Alex Hawke

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The Honourable
Alex Hawke
Assistant Minister to the Treasurer
Assumed office
21 September 2015
Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull
Preceded by Kelly O'Dwyer
Member of the Australian Parliament
for Mitchell
Assumed office
24 November 2007
Preceded by Alan Cadman
Majority 22.08 points (2013)[1]
Personal details
Born (1977-07-09) 9 July 1977 (age 38)
Wollongong, New South Wales, Australia
Political party Liberal Party of Australia
Religion Assemblies of God in Australia (Hillsong Church)[2]

Alexander George Hawke MP (born 9 July 1977), an Australian politician, is a member of the Australian House of Representatives representing Mitchell, in north-western metropolitan Sydney, for the Liberal Party of Australia since 2007. Hawke is a former national and state president of the Young Liberals. In September 2015, Hawke was promoted to Assistant Minister to the Treasurer in the Turnbull Ministry.

Early years and background[edit]

Hawke's maternal grandparents migrated from Greece in 1953 as part of the post World War II migration to Australia from Europe.[3] He attended Hills Grammar School then Cumberland High School. Hawke then studied at the University of Sydney, graduating with a Bachelor of Arts and a Masters in Government and Public Affairs.[4] At university he joined the Australian Army Reserve and served for six years, commissioning into the Royal Australian Armoured Corps and serving as a Lieutenant with the 1st/15th Royal New South Wales Lancers.[4][5]

On 3 September 2005, The Sydney Morning Herald journalist Mike Carlton described Hawke as an Anglican. However, in a correction published a week later, Carlton reported that Hawke was not an Anglican and that Hawke attends Hillsong Church.[2]

Young Liberal Movement and early working career[edit]

Hawke joined the Liberal Party in 1995, and was elected vice-president of the NSW Division of the Young Liberal Movement in 2001, and became President in 2002. He served on the Liberal Party NSW State Executive from 2002 to 2005, and in 2005 was elected Federal President of the Young Liberal Movement. He remains a member of the Liberal Party campaign Committee, and a Delegate to the Liberal Party State Council.[4]

Hawke worked part-time in the private sector whilst studying at university in 1998, becoming an assistant-manager for Woolworths in the Hills District.[3] Following graduation, he has exclusively worked as a political advisor, firstly as an electorate officer to Ross Cameron MP, Member for Parramatta. In 2001, he commenced work as an adviser to the Senator Helen Coonan, then Minister for Revenue and Assistant Treasurer, advising on taxation, superannuation and insurance matters during the time of the HIH liquidation. Hawke has also worked as an adviser to David Clarke MLC and Ray Williams MP.[citation needed]

Early political views[edit]

Drawing attention to his political ideology, in 2005 Hawke made it known that he believed the Liberal Party to be the home of conservative values, and claimed that "Nobody joins the Liberal Party to be left-wing. If you stand for compulsory student unionism, drug-injecting rooms and lowering the [homosexual] age of consent, you can choose the Greens, Labor or the Democrats."[6]

A few months later, Hawke attracted some significant controversy. Former NSW opposition leader John Brogden blamed Hawke for contributing to his downfall by leaking information to the media and political enemies – a claim that Hawke denied.[7][8] The next day on 30 August 2005, Brogden was admitted to hospital after committing an apparent attempt at suicide in his electoral office.[9] Brogden's claims were strongly denied by Hawke, who stated "I have not spoken to a single journalist, on or off the record, about this matter until now and I was not in attendance at the function where Mr Brogden committed these acts. To ascribe any role to me in this embarrassing episode is false and I reject it totally".[7]

Preselection reaction[edit]

On 16 June 2007, Hawke gained Liberal Party preselection for the seat of Mitchell by a margin of 81 votes to 20[10] against David Elliott, then deputy chief of the Australian Hotels Association.[11] Paul Blanch, a grazier from Orange, received 8 votes. Alan Cadman, who had been the member for Mitchell since 1974, chose not to contest the preselection,[10] but was later quoted as saying that this was due to "relentless branch-stacking within the electorate."[12] After his preselection, The Sydney Morning Herald reported Hawke's comments that he believes that Australia will move increasingly towards an American model of conservatism and that "The two greatest forces for good in human history are capitalism and Christianity, and when they're blended it's a very powerful duo."[5] Hawke strongly rejected various reports and allegations that he is a "right-wing extremist", saying he represents the values of his electorate.[13][14]

Split from the Right

In 2009 Alex Hawke and supporters left the NSW Right faction of the Liberal Party over disputes over conflicting preselection influences with NSW Upper House MP David Clarke. Hawke then proceeded to go into an alliance with the NSW Moderates, ending the Right's control over the Party. Hawke in the following years used his balance of power position on state executive to coerce the Moderates into parachuting factional allies as Liberal Candidates despite the wishes of local branch members.[15]

Political career[edit]

Hawke was elected to Parliament as Member for Mitchell on 24 November 2007 with a swing against the Liberals of 7.9 points; however Hawke won the seat with 61.6 per cent of the vote on a two-party-preferred basis.[16]

In his maiden speech in the House of Representatives, Hawke described his political beliefs as follows: "My brand of Liberalism is more interested in what we support than what we oppose. I want not just to resist those things that are harmful but to support those things that are good. I derive no satisfaction from opposing the growth of state sponsored welfare if I cannot fan the spark of family, enterprise, self-reliance and human dignity",[3] for which he was praised by Liberal politician Tony Abbott for "a splendid maiden speech which managed to combine a robust expression of political philosophy and a hymn of praise to his splendid electorate."[17]

Hawke increased his margin at the 2010 federal election. With Gould again running against him, Hawke recorded a swing of 7.9 points and won the seat with 67.2 per cent of the vote on a two-party-preferred basis.[18]

Hawke has called for a free conscience vote on same-sex marriage in Australia in Parliament, despite not supporting same-sex marriage himself.[19]

On 20 September 2015, Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull announced that Hawke would be appointed the Assistant Minister to the Treasurer as part of a Cabinet reshuffle. He was sworn in the next day. This marks the first time a Member for Mitchell has been given a Ministerial position.[20]


  1. ^ "Mitchell, NSW". Election 2013. Australian Electoral Commission. 19 September 2013. Retrieved 25 September 2013. 
  2. ^ a b Carlton, Mike (3 September 2005). 02/1125302739180.html "Ah, the tears of crocodiles – Correction" Check |url= value (help). The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 18 May 2011. 
  3. ^ a b c "Mr Alex Hawke MP, Member for Mitchell (NSW) – First Speech To Parliament". HansardAustralian House of Representatives. Parliament of Australia. February 2008. Retrieved 20 March 2008. 
  4. ^ a b c "Biography of Alex Hawke MP". Members of the House of Representatives. Parliament of Australia. March 2008. Retrieved 20 March 2008. 
  5. ^ a b Murphy, Damien (23 June 2007). "A young gun doing the right thing". The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 1 May 2011. 
  6. ^ Mascarenhas, Alan (18 May 2005). "Young Lib taunts the wets: go to the Greens". The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 1 May 2011. 
  7. ^ a b Pearlman, Jonathan; Clennell, Andrew (30 August 2005). "Brogden's parting swipe at Lib enemy". The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 1 May 2011. 
  8. ^ "'Rumour mill' blamed for Brogden demise". Archived from the original on 2 February 2008. 
  9. ^ Wainright, Robert; Pearlman, Jonathan (31 August 2005). "Shattered Brogden's suicide bid". The Sydney Morning Herald. 
  10. ^ a b Clennell, Andrew (18 June 2007). "Age does not worry him, says Lib hopeful". The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 1 May 2011. 
  11. ^ "Hawke secures Liberal preselection for Mitchell". ABC News (Australia). 17 June 2007. Retrieved 1 May 2011. 
  12. ^ Maley, Paul; Salusinszky, Imre (24 September 2007). "Veteran Lib slams party's far Right". The Australian. Archived from the original on 24 May 2011. Retrieved 1 May 2011. 
  13. ^ "Liberal Hawke rejects extremist claims". The Sydney Morning Herald. AAP. 17 June 2007. Retrieved 1 May 2011. 
  14. ^ "PM defends Liberal Hawke's preselection". The Sydney Morning Herald. AAP. 18 June 2007. Retrieved 1 May 2011. 
  15. ^ Crawford, Barclay. "Liberal dose of damage". The Daily Telegraph. 
  16. ^ Green, Antony (21 December 2007). "Mitchell". Australia votes 2007 (Australian Broadcasting Corporation). Retrieved 1 May 2011. 
  17. ^ "Social Security and Veterans' Affairs Legislation amendment (Enhanced Allowances) Bill 2008" (PDF transcript). Hansard – Australian House of Representatives (Parliament of Australia). 2: 2008: 949. 20 February 2008. Archived (PDF) from the original on 5 June 2011. Retrieved 1 May 2011. 
  18. ^ Green, Antony (7 September 2010). "Mitchell". Australia votes 2010 (Australian Broadcasting Corporation). Retrieved 1 May 2011. 
  19. ^
  20. ^

External links[edit]

Parliament of Australia
Preceded by
Alan Cadman
Member for Mitchell