Zdenko Matthew "Zed" Seselja (born 27 March 1977) is an Australian politician who has been a Senator for the Australian Capital Territory since 2013, representing the Liberal Party. He was previously a member of the Australian Capital Territory Legislative Assembly from 2004 to 2013, and served as leader of the Canberra Liberals and Leader of the Opposition from 2007 to 2013.
Early life and education
Seselja was born in Canberra Hospital, then called the Woden Valley Hospital, to Ljudevit and Katica Seselja, both immigrants from Croatia (when it was part of Yugoslavia). His mother arrived alone in late 1970, and five months later she married Ljudevit, who had arrived three years earlier. Both held two jobs each.
Seselja attended St Mary MacKillop College. He graduated from the Australian National University with a Bachelor of Arts degree in 1997, a Bachelor of Laws degree in 1999 and a Graduate Diploma in Legal Practice in 2002. He received a Graduate Certificate in Public Administration in 2000 from the University of Canberra. He was admitted as a legal practitioner in 2002.
While attending university, he worked at Woolworths Supermarkets from 1995–98; at MacKillop Catholic College (now St Mary MacKillop College) in 1998 as a cleaner; at the Australian Fisheries Management Authority from 1998–99 as a legal assistant; and at the Commonwealth Department of Transport and Regional Services from 2000–04 as a policy officer, lawyer, and then a senior lawyer.
Australian Capital Territory
At the 2008 election, Seselja received a quota of 1.49 and was elected first in the seven-member Molonglo electorate. There was a decrease in the vote for both major parties, with a swing to the Greens. Labor won 7 seats, the Liberals won 6 seats, while the Greens won 4 seats, giving them the balance of power. Negotiations ensued between the Greens and both major parties over the formation of a government. After almost two weeks of deliberations, the Greens chose to support a minority Labor government, thereby consigning Seselja's party to the opposition benches.
At the 2012 election, Seselja moved to the five member Brindabella electorate where he received a quota of 1.8. He led the Canberra Liberals to their highest-ever number of seats, claiming eight in the seventeen-member ACT Legislative Assembly.
On 4 February 2013, Seselja stated he would challenge incumbent Senator Gary Humphries (who is himself a former ACT Liberal leader) for Liberal Party pre-selection for the Senate in the 2013 Australian federal election. Seselja stated he would stand down from leadership of the party in the Legislative Assembly as of Monday 11 February. On 23 February 2013, Seselja won his pre-selection bid, and thus became one of the two official Liberal Party Senate candidates for the ACT.
In 2014, Seselja's former opponent Katy Gallagher resigned as ACT Chief Minister to become the ALP Senator from the ACT. With the ACT having two Senate seats, the ACT is represented in the Senate by the two former territory leaders.
During the 2016 Turnbull government second ministerial reshuffle Seselja was appointed as the Assistant Minister for Social Services and Multicultural Affairs. In December 2017 as part of a subsequent rearrangement of the Turnbull ministry, Seselja was appointed as the Assistant Minister for Science, Jobs and Innovation. In August 2018, he resigned from the Turnbull ministry as part of the failed attempt to have Peter Dutton replace Malcolm Turnbull as leader of the Liberal Party and Prime Minister.
Seselja opposes same-sex marriage, supports cutting penalty rates, and opposes assisted suicide. Seselja abstained from the Senate vote on marriage equality in November 2017, despite having promised to honour the national postal result three months earlier.
On 15 August 2018, he voted 'no' to the Restoring Territory Rights (Assisted Suicide Legislation) Bill 2015, which would have restored to the Australian Capital Territory Legislative Assembly the authority to legislate on the matter of voluntary assisted dying.
In the community, Seselja is currently a supporter of both Karinya House and the Create Foundation, a member of the Australian Republican Movement and the Australian Red Cross, a volunteer for St. Vincent de Paul, an ambassador for Focus ACT since 2008, and a KeepWatch Ambassador with the Royal Lifesaving Society (since 2008); he was formerly a mentor for Menslink from 2001 to 2004.
- "Canberra Liberals official website". Canberraliberals.org.au. Retrieved 2011-02-03.
- "Zed Seselja". Liberal Party of Australia. Retrieved 13 September 2013.
- Thomson, Phillip (17 March 2013). "Seselja's journey is a family affair". The Canberra Times. Fairfax Media. Retrieved 13 September 2013.
- "Seselja, Zed". ACT Legislative Assembly. Archived from the original on 3 October 2013.
- "2008 Australian Capital Territory Election". ABC. 18 October 2008. Retrieved 2011-02-03.
- "Greens take extra seat in ACT election". Abc.net.au. Retrieved 2011-02-03.
- "Labor to form minority government in ACT". News.theage.com.au. 31 October 2008. Retrieved 3 February 2011.
- Results by party, electionresults.act.gov.au; accessed 6 February 2013.
- "Zed Seselja moves into Federal politics", ABC News Online, 4 February 2013.
- "Seselja beats Humphries in Senate preselection stand-off", The Canberra Times, 23 February 2013.
- "Seselja wins Senate seat, talks PS job losses". The Canberra Times. Retrieved 2 October 2013.
- "Length of tenure for Senators in States and Territories". Australian Senate: Powers, practice and procedures. Parliament of Australia.
- Peake, Ross (28 March 2013). "What lies beyond a process bathed in bad blood?". Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 27 March 2013.
- Peake, Ross (4 February 2013). "Seselja's bid for Senate seat a win for the Greens". Canberra Times. Retrieved 27 March 2013.
- Seselja, Zed (13 August 2018). "Why I'm voting 'no' on the assisted suicide bill: Seselja". The Sydney Morning Herald (Website).
- McIlroy, Tom. "ACT Liberal Senator Zed Seselja backtracks on pledge to honour same-sex marriage vote". Canberra Times. Retrieved 2018-08-22.
- Burgess, Katie. "'This is not the end': ACT reels after Senate rejects territory rights". Canberra Times. Retrieved 2018-08-22.
- Alexander, Cathy (5 February 2013). "And then there were none: ACT Lib moderate faces the chop". Crikey. Retrieved 13 September 2013.
- Moloney, John-Paul (24 September 2012). "Anti-gay candidate 'like the Taliban': Seselja". The Canberra Times. Fairfax Media. Retrieved 13 September 2013.
- Official website
- Zed Seselja bio on Liberal Party of Australia (ACT) website
- Zed Seselja on Twitter
- Summary of parliamentary voting for Senator Zed Seselja on TheyVoteForYou.org.au
as Assistant Minister for Industry, Innovation and Science
| Assistant Minister for Science, Jobs and Innovation
as Assistant Minister for Multicultural Affairs
| Assistant Minister for Social Services and Multicultural Affairs
as Minister for Citizenship and Multicultural Affairs
|Australian Capital Territory Legislative Assembly|
| Member of the Legislative Assembly
|Multi-member electorate|| Member of the Legislative Assembly
| Leader of the Opposition of the Australian Capital Territory
|Party political offices|
| Leader of the Liberal Party in the Australian Capital Territory