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Fiona Nash
Fiona Nash 2017.jpg
Nash in 2017
20th Deputy Leader of the National Party of Australia
In office
11 February 2016 – 7 December 2017
LeaderBarnaby Joyce
Preceded byBarnaby Joyce
Succeeded byBridget McKenzie
Minister for Local Government and Territories
In office
19 July 2016 – 27 October 2017
Prime MinisterMalcolm Turnbull
Preceded byPaul Fletcher (as Minister for Territories, Local Government and Major Projects)
Succeeded byDarren Chester
Minister for Regional Development
In office
18 February 2016 – 27 October 2017
Prime MinisterMalcolm Turnbull
Preceded byWarren Truss (as Minister for Infrastructure and Regional Development)
Succeeded byDarren Chester
Minister for Regional Communications
In office
18 February 2016 – 27 October 2017
Prime MinisterMalcolm Turnbull
Preceded bySharon Bird (2013)
Succeeded byBridget McKenzie
Minister for Rural Health
In office
21 September 2015 – 19 July 2016
Prime MinisterMalcolm Turnbull
Preceded byOffice established
Succeeded byBridget McKenzie (2017)
Assistant Minister for Health
In office
18 September 2013 – 21 September 2015
Prime MinisterTony Abbott
Malcolm Turnbull
Preceded byChristopher Pyne (as Assistant Minister for Health and Ageing)
Succeeded byKen Wyatt
Senator for New South Wales
In office
1 July 2005 – 27 October 2017
Preceded byAden Ridgeway
Succeeded byJim Molan
Personal details
Fiona Joy Morton

(1965-05-06) 6 May 1965 (age 56)
Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
Political partyNational Party of Australia
Spouse(s)David Nash
ResidenceYoung, New South Wales
Alma materMitchell College of Advanced Education

Fiona Joy Nash (née Morton; born 6 May 1965) is a former Australian politician. She represented the National Party of Australia in the Australian Senate for the state of New South Wales from 1 July 2005 and served as the Deputy Leader of the Nationals in the Parliament of Australia from 11 February 2016,[1][2][3] having previously served as the party's deputy Senate leader since 2008.

In the Turnbull Government, Nash served as the Minister for Local Government and Territories from 19 July 2016, and the Minister for Regional Development, and the Minister for Regional Communications from 18 February 2016 to 27 October 2017.[4] Nash had previously served as the Minister for Rural Health between 21 September 2015 and 19 July 2016, and as the Assistant Minister for Health in the Abbott Government between 18 September 2013 and 21 September 2015.[5]

On 27 October 2017, the High Court of Australia (sitting as the Court of Disputed Returns) found Nash to be ineligible to have been elected, due to holding British citizenship inherited from her father[6] at the time of the 2016 federal election.


Between 1999 and 2004, she worked as staff member for National Party federal ministers, Mark Vaile, Larry Anthony, and De-Anne Kelly before her election to the Senate. In 2008, she was appointed Shadow Parliamentary Secretary for Water Resources and Conservation on the Opposition frontbench, but was asked to resign by Opposition Leader Malcolm Turnbull when she expressed her support for a motion by the Australian Greens to block the introduction of up-front tax breaks for carbon sinks. She did so, and subsequently crossed the floor with four other National senators to vote for the motion.[7] After the 2010 election she returned to the Opposition frontbench when appointed Shadow Parliamentary Secretary for Regional Education by Opposition Leader Tony Abbott in September 2010.[8]

Following the 2013 federal election, Nash was appointed as Assistant Minister for Health in the Abbott Government. In February 2014 she came under scrutiny after it was revealed that her chief of staff, Alastair Furnival, held shares in a lobby group, which culminated with his resignation the same month.[9] In March the Senate formally censured Nash after she missed a deadline to produce a letter Furnival apparently wrote, outlining how he would avoid conflicts of interest, given that his wife owned a lobbying company, Australian Public Affairs, which represented junk food clients.[10]

On 17 August 2017, Nash became embroiled in the 2017 Australian parliamentary eligibility crisis, when she informed the Senate that she had received advice that she was a British citizen. Her citizenship had been acquired at birth, by descent from her Scottish-born father. She completed a declaration of renunciation of British citizenship on 18 August 2017.[11] Her eligibility was considered by the High Court of Australia alongside numerous other cases of potential breaches of Section 44 of the Australian Constitution.[12] On 27 October 2017, the court ruled that Nash had been ineligible to have been elected.[13] She was replaced by Liberal's Jim Molan.

Nash left politics, and took the role of Strategic Adviser, Regional Development at Charles Sturt University in early 2018.[14]

Personal life

Nash was born in Sydney and was educated at Mitchell College of Advanced Education in Bathurst, New South Wales, where she graduated in arts.[8] Nash is married to David Nash, a farmer, and they have two sons. They live in the Young district in the south-west region of southern New South Wales.[15]


  1. ^ Murphy, Katharine (11 February 2016). "Barnaby Joyce wins Nationals leadership, Fiona Nash named deputy". The Guardian. Australia. Retrieved 11 February 2016.
  2. ^ Gartrell, Adam (11 February 2016). "Parliament pays tribute to retiring deputy PM Warren Truss ahead of Barnaby Joyce elevation". The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 11 February 2016.
  3. ^ Keany, Francis (11 February 2016). "Barnaby Joyce elected unopposed as new Nationals leader". ABC News. Australia. Retrieved 11 February 2016.
  4. ^ "Ministerial Swearing-in Ceremony". Events. Governor-General of the Commonwealth of Australia. 18 February 2016. Archived from the original on 1 March 2016. Retrieved 19 February 2016.
  5. ^ "Tony Abbott's cabinet and outer ministry". The Sydney Morning Herald. Australian Associated Press. 16 September 2013. Retrieved 16 September 2013.
  6. ^ "Barnaby Joyce disqualified by High Court". ABC News. 27 October 2017.
  7. ^ Arup, Tom (2 December 2008). "Nats senator axed then crosses floor". The Age.
  8. ^ a b "Senator Fiona Nash - Biography". Senators and Members. Parliament of Australia. Retrieved 3 September 2012.
  9. ^ Metherell, Lexi (13 February 2014). "Assistant Health Minister Fiona Nash admits chief of staff holds shares in lobby group". PM (ABC Radio). Australia. Retrieved 7 March 2014.
  10. ^ Jabour, Bridie (5 March 2014). "Senate votes to censure Fiona Nash after she fails to hand over document". The Guardian. Retrieved 13 March 2014.
  11. ^ Submissions of Senator the Hon Fiona Nash (PDF), 28 September 2017, p. 5
  12. ^ "Nationals deputy leader Fiona Nash reveals she is a British citizen, won't be standing aside". ABC News. 17 August 2017. Retrieved 17 August 2017.
  13. ^ "Barnaby Joyce disqualified by High Court". ABC News. 27 October 2017. Retrieved 27 October 2017.
  14. ^ "CSU strengthens regions" (Press release). Charles Sturt University. Retrieved 1 March 2018.
  15. ^ Nash, Fiona (2009). "About Senator Fiona Nash". self. Retrieved 15 February 2014.

External links

Parliament of Australia
Political offices
Preceded by
Paul Fletcher
as Minister for Territories, Local Government and Major Projects
Minister for Local Government and Territories
Succeeded by
Darren Chester
Preceded by
Warren Truss
as Minister for Infrastructure and Regional Development
Minister for Regional Development
Title last held by
Sharon Bird
Minister for Regional Communications
Succeeded by
Mitch Fifield
Title last held by
Warren Snowdon
as Minister for Indigenous Health
Minister for Rural Health
Succeeded by
David Gillespie
as Assistant Minister for Rural Health
Title last held by
Christopher Pyne
as Assistant Minister for Health and Ageing
Assistant Minister for Health
Title next held by
Ken Wyatt
Party political offices
Preceded by
Barnaby Joyce
Deputy Leader of the National Party of Australia
Succeeded by
Bridget McKenzie
Preceded by
Ron Boswell
Deputy Leader of the National Party in the Senate
This page was last edited on 27 June 2021, at 06:28
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