David Campbell (Australian politician)

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The Honorable
David Campbell
Member of the
New South Wales Legislative Assembly
for Keira
In office
27 March 1999 – 26 March 2011
Preceded by Col Markham
Succeeded by Ryan Park
Constituency Keira
NSW Minister for Transport and Roads
In office
8 September 2008 – 20 May 2010
Premier Nathan Rees
Kristina Keneally
Governor Marie Bashir
Preceded by Eric Roozendaal (Transport), Michael Daley (Roads)
Succeeded by John Robertson
Personal details
Born David Andrew Campbell
(1957-07-27) 27 July 1957 (age 60)
Bulli, New South Wales
Nationality  Australia
Political party Australian Labor Party
Spouse(s) Edna Campbell
Children 2 Sons
Website Legislative Webpage

David Andrew Campbell (born 27 July 1957), a former Australian politician, was a Member of the New South Wales Legislative Assembly for Keira between 1999 and 2011. A former Lord Mayor of Wollongong, Campbell was Minister for Transport in the NSW Government from 8 September 2008 until his resignation on 20 May 2010.[1] On 28 September 2010, Campbell announced that he would not seek Labor endorsement for re-election at the 2011 NSW election.[2][3]

Background and early years[edit]

Campbell was born in Bulli, New South Wales the son of Margaret and Harry Campbell.[4] In 1974, Campbell married Edna and together they have two adult sons.[5][6]

Campbell joined the Australian Labor Party in the mid-1970s.[7] He was an alderman on the Council of the City of Wollongong from 1987 to 1999 and Lord Mayor from September 1991 to 1999. He was appointed a Fellow of the University of Wollongong in 1995.[4]

State politics[edit]

Campbell was elected as Member for Keira in March 1999 representing the Australian Labor Party following a decision by Col Markham to contest the seat of Wollongong. Campbell was re-elected as Member for Keira at the 2003 and 2007 elections.

In 2003, Campbell was appointed Minister for Regional Development, Minister for the Illawarra, and Minister for Small Business by Premier Bob Carr, and Minister for Water Utilities in February 2006 by Premier Iemma. Following the 2007 election, Iemma appointed Campbell to the role of Police Minister and Minister for Illawarra.[6] Premier Nathan Rees promoted Campbell as Minister for Transport on 8 September 2008, which was expanded to include Roads under Premier Kristina Keneally in December 2009.

For most of 2009, Minister Campbell was dogged by the controversial Metro project, a Metro style rail proposal for the Sydney CBD and Inner West. Originally expected to cost AUD2 billion), the CBD Metro was later estimated to cost $7 billion and caused Campbell to come under pressure from the public over the continued viability of the project. The Sydney Metro was cancelled in February 2010.[8] Campbell was labelled 'Mr Slow' by the NSW opposition and the Daily Telegraph for his handling of transport issues.[9]


On 20 May 2010, Seven News broadcast video surveillance revealing Campbell leaving a gay sex club in Kensington.[10] Shortly before the footage was aired, Campbell resigned as minister for Transport and Roads citing personal reasons and said that he would remain as the Member for Keira.[5][11]

The journalist who broke the story, Adam Walters, defended airing the footage, saying it was in the "public interest".[12] Walters was supported by former Labor Premier Barrie Unsworth, who described Campbell's actions as "deplorable."[13] Mr Unsworth told The Australian newspaper "Campbell has been the police minister and he's been on the NSW Crime Commission, and he's frequented places where he's easily recognised. The threat is not from Channel 7 lurking outside but by the people inside. We've got a criminal milieu in this city and he laid himself open to all sorts of threats and blackmail." Another former Labor Premier Bob Carr defended Campbell.[14] "My position has always been that the private life of MPs is precisely that," Mr Carr said. Others, including the former High Court justice Michael Kirby, criticised Walters and Seven, with Kirby describing Seven News as "serial homophobes" for their coverage of the story.[15]

On 28 September 2010, Campbell announced that he would not seek Labor Party endorsement, nor re-election, for the seat of Keira at the 2011 general election.[2][3][16] It was reported that Campbell claimed he had strong support from the Labor Party and was confident he would have been endorsed for his seat should he have decided to contest the election.[16] Campbell retired after serving 24 years as an elected representative in local and state politics.


  1. ^ Harvey, Ellie (20 May 2010). "Labor MP David Campbell resigns for "personal reasons"". Sydney Morning Herald. Fairfax Media. Retrieved 2010-05-20. 
  2. ^ a b Tatnell, Paul (28 September 2010). "David Campbell to quit NSW Parliament". Sydney Morning Herald. Fairfax Media. Retrieved 2010-10-10. 
  3. ^ a b "David Campbell announces he will not be standing in NSW's March election". The Australian. News Limited. 28 September 2010. Retrieved 2010-10-10. 
  4. ^ a b "Council Member - The Hon David Campbell, MLA". Members of Parliament. University of Wollongong. Retrieved 2007-02-17. 
  5. ^ a b "Labor MP David Campbell Resigns as Minister For Transport And Roads...". The Daily Telegraph. News Limited. 20 May 2010. Retrieved 2010-05-20. 
  6. ^ a b "The Hon. David Andrew Campbell, MP". Members of Parliament. Parliament of New South Wales. Retrieved 2010-02-12. 
  7. ^ "Inaugural Speech, Members". New South Wales Legislative Assembly. Parliament of New South Wales. Retrieved 2010-06-14. 
  8. ^ "Keneally scraps CBD Metro plans". ABC News. Australian Broadcasting Corporation. AAP. 21 January 2010. 
  9. ^ Besser, Linton (13 April 2010). "NSW's Mr Slow lampooned for transport failures". Sydney Morning Herald. Fairfax Media. Retrieved 2010-05-20. 
  10. ^ "David Campbell sex scandal 'final nail in NSW Government's coffin'". Herald Sun. News Limited. 21 May 2010. Retrieved 2010-05-21. 
  11. ^ "David Campell resigns from ministerial post". Courier Mail. News Limited. 20 May 2010. Retrieved 2010-05-20. 
  12. ^ "Minister quits over gay sex club visit". ABC News. Australian Broadcasting Corporation. 21 May 2010. Retrieved 2010-05-20. 
  13. ^ Salusinszky, Imre (22 May 2010). "Public life the place for private exposure". The Australian. News Limited. Retrieved 2010-08-08. 
  14. ^ Salusinszky, Imre (21 May 2010). "Ex-premiers back MP David Campbell". The Australian. News Limited. Retrieved 2010-06-07. 
  15. ^ "Kirby: Seven News filled with ‘serial homophobes’". The Spy Report. Media Spy. 22 May 2010. Retrieved 2010-05-22. 
  16. ^ a b Apap, Veronica (28 September 2010). "David Campbell quits as Keira MP". Illawarra Mercury. Fairfax Media. Retrieved 2010-10-10. 
Parliament of New South Wales
Preceded by
Col Markham
Member for Keira
1999 – 2011
Succeeded by
Ryan Park