Craig Emerson

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The Honourable
Dr Craig Emerson
Craig Emerson.jpg
Minister for Trade and Competitiveness
In office
14 September 2010 – 26 June 2013
Prime Minister Julia Gillard
Preceded by Stephen Smith
Succeeded by Richard Marles
Minister for Tertiary Education and Science
In office
25 March 2013 – 26 June 2013
Prime Minister Julia Gillard
Preceded by Chris Bowen
Succeeded by Kim Carr
Minister for Small Business
In office
3 December 2007 – 14 September 2010
Prime Minister Kevin Rudd
Julia Gillard
Preceded by Fran Bailey
Succeeded by Nick Sherry
Member of the Australian Parliament
for Rankin
In office
3 October 1998 – 5 August 2013
Preceded by David Beddall
Succeeded by Jim Chalmers
Personal details
Born Craig Anthony Emerson
(1954-11-15) 15 November 1954 (age 62)
Baradine, New South Wales, Australia
Political party Labor Party
Alma mater University of Sydney (BEc, MEc)
Australian National University (PhD)
Profession Economist, Politician
Religion Roman Catholic[1]
Website Parliamentary website
Personal website

Craig Anthony Emerson (born 15 November 1954) is a former Australian politician who represented the House of Representatives seat of Rankin in Queensland for the Australian Labor Party from 1998 until 2013. Emerson was the Minister for Trade and Competitiveness, the Minister for Tertiary Education, Skills, Science and Research, and the Minister Assisting the Prime Minister on Asian Century Policy in the Second Gillard Ministry until his resignation from the ministry on 26 June 2013. Emerson did not contest his seat at the following election.

Early life[edit]

Emerson was born in Baradine, New South Wales, and was educated at St Patrick's College, Strathfield and the University of Sydney where he graduated with a Bachelor of Economics (Honours) and a Master of Economics. He also holds a Doctor of Philosophy in Economics from the Australian National University.

Career[edit]

In the past Emerson has variously been an economic analyst with the United Nations, an economic adviser to the Minister for Resources and Energy and the Minister for Finance Senator Peter Walsh, an Assistant Secretary of the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet, and economic and environmental adviser to Prime Minister Bob Hawke.[2] He became Director-General of the Queensland Department of Environment in 1990.[2] He was chief executive officer of the South East Queensland Transit Authority from 1995 to 1996.[2]

Following the defeat of the Goss Government in 1996, Emerson set up a small business partnership, Eco Managers, with former economic adviser to Wayne Goss, Raymond Garrand. They advised various clients on electricity supply issues in Queensland and global petroleum companies on energy policy.

Emerson was appointed Shadow Minister for Innovation, Industry, Trade and Tourism from 2001 to 2003, and then Shadow Minister for Workplace Relations and the Public Service from 2003 to 2004. Emerson was relegated to the backbench following the 2004 federal election, having supported Simon Crean and Mark Latham in leadership ballots against the wishes of his Right faction in Queensland. While on the backbench he wrote a book, Viral Signs, Vibrant Society, proposing new economic and social policies for the Federal Parliamentary Labor Party. Following the election of Kevin Rudd as Leader of the Labor Party and Julia Gillard as Deputy Leader in December 2006, Emerson was appointed Shadow Minister for the Service Economy, Small Business and Independent Contractors.[2]

On 3 December 2007, Emerson was named Minister for Small Business, Independent Contractors and the Service Economy and Minister Assisting the Finance Minister on Deregulation in the newly elected Rudd ministry.[2] In June 2009, he was also appointed Minister for Competition Policy and Consumer Affairs.[2]

On 14 September 2010 Emerson was appointed the Minister for Trade,[2] expanded to Minister for Trade and Competitiveness in a ministerial reshuffle announced on 2 March 2012.[3] On 29 October 2012, Emerson was assigned the role of Minister Assisting the Prime Minister on Asian Century Policy.[4][5] In a further reshuffle of ministerial responsibilities in March 2013, Emerson gained an additional portfolio as Minister for Tertiary Education, Skills, Science and Research.[6]

Following a leadership spill for the position of Leader of the Australian Labor Party in June 2013 Emerson resigned his ministerial portfolios and said he would not contest his seat at the next election.[7]

Emerson was responsible for coining the political term "The Killing Season" to describe the last sitting fortnight of the year before a federal election, having noted that Simon Crean, Kim Beazley and Malcolm Turnbull had all lost the leadership at that time in 2003, 2006 and 2009 respectively.

A notable moment in Emerson's political life saw him attempt to convince the Australian public on national television that the carbon price put in place by the government would not prove catastrophic to the manufacturing industry. He chose to focus on Whyalla as an example, and did this by singing there would be "No Whyalla wipeout, there on my TV" to the tune of the chorus of The Skyhooks track "Horror Movie". Since retirement from politics, he has played a comical singing role in the house band for the ABC parody television program "The Hamster Decides", in which he sings various short messages to the same "Horror Movie" chorus tune.

After leaving parliament, Emerson established an economic consulting firm, Craig Emerson Economics Pty Ltd. His clients have included Wesfarmers, Coles, AGL Energy, Santos, the BCA, the ACTU and the PNG Government. Emerson is an adviser to KPMG. He is also a regular presenter on Sky News Australia.[8] In 2014 Emerson was appointed as an Adjunct Professor of Victoria University. He is a member of the CEDA Council on Economic Policy and is Chair of the Advisory Board, Centre for Transformative Innovation, Swinburne University of Technology. Emerson is also President of the Australia China Business Council NSW.

Personal life[edit]

Emerson was in a relationship with Julia Gillard in 2002 while they were both members of Parliament, prior to her rise to the prime ministership.[9] He was previously married and has three adult children.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Jacqueline Maley (26 December 2009). "Labor Party and Catholics | Liberal Party | Catholic Church". Smh.com.au. Retrieved 2013-07-01. 
  2. ^ a b c d e f g "The Hon Dr Craig Emerson MP". Senators and Members. Commonwealth of Australia. Retrieved 26 June 2013. 
  3. ^ "Changes to the Ministry" (Press release). Office of the Prime Minister of Australia. 2 March 2012. Archived from the original on 16 March 2012. Retrieved 18 March 2012. 
  4. ^ Packham, Ben (29 October 2012). "States to implement Asian white paper schools language teaching recommendation". The Australian. Retrieved 1 April 2013. 
  5. ^ "ParlInfo – STATEMENTS ON INDULGENCE : United Nations Security Council : Reference to Federation Chamber". Parlinfo.aph.gov.au. 29 October 2012. Retrieved 2012-11-20. 
  6. ^ "Full list of changes to the Gillard ministry". The Sydney Morning Herald. 25 March 2013. Retrieved 1 April 2013. 
  7. ^ "Craig Emerson resigns as MP, minister". Nine News. AAP. 26 June 2013. Retrieved 26 June 2013. 
  8. ^ Perry, Kevin (18 August 2014). "Sky News goes inside The Cabinet tonight on @Foxtel @SkyNewsAust". Nelbie. Archived from the original on 18 June 2015. Retrieved 18 June 2015. 
  9. ^ Valent, Dani (18 May 2007). "Our Julia". The Age. Melbourne. Retrieved 26 June 2010. 

External links[edit]

Parliament of Australia
Preceded by
David Beddall
Member of Parliament
for Rankin

1998–2013
Succeeded by
Jim Chalmers
Political offices
Preceded by
Fran Bailey
Minister for Small Business
2007–2010
Succeeded by
Nick Sherry
Preceded by
Stephen Smith
Minister for Trade and Competitiveness
2010–2013
Succeeded by
Richard Marles
Preceded by
Chris Bowen
Minister for Tertiary Education and Science
2013
Succeeded by
Kim Carr