 November 2006 – 2 December 2010
Preceded by Candy Broad
Succeeded by Jeanette Powell
Minister for Aboriginal Affairs
In office
August 2007 – 2 December 2010
Preceded by Gavin Jennings
Succeeded by Jeanette Powell
Personal details
Born (1955-10-06) 6 October 1955 (age 59)
Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
Nationality Australian
Political party Australian Labor Party
Occupation Social worker

Hon. Richard William Wynne MLA (born 6 October 1955)[1] is an Australian politician and former Minister for Housing, Minister for Local Government and Minister for Aboriginal Affairs in the State Cabinet of the Government of Victoria, and has held the Legislative Assembly seat of Richmond in the Victorian Parliament since 1999. He is a member of the Australian Labor Party and a member of the Socialist Left faction.[2]

Prior to being elected to Parliament, Richard has been a social worker, an electorate officer and a ministerial adviser to state and federal Labor ministers. Richard was a councillor in the City of Melbourne 1986–91, including a term as Lord Mayor of Melbourne 1990–91.

Childhood, education and early career[edit]

Richard Wynne grew up in the once working class, inner city suburb of North Melbourne. He attended St. Joseph's Christian Brothers College in Queensberry Street, North Melbourne (later known as St. Joseph's College, Melbourne). He completed his Higher School Certificate (HSC) in 1972.

Richard completed a Diploma in Youth Work in 1977 at Coburg State College, a Bachelor of Social Work in 1982 and a Diploma in Criminology in 1985 at the University of Melbourne. Pursuing a career in social justice, Richard Wynne worked as a Social Worker at the Flemington Community Health Centre from 1982–88.

Political career[edit]

Melbourne City Councillor and Lord Mayor of Melbourne[edit]

Richard Wynne was elected to the Melbourne City Council representing North Melbourne wards from 1986–91; and was elected as Lord Mayor of Melbourne from 1990–91. During Richard's term as Lord Mayor, he was part of Melbourne's unsuccessful bid for the 1996 Olympic Games (that was won by Atlanta).[3] A keen sports fan, Lord Mayor Wynne oversaw plans to rebuild the Great Southern Stand at the Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG).

The Cain and Kirner State Labor Governments[edit]

He served as Electorate Officer (1988–90) to the Honourable Barry Pullen MLC, State Member for Melbourne Province, (in the Cain State Labor Government); and as Ministerial Adviser to Barry Pullen when he was State Minister for Housing in the succeeding Kirner Labor Government 1990–91. Richard was an adviser to the Hon. Andrew McCutcheon, MLA for St Kilda (abolished), Victorian Minister for Planning and Housing, in the years 1991–92. The Kirner Labor Government was defeated by the Liberal Party led by Jeff Kennett at the state election of 1992.

Keating Federal Labor Government[edit]

Richard served as Senior Adviser to Hon. Brian Howe MHR, Federal Member for Batman, Australian Minister for Health, Housing and Community Services, 1993–96. The Keating Federal Labor Government was defeated by the Liberal Party led by John Howard at the federal general election of 1996. In the years 1996–99 Richard Wynne was a consultant to local councils, preparation for his later career as Minister for Local Government.

State Member for Richmond, the Bracks State Labor Government and the Brumby State Labor Government[edit]

The state member for Richmond (1988–99), Dimitri Dollis, was disendorsed by the Australian Labor Party (Victorian Branch) in August 1999 after an extended stay out of the country, working with the newly elected Panhellenic Socialist Movement (PASOK) government in Greece.[4] Richard Wynne was preselected for the now vacant seat of Richmond.[5]

At the September 1999 Victorian State election, the statewide result was decided by three independents who supported the formation of the minority Bracks State Labor Government. Richard Wynne won the then safe Labor seat of Richmond comfortably. Richard Wynne was elected to the sub-cabinet post of Parliamentary Secretary for Justice after the election and served until the state election in 2002. The role assisting the reformist Attorney General Rob Hulls gave Richard the opportunity to push for law reform in the area of Gay and Lesbian Rights (a strong constituency in his inner-city seat).

The Bracks State Labor Government was returned in a landslide result in 2002, but the new phenomena of the Victorian Greens Party scoring strong results in the inner city seats of Melbourne saw Richard Wynne go to preferences in the once safe Labor seat.[6] Previously Labor candidates in inner city seats would either win in their own right, or be helped over the line against Liberal candidates by (preferentially eliminated) Greens (and other) preferences. Now in inner city seats, the Greens are polling second, and are helped along by (preferentially eliminated) Liberal preferences. The seat remains a contest between the Greens and Labor to this day; with similar results in Melbourne, Brunswick and Northcote in 2002 and 2006. Richard was promoted to the cabinet post of Cabinet Secretary in the Bracks State Labor Government following the 2002 election, which he held until 2006.

At the 2006 Victorian state election, Richard achieved a better result than in 2002, after contesting the seat against the Greens and other opponents in a hard-fought campaign.

Minister for Housing, Minister for Local Government and Minister for Aboriginal Affairs[edit]

Following the successful re-election of the Bracks Labor Government in Victoria in November 2006, Richard Wynne was appointed by the Premier Steve Bracks to the twin roles of Minister for Housing (following in the footsteps of his mentor, Barry Pullen) and Minister for Local Government.

One of Richard Wynne's stated goals as Minister for Housing is to solve the current Rent Crisis sweeping Australia, as investors turn to booming commodities and share markets for better return over the property market.[7] In April 2007, Richard Wynne, as Local Government Minister, was central to the development of the groundbreaking Victorian Statewide Relationship Register as part of his ongoing involvement in Gay and Lesbian law reform.

After the unexpected resignation of Premier Steve Bracks and the subsequent appointing of new Premier John Brumby, Richard was given a third portfolio as Minister for Aboriginal Affairs, as well as maintaining his previous roles of Minister for Housing and Minister for Local Government in Premier Brumby's new cabinet.

Other interests[edit]

The Victorian Parliament Handbook lists Richard Wynne's interests as 'family and reading'. Richard is also a keen supporter of Australian Rules Football, Fencing and Hockey.

References[edit]

External links[edit]

Political offices
Preceded by
William Deveney
Lord Mayor of Melbourne
1990–1991
Succeeded by
Richard Meldrum
Preceded by
Robert Dean
Parliamentary Secretary for Justice
1999–2002
Succeeded by
Jenny Mikakos
Preceded by
Gavin Jennings
Cabinet Secretary
2002–2006
Succeeded by
Tony Robinson
Preceded by
Candy Broad
Minister for Housing
2006–2010
Succeeded by
Wendy Lovell
Preceded by
Candy Broad
Minister for Local Government
2006–2010
Succeeded by
Jeanette Powell
Preceded by
Gavin Jennings
Minister for Aboriginal Affairs
2006–2010
Succeeded by
Jeanette Powell
Victorian Legislative Assembly
Preceded by
Demetri Dollis
Member for Richmond
1999–present
Incumbent