Peter Anderson (politician)

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For the Wisconsin politician, see Peter C. Anderson.
The Honourable
Peter Anderson
Member of the New South Wales Parliament
for Nepean
In office
Preceded by Ron Rofe
Succeeded by District abolished
Member of the New South Wales Parliament
for Penrith
In office
Preceded by Ron Mulock
Succeeded by Guy Matheson
Member of the New South Wales Parliament
for Liverpool
In office
Preceded by George Paciullo
Succeeded by Paul Lynch
New South Wales Minister for Health
In office
4 July 1986 – 25 March 1988
Preceded by Barrie Unsworth
Succeeded by Peter Collins
Personal details
Born (1947-11-23)23 November 1947
Bondi Junction, New South Wales
Political party Australian Labor Party
Spouse(s) Elizabeth Anderson
Relations Keith Anderson (father)
Kath Anderson (mother)
Children 1 (m), 1 (f)
Occupation Public servant, policeman
Website Parliamentary webpage

Peter Thomas Anderson (born 23 November 1947), a former Australian politician, was a member of the New South Wales Legislative Assembly representing Nepean between 1978 and 1981, Penrith between 1981 and 1988, and Liverpool between 1989 and 1995 for the Australian Labor Party. During his parliamentary career, Anderson held a range of portfolios including Minister for Health, Minister for Aboriginal Affairs, Minister for Youth and Community Services, Minister for Local Government, Minister for Corrective Services, Minister for Police and Emergency Services between 1981 and 1988.

Early years and background[edit]

Anderson was born in Bondi Junction, the son of Keith Anderson, a member of the New South Wales Legislative Assembly representing Paddington-Waverley between 1961 and 1962, and Kath Anderson, who was a member of the Legislative Council between 1973 and 1981.

Anderson was educated at Woollahra Public School and Sydney Boys High School (1960–64)[1] and joined the Labor party at age 16. He served in the New South Wales Police Force from 1967 until 1977 and eventually became a Police prosecutor. He subsequently worked in the office of the Minister for Justice, Ron Mulock. Anderson was an alderman on the Penrith City Council from 1977 until 1983 and the Deputy Mayor in 1977-79.[2]

Political career[edit]

Prior to the 1978 election, Anderson won Labor Paty pre-selection for the seat of Nepean. At the subsequent election, which was a landslide victory for the ALP under Neville Wran, Anderson defeated the sitting Liberal Party member, Ron Rofe. However, he represented the electorate for only one term as it was abolished in a redistribution before the 1981 election. Anderson then represented the seat of Penrith replacing the previous member (Mulock) who moved to the seat of St Marys. In a shock result, Anderson lost the previously safe Labor seat at the 1988 election to the Liberals' Guy Matheson.[2][3]

Anderson's exile from state parliament was short-lived. In February 1989, former cabinet minister George Paciullo resigned from the seat of Liverpool, having lost a caucus ballot for the post of Opposition Leader. This resignation resulted in a bitter pre-selection struggle among local party members for the ensuing by-election. Support was divided between Mark Latham from Labor's Centre Unity faction and the left's Paul Lynch. Intervention from the party's central office resulted in Anderson being imposed as the Labor candidate. Anderson was victorious at the by-election and the 1991 election. However, he failed to cement support amongst his local party members, and lost party pre-selection to Lynch prior to the 1995 election. By this time Anderson was seen as an ambitious and divisive threat to Bob Carr (Labor leader since 1988), and the party central office declined to intervene on his behalf or nominate him for the Legislative Council. Anderson's public political career ended at the 1995 election but he was subsequently appointed Chairman of the New South Wales Tow Truck Authority.

In parliament Anderson was a prominent member of the right faction. His leadership aspirations became clear in 1986, when he was the only declared challenger to Barrie Unsworth's succession to Wran as Premier of New South Wales. He held prominent ministerial posts in the Wran and Unsworth Governments. He was the Minister for Police and Emergency Services from 1982 until 1986 and Minister for Corrective Services from 1983 until 1984. In 1986 he was the Minister for Local Government, Youth and Community Services and Aboriginal Affairs. In the Unsworth Government (1986–1988) he was the Minister for Health.[2]

Career after politics[edit]

In 2006, Anderson was appointed the Director of the Macquarie University Centre for Policing, Intelligence and Counter Terrorism. In July 2010, the New South Wales Independent Commission Against Corruption commissioned an independent investigation into a number of complaints by nine of twelve staff alleging bullying, victimisation and inappropriate recruitment practices. The investigation concluded "the practice of relying on direct appointments and short-term appointments and making ad hoc appointments in the absence of any planned approach to staffing has led to justifiable perceptions that the processes of recruitment and selection are corrupt." The report found evidence of bullying, victimisation and conflicts of interest by Anderson. [4][5][6][7][8][9][10][11][12]

In 2013, Peter Anderson retired and his position was advertised as vacant pending his retirement in December 2013.


  1. ^
  2. ^ a b c "The Hon. Peter Thomas ANDERSON (1947 - )". Former Members of the New South Wales Parliament. Parliament of New South Wales. 15 September 2008. Retrieved 29 March 2017. 
  3. ^ Green, Antony. "NSW Elections Analysis". Index to candidates: Anderson, Peter Thomas. New South Wales Parliament. Retrieved 27 April 2009. 
  4. ^>
  5. ^ Independent Commission against Corruption. "Confidential Report supervised by ICAC" (PDF). Unileaks. Retrieved 5 April 2011. 
  6. ^ Steketee, Mike (23 March 2011). "Bullied Macquarie University staff demand an apology". The Australian. 
  7. ^ "Open Letter to Macquarie University Vice-Chancellor Steven Schwartz". Unileaks. Retrieved 22 March 2011. 
  8. ^ "Perception of Corruption". The Times Higher Education. 17 March 2011. 
  9. ^ Pemberton, Greg (16 March 2011). "Culture of ignoring plaints". The Australian. 
  10. ^ Kenny, Dianna (16 March 2011). "Standard tactics of the bully". The Australian. 
  11. ^ Steketee, Mike (9 March 2011). "Macquarie and its 'malcontents' under scrutiny". The Australian. 
  12. ^ Steketee, Mike (9 March 2011). "Ex-minister Peter Anderson bullied staff, hired mates, ran 'fiefdom': ICAC". The Australian. 
Parliament of New South Wales
Preceded by
Ron Rofe
Member for Nepean
District abolished
Preceded by
Ron Mulock
Member for Penrith
Succeeded by
Guy Matheson
Preceded by
George Paciullo
Member for Liverpool
Succeeded by
Paul Lynch
Political offices
Preceded by
Barrie Unsworth
Minister for Health
and Minister for the Drug Offensive

Succeeded by
Peter Collins
Preceded by
George Paciullo
Minister for Aboriginal Affairs
Succeeded by
Ken Gabb
Preceded by
Frank Walker
Minister for Youth and Community Services
Succeeded by
John Aquilina
Preceded by
Kevin Stewart
Minister for Local Government
Succeeded by
Janice Crosio
Preceded by
Rex Jackson
Minister for Corrective Services
Succeeded by
John Akister
Preceded by
Bill Crabtree
Minister for Police and Emergency Services
Succeeded by
George Paciullo