Ken Wriedt

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The Honourable
Ken Wriedt
Senator for Tasmania
In office
1 July 1968 – 25 September 1980
Succeeded by Jean Hearn
Personal details
Born (1927-07-11)11 July 1927
Fitzroy, Victoria, Australia
Died 18 October 2010(2010-10-18) (aged 83)
Hobart, Tasmania, Australia
Nationality Australian
Political party Labor
Children Paula Wriedt
Occupation Seaman

Kenneth Shaw Wriedt (11 July 1927[1] – 18 October 2010[2]) was an Australian politician and leader of the Tasmanian branch of the Australian Labor Party.

Wriedt was born in Melbourne, of Danish ancestry. His early life included time spent as a seaman.[3] He was elected as an Australian Labor Party Senator for Tasmania at the 1967 Senate election.

When the Whitlam government won office at the December 1972 election, Wriedt (associated with the ALP's right wing) became Minister for Primary Industry. In June 1974 his portfolio was renamed Agriculture. On 14 October 1975, Rex Connor was obliged to resign as Minister for Minerals and Energy, as a result of the Loans Affair, and Wriedt was appointed in his place. Nevertheless, he served less than a month before the Whitlam government was dismissed on 11 November.[4] Wriedt remained in the Senate until his resignation in September 1980 to contest the House of Representatives seat of Denison at the 1980 federal election; he was defeated by sitting Liberal MP Michael Hodgman.

At the 1982 Tasmanian state election, Wriedt won a seat in the Tasmanian House of Assembly representing Franklin. He was Leader of the Opposition from 1982 to 1986. At the 1986 state election, Wriedt was unable to defeat the incumbent Liberal government of Robin Gray; Labor actually suffered a small swing. He resigned as leader after the election, the first state Labor leader in more than half a century to have never served as Premier of Tasmania. He was a minister from 1989 to 1990 in the minority government led by Michael Field. In October 1990 he retired from parliament. He was the father of a subsequent Tasmanian House of Assembly member, Paula Wriedt.[1]


  1. ^ a b "Wriedt, Kenneth Shaw". The Parliament of Tasmania from 1856. Parliament of Tasmania. Retrieved 23 January 2008. 
  2. ^ Tribute to Ken Wriedt, Premier of Tasmania, 18 October 2010
  3. ^ Former Labor leader dies, ABC News, 18 October 2010
  4. ^ "Members of the Senate since 1901". Parliamentary Handbook. Parliament of Australia. Archived from the original on 7 September 2007. Retrieved 23 January 2008. 
Political offices
Preceded by
Ian Sinclair
Minister for Primary Industry (Agriculture)
Succeeded by
Rex Patterson
Preceded by
Rex Connor
Minister for Minerals and Energy
Succeeded by
Doug Anthony
Preceded by
Robin Gray
Leader of the Opposition in Tasmania
Succeeded by
Neil Batt
Party political offices
Preceded by
Lionel Murphy
Leader of the Australian Labor Party in the Senate
Succeeded by
John Button
Preceded by
Harry Holgate
Leader of the Labor Party in Tasmania
Succeeded by
Neil Batt