Joe Berinson

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The Honourable
Joe Berinson
Australian Minister for the Environment
In office
14 July 1975 – 11 November 1975
Prime Minister Gough Whitlam
Preceded by Gough Whitlam
Succeeded by Andrew Peacock
Attorney-General of Western Australia
In office
25 February 1983 – 16 February 1993
Premier Brian Burke
Peter Dowding
Carmen Lawrence
Preceded by Ian Medcalf
Succeeded by Cheryl Edwardes
Member of the Australian Parliament
for Perth
In office
25 October 1969 – 13 December 1975
Preceded by Fred Chaney
Succeeded by Ross McLean
Member of the Western Australian Parliament
for North Metropolitan
In office
Serving with Graham Edwards
Sam Piantadosi
Bob Pike
Reg Davies
Max Evans
George Cash
Member of the Western Australian Parliament
for North Central Metropolitan
In office
Serving with Sam Piantadosi
Member of the Western Australian Parliament
for North-East Metropolitan
In office
Serving with Lyla Elliott
Personal details
Born Joseph Max Berinson
(1932-01-07)7 January 1932
Perth, Western Australia, Australia
Died 2 June 2018(2018-06-02) (aged 86)
Perth, Western Australia, Australia
Citizenship Australian
Political party Australian Labor Party
Alma mater University of Western Australia
Profession Pharmacist

Joseph Max Berinson (7 January 1932 – 2 June 2018) was an Australian politician who represented the Australian Labor Party (ALP) in the Australian House of Representatives and the Western Australian Legislative Council. He was Minister for the Environment in the Whitlam government for several months in 1975, later serving a decade as Attorney-General of Western Australia.


Berinson was born to parents from Safed, Palestine. His father, Shulem, emigrated to Australia around 1913. His mother Rivka (Rebecca) née Finkelstein arrived in Australia in about 1923. Berinson had two older sisters, Goola (born 1924) and Ethel (born 1925).[1]

Berinson worked from the 1950s as a pharmacist before entering politics.[2] He was elected to the Australian House of Representatives representing the electorate of Perth at the 1969 federal election. He was Minister for the Environment between July and November 1975, losing his seat in the 1975 election in December 1975.[3] After Berinson's defeat in 1975, he was admitted as a legal practitioner in 1977.[4]

In 1980, Berinson was elected to the Western Australian Legislative Council representing the Council electorates of North-East Metropolitan (1980–83), North Central Metropolitan (1983–89) and North Metropolitan (1989–1993). With the election of Brian Burke as Premier of Western Australia in 1983, Berinson was appointed Attorney-General. He served in this role under successive premiers Burke, Peter Dowding and Carmen Lawrence. While Attorney General, he was appointed Queen's Counsel (QC) in 1988.[5]

In 1991, he was identified as one of five members of the government most associated with WA Inc transactions.[6] Berinson retired from the ministry and from the Legislative Council in 1993. He subsequently served as President of the Jewish Community Council of Western Australia between 2001 and 2005.[4]

Berinson died on 2 June 2018, aged 86. His burial took place the following day at Karrakatta Cemetery. He was survived by his wife Jeanette and their four children.[7][8]


  1. ^ "Ethel Bercove" (PDF). Northbridge History Project. The Government of Western Australia. Retrieved 2 March 2013. 
  2. ^ Crisp, L.F.; Atkinson, Barbara (November 1981). "Australian Labour Party – Federal Parliamentarians – 1901–1981" (PDF). Australian National University. p. 5. Retrieved 1 March 2013. 
  3. ^ The University of Western Australia. "Joe Berinson (1971)". Retrieved 4 June 2018. 
  4. ^ a b "Alumni – Graduates – 1970s – Joe Berinson (1971)". University of Western Australia. Retrieved 1 March 2013. 
  5. ^ "Members of the House of Representatives since 1901". Australian Parliament House. Retrieved 1 March 2013. 
  6. ^ O'Brien P. The Origins and Development of WA's Executive State, in The Executive State —WA Inc & The Constitution, (Perth 1991), p. 132. The other main players were Burke, Dowding, deputy premier David Parker and industrial development minister Julian Grill.
  7. ^ Emery, Kate (4 June 2018). "Former A-G dies at 86". The West Australian. p. 9. 
  8. ^ "Joseph Berinson". West Announcements. The West Australian. Retrieved 3 June 2018.  (Printed on p. 69 of The West Australian on 4 January 2018)
Political offices
Preceded by
Gough Whitlam
Minister for the Environment
Succeeded by
Andrew Peacock
Parliament of Australia
Preceded by
Fred Chaney
Member for Perth
Succeeded by
Ross McLean