James Webster (Australian politician)

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The Honourable
James Webster
Senator for Victoria
In office
9 December 1964 – 28 January 1980
Preceded by Harrie Wade
Succeeded by Laurence Neal
Personal details
Born (1925-06-14) 14 June 1925 (age 91)
Nationality Australian
Political party Australian Country Party
Occupation Accountant, farmer

James Joseph Webster (born 14 June 1925 in Flinders Island, Tasmania) is a former member of the Australian Senate.[1]

The son of state MP Leslie Webster, he was educated at Caulfield Grammar School and the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology. He worked as an accountant and farmer prior to entering politics. Webster was appointed to the Senate as a member of the Country Party following the death of Harrie Wade in 1964, and served in the Senate until 1980.

He was the federal Minister for Science (later Minister for Science and the Environment) in the Fraser Government from 1975 to 1979.

In 1975, his constitutional eligibility to sit in the Senate was questioned, prompting the Parliament to introduce the Common Informers (Parliamentary Disqualifications) Act 1975, although ultimately the High Court found that he was not ineligible and he continued to serve until his retirement in 1980.[2][3]


  1. ^ "Webster, James Joseph (1925–)". The Biographical Dictionary of the Australian Senate. Parliament of Australia. 
  2. ^ Re Webster [1975] HCA 22, (1975) 132 C.L.R. 270 (24 June 1975), H.C.
  3. ^ Harris, I. C. (2005). House of Representatives Practice (PDF). Canberra: Department of the House of Representatives. p. 154. ISBN 0 642 78510 4. 

External links[edit]

Political offices
Preceded by
Bill Morrison
Minister for Science
Succeeded by
David Thomson
Preceded by
Ray Groom
Minister for Science
and the Environment

Diplomatic posts
Preceded by
Lew Border
Australian High Commissioner to New Zealand
1980 – 1984
Succeeded by
Les Johnson