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Kevin Newman (politician)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Kevin Newman

Minister for Administrative Services
In office
3 November 1980 – 11 March 1983
Prime MinisterMalcolm Fraser
Preceded byJohn McLeay
Succeeded byJohn Brown
Minister for Productivity
In office
8 December 1979 – 3 November 1980
Prime MinisterMalcolm Fraser
Preceded byIan Macphee
Succeeded byAbolished
Minister for National Development
In office
20 December 1977 – 8 December 1979
Prime MinisterMalcolm Fraser
Preceded byCreated
Succeeded byJohn Carrick
Minister for Environment, Housing and Community Development
In office
8 July 1976 – 20 December 1977
Prime MinisterMalcolm Fraser
Preceded byIvor Greenwood
Succeeded byRay Groom
Minister for Repatriation
In office
22 December 1975 – 8 July 1976
Prime MinisterMalcolm Fraser
Preceded byDon Chipp
Succeeded byRay Groom
Member of the Australian Parliament
for Bass
In office
28 June 1975 – 26 October 1984
Preceded byLance Barnard
Succeeded byWarwick Smith
Personal details
Kevin Eugene Newman

(1933-10-10)10 October 1933
Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
Died17 July 1999(1999-07-17) (aged 65)
Canberra, Australian Capital Territory, Australia
Political partyLiberal Party of Australia
Spouse(s)Jocelyn Newman (married 1961-1999; his death)
ChildrenCampbell Newman
OccupationArmy Officer
Military service
Branch/serviceAustralian Army
Years of service1955–1975
Unit3 RAR
Commands5 RAR
6th Military District

Kevin Eugene Newman AO (10 October 1933 – 17 July 1999) was an Australian soldier and politician. He was a member of the Liberal Party and held ministerial office in the Fraser Government, serving as Minister for Repatriation (1975–1976), Environment, Housing and Community Development (1976–1977), National Development (1977–1979), Productivity (1979–1980), and Administrative Services (1980–1983). He represented the Tasmanian seat of Bass in the House of Representatives from 1975 to 1984. His wife Jocelyn also became a federal government minister, while his son Campbell became premier of Queensland.

Army career

He rose to the rank of Colonel in the Australian Army, serving in Malaysia and the Vietnam War.[1]

Political career

Newman entered political life through a 1975 by-election for the Division of Bass, Tasmania, in the House of Representatives, as the Liberal candidate. The previous member, former Labor Deputy Prime Minister Lance Barnard, had held it for 21 years, though he had been gradually losing support in recent years. Newman had already been preselected for the next election, and had been nursing[clarification needed] the seat for some time.

Nonetheless, it came as a surprise[to whom?] when Newman took the seat off Labor with a massive 14-point swing, turning Bass into a safe Liberal seat at one stroke. He won 57.6 percent of the primary vote, enough to win without the need for preferences. This shock result is reckoned[by whom?] as the beginning of the end for Prime Minister Gough Whitlam, as Newman's victory emboldened the Coalition to push for new elections for a House of Representatives barely a year old—even to the point of blocking supply.[citation needed] The Whitlam government was dismissed six months later.

Newman easily retained his seat at the December 1975 general election. With the election of the Fraser government, he was appointed Minister for Repatriation in the second Fraser Ministry. In July 1976, he became Minister for Environment, Housing and Community Development when Ivor Greenwood became ill. He was responsible for environment issues when the decision was taken to cease sand mining on world heritage listed Fraser Island.

In December 1978, Newman was appointed Minister for National Development in the third Fraser Ministry. In December 1979 he was appointed Minister for Productivity and in November 1980 he was appointed Minister for Administrative Services in the fourth Fraser Ministry, a position he retained until the defeat of the government in the 1983 election. He retired from the parliament prior to the 1984 election.

Post-political activities

In retirement, Newman was appointed President of the National Trust Tasmania, a member of the board of the Menzies Foundation and a director of the Australian Stockman's Hall of Fame in Longreach, Queensland.

Newman was the Chairman of the Old Parliament House Governing Council from 1997 to 1999.

He was appointed an Officer of the Order of Australia in the Queen's Birthday Honours of 1994.[2]


Newman was married to Jocelyn Newman, a Senator for Tasmania, and Minister for Family and Community Services and Minister Assisting the Prime Minister for the Status of Women in the Howard government. They had two children: Kate and Campbell. Campbell Newman was the Lord Mayor of Brisbane 2004–11, and was Premier of Queensland from March 2012 to February 2015.


  1. ^ Vietnam War Nominal Roll
  2. ^ It's an Honour – Officer of the Order of Australia
Political offices
Preceded by
Don Chipp
Minister for Repatriation
Succeeded by
Peter Durack
Preceded by
Ivor Greenwood
Minister for Environment, Housing
and Community Development

Succeeded by
Ray Groom
Preceded by
Doug Anthony
Minister for National Development
Succeeded by
John Carrick
Preceded by
Ian Macphee
Minister for Productivity
Position abolished
Preceded by
John McLeay
Minister for Administrative Services
Succeeded by
John Brown
Parliament of Australia
Preceded by
Lance Barnard
Member for Bass
Succeeded by
Warwick Smith
This page was last edited on 15 April 2021, at 15:06
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