Josh Frydenberg

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The Honourable
Josh Frydenberg
Josh Frydenberg.jpg
Minister for Environment and Energy
Assumed office
19 July 2016
Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull
Preceded by Greg Hunt (as Minister for the Environment)
Minister for Resources, Energy and Northern Australia /
Minister for Resources and Energy
In office
21 September 2015 – 19 July 2016
Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull
Preceded by Ben Humphreys (as Minister Assisting the Prime Minister for Northern Australia)
Gary Gray (as Minister for Resources and Energy)
Succeeded by Matthew Canavan (as Minister for Northern Australia / Minister for Resources and Northern Australia)
Assistant Treasurer of Australia
In office
23 December 2014 – 21 September 2015
Prime Minister Tony Abbott
Malcolm Turnbull
Preceded by Arthur Sinodinos
Succeeded by Kelly O'Dwyer
Member of the Australian Parliament
for Kooyong
Assumed office
21 August 2010
Preceded by Petro Georgiou
Personal details
Born Joshua Anthony Frydenberg
(1971-07-17) 17 July 1971 (age 45)
Melbourne, Australia
Nationality Australian
Political party Liberal Party of Australia
Spouse(s) Amie Saunders
Children 1
Alma mater
Profession Politician
policy adviser
investment banker
Religion Judaism[1]
Website Official website

Joshua Anthony "Josh" Frydenberg (born 17 July 1971) is an Australian politician. He has been a member of the Australian House of Representatives for the seat of Kooyong representing the Liberal Party since August 2010. Frydenberg served in various junior ministerial roles in the Abbott Government from 2013 before being promoted as the Minister for Resources, Energy and Northern Australia in the Turnbull Government in September 2015. He is currently serving as the Minister for the Environment and Energy.

Early life and education[edit]

Frydenberg was born in Melbourne and educated at Bialik and Mount Scopus Colleges. His mother is a psychologist and University of Melbourne professor and his father is a general surgeon.

Frydenberg studied and earned honours degrees in both law and economics at Monash University before working at Mallesons Stephen Jaques, a large Australian commercial law firm. He subsequently attended the University College, Oxford to read for Master of International Relations degree in 1998 on a Commonwealth scholarship. Frydenberg has also attained a Master of Public Administration from John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University.[2]


In 1999, Frydenberg worked as an assistant adviser to Attorney-General Daryl Williams before becoming an adviser to Foreign Affairs Minister Alexander Downer, a post he held until 2003. From 2003 to 2005 he was a policy adviser to Prime Minister John Howard, specialising in domestic security issues, border protection, justice and industrial relations. In 2005 he took up a position as a Director of Global Banking with Deutsche Bank in the company's Melbourne office.[3]

2006 political candidacy[edit]

In 2006 Frydenberg announced that he was seeking Liberal preselection for Kooyong, a comfortably safe Liberal seat in the eastern suburbs of Melbourne. The seat's incumbent member, Petro Georgiou, had held the seat since 1994. Kooyong is regarded as a Liberal "leadership seat." The three men who held it before Georgiou all went on to lead the Liberals or their predecessors--Andrew Peacock (leader of the Liberal Party 1983–85 and 1989–90), Sir Robert Menzies (founder of the Liberal Party and Prime Minister 1939–41 and 1949–66), and Sir John Latham (leader of the Nationalist Party, a direct ancestor of the Liberals, 1929–31).

In the days leading to the preselection convention, Queensland frontbenchers Ian Macfarlane, Peter Dutton and Santo Santoro backed Frydenberg's credentials, for which they were criticised by former Victorian Premier Jeff Kennett.[4]

The preselection was held at Trinity Grammar School on 23 April 2006.[5] Georgiou received 62 of the 85 delegates' votes, with Frydenberg receiving 22 votes and a third candidate, Alastair Armstrong, receiving one vote. After Frydenberg's defeat, federal Treasurer and deputy Liberal leader Peter Costello, who represented the nearby seat of Division of Higgins, encouraged him to run for pre-selection in Chisholm, a marginal electorate neighbouring Kooyong, held by Anna Burke of the ALP. It had previously been held by one of Frydenberg's mentors, Michael Wooldridge. Frydenberg declined the offer, saying, "This is where I am from, this is where I feel most comfortable and this is where I think there is real work to be done."[6]

Parliamentary career[edit]

After Georgiou had announced his intention to retire at the next election, Frydenberg won preselection to contest the seat of Kooyong after beating industrial lawyer John Pesutto at the Melbourne Convention Centre on 20 June 2009.[7] Frydenberg's candidacy was supported by references from former Prime Minister John Howard and former Opposition Leader Andrew Peacock.[8]

At the 2010 federal election, he won the seat with 52.56% of the primary vote and 57.55% of the two-party-preferred vote.[9]

In his maiden speech, he recounted the story of his Jewish grandparents' and great-aunt's migration to Australia from Nazi controlled Europe and lauded the contribution of migrants to communities within his electorate. He enunciated his belief in small government, called for stronger ties with Asia while also maintaining a solid alliance with the US and proposed a target of having two Australian universities within the world's top ten by 2030.[10]

At the 2013 federal election, Frydenberg was re-elected with the largest swing to the Liberal Party in the seat since 1975. He was sworn in as a Parliamentary Secretary to the Prime Minister on 18 September 2013, with particular responsibility for the government's deregulation agenda. On 23 December 2014, Frydenberg was sworn in as Assistant Treasurer in a ministerial reshuffle and replaced Arthur Sinodinos, who resigned due to delays in an ICAC inquiry.[11][12]

Following the September 2015 Liberal leadership ballot where Malcolm Turnbull became the Prime Minister, Frydenberg was appointed the Minister for Resources, Energy and Northern Australia in the First Turnbull Ministry. In February 2016, he lost the responsibility for Northern Australia in the rearranged ministry.

In 2015, he declared that he had switched positions regarding same-sex marriage and publicly supported marriage equality.[13] In June he was the subject of an anti-Semitic smear from a Brisbane wealth adviser on Twitter which attracted wide media coverage.[14]

With the reelection of the Turnbull Government in 2016, Frydenberg became the Minister for the Environment and Energy in the Second Turnbull Ministry.[15]


  1. ^ Owens, Jared (23 March 2014). "Josh Frydenberg risks row with Jewish leaders on race act reform". The Australian. Retrieved 24 December 2014. 
  2. ^ Mann, Simon (25 March 2006). "The battle for Kooyong". The Age. Melbourne. 
  3. ^ Maiden, Samantha (3 March 2006). "Costello backs rebel Georgiou". The Australian. 
  4. ^ "'Musketeers' told to keep out of Georgiou preselection". ABC News. Australia. 2006. Retrieved 22 April 2006. 
  5. ^ "Liberals in a preselection spin". The Age. 21 April 2006. Retrieved 22 April 2006. 
  6. ^ "Georgiou wins preselection battle". The Age. AAP. 23 April 2006. Retrieved 23 April 2006. 
  7. ^ "Frydenberg wins Kooyong". Herald Sun. 2009. Retrieved 20 June 2009. 
  8. ^ "Powerful Kooyong Allies". The Age. 21 April 2009. Retrieved 2 October 2013. 
  9. ^ "House of Representatives: VIC Division: Kooyong". Australia votes, 2010. Australian Electoral Commission. Retrieved 18 March 2011. 
  10. ^ Johnson, Stephen (25 October 2010). "MP tells of aunt who escaped Holocaust". The Sydney Morning Herald. AAP. Retrieved 18 March 2011. 
  11. ^ Taylor, Lenore (21 December 2014). "Tony Abbott cabinet reshuffle moves Scott Morrison out of immigration". Guardian Australia. Retrieved 21 December 2014. 
  12. ^ "Tony Abbott's revamped Ministry sworn in at Government House". News Corp Australia. 23 December 2014. Retrieved 23 December 2014. 
  13. ^ "Abbott Government rising star Josh Frydenberg reveals switch on gay marriage position". The Sydney Morning Herald. 25 March 2015. 
  14. ^ "Tinkering Jew wealth adviser launches angry anti-Semitic Twitter tirade against MP Josh Frydenberg proposed changes commissions financial advisers". Daily Mail. Australia. 
  15. ^ Anderson, Stephanie (20 July 2016). "Election 2016: Malcolm Turnbull unveils ministry with Christopher Pyne, Greg Hunt on the move". ABC News. Retrieved 22 July 2016. 

External links[edit]

Parliament of Australia
Preceded by
Petro Georgiou
Member for Kooyong
Political offices
Preceded by
Greg Hunt
as Minister for the Environment
Minister for the Environment and Energy
Title last held by
Ben Humphreys
as Minister Assisting the Prime Minister for Northern Australia
Minister for Resources, Energy and Northern Australia /
Minister for Resources and Energy

Succeeded by
Matthew Canavan
as Minister for Northern Australia
Title last held by
Gary Gray
as Minister for Resources and Energy
Succeeded by
Matthew Canavan
as Minister for Resources and Northern Australia
Preceded by
Arthur Sinodinos
Assistant Treasurer
Succeeded by
Kelly O'Dwyer