Len Harris (politician)

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Len Harris
Senator for Queensland
In office
2 July 1999 – 30 June 2005
Personal details
Born (1943-09-22) 22 September 1943 (age 72)
Brisbane, Queensland
Nationality Australian
Political party One Nation
Occupation Businessman

Leonard William Harris (born 22 September 1943)[1] was an Australian politician who was the only One Nation (Australia) representative to gain a seat in the Australian Parliament as a Senator from the state of Queensland. He took his seat in September 1999, after a successful challenge to the election in October 1998 of Heather Hill, on the basis that although a naturalised Australian, she had not renounced her childhood United Kingdom citizenship and was thus ineligible to sit in the Australian Parliament.[2]

Political career[edit]

Harris was born in Brisbane and was a self-employed businessman and gold miner[3] prior to being chosen as the number two Senate candidate for One Nation at the 1998 election.

He came briefly to prominence during the 2003 debate on the legislative reforms to tertiary education, proposed by federal Education Minister Brendan Nelson. After initially indicating he would vote against the legislation, Harris later changed his mind and allowed the reform package to pass, much to the annoyance of student organisations.[4]

By the time of the 2004 election One Nation was seriously in decline, and Harris was expected to struggle to retain his seat.[5] With a drastic fall in the One Nation vote nationally, he lost his seat,[6] polling only 0.2 of a quota.[7] His term expired on 30 June 2005.


  1. ^ "The 40th Parliament Senators and Members, by Date of Birth". Parliament of Australia Parliamentary Library. 1 April 2004. Retrieved 25 Jan 2010. 
  2. ^ Michael Leach, Geoff Stokes, Ian Ward (2000). The Rise and Fall of One Nation. Univ. of Queensland Press. p. 83. ISBN 0-7022-3136-3. 
  3. ^ Margo Kingston (3 October 2003). "Carmen, Len, Harry and Peter - Web Diary's unholy public education alliance". Sydney Morning Herald. 
  4. ^ Roslyn Guy (27 September 2003). "Academia on the defensive". ABC news. Retrieved 25 Jan 2010. 
  5. ^ Scott Bennett (22 March 2004). "Queensland election 2004" (PDF). Current Issues Brief. PARLIAMENTARY LIBRARY. Retrieved 25 Jan 2010. 
  6. ^ "Qld Senate result could take time". 10 October 2004. Retrieved 25 Jan 2010. 
  7. ^ Nick Economou (December 2006). "A Right-of-Centre Triumph: The 2004 Australian Half-Senate Election". Australian Journal of Political Science 41 (4): 501–516. doi:10.1080/10361140600959742.