Mark Butler

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The Honourable
Mark Butler
Mark Butler 2016.jpg
Federal President of the
Australian Labor Party
Assumed office
17 June 2015
Preceded by Jenny McAllister
Minister for Climate Change
In office
1 July 2013 – 18 September 2013
Prime Minister Kevin Rudd
Preceded by Greg Combet
Succeeded by Office abolished
Minister for the Environment and Water
In office
1 July 2013 – 18 September 2013
Prime Minister Kevin Rudd
Preceded by Tony Burke
Succeeded by Greg Hunt
Minister for Social Inclusion
In office
14 December 2011 – 1 July 2013
Prime Minister Julia Gillard
Kevin Rudd
Preceded by Tanya Plibersek
Succeeded by Office Abolished
Minister for Mental Health and Ageing
In office
12 September 2010 – 1 July 2013
Prime Minister Julia Gillard
Kevin Rudd
Preceded by Nicola Roxon
Succeeded by Jacinta Collins
Member of the Australian Parliament
for Port Adelaide
Assumed office
24 November 2007
Preceded by Rod Sawford
Personal details
Born (1970-07-08) 8 July 1970 (age 47)
Nationality Australian
Political party Australian Labor Party
Spouse(s) Suzanne Critchley
Children 2
Alma mater University of Adelaide
Deakin University
Profession Trade unionist

Mark Christopher Butler (born 8 July 1970) is an Australian politician, representing the electoral division of Port Adelaide in the Commonwealth Parliament since 2007. He is the Federal President and a member of the Australian Labor Party.

Before entering parliament, Butler was the South Australian secretary of the Liquour, Hospitality and Miscellaneous Workers Union (LHMU).

Butler served as Minister for Climate Change and Minister for the Environment, Heritage and Water in the Second Rudd Ministry. At the change of government following the 2013 Federal Election he became Shadow Minister for Environment, Climate Change and Water, and after the 2016 Federal Election the Shadow Minister for Climate Change and Energy.

Early life[edit]

Butler was born in Canberra on 8 July 1970. He is the great-great-grandson and great-grandson respectively of conservative Premiers of South Australia, Sir Richard B. Butler and Sir Richard L. Butler.[1]

Butler was educated at the University of Adelaide, where he graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Jurisprudence and a Bachelor of Laws with First Class Honours. He later completed a Master of International Relations degree at Deakin University.[1]

Butler was active in student politics while at university and became friends with future South Australian Labor Party leaders including Penny Wong and Jay Weatherill.[2]

Trade union career[edit]

In 1996 Butler became the Secretary of the South Australian branch of the Liquour, Hospitality and Miscellaneous Workers Union (LHMU), and in 1997 he was elected the youngest-ever President of the Labor Party in South Australia.[3]

Butler was a key figure in the Labor Left faction. He developed a close working relationship with his NSW counterpart Anthony Albanese and represented the faction on the ALP National Executive since 2000.[3] He would later serve as Albanese's campaign manager in the October 2013 election for the Federal ALP Leadership.[4]

Butler was also noted for his constructive relationship with the Labor Right faction in South Australia, particularly then-Secretary of the Shop, Distributive and Allied Employees Association, Don Farrell.[3]

Political career[edit]

Butler was elected as the Labor member for the electoral division of Port Adelaide at the 2007 Federal Election.

In a 2009 First Rudd Ministry reshuffle, Butler was appointed Parliamentary Secretary for Health. On 14 September 2010, he was sworn in as Minister for Mental Health and Ageing in the Second Gillard Ministry. On 12 September 2011 he was given the additional responsibility of Minister Assisting the Prime Minister on Mental Health Reform. On 14 December 2011, Butler's ministry was renamed Mental Health and Aged Care, and he became a member of Cabinet.[5]

After the 2013 election, Bill Shorten named Butler as the Shadow Minister for the Environment.

On 17 June 2015, Butler was elected National President of the Australian Labor Party.[6]

Personal life[edit]

Butler lives in Woodville Park with his wife and two children. He supports the Port Adelaide Football Club.[7]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b "Hawker Britton profile: Hon Mark Butler MP" (PDF). Hawker Britton. October 2013. Retrieved 20 January 2016. 
  2. ^ "Freakish powers of a formidable operator". Sydney Morning Herald. 8 December 2007. 
  3. ^ a b c Barry, Paul (26 July 2011). "Political fixers - Mark Butler". The Power Index. Retrieved 2016-01-20. 
  4. ^ Kenny, Mark (25 September 2013). "Labor leader pair make their pitch to party faithful". The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 2016-01-20. 
  5. ^ Thompson, Jenny (12 December 2001). "Gillard unveils expanded Cabinet". ABC News. Australia. Retrieved 11 July 2013. 
  6. ^
  7. ^ Mark Butler profile: ALP

External links[edit]

Parliament of Australia
Preceded by
Rod Sawford
Member for Port Adelaide
Political offices
Preceded by
Justine Elliot
Minister for Mental Health and Ageing
Succeeded by
Jacinta Collins
Preceded by
Tanya Plibersek
Minister for Social Inclusion
Succeeded by
Julie Collins
Preceded by
Tony Burke
Minister for Environment and Water
Succeeded by
Greg Hunt
as Minister for Environment
Preceded by
Greg Combet
Minister for Climate Change
Succeeded by
Office abolished