Ken Aldred

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The Honourable
Ken Aldred
Member of the Australian Parliament
for Henty
In office
13 December 1975 – 18 October 1980
Preceded by Joan Child
Succeeded by Joan Child
Member of the Australian Parliament
for Bruce
In office
28 May 1983 – 24 March 1990
Preceded by Billy Snedden
Succeeded by Julian Beale
Member of the Australian Parliament
for Deakin
In office
24 March 1990 – 29 January 1996
Preceded by Julian Beale
Succeeded by Phil Barresi
Personal details
Born (1945-08-01) 1 August 1945 (age 70)
Nationality Australian
Political party Liberal Party of Australia

Kenneth James Aldred was an Australian politician who represented the Liberal Party in the Australian House of Representatives between 1975 and 1996.

Early life[edit]

Kenneth James Aldred was born in East Melbourne, Victoria on 1st August 1945. Ken Aldred was educated at Melbourne High School and Monash University, and holds the degrees of Bachelor of Economics and Master of Administration from Monash University.

During 1970-71 he was Special Projects Officer in the Commonwealth Public Service Board in Melbourne. This was followed by two years in the period 1971-73, as Management Training Officer at the Administrative College of Papua New Guinea. Though principally based in Port Moresby, Ken Aldred also had responsibility for running management courses in several of PNG’s major regional centres.

In June 1973 Ken Aldred returned to the Commonwealth Public Service Board in Melbourne as Industrial Information Officer. Later that year he was appointed Senior Industry Survey Officer in the Commonwealth Industries Assistance Commission, also in Melbourne. He remained there until first elected to Federal Parliament in December 1975 as the Member for Henty.

Military service[edit]

Throughout 1965-71 Ken Aldred served in the Australian Army Reserve. His first four years were in the Melbourne University Regiment (MUR) and the last two years as a Lieutenant and Platoon Commander, in the newly formed Monash University Regiment (Mon UR). He was also Assistant Adjutant of Mon UR, and founded and edited the joint regimental publication, “The Military Review.”

Ken Aldred had a three month attachment to the Australian Regular Army over the summer of 1968-69, as a Sergeant Instructor in 1 Recruit Training Battalion (1RTB) at Kapooka in New South Wales.

Political career[edit]

Federal Election[edit]

Upon election as Federal Member for Henty in the House of Representatives in the Liberal landslide of 13th December 1975, Ken Aldred assumed a very active role in Coalition and Parliamentary Committees. He chaired the Government Members' Small Business Committee, working closely with the Industry Minister, the late Sir Phillip Lynch, on small business policy formulation.

As Chairman of the Government Members' Worker Participation Committee, Ken Aldred produced the first definitive set of proposals for a Coalition worker participation policy, to then Prime Minister, Malcom Fraser. Many of the proposals were incorporated in a worker participation policy later announced by the Productivity Minister, Ian McPhee.

Expenditure Committee[edit]

In addition, Ken was an active member of the newly established Expenditure Committee of the House of Representatives and as Chairman of the Government Members' Trade Sub-Committee, worked closely with the Deputy Prime Minister and Trade Minister, Doug Anthony.

Manpower Development Executive[edit]

Defeated in October 1980, by the later House Speaker, the late Joan Child, Ken Aldred returned to the training profession. In early 1981 he took up the position of Manpower Development Executive with the Victorian Dairy Processing Industry Training Committee (VDPITC), operating under the auspices of the Australian Dairy Cooperation (ADC).

In this capacity he spent over two years setting up training courses and training manuals for Victoria’s dairy industry factories. He spent a considerable amount of time visiting factories in the State’s three dairying regions, namely Gippsland, the Western District and the Northern Region. Ken Aldred left VDPITC on re-election to the Federal Parliament in May 1983. He re-entered the House of Representatives through the By-election in Bruce, which followed the resignation of House Speaker, the late Sir Billy Snedden, after the Coalition defeat in the 1983 Federal Election.

House of Representatives[edit]

During his time as the MHR for Bruce Ken Aldred took a prominent role on defence and economic issues, as Chairman of the Opposition Defence Committee and Chairman of the Opposition Treasury Committee.

In 1985 he was elected by the Parliamentary Liberal Party to represent Australia at the United Nations General Assembly in New York, as the Opposition Parliamentary Adviser to the Australian Mission. At the UN he became involved in Committee work on the international drug trade and on Antarctica.

Shortly afterwards in 1986-87 he was appointed Parliamentary Secretary to the then Leader of the Opposition, John Howard. Following an electoral re-distribution he was elected to represent Deakin in the 1990 Federal Election and remained there until the 1996 Election, when he lost pre-selection to his successor Phil Barresi.

Throughout his six years as MHR Deakin, Ken Aldred was a most active Liberal Member on the Joint Parliamentary Committee of Public Accounts, spearheading the inquiries into Business Migration and the Australian Taxation Office. The Charter of Taxpayers’ Rights and other reforms to Tax Office administration were largely attributed to Ken Aldred.

As a result of these inquiries abuses of the Business Migration Programme were eliminated and significant reforms were made to Tax Office Administration, including the introduction of the Charter of Taxpayer’s Rights.[1][2]

At this time he was also Chairman of the Opposition Immigration and Ethnic Affairs Committee. During the 1980s Ken Aldred successfully advocated for the immigration to Australia of a large group of Jewish Refusniks from Russia, when they had been refused admission by the Federal Labor Government. Several went on to professional success in Australia, including one who established a network of dental clinics and others who distinguished themselves in medicine and science.


Long before the present universal concern about paedophile behavior in large institutions, Ken Aldred alleged in 1995 that the Department of Foreign Affairs had seventeen paedophiles in its senior and middle ranks.

An immediate Australian Federal Police investigation led to the charging of the senior diplomat Ken Aldred had actually named in Parliament. Later, a detailed internal investigation in 1996\1997 by a senior Commonwealth public servant, Mrs. Pam O’Neil, led to several officers being prematurely retired, transferred or demoted.[3]

Ken Aldred also controversially alleged in 1995 concerns about espionage and drug trafficking. Documents he used to support some of his claims were said by the Federal Labor Government to be false “in content.” Nevertheless, no forensic evidence was ever presented by the Government to show the documents were forged. Moreover, a recognized forensic expert retained by Ken Aldred could find no scientific evidence that the documents were in fact forged.

Ken Aldred pointed this out by way of Personal Explanation in the House of Representatives on 25th September 1995. He stated that Neil Holland of Scientific Document Services in Melbourne, agreed with the original Australian Federal Police assessment, that there was no indication that the documents had been tampered with or were forgeries. Nor were the documents provided by the Lyndon La Rouche front organization, the Citizens’ Electoral Council, as asserted by Ken Aldred’s critics. The issue remains open to this day.


Ken Aldred has over the years been a regular writer on policy issues for magazines and newspapers. Additionally he has been co-editor and contributor to three books.

The first, “The Heart of Liberalism”, was produced in 1994 with fellow Liberal MP’s Kevin Andrews and Paul Filing. It presented a pragmatic and centrist philosophy and set of policies for the Liberal Party.[4]

After leaving Federal Parliament in 1996 Ken Aldred did, as President and later as Chairman of the Society of Australian Industry and Employment (SAIE), during 2001-08, devote much time and energy to promoting the interests of Australian industry. This included editing and contributing to two books on industry policy, “Rekindling the Flame” in 2000, and “Getting on Track” in 2004.[5][6]

After Politics[edit]

Since December 1996 Ken Aldred has been the Proprietor of one of Australia’s major equestrian centres, the Victorian Equestrian Centre (VEC) in Upper Beaconsfield. The VEC offers children’s riding clubs, school holiday camps, riding lessons, trail rides, specialised training programs and agistment. The VEC also founded the concept of Interschool Equestrian Challenges, with four of them being run each year.[7]

Parliament of Australia
Preceded by
Joan Child
Member for Henty
Succeeded by
Joan Child
Preceded by
Billy Snedden
Member for Bruce
Succeeded by
Julian Beale
Preceded by
Julian Beale
Member for Deakin
Succeeded by
Phillip Barresi


  1. ^ Public Accounts Committee Report 310, Business Migration Programme. Canberra: Australian Government Publishing Service. 1991. 
  2. ^ Public Accounts Committee Report 326, An Assessment of Tax. Canberra: Australian Government Publishing Service. 1993. 
  3. ^ O'Neil, Pamela (1997). Management response to allegations of paedophile activity within the Foreign Affairs portfolio : report to the Public Service Commissioner. Canberra: A.G.P.S. ISBN 0644476257. 
  4. ^ editors, Ken Aldred, Kevin Andrews, Paul Filing, (1994). The heart of liberalism. Mitcham, Vic.: Albury Papers. ISBN 0-646-21290-7. 
  5. ^ al., Rupert Hamer ... et (2000). Rekindling the flame : a blueprint for Australia. [Carnegie, Vic.]: Society for Australian Industry and Employment. ISBN 0-9578498-0-X. 
  6. ^ al., Ken Aldred ... et (2004). Getting on track : a business plan for Australia. [Upper Beaconsfield, Vic.]: Society for Australian Industry and Employment Inc. ISBN 0-646-43500-0. 
  7. ^ "Victorian Equestrian Centre website". The Victorian Equestrian Centre. 

Further reading[edit]