Ian Macfarlane (politician)

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The Honourable
Ian Macfarlane
Ian Macfarlane 2015.jpg
Minister for Industry and Science
In office
18 September 2013 – 21 September 2015
Prime Minister Tony Abbott
Malcolm Turnbull
Preceded by Kim Carr
Succeeded by Christopher Pyne
Minister for Industry, Tourism and Resources
In office
26 November 2001 – 3 December 2007
Prime Minister John Howard
Preceded by Nick Minchin
Succeeded by Kim Carr Minister for Innovation, Industry, Science and Research
Martin Ferguson Minister for Resources and Energy
Minister for Small Business
In office
30 January 2001 – 26 November 2001
Prime Minister John Howard
Preceded by Peter Reith
Succeeded by Joe Hockey
Member of the Australian Parliament for Groom
Assumed office
3 October 1998
Preceded by Bill Taylor
Personal details
Born (1955-04-05) 5 April 1955 (age 60)
Kingaroy, Queensland, Australia
Political party Liberal National Party
Spouse(s) Karen
Children Kate and Laura
Residence Toowoomba, Queensland
Occupation Farmer
Website www.ianmacfarlanemp.com

Ian Elgin Macfarlane (born 5 April 1955) is an Australian politician. He was elected as a member of the Australian House of Representatives in October 1998, representing the Division of Groom, Queensland for the Liberal National Party.[clarification needed] Macfarlane was the Minister for Industry and Science in the Abbott Government from 18 September 2013[1] until 20 September 2015, when he was dropped from cabinet in the reshuffle following Malcolm Turnbull's ascent to the prime ministership.

Background and career[edit]

He was born in Kingaroy, Queensland, and was a farmer and president of the Queensland Graingrowers Association before entering politics. He acquired the nickname "Chainsaw" from ABC rural reporter Judy Kennedy due to his raspy voice. He now attributes the moniker to his ability to "cut through red tape",[2] and it was alluded to in his 1998 election campaign through the slogan "The Right Voice for Groom".

In an interview with Four Corners on 9 November 2009, Macfarlane said that his position on global warming had changed "a bit", since he had recognized a greater importance for mankind's contribution.[3] Acting as Climate Change Spokesman for the Coalition in 2009, he spent 5 weeks in negotiations around a Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme with Minister for Climate Change Penny Wong,[4] before a leadership spill deposed party leader Malcolm Turnbull and replaced him with Tony Abbott,[5] and the policy was overturned.

As a minister in the Coalition Government under John Howard he held the portfolio of Minister for Small Business from January 2001, before being promoted to the Cabinet role of Industry, Tourism and Resources in November 2001.[6] After the defeat of the Coalition in the 2007 federal election he served in the shadow portfolios of Trade as well as Infrustructure and Water, and was the Shadow Minister for Energy and Resources.[7] With the election of the Abbott Coalition government in September 2013 he was appointed Minister for Industry. He was later sworn in as the Minister for Minister for Industry and Science on 23 December 2014.

Macfarlane was dropped from the new Turnbull Ministry upon the ascension of the Turnbull Government.


  1. ^ "Tony Abbott's cabinet and outer ministry". smh.com.au. AAP. 16 September 2013. Retrieved 16 September 2013. 
  2. ^ "Biography". Ian Macfarlane MP. Archived from the original on 29 July 2007. Retrieved 3 December 2007. 
  3. ^ "Program Transcript". Australian Broadcasting Corporation. 9 November 2009. Retrieved 31 January 2014. 
  4. ^ "Debate conducted on old-school rules". The Australian. 18 November 2009. Retrieved 21 April 2010. 
  5. ^ "The Cloud of Climate of Change". The Courier Mail. 28 November 2009. Retrieved 21 April 2010. 
  6. ^ "The Hon Ian Macfarlane MP, Member for Groom (Qld)". Parliament of Australia. Retrieved 3 December 2007. 
  7. ^ "Ian Macfarlane MP". Retrieved 21 April 2010. 
Parliament of Australia
Preceded by
Bill Taylor
Member for Groom
Political offices
Preceded by
Peter Reith
Minister for Small Business
Succeeded by
Joe Hockey
Preceded by
Nick Minchin
Minister for Industry, Tourism and Resources
Succeeded by
Kim Carr
as Minister for Innovation, Industry, Science and Research
Succeeded by
Martin Ferguson
as Minister for Resources, Energy and Tourism
Preceded by
Kim Carr
as Minister for Innovation, Industry, Science and Research
Minister for Industry