Daryl Melham

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Daryl Melham

Member of the Australian Parliament
for Banks
In office
24 March 1990 – 7 September 2013
Preceded byJohn Mountford
Succeeded byDavid Coleman
Personal details
Born (1954-11-26) 26 November 1954 (age 64)
Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
Political partyAustralian Labor Party
Alma materUniversity of Sydney
ProfessionBarrister, Solicitor
WebsiteALP web page

Daryl Melham AM (born 26 November 1954) is a former Australian politician. He was a Labor member of the Australian House of Representatives representing the Division of Banks in New South Wales from March 1990 until September 2013.

Early life and education[edit]

Melham was born in Sydney, New South Wales, to a family of Lebanese descent and studied law and economics at the University of Sydney, earning an LL.B. and a B.Ec.[1][2]


Legal career[edit]

Melham was a barrister and solicitor and a public defender before entering politics. He was Vice-President of the New South Wales Labor Party from 1999 until 2002.

Melham worked as a solicitor with the Legal Aid Commission of New South Wales, specialising in criminal law from 1979 to 1987. He was subsequently admitted to the bar as a barrister, and was a public defender until his entry into federal politics in 1990. He is also a foundation member of the NSW Society of Labor Lawyers.

Melham is a Life Member and the current President of the Revesby Workers' Club.

Political career[edit]

Elected to Parliament in 1990, Melham entered the Opposition Shadow Ministry following Labor's electoral defeat in 1996. He served as Shadow Minister for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Affairs but resigned in 2000 after a policy disagreement with the then Labor leader Kim Beazley. He returned to the Opposition Shadow Ministry in 2001 and he was Shadow Minister for Housing, Urban Development and Local Government from December 2003, resigning from the front bench soon after the Labor Party's election defeat in October 2004.

Melham and colleague Lindsay Tanner were the only Labor MPs to openly speak out against the Howard Government's proposed anti-terrorism legislation which provides for harsher punishments for sedition and grants police new shoot-to-kill powers.[3] Melham also spoke out against the Howard government's changes to the rules concerning political donations, which allowed donations of up to A$10,000 to be given to political parties without public disclosure.[4] Melham was quoted as saying in May 2006:[4]

"We're going to have the best politicians money can buy, but we won't see [how much]."

Melham resigned as the Federal Labor caucus chair on 30 October 2012.[5] Following the 2010 election, Melham's usually high margin in Banks was reduced to a low 1.5%. He lost the seat at the 2013 federal election against the Liberal candidate, David Coleman.[6]


  1. ^ "Daryl Melham MP, First Speech To Parliament". Parliament of Australia. 11 September 1990. Retrieved 20 July 2008.
  2. ^ "Mr Daryl Melham MP". Senators and Members. Parliament of Australia. Retrieved 1 July 2013.
  3. ^ Melham, Daryl (15 September 2005). "The War on Terrorism goes a step too far". The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 14 September 2013.
  4. ^ a b "How red tape strangles the ballot boxes". The Sydney Morning Herald. 1 September 2007. Retrieved 1 September 2007.
  5. ^ Benson, Simon (9 October 2012). "PM Julia Gillard's caucus chairman Daryl Melham resigns". Herald Sun. Retrieved 1 July 2013.
  6. ^ "House of Representatives: NSW: Banks". Election 2013. Australian Electoral Commission. 13 September 2013. Archived from the original on 9 September 2013. Retrieved 14 September 2013.
Parliament of Australia
Preceded by
John Mountford
Member for Banks
Succeeded by
David Coleman