Allan Andrews (Australian politician)

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Allan Andrews (born 15 September 1940) is a former Australian politician. A member of the Liberal Party of Australia, he represented the electoral district of Heathcote in the New South Wales Legislative Assembly for a single term, from 1988 to 1991.

Andrews was born in Bargo, where his father worked. The family moved to Heathcote, in Sydney, in 1943. Andrews attended public school in Heathcote, and went on to further education at St George Technical College. After completing his education, Andrews worked as a self-employed electrical contractor.

Andrews was elected to the Sutherland Shire Council as an Independent candidate in 1974, and served there for the next thirteen years, including a two-year stint as Council President. He joined the Liberal Party in 1986, and was soon chosen to contest the seat of Heathcote, which was up for by-election following the August 1986 resignation of disgraced former ALP Minister Rex Jackson. The Labor government delayed the by-election as long as possible, arguing that it was not possible to hold an election during Jackson's trial or while Parliament was sitting. The Leader of the Opposition, Nick Greiner, rejected this argument, declaring that the election was only delayed in an attempt to allow any bad press from the corruption trial to die down. The election finally came on 31 January 1987, and was rarely short of drama: Jackson, with criminal charges hanging over his head, entered as a spoiler candidate; the Liberals found themselves in hot water over an illegally large billboard prominently placed on the electorate's border over the Princes Highway; and the ALP were accused of sabotage after vandals cut loose from its moorings a Liberal advertising blimp. In the election itself, Andrews garnered more than 8,000 of the approximately 28,000 votes cast and narrowly missed out to Labor candidate Ian McManus.

When the seat came up for re-election in 1988, McManus had moved to the newly created safe seat of Burragorang, and redistribution of boundaries had made winning Heathcote a much less daunting prospect for the Liberals. Andrews defeated Labor's rearguard candidate Peter Predsee, becoming the first Liberal candidate to win a seat in the Illawarra region and the first non-Labor member for the seat of Heathcote.

On 25 September 1990, the Greiner Liberal Government announced a controversial redistribution proposal to reduce the number of seats, and MPs, from 109 to 99 after the upcoming election. Andrews was one of five Liberal MPs to see his district cut out from under him, a prospect he decried in the run-up to the 1991 NSW election. At the expiration of his term, Andrews was requested to run for the nearby but traditionally safe Labor district of Coogee. With the odds against him — Andrews moved to the district two months before the election, and came up against Ernie Page, a Labor institution in the electorate — he came close to winning, missing out by 600 votes after preferences.

After leaving politics, Andrews continued to serve in the NSW government, this time as policy analyst for the NSW Water Board. Upon hearing of Andrews' appointment, the Labor Party, then in Opposition, argued that it was just a case of "jobs for the boys", saying that the normal hiring procedures had been bypassed in Andrews' case. The Government responded by saying that Andrews had earned the job on his own merit, and that positions such as his were not normally advertised anyway.

Sources[edit]

  • "Delayed Heathcote Poll Set for Jan 31", Dennis Shanahan, Sydney Morning Herald, 10 November 1986.
  • "ALP Supporters Accused of Heathcote 'Sabotage'", Pilita Clark, Sydney Morning Herald, 17 November 1986.
  • "Floating Vote-Catcher to Fly Again for Libs", Sydney Morning Herald, 18 November 1986.
  • "Liberals Stand Firm in Saga of the Sign", Pilita Clark, Sydney Morning Herald, 3 January 1987.
  • "Heathcote: Is Rex Planning to Deal Barrie a Wild Card?", Mark Coultan, Sydney Morning Herald, 7 January 1987.
  • "Jackson Plays His Wild Card", Mark Coultan and Michael Laurence, Sydney Morning Herald, 9 January 1987.
  • "Rex Jackson's Revenge", Richard Glover and Larry Schwartz, Sydney Morning Herald, 17 January 1987.
  • "In Heathcote, All Claim Victory and Crack Open the Bubbly", Pilita Clark, Sydney Morning Herald, 2 February 1987.
  • "The Latest Count", Sydney Morning Herald, 2 February 1987.
  • "A Mere 1 Per Cent Would Deliver Heathcote to the Liberals", Sydney Morning Herald, 3 March 1988.
  • "New Faces in Macquarie Street", Sydney Morning Herald, 6 April 1988.
  • "Libs to Axe Five of Their Own MPs", Matthew Moore and Luis M Garcia, Sydney Morning Herald, 26 September 1990.
  • "Rug Pulled From Under Us: Bitter Liberal MP", Luis M Garcia, Sydney Morning Herald, 29 September 1990.
  • "Premier Prescribes Tea, Bex, and a Good Lie Down", Luis M Garcia, Sydney Morning Herald, 3 October 1990.
  • "Crawlers, Cads and Boundaries", Matthew Moore, Sydney Morning Herald, 29 September 1990.
  • "Mystery Over Poll Hopeful's Qualification", John Synnott, Sun Herald, 12 May 1991
  • "Page Squeaks Past Newcomer", Darren Horrigan, Sydney Morning Herald, 30 May 1991
  • "Opposition Renews its Attack on the Govt Over Jobs for the Boys", Bernard Lagan, Sydney Morning Herald, 28 August 1991

External links[edit]

Parliament of New South Wales
Preceded by
Ian McManus
Member for Heathcote
1988 – 1991
Succeeded by
Seat abolished