John Kaye (politician)

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Dr John Kaye
Photograph of John Kaye
John Kaye
Member of the New South Wales Legislative Council
In office
24 March 2007 – 2 May 2016
Succeeded byJustin Field
Personal details
Born(1955-10-23)23 October 1955
Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
Died2 May 2016(2016-05-02) (aged 60)
Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
Political partyGreens New South Wales

John Kaye (23 October 1955–2 May 2016) was an Australian politician. He was elected to the New South Wales Legislative Council at the 2007 state election and represented the Greens. He was a vocal critic of electricity industry privatisation and a strong advocate for renewable energy and energy efficiency. He believed in life-long, high quality, and free public education and was a determined spokesperson for public schools as well as Colleges of Technical and Further Education (TAFE).[1][2]

Early career[edit]

After gaining a Bachelor of Engineering and a Masters in Engineering Science at the University of Melbourne, Kaye worked as an engineer for the State Electricity Commission of Victoria.[3]

Kaye earned a PhD from the University of California, Berkeley. He was then a postdoctoral fellow at the Australian National University, and later an academic in electrical engineering at the University of New South Wales where he specialised in sustainable energy and greenhouse issues.

Political career[edit]

After leaving the Labor Party in the late 1980s, Kaye worked for independent community candidates and developed a passion for "sensible urban planning, genuine community consultation and participatory democracy" and he joined the Greens Party in 1997.[2]

From 1998 to 2001, Kaye was the Greens policy coordinator and, from 1999 to 2002, was policy advisor to Greens MLC Lee Rhiannon, leading campaigns for public education; sustainable transport; the urban, rural, and natural environments; workers' rights; and developer donations to political parties. In the 2003 state election, he acted as the Greens campaign coordinator and policy coordinator.[1]

In the 2004 federal election Kaye was the Greens lead candidate for the Australian Senate from New South Wales. As lead candidate, the Greens vote increased to 7.3% but, due to less-favourable preference flows, he failed to gain a seat by a margin of 0.5%.[4]

At the 2007 state election he was elected as the second candidate on a Greens ticket headed by Lee Rhiannon.

Kaye's portfolio responsibilities included Premier & Cabinet, Treasury, Finance, Education and Training, Energy, Health Services, Science & Medical Research, Water Utilities, Fair Trading, Gaming and Racing, Infrastructure, and Commerce.[5]


In February 2016, Kaye was diagnosed with an aggressive form of cancer.[6] He had been undergoing treatment, but died on 2 May 2016, aged 60.[7] He was survived by his partner Lynne, his sister Dina, and brothers Andrew and Stephen.[2] Kaye is buried at Waverley Cemetery.


  1. ^ a b "Dr John Kaye MLC - Homepage". 11 July 2015. Archived from the original on 13 July 2015. Retrieved 13 July 2015.
  2. ^ a b c Shoebridge, David (6 May 2016). "Obituary: John Kaye". The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 7 May 2016.
  3. ^ "Dr John KAYE (1955 - 2016)". Former members of the Parliament of New South Wales. Retrieved 3 April 2019.
  4. ^ "The ABC's Antony Green's 2004 NSW senate election analysis".
  5. ^ "Greens NSW MPs portfolio responsibilities". Greens New South Wales. May 2011. Archived from the original on 27 April 2014.
  6. ^ "Greens MP John Kaye diagnosed with cancer". The Sydney Morning Herald. 2 February 2016. Retrieved 4 May 2016.
  7. ^ "Tributes flow for NSW Greens MP John Kaye". Yahoo!7. 4 May 2016. Archived from the original on 9 May 2016. Retrieved 4 May 2016.

External links[edit]