Noel Beaton

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Noel Beaton
Member of the Australian Parliament
for Bendigo
In office
16 July 1960 – 9 April 1969
Preceded by Percy Clarey
Succeeded by David Kennedy
Personal details
Born (1925-12-28)28 December 1925
Mooroopna, Victoria
Died 18 December 2004(2004-12-18) (aged 78)
Melbourne, Victoria
Nationality Australian
Political party Australian Labor Party
Occupation Journalist

Noel Lawrence Beaton (28 December 1925 – 18 December 2004) was an Australian politician. Born in Mooroopna, Victoria, he was educated at state schools and was a volunteer firefighter in his home town,[1] before serving in the military from 1945 to 1947, after which he became a sports journalist and broadcaster.

In 1960, he was elected to the Australian House of Representatives as the Labor member for Bendigo, narrowly winning a by-election for that seat that followed the death of Percy Clarey.[2] During his time in Parliament he became a leading contributor on petrochemical policy,[3] served as Shadow Minister for Primary Industries, wrote regional development into Labor policy [4] and was a vocal opponent of the Vietnam War.[5] For his achievements, he was widely considered a potential Minister in a Labor government.[3]

As a local MP however, Beaton took greater pride in the many small victories he won for individual residents of his sprawling regional electorate. He was particularly proud of his success in helping save Bendigo's Chinese Joss House. Discovering that elderly members of the Chinese community were still using the derelict building as a place of worship, but had to do so in secret because it was on Defence Department land, he persuaded the Department to hand over the land for the benefit of the community. The Joss House was eventually restored and opened to anyone who wanted to worship there or just learn about the city's rich Chinese heritage.[4]

Beaton retired from parliament on 9 April 1969, and never again held political office. His personal following at the time he retired from politics was such that both Labor and Liberal candidates in the resulting by-election publicly claimed to aspire to being like him.[4] After retiring from political office, Beaton returned to journalism, running the editorial side of regional daily newspaper the Bendigo Advertiser during the early 1970s. In that role, he helped to rescue the city's historic town hall from planned demolition, with a front page article that caused angry public protests.[4] Beaton died in 2004.[6]


  1. ^ Mooroopna Fire Brigade records, 1941
  2. ^ Colin Cleary (1999), Bendigo Labor. The Maintenance of Traditions in a Regional City, Epsom (Victoria), p.147
  3. ^ a b Don Whitington (1964), The Rulers, Fifteen Years of the Liberals, Lansdowne Press, Melbourne, p.141
  4. ^ a b c d Obituary, "A Tribute to Noel Beaton", Bendigo Advertiser, 5 January 2005.
  5. ^ "Tributes flow for Beaton". Bendigo Advertiser. 2004-12-22. Retrieved 2014-02-11. 
  6. ^ Carr, Adam (2008). "Australian Election Archive". Psephos, Adam Carr's Election Archive. Retrieved 2008-06-14. 
Parliament of Australia
Preceded by
Percy Clarey
Member for Bendigo
Succeeded by
David Kennedy