Darren Chester

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The Honourable
Darren Chester
Darren Chester Portrait 2009.jpg
Minister for Infrastructure and Transport
Assumed office
18 February 2016 (2016-02-18)
Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull
Preceded by Warren Truss (Infrastructure and Regional Development)
Assistant Minister for Defence
In office
21 September 2015 – 18 February 2016
Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull
Preceded by Stuart Robert
Succeeded by Michael McCormack
Member of the Australian Parliament
for Gippsland
Assumed office
28 June 2008
Preceded by Peter McGauran
Personal details
Born Darren Jeffrey Chester
(1967-09-13) 13 September 1967 (age 49)
Sale, Victoria, Australia
Nationality Australian
Political party The Nationals
Spouse(s) Julie Chester
Children Morgan, Jamieson, Clancy, Lachlan[1]
Occupation Journalist, Political advisor
Website darrenchester.com

Darren Jeffrey Chester (born 13 September 1967) is an Australian politician. He has been a member of the House of Representatives for Gippsland in Victoria, representing the Nationals since 2008. Chester served as the Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Defence in the Abbott ministry from September 2013 to September 2015.[2] In the Turnbull Government he was appointed Assistant Minister for Defence from 21 September 2015;[3] and on 18 February 2016 Chester was sworn in as the Minister for Infrastructure and Transport following a rearrangement in the First Turnbull Ministry.[4][5]


Chester was born in Sale, Victoria, the son of a plumber, and was one of five children.[1]

Prior to entering federal politics, he worked as a newspaper and television journalist throughout Gippsland and was chief of staff to Peter Ryan, the leader of the Nationals in the Victorian state parliament. Chester contested Gippsland East as the National Party candidate at the 2002 Victorian state election, losing to independent Craig Ingram.[6] In 2004, he unsuccessfully stood for National Party preselection for the Senate position held by Julian McGauran. McGauran retained his party endorsement and was re-elected later that year, only to defect to the Liberals in 2006.[7]

Chester was elected to the House of Representatives at the 2008 by-election caused by the resignation of Peter McGauran, and re-elected at the 2010 and 2013 elections.

He was appointed Shadow Parliamentary Secretary for Roads and Regional Transport in September 2010;[8] and appointed as Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Defence in September 2013.[2]

In June 2015 he became the first member of the National Party to announce support for same-sex marriage and a conscience vote on the issue for members of the Coalition[9]


Chester lives in Lakes Entrance with his wife, Julie,[10] and their four children, Morgan, Jamieson, Clancy and Lachlan.[1]


  1. ^ a b c Chester, Darren (26 August 2008). "First Speech to Parliament" (PDF). Hansard: House of Representatives. Parliament of Australia. Retrieved 10 November 2013. 
  2. ^ a b "Tony Abbott's cabinet and outer ministry". The Sydney Morning Herald. AAP. 16 September 2013. Retrieved 16 September 2013. 
  3. ^ "Parliament of Australia website for Darren Chester". Retrieved 25 September 2015. 
  4. ^ Massola, James (13 February 2016). "Cabinet reshuffle: Malcolm Turnbull announces new frontbench as Mal Brough resigns". The Age. Retrieved 13 February 2016. 
  5. ^ "Ministerial Swearing-in Ceremony". Events. Governor-General of the Commonwealth of Australia. 18 February 2016. Retrieved 19 February 2016. 
  6. ^ State Election 2002: Gippsland East District
  7. ^ Wright, Tony (28 June 2008). "Timely political payback by McGauran?". The Age. 
  8. ^ Parliament House Library Archived 17 September 2010 at the Wayback Machine.
  9. ^ Darren Chester first National MP to announce support for same-sex marriage ABC
  10. ^ "About Darren Chester". Darren Chester MP. Darren Chester. 2013. Retrieved 10 November 2013. 

External links[edit]

Parliament of Australia
Preceded by
Peter McGauran
Member for Gippsland
Political offices
Preceded by
Warren Truss
as Minister for Infrastructure and Regional Development
Minister for Infrastructure and Transport
Preceded by
Stuart Robert
Assistant Minister for Defence
Succeeded by
Michael McCormack