Bruce Billson

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Bruce Billson
Bruce Billson Portrait 2014.jpg
Billson in 2014
Minister for Small Business
In office
18 September 2013 – 21 September 2015
Prime MinisterTony Abbott
Malcolm Turnbull
Preceded byGary Gray
Succeeded byKelly O'Dwyer
Minister for Veterans' Affairs
In office
23 March 2007 – 3 December 2007
Prime MinisterJohn Howard
Preceded byDe-Anne Kelly
Succeeded byAlan Griffin
Member of the Australian Parliament
for Dunkley
In office
2 March 1996 – 9 May 2016
Preceded byBob Chynoweth
Succeeded byChris Crewther
Personal details
Bruce Frederick Billson

(1966-01-26) 26 January 1966 (age 53)
Albury, New South Wales, Australia
Political partyLiberal Party of Australia
Spouse(s)Kate Ranken
Alma materRoyal Melbourne Institute of Technology
WebsiteOfficial website

Bruce Frederick Billson (born 26 January 1966) is a former politician who was a Liberal member of the Australian House of Representatives representing the Division of Dunkley in Victoria from 1996 to 2016.[1] Billson served as the Minister for Small Business from September 2013 to September 2015.[2]

Early life and education[edit]

Billson was born in Albury, New South Wales, and moved to Seaford, Victoria as a child. He was educated at Monterey High School in Frankston North and the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology. He was Manager of Corporate Development for the Shire of Hastings, a ministerial adviser to the Victorian Minister for Natural Resources, and policy adviser to the Shadow Minister for the Environment, Senator Rod Kemp, before entering politics.[1]


Ministerial roles[edit]

Billson was appointed the Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Foreign Affairs in 2004.[1] In 2005, he was also appointed Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Immigration and Multicultural and Indigenous Affairs, and, in 2006, he was promoted to Minister for Veterans' Affairs – a position he retained until the defeat of the Howard government in the 2007 federal election.[1]

In 2007, he was appointed Shadow Minister for Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy. In 2009, he was then appointed the Shadow Minister for Sustainable Development and Cities.[1] and after the 2010 election he was appointed Shadow Minister for Small Business, Competition Policy and Consumer Affairs.[3]

Following the 2013 election he was sworn into the cabinet as the Minister for Small Business.

Retirement from politics[edit]

Following the leadership spill that saw Malcolm Turnbull become Prime Minister, Billson was dropped from the new Ministry upon the ascension of the Turnbull Government. On 24 November 2015, he announced he would retire from politics at the 2016 federal election.[4]

He is currently serving as the executive chairman of the Franchise Council of Australia.[5] In August 2017, Billson admitted he had received a salary from the FCA several months before his retirement, which he had not declared on the register of members' interests. Billson apologised to the Clerk of the House for the omission, but claimed his directorship was not concealed and there was no conflict of interest.[6]

Although cleared of breaching ministerial guidelines,[7] an inquiry conducted by the House of Representatives' Standing Committee of Privileges and Members' Interests recommended in March 2018 that Billson be censured for failing to disclose receiving a salary for the FCA, and for undertaking work for the organisation through his consultancy business before leaving parliament. The Committee's report stated that Billson's "decision to accept the role with FCA while he was a member falls below the standards expected of a member of the house".[8] On 27 March the House of Representatives passed a motion censuring Billson.[9]

Board Roles[edit]

Executive Chair - Franchise Council of Australia[10]

Independent Non Executive Director - Judo Capital

Personal life[edit]

He is married to Kate and has four children: Alexander, Zoe, Madeline and Isabella.


  1. ^ a b c d e About Bruce – Bruce Billson: Member for Dunkley Archived 12 September 2009 at the Wayback Machine
  2. ^ "Tony Abbott's cabinet and outer ministry". AAP. 16 September 2013. Retrieved 16 September 2013.
  3. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 17 September 2010. Retrieved 15 October 2010.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  4. ^ "Former small business minister Bruce Billson to retire at next federal election". Nine News. Nine Network. 24 November 2015. Retrieved 24 November 2015.
  5. ^ Waters, Cara (23 March 2016). "Bruce Billson to head Franchise Council of Australia". The Sydney Morning Herald. Fairfax Media. Retrieved 16 July 2016.
  6. ^ "Former Liberal minister failed to disclose salary from lobbyists while in parliament". ABC News. 8 August 2017. Retrieved 8 August 2017.
  7. ^ <>
  8. ^ Karp, Paul (26 March 2018). "Former Liberal minister Bruce Billson faces censure for failure to declare lobbying job". The Guardian. Retrieved 27 March 2018.
  9. ^ Fantin, Elise (27 March 2018). "Parliament censures former minister Bruce Billson for undeclared payments". ABC News. Retrieved 27 March 2018.
  10. ^

External links[edit]

Parliament of Australia
Preceded by
Bob Chynoweth
Member for Dunkley
Succeeded by
Chris Crewther
Political offices
Preceded by
Gary Gray
Minister for Small Business
Succeeded by
Kelly O'Dwyer
Preceded by
De-Anne Kelly
Minister for Veterans' Affairs
Succeeded by
Alan Griffin