Stephen Jones (Australian politician)
||The neutrality of the style of writing in this article is questioned. (November 2013)|
MP, BA, LLB
|Member of the Australian Parliament
21 August 2010
|Preceded by||Jennie George|
29 June 1965 |
Wollongong, NSW, Australia
|Political party||Australian Labor Party|
|Alma mater||University of Wollongong|
|Occupation||Member of Parliament|
|Profession||Lawyer and union organiser|
Early years and background
Stephen Jones was one of five children (siblings are Maree, Luke, Adam and Amanda) who grew up in Wollongong, New South Wales. His father, Mark, was a teacher at TAFE and his mother, Margaret, worked as a School Assistant. Stephen is married and a father to two young children.
Jones attended St Brigid’s Primary School, Gwynneville, before attending Edmund Rice College in Wollongong. He completed a Bachelor of Arts (History and Politics) at the University of Wollongong, and then completed a Bachelor of Laws at Macquarie University.
He joined the Community and Public Sector Union (CPSU) in 1993 working in various roles, including the NSW Branch Secretary and Secretary of the Communications Division. He was seconded to the Australian Council of Trade Unions (ACTU) in 2004, working on securing compensation for asbestos disease victims of James Hardie. He was elected as National Secretary of the CPSU in 2005 and led the union's strong campaign against the Howard Government's harsh "WorkChoices" industrial laws in the lead up to the 2007 Federal Election.
Following the resignation of Jennie George as Member for Throsby, the politician gained preselection for the seat in late 2009. Jones was endorsed as Labor candidate following the intervention of the Labor Party national executive.  He successfully gained the seat at the 2010 federal election.
He made his First Speech in the House of Representatives on 19 October 2010.
In the 43rd Parliament, Jones served as a member of the House of Representatives Standing Committee on Economics, the Standing Committee on Infrastructure and Communications. and the Joint Select Committee on Gambling Reform.
Jones faced a contested pre-selection battle to retain Throsby in 2013. In the long lead up to the pre-selection, a number of potential candidates from the opposing right wing faction of the ALP were floated including Mark Hay, the son of State MP for Wollongong, Noreen Hay and former State Member for Kiama, Matt Brown. When nominations were eventually called in May 2013, after months of delay, the only challenger to contest the pre-selection was local nurse John Rumble, son of former State MP, Terry Rumble. Jones decisively won the rank and file pre-selection ballot held on 15 June 2013 by 90 votes to 47.
Leadership on progressive political agenda
As a co-convenor of Labor's Left faction in the Federal Parliamentary Labor Party, he has spoken in the House of Representatives on a number of issues of importance to the progressive political agenda including marriage equality, asylum seekers, introducing a carbon price and other environmental issues.
- First, our region - the Asia Pacific is where our economic, cultural and security will be built on enduring and reciprocal relationships which focus on long term mutual benefits, not short term opportunism.
- Secondly, Labor’s relationship with small business which can and should transcend the campaign-driven transactional exchange of request and policy concession.
- Labor was born of the aspiration of working people – our name reflects that. But our Party needs to recognise that the way we work has changed.
- Thirdly, Labor should engage with progressive entrepreneurs - those who work in business who believe in generating social wealth, yet who are appalled by the intellectual paucity of Australia’s political debate;
On 15 November 2010, in response to a motion concerning same-sex marriage moved by Adam Bandt MP, Federal Member for Melbourne (Australian Greens) in the House of Representative, Jones moved, as an amendment:
- That all the words after “That” be omitted with a view to substituting the following words: “this House calls on all parliamentarians, consistent with their duties as representatives, to gauge their constituents’ views on ways to achieve equal treatment for same sex couples including marriage”
He articulated the political challenge:
- If legislation is to be changed it will require consensus, which will require more votes than any single party can muster in this chamber. That will not be achieved by a heroic dash but by careful advocacy that respects different views, respectfully. On this issue there are different views. There are some who, on theological grounds, believe that to celebrate marriage of two men or two women is an affront to their religion. I have thought carefully about this objection, and I cannot help but draw the conclusion that the real objection here is not to the marriage but to the relationship.
The amended motion was supported by Labor and passed in the House of Representatives, the first such motion adopted in the lower house on same-sex marriage.
Following changes to the ALP National Platform in November 2011 to allow for marriage equality and a conscience vote for Labor MPs, Stephen Jones agreed to put forward a Private Member's Bill to give effect to ALP policy in the Australian Parliament. Stephen introduced his bill to legalize same-sex marriage on 13 February 2012. The Bill was defeated in the House of Representatives on 19 September 2012.
Jones has campaigned on a number of other issues as an MP, including restrictions on gambling ads during TV sports broadcasts, for local job seekers in the mining industry,the early rollout of the National Broadband Network to the region, Labor party reform and renewal and Prime Minister Rudd's asylum seeker agreement with Paupa New Guinea.
- Stephen Jones: Official website
- ALP People: Stephen Jones
- "Stephen Jones Member for Throsby". Parliament of Australia website.
- Keenan, Anthony. "Meet Stephen". www.stephenjones.org.au. Retrieved 3 December 2010.
- "19 October 2010". Stephen Jones MP, Member for Throsby. Parliamentary Debates (Hansard) (Commonwealth of Australia: House of Representatives): 725.
- Cox, Brett (2009-11-20). "Jennie George's retirement puts Stephen Jones in the hot seat". Illawarra Mercury (Fairfax Media). Retrieved 2010-08-23.
- "Local Southern Highlands Labor Party has no love for Stephen Jones". Southern Highlands News (Fairfax Media). 2010-03-12. Retrieved 2010-08-23.
- "House of Representatives: Members Elected". Australian Electoral Commission. 29 September 2010. Retrieved 3 December 2010.
- Committee Secretary (29 October 2010). "Standing Committee on Economics: Committee Members - 43rd Parliament". Parliament of Australia. Retrieved 3 December 2010.
- Committee Secretary (28 October 2010). "Standing Committee on Infrastructure and Communications: Committee Members - 43rd Parliament". Parliament of Australia. Retrieved 3 December 2010.
- Senate Committees - Parliament of Australia, http://www.aph.gov.au/Parliamentary_Business/Committees/Senate_Committees?url=gamblingreform_ctte/completed_inquires/index.htm
- Keenan, Anthony (15 November 2010). "Jones support for consultation on same-sex marriage". www.stephenjones.org.au. Retrieved 3 December 2010.
- "18 November 2010". Stephen Jones MP, Member for Throsby. Parliamentary Debates (Hansard) (Commonwealth of Australia: House of Representatives): 15.
- Cullen, Simon (19 September 2012). "Lower House votes down same-sex marriage bill". ABC News. Retrieved 19 September 2012.
|Parliament of Australia|
|Member for Throsby