Kevin Cairns (politician)

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The Honourable
Kevin Cairns
Member of the Australian Parliament
for Lilley
In office
30 November 1963 – 2 December 1972
Preceded by Don Cameron
Succeeded by Frank Doyle
In office
18 May 1974 – 18 October 1980
Preceded by Frank Doyle
Succeeded by Elaine Darling
Personal details
Born (1929-05-15)15 May 1929
Sydney, New South Wales
Died 6 July 1984(1984-07-06) (aged 55)
Nationality Australian
Political party Liberal Party of Australia
Spouse(s) Tonia
Relations Clare Martin (niece)
Occupation Dentist

Kevin Michael Kiernan Cairns (15 May 1929 – 6 July 1984), Australian politician and Minister for Housing.

Cairns was born and educated in Sydney at St Joseph's College, Hunters Hill. He qualified as a dentist and once in Parliament also gained degrees in arts and economics. A member of the Liberal Party of Australia, he made three unsuccessful bids for the Division of Brisbane in Queensland before finally being elected to the Australian House of Representatives for the nearby seat of Lilley. He was Minister for Housing in the junior ministry of William McMahon from 22 March 1971 to the defeat of the McMahon government at the 1972 election, when he lost his own seat by 35 votes. He won Lilley back at the 1974 election, but was again defeated at the 1980 election.[1][2]

Cairns worked as an economic consultant for the Queensland Tourist and Travel Corporation and Mount Isa Mines. He was a member of the Independent Air Fares Committee under the Fraser and the Hawke governments, when the federal government regulated airfares on interstate routes. He eventually became President of the Queensland Economic Society.[3][4]

Cairns was the uncle of Clare Martin, a Labor Party politician who was Chief Minister of the Northern Territory from 2001 to 2007.[5] However, Kevin himself was part of the Liberal Party.

Cairns died in 1984 and following a state funeral was buried in Nudgee Cemetery.[6] He was survived by his wife, Tonia and their four sons and three daughters.[6]


Political offices
Preceded by
Dame Annabelle Rankin
Minister for Housing
Succeeded by
Gough Whitlam
Parliament of Australia
Preceded by
Don Cameron
Member for Lilley
Succeeded by
Frank Doyle
Preceded by
Frank Doyle
Member for Lilley
Succeeded by
Elaine Darling