Chris Schacht

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The Honourable
Chris Schacht
Senator for South Australia
In office
11 July 1987 – 30 June 2002
Personal details
Born (1946-12-06) 6 December 1946 (age 69)
Melbourne, Victoria
Political party Labor

Christopher Cleland Schacht (born 6 December 1946) is a former Australian politician and member of the South Australian branch of the Australian Labor Party (ALP). He was born in Melbourne and educated at the University of Adelaide and Wattle Park Teachers College.


Schacht's political career started as a state party official in 1969 during the Don Dunstan era. In 1987, he entered Federal Parliament as a Labor Party Senator for South Australia. He was Minister for Science and Small Business and Minister assisting the Prime Minister for Science in the Keating Labor Government from March 1993 to March 1994 and then Minister for Small Business, Customs and Construction until Labor's defeat at the 1996 election. He left the parliament in June 2002 after 15 years as a Senator and 33 years in Australian politics.[1][2]

Post parliamentary career[edit]

In 2006, Senator Robert Ray said of Schacht's "long-winded criticiques" of factionalism within the Labor party that "no-one practised factionalism harder than he did. But once he lost influence in his own faction, he condemned all factions."[3] Schacht has openly criticised the influence that he believes trade unions have within the Labor party.[4]

Schacht has supported uranium mining and the prospect of nuclear waste storage in South Australia. He told ABC's Stateline in 2006 that storing the world's nuclear waste "may be the safest thing we can do for the world. Secondly, the world will pay a large amount of money in the future for some place like Australia or outback South Australia to store nuclear waste safely in a safe, in a geologically sound area, with a stable political system."[5] In 2008 Schacht was appointed as a Director of Marathon Resources.[6] The company's exploration for uranium in Arkaroola later became a subject of controversy. A series of environmental breaches resulted in the revocation of the company's exploration license and the establishment of the Arkaroola Protection Zone.

As of 2015, Schacht is a registered political lobbyist in South Australia. His clients include Pilatus Australia Pty Ltd, Liebherr Australia, PMB Defence Pty Ltd and Basetec Services Pty Ltd.[7] Former clients include VIPAC Engineers and Scientists Ltd.[8] Schacht is also the chairman of the Australia China Development Company.[9]

Schacht is the President of the Australian Volleyball Federation. In October 2006, he was elected to the Legal Commission of the FIVB (Federation Internationale de Volleyball) for a four-year term.[10]


  1. ^ "Biography for Schacht, the Hon. Christopher (Chris) Cleland". Parliament of Australia. Retrieved 21 November 2007. 
  2. ^ "Schacht to bow out". Lateline. Australian Broadcasting Corporation. 24 June 2002. Retrieved 21 November 2007. 
  3. ^ "Are Factions Killing the Labor Party? [Australian Fabians Inc]". Retrieved 2015-10-17. 
  4. ^ "Labor open to rule changes as it reels from bad result in Western Australia". 2014-04-07. Retrieved 2015-10-17. 
  5. ^ "Stateline South Australia". Retrieved 2015-10-17. 
  6. ^ "Our people". Marathon Resources Ltd. Retrieved 2015-04-16. 
  7. ^ "SOUTH AUSTRALIAN LOBBYIST REGISTRATION" (PDF). Department of Premier & Cabinet. Government of South Australia. 2015-03-11. Retrieved 2015-04-15. 
  8. ^ "SOUTH AUSTRALIAN LOBBYIST REGISTRATION" (PDF). Department of Premier & Cabinet. Government of South Australia. Retrieved 2015-04-15. [dead link]
  9. ^ "The Hon. Chris Schacht - The Australia China Development Company". The Australia China Development Company. Retrieved 2015-10-17. 
  10. ^ "Newsletter" (PDF). Volleyball Australia. October 2006. Archived from the original (pdf) on 28 September 2007. Retrieved 21 November 2007. 
Political offices
Preceded by
Simon Crean (science)
David Beddall (small business)
Minister for Science
and Small Business

Succeeded by
Peter Cook (science)
Preceded by
Peter Cook (customs)
Minister for Small Business,
Customs and Construction

Succeeded by
Geoff Prosser (small
business and customs)