|Senator for Tasmania|
|Assumed office |
9 February 2018
|Preceded by||Stephen Parry|
4 February 2002 – 2 July 2016
|Preceded by||Jocelyn Newman|
|Succeeded by||Jonathon Duniam|
Richard Mansell Colbeck
5 April 1958
Myrtleford, Victoria, Australia
|Political party||Liberal Party of Australia|
|Alma mater||Devonport Technical College|
Richard Mansell Colbeck (born 5 April 1958) is an Australian politician. He has been a Senator for Tasmania since 2018, representing the Liberal Party, and served a previous term in the Senate from 2002 to 2016. Colbeck served as the Minister for Senior Australians and Aged Care Services and Minister for Sport in the Second Morrison Ministry from December 2020 until May 2022, following the appointment of the Albanese ministry. Previous to this, he was the Minister for Aged Care and Minister for Youth and Sport since May 2019.
Colbeck was first elected at the 2001 federal election, and was a parliamentary secretary in the Howard government. Colbeck served as the Minister Assisting the Minister for Trade and Investment and the Minister for Tourism and International Education in the Turnbull government from 2015 to 2016, but was defeated at the 2016 election. He returned to the Senate following a recount after Stephen Parry was disqualified during the parliamentary eligibility crisis.
Colbeck is a member of the Moderate/Modern Liberal faction of the Liberal Party.
Colbeck was born in Myrtleford, Victoria, and was educated at Devonport Technical College. He was a building estimator and supervisor, managing director and proprietor of a building consultancy before entering politics.
In his early years, Colbeck gained qualifications in Small Business Management; Technology (Building); and Carpentry and Joinery Trade and Proficiency. He was an apprentice carpenter and joiner between 1977 and 1979; a trainee estimator and supervisor 1977–79; and manager 1979–84. Between 1984 and 1989 he was a building estimator and supervisor; and managing director and proprietor of building consultancy from 1989.
From 1993 to 1996, and from 1998 to 2000, Colbeck served as the president of the Devonport Chamber of Commerce. From 1998 to 2001, he was a member of the board of directors of the Tasmanian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (TCCI). From 1999 to 2002, he was an Alderman of the Devonport City Council.
On 4 February 2002, Colbeck was appointed to the Senate by the Governor of Tasmania under section 15 of the Constitution, to fill the casual vacancy caused by the retirement of Senator Jocelyn Newman. He had already been elected to the Senate at the 2001 federal election, to a term beginning on 1 July 2002. He was re-elected in 2007.
Colbeck was appointed Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry in October 2004. In January 2006 he was appointed Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Finance and Administration. With the defeat of the government led by John Howard in 2007, he was appointed to the shadow ministry as Shadow Parliamentary Secretary for Health. He was shifted to the role of Shadow Parliamentary Secretary for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry in September 2008. In September 2010, Colbeck was appointed Shadow Parliamentary Secretary for Fisheries and Forestry and Shadow Parliamentary Secretary for Innovation, Industry and Science by the new opposition leader Tony Abbott. Abbott nominated Colbeck for appointment to the Abbott Ministry as the Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Agriculture following the 2013 federal election.
Following the 2015 leadership spill that saw Malcolm Turnbull replace Abbott as prime minister, Colbeck was appointed as the Minister Assisting the Minister for Trade and Investment and the Minister for Tourism and International Education in the First Turnbull Ministry from September 2015 to July 2016.
At the 2016 federal election, Colbeck was demoted to fifth place on the Liberal Senate ticket. He blamed factional opponent Eric Abetz for his failure to win a higher position on the ticket. He polled an unusually high below-the-line tally, attributed to a strong "personal vote", but nonetheless lost his seat. Colbeck unexpectedly returned to the Senate in February 2018, after Senate President Stephen Parry was caught up in the parliamentary eligibility crisis. The Court of Disputed Returns conducted a recount and declared Colbeck elected.
Colbeck is considered to belong to the moderate wing of the Tasmanian Liberals, and supported Malcolm Turnbull during the 2018 leadership spills; he was reportedly the only Tasmanian Liberal not to sign the petition calling for a second spill. In the new Morrison Ministry, he was appointed Assistant Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources. Prior to the 2019 federal election he was preselected in first place on the Liberals' Senate ticket and was re-elected.
After the election, Colbeck was appointed Minister for Aged Care and Minister for Youth and Sport in the Second Morrison Ministry. Between August and September 2020, Colbeck was criticised for his handling of COVID-19 outbreaks in aged care facilities in Victoria, resulting in the deaths of 350 aged care residents as of late August 2020. There were calls by the Labor opposition for Colbeck to be sacked as aged care minister. In September 2020, Colbeck was also censured by the Senate by 25–21 votes for failing to take responsibility for a "crisis in the aged care sector", but he was defended by the Prime Minister who said that the majority of the sector was unaffected during the pandemic. In December 2020, his aged care portfolio was subsequently passed to health minister Greg Hunt, with Colbeck continuing as Minister for Senior Australians and Aged Care Services and Minister for Sport. He held these portfolios until May 2022, following the appointment of the Albanese ministry.
During Colbeck's tenure as sport minister, Sport Integrity Australia was created in 2020 as a replacement for the Australian Sports Anti-Doping Authority (ASADA). A new National Sports Tribunal was also created as the avenue for appeals, replacing the role of the Administrative Appeals Tribunal.
After the 2022 Russian invasion of Ukraine, Colbeck called for the International Shooting Sport Federation (ISSF) to remove Russian billionaire Vladimir Lisin as its President.
- ^ Massola, James (20 March 2021). "Who's who in the Liberals' left, right and centre factions?". The Sydney Morning Herald. Fairfax Media. Retrieved 1 February 2022.
- ^ "Senator the Hon Richard Colbeck". ABC. Retrieved 22 January 2010.
- ^ a b c d e f g "Senator the Hon. Richard Mansell Colbeck". Senators and Members of the Parliament of Australia. Retrieved 5 November 2021.
- ^ "The 43nd Parliament: Shadow Ministry". Archived from the original on 17 September 2010. Retrieved 15 October 2010.
- ^ "Abbott Ministry" (PDF). Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet. Commonwealth of Australia. 18 September 2013. Archived from the original (PDF) on 26 September 2013. Retrieved 22 September 2013.
- ^ "Federal election 2016: Abetz 'coup' cut me down, says Colbeck". The Australian. 1 July 2016. Retrieved 30 March 2019.
- ^ "How Lisa Singh and Richard Colbeck used personal appeal against party rankings". Guardian Australia. 9 July 2016. Retrieved 30 March 2019.
- ^ "Two Tasmanian senators sworn into Parliament after citizenship shake-up". ABC News. 12 February 2018. Retrieved 30 March 2019.
- ^ "Senator Richard Colbeck's 'loyalty', 'integrity' highlighted by PM Scott Morrison in pre-selection stoush". ABC News. 7 September 2018. Retrieved 30 March 2019.
- ^ "Richard Colbeck, Claire Chandler and Tanya Denison nominated in Liberal preselection battle". ABC News. 9 September 2018. Retrieved 30 March 2019.
- ^ "Labor calls for Aged Care Minister Richard Colbeck to be sacked over coronavirus handling". ABC News. 27 August 2020. Retrieved 7 March 2021.
- ^ "Morrison shrugs off censure of aged care minister Richard Colbeck over Covid conduct". The Guardian. 3 September 2020. Retrieved 8 March 2021.
- ^ "Aged Care Minister Richard Colbeck censured by the Senate". 9 News. 3 September 2020. Retrieved 8 March 2021.
- ^ "Australia set for new anti-doping regime". 9 News. 12 June 2020. Retrieved 18 April 2021.
- ^ Hunt, Holly (8 January 2021). "Australian government forms advisory council to safeguard sports". Retrieved 18 April 2021.
- ^ "Australian Sports Minister believes ISSF should remove Lisin as President". www.insidethegames.biz. 21 April 2022.
- Search or browse Hansard for Richard Colbeck at OpenAustralia.org
- 1958 births
- Abbott government
- Liberal Party of Australia members of the Parliament of Australia
- Living people
- Members of the Australian Senate
- Members of the Australian Senate for Tasmania
- World Anti-Doping Agency members
- Turnbull government
- People from Myrtleford
- 21st-century Australian politicians
- Morrison government
- Building estimators