Peter Batchelor

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Peter Batchelor (second from right) with Victorian Premier Steve Bracks in February 2006 at the launch of the Geelong Regional Fast Rail project upgrades

Peter John Batchelor (born 21 September 1950) was an Australian politician who retired at the Victorian State Election on 27 November 2010. He was an Australian Labor Party (ALP) member of the Victorian Legislative Assembly.

Batchelor was born in western Sydney, and his grandmother reportedly once held a 50-year-plus record as the longest card-carrying member of the ALP.[1]


Member, Parliament of Victoria[edit]

Elected in 1990, he represented the electorate of Thomastown from 3 February 1990 until 26 November 2010.

His parliamentary roles are listed as follows.[2]

  • Shadow Minister for Public Transport 1992-96.
  • Manager of Opposition Business 1995-99.
  • Shadow Minister for Transport 1996-99.
  • Manager, Government Business in the Legislative Assembly October 1999-November 2010.
  • Minister for Transport October 1999-December 2006.
  • Minister for Major Projects 2002-05.
  • Minister for Energy and Resources December 2006-December 2010.
  • Manager of Government Business Legislative Assembly December 2006-November 2010.
  • Minister for Victorian Communities December 2006-August 2007.
  • Minister for Community Development August 2007-January 2010.
  • Minister for the Arts January 2010-December 2010.

As Transport Minister, Batchelor oversaw the $750 million Regional Fast Rail project. In 2000, the State Government approved funding to upgrade rail lines to provide fast rail passenger services between Melbourne and Ballarat, Bendigo, Geelong and Traralgon.

As Minister for Energy and Resources, Batchelor initiated the roll-out of smart meters to 2.5 million homes and businesses.[3] The roll-out of smart meters was reportedly to assist with consumer choice on electricity providers and to help manage climate change. However, the roll-out was stopped when the budget blew-out from $800 million to $2 billion.[4] The roll-out was completed under the Andrews Government in 2015.

According to Melbourne public transport academic Paul Mees, Batchelor "was staunchly against privatisation when in opposition and then continued with privatisation and reprivatisation in government.[1]

On 7 October 2010 Batchelor announced, he would not re-contest his seat at the 2010 state election. He retired at that election. Dorothy, his partner, was also reported to be retiring from work.[1]

Other roles[edit]

Prior to entering politics, Batchelor was a union official at Furnishing Trades Union, 1972-1982. From 1983 to 1990, he was ALP Victorian branch state secretary.[2]

In February, 2012, Batchelor was appointed President of the Community Broadcasting Foundation. The Foundation, based in Melbourne, is the independent funding body annually distributing over $15m of federal grants to 220 Australian community based media organisations.[5]

Campaign disputes[edit]

Batchelor reportedly, "helped organise and distribute bogus how-to-vote cards for the Nuclear Disarmament Party" (sic) during the 1985 Nunawading by-election.[1] The voting cards appeared to represent the voting preferences of the Nuclear Disarmament Party.[6] Campaigning for nuclear disarmament was popular left-wing politics during the 1980s. Police investigated the matter and Batchelor was not charged with any criminal offence.

In 2016, Batchelor was filmed removing a Greens election banner and replacing it with ALP election material in the seat of Batman. It was claimed, Greens election campaigners had blanketed polling booths with their material leaving no space for other campaigners.[7]


  1. ^ a b c d "The Age, Two for the road". 8 October 2010. Retrieved 11 May 2019.
  2. ^ a b "Parliament of Victoria, Remember". 13 February 2019. Retrieved 11 May 2019.
  3. ^ "Energy Source Distribution, Victoria's smart meter roll out". 11 January 2010. Retrieved 11 May 2019.
  4. ^ "The Age, Plug pulled on smart meter plan". 23 March 2010. Retrieved 11 May 2019.
  5. ^ "Community Broadcasting Foundation Ltd, Board President Peter Batchelor". 7 May 2019. Retrieved 11 May 2019.
  6. ^ "VicHansard Assembly 1222-1223, p102-103" (PDF). 23 October 1985. Retrieved 11 May 2019.
  7. ^ "Election 2016: Former Labor MP Peter Batchelor removes Greens Batman banners". 1 July 2016. Retrieved 11 May 2019.

External links[edit]

Victorian Legislative Assembly
Preceded by
Beth Gleeson
Member for Thomastown
Succeeded by
Bronwyn Halfpenny