|Leader of the Opposition of New South Wales
5 January 2015
|Preceded by||John Robertson|
|Leader of the Labor Party in New South Wales|
5 January 2015
|Preceded by||John Robertson|
|Member of the New South Wales Legislative Council|
19 June 2010 – 6 March 2015
|Preceded by||Ian Macdonald|
|Member of the New South Wales Legislative Assembly for Auburn|
28 March 2015
|Preceded by||Barbara Perry|
|Born||27 July 1970|
|Alma mater||University of New South Wales|
Luke Aquinas Foley (born 27 July 1970) is an Australian politician who serves as the Leader of the Opposition in the Parliament of New South Wales and as parliamentary leader of the New South Wales branch of the Australian Labor Party. Foley was a member of the New South Wales Legislative Council since 19 June 2010 until his resignation to contest the Legislative Assembly seat of Auburn at the 2015 New South Wales election.
Early years and education
Foley was born in Sydney and from the age of seven was raised solely by his mother. In an interview conducted when he became NSW Opposition Leader, Foley stated his mother instilled in him a triple faith of “the Labor Party, the Catholic Church and the Eastern Suburbs Rugby League Club”.
Starting his working life while a student as a telemarketer for the Guide Dog Association of NSW 1988–90, Foley became NSW President of the National Union of Students 1991, and then worked in the office of Labor Senator Bruce Childs 1992–96.
Between 1996 and 2000, he was a union organiser with the NSW branch of the Australian Services Union and became Secretary of that branch between 2000 and 2003. This involved representing the interests of charity and drug and alcohol rehabilitation workers. Referring to that period in his first speech in the NSW Parliament, Foley stated:
“For seven years I organised and represented workers predominantly working in the social and community services sector. These men and women work with the downtrodden, the excluded and the marginalised. They are ordinary workers who do extraordinary things. They are passionate and dedicated and they are underpaid and undervalued. What does it say about our values as a society when these men and women are among our lowest paid workers? Community workers make a difference every day. It is time we properly recognised them for the work they do.”
Foley voted in favour of same sex adoption bill in 2010, but opposed a same sex marriage bill in the NSW upper house, stating that he preferred civil unions. Foley said in 2015: "I have an open mind. I continue to talk to many people, including gay and lesbian friends of mine about this issue".
Following the resignation of John Robertson as leader of the parliamentary Labor Party, Foley contested the leadership in the vote held on 5 January 2015. After the withdrawal of Michael Daley and Steve Whan as leadership contenders, Foley was elected unopposed. He was endorsed as the Labor candidate for the safe Labor seat of Auburn at the 2015 state election, after the incumbent member Barbara Perry stood aside to allow him to transfer to the lower house from the Legislative Council. He went on to win the seat, however, with a swing against his party in the electorate.
Foley has stated his values are "social democratic values":
"I believe that governments should direct resources to overcome disadvantage. The sum of our individual decisions does not add up to the kind of society that we want to live in. I believe in a strong society where we owe obligations to each other. What gives us in the Labor Party moral purpose is our conviction that the fortunate have a responsibility to the unfortunate, that the strong should help the weak."— Foley, delivering his inaugural speech to the Legislative Council of New South Wales, in 2010.
Foley is married to Edel McKenna and they have three children.
- "New Labor Party leader Luke Foley: How my single mum taught me ‘Labor values’". The Daily Telegraph (Australia). 4 January 2015. Retrieved 4 January 2015.
- Patty, Anna (6 April 2012). "MPs moved by heaven and earth". The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 8 June 2014.
- "NSW election 2015: A day on the campaign trail with Opposition Leader Luke Foley". ABC News. Australian Broadcasting Corporation. 4 Mar 2015.
- "The Hon. Luke FOLEY, MLC". Members of the Legislative Council. Parliament of New South Wales. 23 September 2014. Retrieved 23 December 2014.
- "Inaugural speech of the Honourable Luke Foley" (PDF). Parliament of New South Wales. 1 September 2010. Retrieved 4 January 2015.
- Mitchell, Alex (6 June 2010). "The party was over long before 'Macca' jumped". The National Times (Fairfax Media). Retrieved 3 July 2011.
- "Labor announces Macdonald replacement". ABC News (Australia). 10 June 2010. Retrieved 14 June 2010.
- "Marriage Equality". NSW Hansard. Parliament of New South Wales. 31 May 2012.
- "Gay marriage motion passes in NSW upper house". The Daily Telegraph. Australia. 31 May 2012.
- Coultan, Mark (5 January 2015). "Luke Foley elected NSW Labor leader". The Australian. Retrieved 5 January 2015.
- Dempster, Quentin. "Luke Foley just made the NSW election interesting". ABC The Drum.
- "Luke Foley elected unopposed as NSW Labor party leader". The Guardian. 5 January 2015.
- Gearathy, Sarah (5 January 2015). "New NSW Opposition Leader Luke Foley thinks Labor can win next state election". ABC News. Australia. Retrieved 5 January 2015.
- Nicholls, Sean; Hasham, Nicole (5 January 2015). "New NSW ALP leader Luke Foley: 'I'm not a privatisation ideologue'". The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 5 January 2015.
- Simmonds, Kylie (30 December 2014). "Michael Foley pulls out of NSW Labor leadership race, paving way for Luke Foley to lead party". ABC News (Australia). Retrieved 31 December 2014.
- "Foley's rise shows meritocracy, not faceless men". The Sydney Morning Herald. 4 January 2015. Retrieved 4 January 2015.
- "New NSW Opposition Leader Luke Foley thinks Labor can win next state election". ABC News (Australia). 5 January 2015. Retrieved 5 January 2015.
- "NSW Labor leadership: Labor moves to install Foley into lower house hours after election as leader". The Sydney Morning Herald. 5 January 2015. Retrieved 5 January 2015.
- Wood, Alicia (7 January 2015). "Auburn MP Barbara Perry retires from Labor seat to make way for ‘future premier’ Luke Foley". The Australian. Retrieved 8 January 2015.
- "NSW Labor MP Barbara Perry withdraws from Auburn contest to make way for Opposition Leader Luke Foley". ABC News (Australia). 7 January 2015. Retrieved 7 January 2015.
- Nicole Hasham (30 March 2015). "NSW state election 2015: Ethnic dissent cost Luke Foley in Auburn". Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 31 March 2015.
- Luke Foley speeches in NSW Parliament Hansard.
- Official Luke Foley Facebook page
- Official Luke Foley Twitter account
|Leader of the Opposition in New South Wales
|Party political offices|
|Leader of the Labor Party in New South Wales
|New South Wales Legislative Assembly|
|Member for Auburn