Andrew Robb

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For the murder victim, see Andrew Robb and David McIlwaine killings.
The Honourable
Andrew Robb
AO, MP
Andrew Robb MP.jpg
Minister for Trade and Investment
In office
18 September 2013 – 18 February 2016
Prime Minister Tony Abbott
Malcolm Turnbull
Preceded by Richard Marles
Succeeded by Steven Ciobo
Minister for Vocational and Further Education
In office
23 January 2007 – 3 December 2007
Prime Minister John Howard
Preceded by Gary Hardgrave
Succeeded by Office abolished
Member of the Australian Parliament
for Goldstein
In office
9 October 2004 – 9 May 2016
Preceded by David Kemp
Succeeded by Tim Wilson
Personal details
Born Andrew John Robb
(1951-08-20) 20 August 1951 (age 64)
Epping, Victoria, Australia
Political party Liberal Party of Australia
Spouse(s) Maureen Mullane
Children 3
Alma mater La Trobe University
Profession Economist, politician
Religion Roman Catholicism[1]
Website andrewrobb.com.au

Andrew John Robb AO, MP (born 20 August 1951) is an Australian politician who is the current Liberal Party member for the Division of Goldstein in the House of Representatives, as well as the Minister for Trade and Investment since September 2013 under the Abbott and Turnbull Governments.[2] A former federal director of the Liberal Party, he was first elected to parliament at the 2004 federal election, having previously managed the party's successful campaign at the 1996 federal election, which ended 13 years of Labor government.

On 10 February 2016 Robb announced that he would not be re-contesting the seat of Goldstein at the 2016 federal election.[3][4]

Background[edit]

Robb, one of nine children, was born to Frank and Marie Robb, on a dairy farm in Epping which lies 18 kilometres (11 mi) north of Melbourne. He was educated at Dookie Agricultural College, Parade College and La Trobe University, and has qualifications in economics and agricultural science. He was an agricultural economist with the Victorian Department of Agriculture and a Tutor in Economics at La Trobe University before being an economist for the National Farmers' Federation, and later Executive Director of both the National Farmers' Federation and the Cattle Council of Australia.

Liberal Party[edit]

Robb became Deputy Director of the Liberal Party before being appointed Chief of Staff to Andrew Peacock, then Leader of the Opposition, in 1989. In 1990, after Andrew Peacock's resignation after his election defeat, Robb was appointed Federal Director of the Liberal Party.

In this capacity Robb worked with the next Leader of the Liberal Party, John Hewson, in the unsuccessful 1993 federal election campaign. Robb claimed in 1991 that Peter Reith and Hewson were spooked into releasing their policies too early.[5] He was a Federal Director and campaign manager for John Howard in the 1996 federal election campaign, which defeated the Keating government and brought the Liberals to power after 13 years in Opposition.

Professional career[edit]

Robb resigned in 1997 (he was replaced by Lynton Crosby) and became a business consultant based in Sydney. He was Honorary Finance Director for the NSW Division of the Liberal Party and a member of the NSW State Executive. In that time Robb also sat on the boards of numerous Australian companies including Australia's largest consulting engineering company, Sinclair Knight Merz. Robb was also a board member of community organisations including the Garvan Medical Research Foundation and the 'Big Brothers Big Sisters' organisation. In 2003, Robb was appointed an Officer of the Order of Australia for service to politics, agriculture and the community.[6]

Parliamentary career[edit]

Howard Government[edit]

In 2004, he was comfortably elected to the safe Liberal seat of Goldstein in Melbourne and was appointed Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Immigration and Multicultural Affairs on 27 January 2006. His time in this portfolio was marked by introducing a Citizenship discussion paper which encouraged public debate about whether Australia required a formal citizenship test. Robb argued that a formal citizenship test would be a clear incentive for aspiring citizens to have basic English language skills and understanding of their community.[7] Robb also focused on dealing with settlement issues for refugees and the challenges of multi-faith relations in Australia.

In 2007, Robb was elevated to the Ministry and took on the role as Minister for Vocational and Further Education. Following the Liberal Party's defeat at the 2007 federal election, Robb put himself forward as a candidate for Deputy Leader of the Liberal Party. In a ballot of Liberal caucus members, Julie Bishop prevailed with 44 votes, ahead of Robb who won 25 votes and Christopher Pyne with 18 votes.[8] The then leader of the Liberal Party, former Defence Minister, Brendan Nelson, announced that Robb would be Shadow Minister for Foreign Affairs in the new Coalition Shadow Cabinet.

Following a front-bench re-shuffle in March 2010, Robb was appointed Shadow Minister for Finance, Deregulation and Debt Reduction, a post previously held by Nationals Senator Barnaby Joyce, and Chairman of the Coalition Policy Development Committee.[9] He was re-elected at the 2010 election and was appointed Shadow Minister for Finance, Deregulation and Debt Reduction and retained his position as Chairman of the Coalition Policy Development Committee.[10]

Robb (right) meets with U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack in Washington in 2013.

Robb is a republican;[11] he is against abortion except where the health and state of the mother are in serious threat.[12]

Robb is also the co-publisher of The Party Room alongside Senator Mitch Fifield, a journal designed to promote new policy discussion within the Federal Coalition.

Abbott and Turnbull governments[edit]

Following the election of the Abbott Government in 2013, Andrew Robb was appointed Minister for Trade and Investment.[13] He had carriage of final negotiations for the Australia–Korea Free Trade Agreement (KAFTA), Japan–Australia Economic Partnership Agreement, China–Australia Free Trade Agreement and the Trans-Pacific Partnership which have concluded by the federal government.

Depression disclosure[edit]

On 19 September 2009, in Laurie Oakes's column in The Australian, Robb disclosed that he was stepping down from the opposition front bench for three months to address a form of depression brought on by Diurnal Variation, which is typically experienced as positive mood variation (PMV – mood being worse upon waking and better in the evening).[14] Robb disclosed that, since adolescence, he had suffered depression for several hours each day in the morning.[15]

The following week, Robb said in an interview with 3AW's Neil Mitchell that he had found "doing things increasingly more difficult, I could be taking on more responsibilities especially in a public sense and decided to confront it a few weeks ago. Rang Jeff Kennett and within three days he had me in front one of the best professionals in the state and this guy said you know you've had a problem for fifty years, you've had it for fifty years but he said it was fixable, which was fantastic."[15]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Andrew Robb: A Profile". Compass with Geraldine Doogue (Australian Broadcasting Corporation). 
  2. ^ "Tony Abbott's cabinet and outer ministry". The Sydney Morning Herald. AAP. 16 September 2013. Retrieved 16 September 2013. 
  3. ^ Henderson, Anna (10 February 2016). "As it happened: Warren Truss, Andrew Robb to retire, PM under pressure to sack Stuart Robert". ABC News (Australia). Retrieved 11 February 2016. 
  4. ^ "Andrew Robb and Warren Truss to quit politics". Financial Review. 10 February 2016. Retrieved 10 February 2016. 
  5. ^ Wright, Jessica (11 November 2012). "With memories of '93, the opposition readies the troops never to lose an unlosable election again". The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 17 September 2013. 
  6. ^ "ROBB: Andrew: Officer of the Order of Australia". It's an Honour. Commonwealth of Australia. 2003. 
  7. ^ "In support of formal citizenship test". Andrew Robb. 25 October 2006. Retrieved 20 September 2015. 
  8. ^ "Nelson's victory puts Turnbull on deck". The Sydney Morning Herald. 20 November 2007. 
  9. ^ [1] Archived 18 September 2010 at the Wayback Machine.
  10. ^ [2] Archived 17 September 2010 at the Wayback Machine.
  11. ^ Donovan, David (18 August 2010). "Liberals quietly go monarchist under Abbott". Crikey. Retrieved 20 September 2015. 
  12. ^ "MPs clarify abortion views". The Age. 9 November 2004. Retrieved 20 September 2015. 
  13. ^ The Hon Andrew Robb AO, MP; Parliament of Australia; online 30 Nov 2014
  14. ^ "Home". beyondblue. Retrieved 20 September 2015. 
  15. ^ a b "Interview with Neil Mitchell, 3AW 693am: Andrew Robb MP - Federal Member for Goldstein". Andrew Robb. 21 September 2009. Retrieved 20 September 2015. 

External links[edit]

Parliament of Australia
Preceded by
Dr David Kemp
Member for Goldstein
2004–present
Succeeded by
Tim Wilson
Political offices
Preceded by
Gary Hardgrave
Minister for Vocational and Further Education
2007
Position abolished
Preceded by
Richard Marles
as Minister for Trade
Minister for Trade and Investment
2013–2016
Succeeded by
Steven Ciobo