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Michael Johnson (Australian politician)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Michael Johnson
Official portrait, 2009
Member of the House of Representatives for Ryan
In office
November 10, 2001 (2001-11-10) – August 21, 2010 (2010-08-21)
Preceded byLeonie Short
Succeeded byJane Prentice
Liberal Party Whip
In office
February 12, 2008 (2008-02-12) – February 26, 2010 (2010-02-26)
Serving with Nola Marino
Preceded byJoanna Gash
Succeeded byPatrick Secker
Personal details
Born (1970-01-31) 31 January 1970 (age 53)
British Hong Kong
Political partyLiberal (2001–2008)
Liberal National (2008-2010)
Independent (2010)
Alma mater
ProfessionBarrister, politician

Michael Andrew Johnson (born 31 January 1970) is a Hong Kong-born Australian former politician who was a member of the House of Representatives for the seat of Ryan in Queensland from 2001 to 2010, representing the Liberal Party from November 2001 to May 2010 and then as an independent from May 2010 until he was defeated by Liberal National member Jane Prentice at the 2010 federal election.

Early years and education

He was born in Hong Kong, and was educated at St. Peters Lutheran College and later at the University of Queensland, the University of Cambridge, where he obtained an MPhil, and the University of Birmingham, where he obtained an MIS. He was the Australian Chevening Scholar in 1994, the Charles Hawker Memorial Scholar in 1996 and was a 2004 graduate of Harvard Kennedy School’s Executive Leaders’ Program at Harvard.

Johnson was a barrister and a university tutor and lecturer before entering politics. He was named in 2007 as a Young Global Leader (YGL) by the Geneva-based World Economic Forum (WEF). He was Chairman of the Australia-China Business Forum, and was a Member of the Asia Society's International Advisory Board and sits on the Australian Advisory Board.[citation needed]

Political career

In February 2001, Johnson first sought to gain Liberal endorsement for Ryan, following the retirement of long-serving member, John Moore. Factional rivalries between Johnson and other candidates for preselection led to rampant branch stacking.[1] Johnson had been expected to win preselection, having arranged many of the new members in local branches. He was accused by opponents in the party of signing up ethnic Chinese with only limited connections to the Liberal Party, many from outside the Ryan electorate, and in at least one case, outside Australia.[1] Unfortunately for Johnson, it was revealed he had failed to properly renounce his British citizenship and was ruled ineligible to contest preselection per Section 44[2] of the Australian Constitution. Former state Liberal President Bob Tucker won preselection for the by-election, losing that contest to Labor's Leonie Short. However, by the time of the federal election in October, Johnson had sorted out his citizenship and won Liberal preselection. He then easily took the seat back from Short on an eight-point swing.[1]

There have also been public allegations regarding internal party funds,[3] what he describes as his "unorthodox" fundraising of asking businesses for fees for introductions he facilitates in his capacity as an MP,[4] and the alleged improper use of a publicly funded vehicle.[5]

Johnson also held the position of Opposition Whip in the federal Liberal Party from February 2008 to February 2010. He resigned from the post when allegations that he had misused his taxpayer-funded vehicle were investigated.[6]

Expulsion from the LNP

In 2010, controversy emerged regarding business dealings involving Johnson and the Australia-China Business Forum, of which he was the Chair.[7] On 20 May 2010, he was expelled from the Liberal National Party, the Queensland branch of the Liberal and National parties. Johnson vowed to contest Ryan as an independent at the 2010 federal election.[8] In June 2010, Jane Prentice, a Brisbane City Councillor, was chosen by the LNP to stand for Ryan.[9]

On 2 June 2010, Johnson read out a letter to Parliament which he sent to the Australian Federal Police alleging he was subject to "illegal pressure" to resign from Federal Parliament by the Liberal National Party President Bruce McIver, during a meeting on 25 February in Canberra.[10] During the meeting, Johnson claimed that McIver produced a large black folder which he alleged contained material and documents that was evidence of alleged criminal behaviour by Johnson.[10] McIver denies the claims that he asked him to resign from Parliament, though openly admits he asked Johnson to quit the LNP.[11]

Independent election attempts

He stood unsuccessfully as an independent candidate in:

Post-politics and personal life

Johnson lives in Brisbane's western suburbs with his wife Huyen and their son Ryan, who was born in June 2006.[15]


  1. ^ a b c Green, Antony. "Election Guide 2007 - Ryan". Australian Broadcasting Corporation.
  2. ^ Section 44 states: 'Any person a citizen of a foreign power...shall be incapable of being chosen or of sitting as a...member of the House of Representatives.'
    "Commonwealth of Australia Constitution Act". Federal Register of Legislation. 29 July 1977. Retrieved 23 May 2023.
  3. ^ AAP, 'MP denies 'slush fund' allegations', 21 March 2007. Retrieved 23 March 2009.
  4. ^ "Liberal MP Michael Johnson defends 'unorthodox' fundraising practices". The Australian. 16 March 2010. Retrieved 22 May 2010.
  5. ^ Viellaris, Renee (30 November 2009). "MP Michael Johnson at centre of federal car probe". Retrieved 22 May 2010.
  6. ^ Viellaris, Renee (30 November 2009). "Michael Johnson investigated over use of Commonwealth car". Courier Mail. Retrieved 23 June 2010.
  7. ^ Fraser, Andrew; Elks, Sarah (19 May 2010). "China deal commission not for me: Liberal MP Michael Johnson". The Australian. Retrieved 5 January 2012.
  8. ^ "Michael Johnson expelled from LNP". The Australian. 20 May 2010. Retrieved 22 May 2010.
  9. ^ "LNP endorses popular councillor Jane Prentice for Ryan". The Australian. 10 June 2010. Retrieved 23 June 2010.
  10. ^ a b Chalmers, Emma (2 June 2010). "MP Michael Johnson alleges blackmail bid". Courier Mail. Retrieved 23 June 2010.
  11. ^ Coorey, Phillip (3 June 2010). "Furious denials from LNP over blackmail claims". Retrieved 23 June 2010.
  12. ^ "First Preferences and Two Candidate Preferred - Ryan". 2010 Federal election. Australian Electoral Commission. 25 August 2010. Archived from the original on 23 August 2010. Retrieved 25 August 2010.
  13. ^ "Maiwar - QLD Election 2020 Electorate, Candidates, Results | QLD Votes - ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation)". ABC News. Retrieved 2 November 2020.
  14. ^ Electoral Commission of Queensland (1 July 2019). "Electoral Commission of Queensland". Retrieved 2 November 2020.
  15. ^ "ParlInfo - Announcing the birth of Ryan Andrew Johnson". Parliament of Australia. 28 June 2006. Retrieved 22 May 2023.
Parliament of Australia
Preceded by Member for Ryan
Succeeded by
This page was last edited on 26 December 2023, at 20:46
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