Warren Entsch

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The Honourable
Warren Entsch
MP
Chief Opposition Whip in the House of Representatives
In office
14 September 2010 – 18 September 2013
Leader Tony Abbott
Preceded by Alex Somlyay
Succeeded by Chris Hayes
Member of the Australian Parliament
for Leichhardt
Assumed office
21 August 2010
Preceded by Jim Turnour
In office
2 March 1996 – 17 October 2007
Preceded by Peter Dodd
Succeeded by Jim Turnour
Personal details
Born (1950-05-31) 31 May 1950 (age 65)
Babinda, Queensland
Nationality Australian
Political party Liberal (federal)
Liberal National (state)
Occupation Politician

Warren George Entsch (born 31 May 1950) is an Australian politician currently serving as a Liberal National member of the Australian House of Representatives representing the Division of Leichhardt in Queensland. He represented Leichhardt from March 1996 to his retirement at the dissolution of parliament in October 2007 prior to the November 2007 election for the Liberal Party of Australia. He was re-elected to the seat in August 2010, sitting federally with the Liberals.[1]

Biography[edit]

He was born in Babinda, Queensland and served in the Royal Australian Air Force 1969–78. He was a maintenance fitter and welder, real estate agent, farmer and grazier and company director before entering politics.

Entsch was Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Industry, Science and Resources 1998–2001 and was Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Industry, Tourism and Resources from 2001 to 2006. In September 2004 Entsch publicly spoke against his party's anti-gay-marriage stance, describing laws to prevent gay marriage as "offensive" and "unnecessary".[2] As a result of his pro-gay statements, the Family First Party – which preferenced Liberal/National Coalition candidates ahead of Labor candidates in almost every other seat, nationwide – directed their preferences to Labor instead of Entsch. Nevertheless, he won re-election with an increased majority of both the primary and two-party-preferred vote.

In December 2005, he pledged support for a civil union scheme after Britain began granting civil partnerships. He was interviewed for The Pink Broad (Issue 15, published Wednesday 22 February 2006), a fortnightly gay and lesbian newspaper, in which he confirmed that he planned to sponsor a private member’s bill in Federal Parliament within months that promised to eradicate discrimination and the "inequities" faced by Australia's gay and lesbian population under Federal law. He went on to say in the article, "I would think that if I was a gay activist, people would say 'Oh, just another bloody fairy out there trying to push his own agenda', but because of my background, people are a little bit puzzled by it and sitting up and listening. . . and in fact I'm getting a lot of people that are not gay coming up to me and saying to me 'Hey, you know, we've got gay friends and family too'. And this is what I've found here, in this place as well. . . mind you, there are some who are still a little bemused. They don't quite understand it."

In May 2006, he wrote to all coalition MPs asking them to support such a bill. When interviewed, he said this bill would encompass not only same-sex couples but any interdependent relationship: "You need to take the sex out of this debate. There are other emotions of interdependency that come into play – it’s not exclusive to one gender balance or another.".[3][4] On 8 September 2010 Entsch indicated that he did not consider same-sex marriage an important issue.[5] Entsch voted against the Australian Greens 2010 motion for members of the house to poll their constituents on the issue of same sex marriage and voted against a 2012 bill legalizing same-sex marriage that was sponsored by Stephen Jones.[6][7]

In his time outside of Parliament between 2007 and 2010, Entsch worked as an independent Director on the board of CEC Group, and a Director of the Australian Rainforest Foundation.

On 10 November 2009, Entsch announced that he would again run for pre-selection for the seat of Leichhardt.[8] He was re-elected to parliament on 21 August 2010 defeating the man who had succeeded him in 2007, Labor incumbent Jim Turnour. After the 2010 federal election, Warren was appointed Chief Opposition Whip by then-opposition leader Tony Abbott.

On August 17, 2015, in defiance of Prime Minister Abbott, Entsch introduced a private members' bill to legalize same-sex marriage in Australia, saying, "The main purpose of this bill is not a complex one. It is to give same-sex couples in Australia the same right to marry the person they love as that which is currently only granted by law to heterosexual couples. This bill is designed to promote an inclusive Australia, not a divided one. A divided nation is what we will be if we continue to allow discrimination in relation to marriage on the basis of a person's sexuality."[9]

On Monday the 17th of August, Warren Entsch introduced a private members bill to the house for the legalization of same sex marriage. [10] This bill was introduced through much controversy with the leader of the Liberal party, Tony Abbott, instructing his party room to not vote in favor of the bill. [11]

See also[edit]

External links[edit]

References[edit]

Parliament of Australia
Preceded by
Peter Dodd
Member for Leichhardt
1996–2007
Succeeded by
Jim Turnour
Preceded by
Jim Turnour
Member for Leichhardt
2010–present
Incumbent