Sean Edwards (politician)

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Sean Edwards
Senator for South Australia
Incumbent
Assumed office
1 July 2011
Personal details
Born (1962-01-02) 2 January 1962 (age 53)
Clare, South Australia, Australia
Nationality Australian
Political party Liberal Party of Australia

Sean Christopher Edwards (born 2 January 1962) is an Australian politician and member of the Liberal Party, elected to the Senate in South Australia at the 2010 election.

Early career[edit]

Edwards was an auctioneer, land and estate agent from 1980 to 1996. From 1996 he was a vigneron and winemaker[1] in the Clare Valley wine region of South Australia. He and his direct family have significant private vineyard holdings in Clare and the Adelaide Hills, and he is a director of Kirribilly Wines.[2]

From 1985 to 1988 Edwards was president of the Blackwood and Districts Young Liberals. He was the vice president of the Clare branch of the Liberal Party from 2002 to 2004, and president from 2004 to 2008. Edwards was president of the Wakefield Federal Electoral Commission from 2006 to 2008. He was state president of the South Australian division of the Liberal Party and a member of the Liberal Party Federal Executive and Finance Committee from 2007 to 2010. He became a life member of the South Australian Liberal Party State Council in 2010.[1]

Parliamentary career[edit]

Edwards was elected to the Senate from second position on the South Australian Liberal Party ticket, which garnered 37.3 percent of the statewide vote at the 2010 election. Edwards took his seat on 1 July 2011.[1]

The Liberal Party conservative faction leader Nick Minchin had openly opposed Edwards' nomination for Liberal preselection on the party's Senate ticket. Edwards is backed by the moderate faction.[3] Edwards had defeated conservative faction candidate Bob Jackson for the state party presidency two years earlier.[4]

In August 2011 it was reported in News Limited media that the Department of Finance had sought reimbursement from Edwards over the misuse of three government-funded cars. Edwards' wife later apologised for the event and confirmed that they would reimburse the cost. Media outlets also reported that Edwards was being investigated by the Department of Finance over the employment, in his parliamentary office, of an executive of a company he chaired before entering parliament.[5][6][7][8][9]

Nuclear power advocacy[edit]

Edwards is an advocate for nuclear power in Australia.[10] He believes that economic opportunities exist for his home-state of South Australia in spent nuclear fuel reprocessing and the use of Integral Fast Reactors to generate electricity. During a speech delivered to The Sydney Institute on April 7, 2015, Edwards admitted to having worked on a business case for the expansion of nuclear industries in SA for around two years. He told the audience that he had commenced discussions with an unnamed foreign state which expressed in-principal support for covering the capital costs of deploying new nuclear technology. Edwards said that discussions on the matter had advanced to "a ministerial level". He has also attacked the Australian Greens for maintaining their opposition to nuclear power.[11]

Personal life[edit]

Edwards represents the fifth generation of his family to have been born in Clare in South Australia's mid-north. He grew up there with five brothers, some of whom he later went into business with.Edwards is married to Ashleigh and is the father of four children: Abbey, George, Harrison and Natasha. The Edwards family enjoys time spent on the River Murray, waterskiing, motor sport, tennis and Australian rules football.[12]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c "Parliamentary profile: Australian Parliament homepage". Parlinfo.aph.gov.au. Retrieved 2011-09-08. 
  2. ^ "Our People". Kirribilly Viticulture. Retrieved 2011-09-08. 
  3. ^ 4 June 2009 12:00AM (4 June 2009). "Nick Minchin stirs SA Senate tensions: The Australian 4 June 2009". Theaustralian.com.au. Retrieved 2011-09-08. 
  4. ^ Greg Kelton, State Editor (19 August 2007). "Liberal coup by moderates: The Advertiser 19 August 2007". Adelaidenow.com.au. Retrieved 2011-09-08. 
  5. ^ Owen, Michael (29 August 2011). "Senator Sean Edwards makes a meal of three Comcars". The Australian (News Limited). Retrieved 8 September 2011. 
  6. ^ Owen, Michael (31 August 2011). "Comcar senator in new staffing probe". The Australian (News Limited). Retrieved 8 September 2011. 
  7. ^ Hockley, Catherine (31 August 2011). "Claims Senator Sean Edwards' private staff used taxpayer-funded office". The Advertiser (News Limited). Retrieved 8 September 2011. 
  8. ^ Owen, Michael (1 September 2011). "Finance chases senator Sean Edwards on cars". The Australian (News Limited). Retrieved 8 September 2011. 
  9. ^ Owen, Michael (3 September 2011). "Liberals shield SA senator Sean Edwards over undeclared interests". The Australian (News Limited). Retrieved 8 September 2011. 
  10. ^ Shepherd, Tory (2015-03-12). "Liberal Senator Sean Edwards unveils radical plan for a booming nuclear industry in South Australia". The Advertiser. Retrieved 2015-04-08. 
  11. ^ Heard, Ben; Edwards, Sean (2015-04-08). ""We must act and we must act now". Speech from Senator Sean Edwards". Decarbonise SA. Retrieved 2015-04-08. 
  12. ^ "Seantor Sean Edwards - Biography". Senator Sean Edwards. Retrieved 2015-04-08. 

External links[edit]