John Hatton (politician)

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John Hatton

Member of the New South Wales Legislative Assembly
for South Coast
In office
17 November 1973 – 27 February 1995
Preceded byJack Beale
Succeeded byEric Ellis
Personal details
John Edward Hatton

(1933-05-29) 29 May 1933 (age 86)
Hammondville, New South Wales
Political partyIndependent

John Edward Hatton AO (born 29 May 1933) is former Australian politician, and a National Trust of Australia nominated Australian Living Treasure. He was the independent member of the Legislative Assembly of the New South Wales parliament for the seat of South Coast from 1973 to 1995. Notably, the allegations about police corruption Hatton raised in Parliament resulted in the Wood Royal Commission. He is currently a social activist in his local community.[1]

Early life and background[edit]

John Hatton was born in Hammondville, New South Wales, the son of Harry and Florence Hatton. He was educated at Hammondville Public School, Hurlstone Agricultural High School and Armidale Teachers' College.[2]

Hatton was the President of the NSW Shirea of Shoalhaven before his entry into state politics.[3] Hatton was the Foundation President and President for 15 years of the Shoalhaven Combined Progress Associations.[4]

State parliamentary career[edit]

Hatton was the member for the New South Wales lower house seat of South Coast between 1973 and 1995.[2] A measure of Hatton's local popularity occurred in the 1976 state election where he polled in excess of 77% of the first preference formal votes.[5] Shortly after becoming elected, Hatton donated a parliamentary pay rise to charity because it had not been granted by an independent body.[6] John Hatton was elected as an independent for this seat for 22 years through the Askin, Lewis, Willis, Wran, Unsworth, Greiner and Fahey governments to 1995.[7]

He used parliamentary privilege to expose organised crime in the Griffith mafia, police corruption and malfeasance within government departments and agencies.[7] In 1994, by 46 votes to 45, he forced the minority Fahey Government to establish the Wood Royal Commission into Police Corruption. This ground-breaking royal commission overcame objections from the Independent Commission Against Corruption, led to widespread reform of the NSW Police Force and the establishment of the Police Integrity Commission.[7]

Later life[edit]

Hatton continues to advocate for his local community.[8] In 2009 he called for a Royal Commission into property and planning corruption in NSW.[7]

Return to politics[edit]

In September 2010, Hatton announced his intention to stand with a team of 21 independents for the New South Wales Legislative Council at the state election on 26 March 2011. His running mate was small business owner and Community Independent Ian Scandrett who was second on the ticket.[9] Scandrett has since been elected twice to Wingecarribee Shire Council. The grouping of candidates were known as the John Hatton Independents Team.[10] Hatton and his team were unsuccessful at the 2011 election.

Honours received[edit]


a.^ The City of Shoalhaven was proclaimed in 1979.


  1. ^ Richmond, Ruth. The stench in This Parliament: the Authorised Biography of John Hatton AO. Mulwala, NSW. ISBN 978-0-646-52183-1.
  2. ^ a b "Mr John Edward Hatton (1933 - )". Parliament of New South Wales. Archived from the original on 4 June 2011. Retrieved 19 February 2010.
  3. ^ "Shoalhaven Valley and Jervis Bay". ABC News. Australia. Retrieved 6 November 2008.
  4. ^ "Fear and loathing in Shoalhaven". ABC Stateline. Australia. Retrieved 6 November 2008.
  5. ^ NSW State Electoral Results for South Coast. First Preference Votes 1976 p77.
  6. ^ Richmond, Ruth (2007). The Little Bloke: An Authorized Biography of John Hatton OA (Thesis). University of Wollongong. p. 13. Retrieved 16 May 2010.
  7. ^ a b c d Dempster, Quentin (9 February 2010). "Anti-corruption campaigner eyes NSW" (transcript). ABC Stateline. Retrieved 6 October 2012.
  8. ^ "Old crusader fights tide of high-rise". The Sydney Morning Herald. 22 May 2007. Retrieved 5 November 2008.
  9. ^ "Hatton's Independent Team". Archived from the original on 3 February 2011. Retrieved 8 September 2010.
  10. ^ Hall, Louise (1 September 2010). "Police Royal Commission MP makes a comeback". The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 3 September 2010.
  11. ^ "It's an Honour - Honours - Search Australian Honours". Government of Australia. Retrieved 12 October 2010.
  12. ^ "Churchill Fellows Association of New South Wales - List of Fellows". Churchill Fellows Association of New South Wales. Retrieved 26 February 2011.
New South Wales Legislative Assembly
Preceded by
Jack Beale
Member for South Coast
Succeeded by
Eric Ellis