|Senator for South Australia|
3 May 2007
|Preceded by||Jeannie Ferris|
14 June 1974 |
Adelaide, South Australia, Australia
|Alma mater||University of Adelaide|
Early life and career
Birmingham was named South Australia's Lions Club Youth of the Year in 1992 and awarded the Town of Gawler's Australia Day Young Citizen of the Year Award in 1993. He holds a Masters of Business Administration from the Adelaide Graduate School of Business, University of Adelaide.
He began his career working as an electorate officer for Senator Robert Hill, during which time Senator Hill was leader of the opposition in the Senate and then leader of the government in the Senate and minister for the environment, following the 1996 election of the Howard Government. In 1997 Birmingham moved from federal to state politics, working as a ministerial advisor to Joan Hall in her capacity as South Australia's minister for employment and youth and, subsequently, minister for tourism.
Early in 2000 Birmingham moved to Canberra to become the national manager of public affairs for the Australian Hotels Association. In late 2001, Birmingham was appointed chief of staff to the South Australian state minister for tourism and innovation, and future state Liberal leader, Martin Hamilton-Smith. Following a change of government in 2002, Birmingham began work with the Winemakers' Federation of Australia where he remained until his appointment to the Senate in 2007.
At the age of 29, Birmingham won Liberal Party preselection for the marginal seat of Hindmarsh at the 2004 federal election following the retirement of sitting member Christine Gallus. The seat was narrowly won by Labor's Steve Georganas.
After an unsuccessful attempt to fill the vacancy created by Robert Hill's retirement from the Senate in 2006, Birmingham won Liberal Party preselection as a Senate candidate in 2007 federal election and was elected for a six-year term. However, he entered the Senate earlier, being appointed to fill the vacancy caused by the death of Senator Jeannie Ferris. At the time of his appointment on 3 May 2007, Birmingham was the youngest member of the Australian Senate. He is identified with the moderate wing of the Liberal Party.
Birmingham served on Senate Environment, Communications, and Arts Committees from May 2007 to February 2010, the Senate Select Committee on the National Broadband Network as well as the Joint Standing Committee on Treaties from 2007 to September 2012. He was also the Chair of the Senate Environment and Communications References Committee (from September 2012), the Deputy Chair of the Senate Environment and Communications Legislation Committee (from September 2012), a member of the Joint Standing Committee on Electoral Matters (from February 2008) and a member of the Joint Committee on the National Broadband Network (from March 2011). He is also deputy chair of the Parliamentary Association for UNICEF. Birmingham has a keen interest in water issues including the health and future of the Murray Darling Basin, and in December 2008 introduced a Private Member’s Bill, The Water Amendment (Saving the Goulburn and Murray Rivers) Bill 2008. In December 2009 Birmingham was appointed to the Coalition frontbench as Shadow Parliamentary Secretary for the Murray Darling Basin and Shadow Parliamentary Secretary for Climate Action. After the 2010 election he was re-appointed Shadow Parliamentary Secretary for the Murray Darling Basin and appointed Shadow Parliamentary Secretary for the Environment. He also represented the Shadow Minister for Communications and Broadband, Hon Malcolm Turnbull, in the Senate.
- ” Lions Club Youth of the Year
- Senate biography
- Building industry tips job losses The Age 4/1/2001
- Simon Birningham MP profile: Q&A, Australian Broadcasting Corporation
- Australian Electoral Commission, S.A Division—Hindmarsh, 2004 election tally
- "Loss for Hill's faction in Senate". The Australian. 11 April 2006.
- Victoria Slurps Murray as SA Dams The Independent Weekly 18 April 2009
- Opinion: Government giving up on our Lower Lakes The Advertiser 14 August 2008
- Lack of action is leaving us high and dry The Advertiser 25 January 2008
- A Reshaped Coalition Team for Australia's Future Liberal Party of Australia 8 December 2009
- "Abbott Ministry" (PDF). Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet. =Commonwealth of Australia. 18 September 2013. Retrieved 22 September 2013.