John Brumby: Wikis


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The Honourable
 John Brumby
 BCom, DipEd, MLA

Assumed office 
30 July 2007
Deputy Rob Hulls
Preceded by Steve Bracks
Constituency Broadmeadows

In office
May 2000 – 3 August 2007
Preceded by Steve Bracks
Succeeded by John Lenders

Born 21 April 1953 (1953-04-21) (age 56)
Melbourne, Victoria
Nationality Australian
Political party Australian Labor Party
Spouse(s) Rosemary McKenzie
Profession Secondary school teacher, Banking Consultant

John Mansfield Brumby, MLA (born 21 April 1953), Australian Labor Party politician, is the 45th Premier of Victoria, assuming office on 30 July 2007 after the resignation of Steve Bracks. He also serves as the Minister for Veterans' Affairs and the Minister for Multicultural Affairs.


Early life

John Brumby was born in Melbourne and educated at Ivanhoe Grammar School and then later, Melbourne Grammar School and the University of Melbourne, where he graduated in Commerce (BCom) in 1974, and at the State College of Victoria at Rusden, where he completed a Diploma of Education (DipEd) in 1975. He was a teacher at Eaglehawk High School, in Bendigo in central Victoria, from 1976 to 1979. From 1979 to 1983 he was an employee of the Victorian Teachers Union. He was also active in the Australian Labor Party.

Political career


Federal MP

In 1983 John Brumby was elected to the Australian House of Representatives for the seat of Bendigo, which he held until his defeat in 1990. A member of the Labor Unity faction, he was a strong supporter of Prime Minister Bob Hawke and an opponent of the Socialist Left faction, which historically had its stronghold in the Victorian branch of the Labor Party.

John Brumby then worked as a consultant before being appointed Chief of Staff to the federal Minister for Resources and Tourism, Alan Griffiths with responsibility for the development of policy in areas such as energy, petroleum, minerals and tourism. He held this position until February 1993, when he was elected to the Victorian Legislative Council at a by-election for the seat of Doutta Galla Province in Melbourne's western suburbs.

State opposition leader

The Victorian Labor government of Joan Kirner was defeated at the October 1992 state elections by the Liberal Party led by Jeff Kennett. Joan Kirner resigned as Leader after a short period and was succeeded by Jim Kennan; Kennan later resigned from Parliament in June 1993. John Brumby was subsequently elected as Labor's new State Parliamentary leader to fill the vacancy created by Jim Kennan's resignation. He resigned from the Legislative Council and was elected to the Victorian Legislative Assembly at a by-election for Kennan's seat of Broadmeadows.

In 1996, John Brumby opposed the Kennett State Government's proposed relocation of the State Museum to Carlton Garden's site adjacent to the Royal Exhibition Building. It was at this time that Brumby first proposed that the Royal Exhibition Building and the Carlton Gardens be nominated for World Heritage Listing. The World Heritage nomination was opposed at the time by the Kennett Liberal State Government. It was not until after the 1999 State Election that the Bracks Labor Government nominated and obtained World Heritage Listing for the site.

From 1993 to 1996 Brumby worked to restore Labor's fortunes in Victoria. The defeat of the federal Labor government in March 1996 prompted Kennett to call an early state election three weeks later, at which Labor lost heavily, with a net gain of two seats. This defeat was claimed to have undermined Brumby's position as Leader. John Brumby was later replaced as Labor leader in March 1999, agreeing to resign in favour of Steve Bracks.

Bracks Government

John Brumby as Minister for Innovation giving a speech in April 2007

Steve Bracks narrowly won the state election called by Kennett in September 1999 and appointed John Brumby as Minister for Finance, Assistant Treasurer and Minister for State and Regional Development. Brumby formed part of the core leadership team of senior ministers in the new Government along with Bracks, Deputy Premier John Thwaites and Attorney-General Rob Hulls. Steve Bracks initially served as Treasurer as well as Premier, assisted by John Brumby who was responsible for Victoria's finances and most of the workload of the Treasury portfolio. On 22 May 2000 John Brumby was appointed State Treasurer.

As Treasurer, John Brumby presided over a period of steady economic growth in Victoria, and his economic management was given some of the credit, along with the personal popularity of Bracks, for Labor's landslide re-elections in 2002 and 2006. Brumby ensured that the Labor Government maintained a budget surplus. Victoria's budget surpluses have been fueled in part by revenue from the Federal Government's goods and services tax, which federal Labor opposed.

During 2004 John Brumby was criticised by the state Liberal opposition for sharp increases in the rate of land tax in Victoria, which was criticised by many for potentially threatening the viability of many small businesses. Land tax rates were cut in the 2005 state budget. Faced with a choice of having to fund road infrastructure at the expense of development of Victoria's schools, hospitals and public transport, Brumby decided to impose a toll on the new Scoresby Freeway (later known as EastLink) in eastern Melbourne. The decision, which broke a 2002 pre-election promise, provoked a hostile response from the Liberal Opposition and local community groups as well as causing the (Liberal) Federal Government to withhold its share of the funding for the project.

Premier of Victoria

On 27 July 2007 the then Victorian Premier, Steve Bracks, unexpectedly announced his resignation from politics, citing family reasons for the decision. Deputy leader John Thwaites also announced his resignation later that day. On 30 July John Brumby was elected unopposed as the new Labor leader and was sworn in as Premier.

An early challenge occurred in November 2007 when State Labor MP Tammy Lobato publicly criticised Brumby over a decision by cabinet to allow genetically modified canola to be grown in Victoria[1][2]. Other State Labor MPs were also said to be upset over Brumby's approach to the issue, and in particular, the way that he allegedly rail-roaded the policy through[3].

Brumby's response to a plan proposed by then Liberal Party of Australia Prime Minister John Howard for the federal government to assume control of the Murray-Darling Basin water catchment from the states was also an early issue. Under the previous Premier Steve Bracks, Victoria had been the only state to refuse to accept Howard's plan. Following the election on 24 November 2007 of a new Australian Labor Party controlled federal government Brumby agreed to commit Victoria to an amended plan on 26 March 2008.[4]

In April 2008 he was widely applauded for his move to break up the Victorian poker machine gambling duopoly starting in 2012[5][6]. The move was supported in particular by organisations such as the Interchurch Gambling Taskforce and the Australian Hotels Association[7]. Some concerns, however, were raised that the decision could ultimately result in a AUS$1 billion compensation claim from the companies standing to lose their duopoly status as a result of the decision, Tattersalls and Tabcorp. The government, however, denied that any claim for compensation would be successful[5][8].

In May 2008, following the reporting of several episodes of violence in various Melbourne Bars and Clubs in the media, Premier Brumby announced a 2am entry curfew on Melbourne city bars, pubs and clubs.[9] The move sparked considerable opposition, with venue operators launching successful legal contests to the legislation[10], and patrons protesting outside State Parliament House.[11] Premier Brumby announced the dropping of the plan in November 2008, following an increase in violence which the legislation had been aimed at curbing.[12] Critics of the curfew system called the plan populist and regressive, with little concern for the impact on the vast majority of club-goers that did not instigate violence.[13] Subsequently, liquor licencing changes have had an impact on live music venues, notably with The Tote Hotel amongst others being forced into closure as the operator could no longer afford to support the extra staff required under changes to legislation. Critics argue that these types of venues are not often problem areas for police, and that legislative changes have been poorly planned and implemented.[14][15]

See also


  1. ^ More grief for Brumby over canola, The Age, 2007-11-29,, retrieved 2007-11-29 
  2. ^ Rood, David (2007-11-28), Furore as ban on crops lifted, The Age,, retrieved 2008-04-11 
  3. ^ "Criticism from within can inflict lasting damage". The Age. 2007-11-29. Retrieved 2007-11-29. 
  4. ^ Murray Darling Agreement a Win for Farmers and the Environment, Victorian State Government, 2008-03-26,, retrieved 2008-04-05 
  5. ^ a b Mayne, Stephen (2008-04-13), Brumby's rough ride, The Age,, retrieved 2008-04-14 
  6. ^ Warner, Michael; Pinkney, Matthew (2008-04-10), "Churches back pokie revamp", Herald Sun,,21985,23515934-664,00.html, retrieved 2008-04-14 
  7. ^ Wallace, Rick (2008-04-11), "Brumby smashes gaming duopoly", The Australian,,25197,23520855-2702,00.html, retrieved 2008-04-14 
  8. ^ Caldwell, Alison (2008-04-11), Victoria could face $1b claim over pokies, ABC News,, retrieved 2008-04-14 
  9. ^ Melbourne venues set for 2am lockout, The Melbourne Age, 2008-05-02,, retrieved 2010-02-08 
  10. ^ 99 Melbourne venues exempt from 2am lockout, The Australian, 2008-06-03,, retrieved 2010-02-08 
  11. ^ Protest Against Melbourne's 2am Curfew,, 2008-05-06,, retrieved 2010-02-08 
  12. ^ Brumby dumps 2am lockout after increase in violence, The Melbourne Age, 2008-11-10,, retrieved 2010-02-08 
  13. ^ inthemix investigates the Sydney's 2am lockout,, 2008-12-03,, retrieved 2010-02-08 
  14. ^ Time called on the Tote, The Melbourne Age, 2010-01-15,, retrieved 2010-02-08 
  15. ^ Will the close of the Tote force Government to back down on tough live music laws?, The Melbourne Herald-Sun, 2010-01-08,, retrieved 2010-02-08 

External links

Parliament of Australia
Preceded by
John Bourchier
Member for Bendigo
1983 – 1990
Succeeded by
Bruce Reid
Victorian Legislative Council
Preceded by
Bill Landeryou
Member for Doutta Galla Province
Succeeded by
Monica Gould
Victorian Legislative Assembly
Preceded by
Jim Kennan
Member for Broadmeadows
Party political offices
Preceded by
Jim Kennan
Leader of the Australian Labor Party in Victoria
1993 – 1999
Succeeded by
Steve Bracks
Preceded by
Steve Bracks
Leader of the Australian Labor Party in Victoria
Political offices
Preceded by
Steve Bracks
Treasurer of Victoria
2000 – 2007
Succeeded by
John Lenders
Preceded by
Steve Bracks
Premier of Victoria

Simple English

John Mansfield Brumby (21 April 1953) was the 45th Premier of Victoria. He became Premier on 30 July 2007.[1] He is from the Labor Party. After being defeated in the 2010 elections, Brumby was replaced as Premier by Ted Baillieu on 1 December 2010.[2]

Early life

Brumby was born in Melbourne and educated at Ivanhoe Grammar School and Melbourne Grammar School.[3] Brumby went to the University of Melbourne in 1971 and completed a Bachelor of Commerce degree.[3] He then got his Diploma of Education from the State College of Victoria, Rusden, in 1975.[1] He worked at Eaglehawk, Victoria, as a teacher for three years and then became a union official.[3]


Brumby was a elected to the Parliament of Australia in 1983 and represented the electorate of Bendigo.[1] he lost the seat in the 1990 election. He was elected to the upper house, the Legislative Council, of the Parliament of Victoria in 1993.[1] When the leader of the Labor Party, Jim Kennan, resigned from Parliament, Brumby was became the new leader. He had to resign from the upper house as leaders have to be members of the lower house, the Legislative Council. He won an election for Jim Kennan's seat of Broadmeadows, Victoria.[3] He was the Leader of the Opposition in Victoria for six years. Julia Gillard, the current Prime Minister of Australia, worked as his Chief of Staff.[4] The Labor Party did not win as many votes in the 1996 election and lost two seats. Over the next few years the party did not think Brumby would be able to lead them to a win in the next election. Brumby was replaced as leader by Steve Bracks in March, 1999. Bracks led the Labor Party and won an election in September 1999. Brumby became the Minister for Finance in the new government, and a year later was made the Treasurer (in charge of all government spending).

Bracks resigned as Premier in July 2007, and the Labor Party elected Brumby as their new leader. This made him the Premier of Victoria. In November 2010 the Labor Party was defeated in the election with a 5.3% swing of votes to the Liberal and National Parties.[5] Brumby resigned as the leader of the Labor Party.[6]



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