Christopher Pyne

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For other people named Christopher Pyne, see Christopher Pyne (disambiguation).
The Honourable
Christopher Pyne
MP
Christopher Pyne Policy Exchange 2.jpg
Pyne in 2014
Minister for Defence Industry
Assumed office
19 July 2016
Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull
Preceded by Dan Tehan as Minister for Defence Materiel)
Leader of the House
Assumed office
18 September 2013
Prime Minister Tony Abbott
Malcolm Turnbull
Deputy Darren Chester
Preceded by Anthony Albanese
Minister for Industry, Innovation and Science
In office
21 September 2015 – 19 July 2016
Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull
Preceded by Ian Macfarlane as Minister for Industry and Science)
Succeeded by Greg Hunt
Minister for Education / Minister for Education and Training
In office
18 September 2013 – 21 September 2015
Prime Minister Tony Abbott
Malcolm Turnbull
Preceded by Bill Shorten
Succeeded by Simon Birmingham
Manager of Opposition Business in the House
In office
16 February 2009 – 18 September 2013
Deputy Luke Hartsuyker
Leader Malcolm Turnbull
Tony Abbott
Preceded by Joe Hockey
Succeeded by Tony Burke
Minister for Ageing
In office
21 March 2007 – 3 December 2007
Prime Minister John Howard
Preceded by Santo Santoro
Succeeded by Justine Elliot
Assistant Minister for Health and Ageing
In office
30 January 2007 – 21 March 2007
Prime Minister John Howard
Preceded by New portfolio
Succeeded by Fiona Nash (as Assistant Minister for Health)
Member of the Australian Parliament
for Sturt
Assumed office
13 March 1993
Preceded by Ian Wilson
Personal details
Born Christopher Maurice Pyne
(1967-08-13) 13 August 1967 (age 48)
Adelaide, South Australia
Nationality Australian
Political party Liberal Party of Australia
Spouse(s) Carolyn Pyne
Children 4
Alma mater University of Adelaide, University of South Australia
Profession Lawyer, politician, author
Religion Roman Catholicism
Website Official website

Christopher Maurice Pyne (born 13 August 1967) is an Australian politician and Liberal member for the House of Representatives seat of Sturt since the 1993 election.

Upon the ascendancy of the Abbott Government at the 2013 election, Pyne entered the Cabinet of Australia and became Leader of the House and Minister for Education, renamed Minister for Education and Training from December 2014. Upon the ascendancy of the Turnbull Government at the 2015 Liberal leadership ballot, Pyne remained Leader of the House and became Minister for Industry, Innovation and Science. With the reelection of the Government in 2016, Pyne became the Minister for Defence Industry.

Early years and education[edit]

The fifth and youngest child of prominent ophthalmic surgeon, Remington Pyne and his wife Margaret,[1] Pyne was born in Adelaide, South Australia in 1967. He was educated at Saint Ignatius' College, Adelaide and the University of Adelaide, where he graduated with a Bachelor of Laws and was President of Adelaide University Liberal Club from 1987 to 1988.[2][3]

Background[edit]

He was a research assistant to Senator Amanda Vanstone and later became President of the South Australian Young Liberals from 1988–1990. Pyne was pre-selected as the Liberal candidate for the safe Labor seat of Ross Smith at the 1989 state election but was defeated by the sitting member and Premier of South Australia, John Bannon.[4] He earned a Graduate Diploma of Legal Practice at the University of South Australia and began practising as a solicitor in 1991.

Parliament[edit]

At the 1993 election, aged 25, Pyne was elected to the South Australian Division of Sturt in the House of Representatives. He had earlier defeated Sturt incumbent Ian Wilson in a Liberal pre-selection ballot for the seat. Wilson had held the seat for all but one term since the 1966 election. Between them, he and his father, Keith, had held the seat for all but four years since its creation in 1949. Wilson was 35 years Pyne's senior; indeed, he had won his first election a year before Pyne was born.[5]

Election in Sturt 1993 1996 1998 2001 2004 2007 2010 2013
First preference % 39.4 54.1 47.8 50.7 51.7 47.2 48.1 54.4
Two-party-preferred % 55.7 60.0 57.3 58.2 56.8 50.9 53.4 60.1

Pyne is a republican[6] and established himself as a member of the moderate, "small-l liberal" faction of the Liberal Party, supporting then Deputy Leader Peter Costello. Pyne remains a close ally of state Liberal Vickie Chapman.[7]

In 1994, after serving as a backbencher for a period, Pyne was appointed Parliamentary Secretary to the Shadow Minister for Social Security. He retained this position after John Howard was elected as leader, and up to the 1996 election.[3]

Howard Government[edit]

After the 1996 Coalition victory Pyne sat as a backbencher. Pyne chaired the Australia Israel Parliamentary group from 1996 to 2004.[4] In 2003, he was appointed Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Family and Community Services, where he remained until 2004, when named Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Health and Ageing.[3] As Parliamentary Secretary, he defended the government's "War on drugs" and established his strong support of illicit drug prohibition, as opposed to harm minimisation.[8] He founded the youth mental health initiative Headspace.[9]

Pyne in June 2006.

Pyne served as a Parliamentary Secretary until 30 January 2007 when he was appointed Assistant Minister for Health and Ageing. He held this portfolio until 21 March, when he was elevated to the outer ministry as Minister for Ageing, succeeding resigning Minister, Senator Santo Santoro.[5]

In Opposition[edit]

Pyne came close to losing Sturt at the 2007 election to Labor candidate Mia Handshin, after suffering a 5.9 percent two-party swing to finish with a 0.9 percent two-party margin (856 votes), which made Sturt the most marginal seat in South Australia. Following the election in which the John Howard-led Coalition government was defeated by the Kevin Rudd-led Labor opposition, Pyne put himself forward as a candidate for Deputy Leader of the Liberal Party at the 2007 Liberal leadership ballot. Julie Bishop prevailed with 44 votes, ahead of Andrew Robb who won 25 votes, while Pyne came third with 18 votes.[10] Following the election of Brendan Nelson as party leader, Pyne was appointed Shadow Minister for Justice and Border Protection.[11]

Following Malcolm Turnbull's ascension at the 2008 Liberal leadership ballot, Pyne was elevated to Shadow Cabinet as Shadow Minister for Education, Apprenticeships and Training.[12] After Bishop stepped down from the portfolio of Shadow Treasurer, Joe Hockey took up the portfolio, with Pyne replacing Hockey as Manager of Opposition Business in the House on 16 February 2009.

Pyne was reappointed as Manager of Opposition Business in the House and Shadow Minister for Education, Apprenticeships and Training by Tony Abbott after he deposed Turnbull at the 2009 Liberal leadership ballot.[13] Pyne was re-elected at the 2010 election, receiving a 2.5 percent two-party swing to finish with a marginal 53.4 percent two-party vote,[14] which made neighbouring Boothby the most marginal seat in South Australia. Pyne was re-appointed as Manager of Opposition Business in the House and Shadow Minister for Education, Apprenticeships and Training.[15]

Abbott Government[edit]

Pyne was re-elected to Sturt at the 2013 election, receiving a 6.5 percent two-party swing to finish with a 60.1 percent two-party vote, making Sturt a safe Liberal seat on paper. Pyne was elevated to the Cabinet of Australia on 18 September 2013 as Leader of the House and Minister for Education in the Abbott Government.[16] In December 2014, his portfolio was renamed to Minister for Education and Training.[17]

In April 2014, Pyne ran up a $30,000 travel expenses bill holidaying at the Vatican.[18][19]

In May 2014, Pyne suggested that HECS debts should be reclaimed from the estates of deceased students.[20]

Turnbull Government[edit]

Despite much speculation Pyne would be appointed as Defence Minister,[21] he remained Leader of the House and was appointed as Minister for Industry, Innovation and Science in the Turnbull Government following Malcolm Turnbull's re-ascension at the 2015 Liberal leadership ballot. With the reelection of the Government in 2016, Pyne became the Minister for Defence Industry in the Second Turnbull Ministry.[22]


Since February 2016, Pyne has co-hosted weekly television program Pyne & Marles on Sky News Live with Labor MP Richard Marles.[23]

Personal life[edit]

Pyne and his wife Carolyn have four children and reside in Adelaide.[3]

Bibliography[edit]

Non-fiction by Christopher Pyne

A Letter To My Children (2015)[24]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "RANZCO - Home". RANZCO.edu. Retrieved 2016-06-02. 
  2. ^ "The Hon Christopher Pyne MP, Member for Sturt (SA)". Parliament of Australia. Retrieved 3 December 2007. 
  3. ^ a b c d "Chris Pyne Online". Retrieved 3 December 2007. 
  4. ^ a b "Christopher Pyne online biography". Retrieved 20 October 2009. 
  5. ^ a b "Costello backer gets his reward". Melbourne: The Age. 19 March 2007. Retrieved 3 December 2007. 
  6. ^ Political debate on ABC between Pyne, Mark Latham and moderator Tony Jones
  7. ^ South Australia’s 10 most poisonous political feuds: The Advertiser 21 May 2014
  8. ^ "Government defends drugs policy". Australian Broadcasting Corporation. 28 September 2006. Retrieved 3 December 2007. 
  9. ^ "Pyne launches youth mental health initiative". Department of Health and Ageing. 18 July 2006. Retrieved 7 November 2012. 
  10. ^ "Nelson's victory puts Turnbull on deck". Sydney Morning Herald. 20 November 2007. 
  11. ^ "Brendan Nelson announces shadow ministry". The Courier Mail. 6 December 2007. Retrieved 3 December 2008. 
  12. ^ "SA's Chris Pyne named Education Spokesman in new Coalition frontbench". The Advertiser. Archived from the original on 23 September 2008. Retrieved 22 September 2008. 
  13. ^ "Shock result as Abbott wins Liberal leadership by one vote ... ETS dead". Sydney Morning Herald. 1 December 2009. Retrieved 7 November 2012. 
  14. ^ Sturt results – 2010 federal election: AEC
  15. ^ Parliamentary Handbook excerpt, aph.gov.au; accessed 26 December 2014.
  16. ^ "Tony Abbott's cabinet and outer ministry". smh.com.au. AAP. 16 September 2013. Retrieved 16 September 2013. 
  17. ^ Parliament House Canberra press conference, pm.gov.au, 21 December 2014; accessed 26 December 2014.
  18. ^ Minh (2014-09-15). "FOI 14/89 - The Hon Christopher Pyne MP Travel Documents". www.finance.gov.au. Retrieved 2016-06-10. 
  19. ^ "Mr and Mrs Pyne's excellent upgraded European adventure". Independent Australia. Retrieved 2016-06-10. 
  20. ^ Matthew Knott. "Christopher Pyne suggests collecting HECS debts from dead students as way to help budget". Smh.com.au. Retrieved 2016-06-02. 
  21. ^ Glasgow, Will (2015-09-16). "The gossip on Hockey, Pyne, Defence and Communications". Australian Financial Review. 
  22. ^ Anderson, Stephanie (20 July 2016). "Election 2016: Malcolm Turnbull unveils ministry with Christopher Pyne, Greg Hunt on the move". ABC News. Retrieved 22 July 2016. 
  23. ^ Molloy, Shannon (28 January 2016). "Christopher Pyne ... the TV star? The colourful MP lands his own weekly show, alongside rival Richard Marles". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 28 January 2016. 
  24. ^ "A Letter To My Children". Mup.com.au. 2015-08-03. Retrieved 2016-06-02. 

External links[edit]

Parliament of Australia
Preceded by
Ian Wilson
Member for Sturt
1993–present
Incumbent
Political offices
Preceded by
Dan Tehan
as Minister for Defence Materiel
Minister for Defence Industry
2016–present
Incumbent
Preceded by
Anthony Albanese
Leader of the House
2013–present
Preceded by
Ian Macfarlane
as Minister for Industry and Science
Minister for Industry, Innovation and Science
2015–2016
Succeeded by
Greg Hunt
Preceded by
Bill Shorten
Minister for Education / Minister for Education and Training
2013–2015
Succeeded by
Simon Birmingham
Preceded by
Joe Hockey
Manager of Opposition Business in the House
2009–2013
Succeeded by
Tony Burke
Preceded by
Santo Santoro
Minister for Ageing
2007
Succeeded by
Justine Elliot
New ministerial post Assistant Minister for Health and Ageing
2007
Vacant
Title next held by
Fiona Nash
as Assistant Minister for Health