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The Honourable
 Malcolm Turnbull
 MP


In office
16 September 2008 – 1 December 2009
Deputy Julie Bishop
Preceded by Brendan Nelson
Succeeded by Tony Abbott

In office
23 January 2007 – 3 December 2007
Preceded by Ian Campbell
Succeeded by Peter Garrett & Penny Wong

Incumbent
Assumed office 
9 October 2004
Preceded by Peter King
Majority 3.85%[1]

Born 24 October 1954 (1954-10-24) (age 55)
Sydney
Political party Liberal Party of Australia
Spouse(s) Lucy Turnbull née Hughes
Children Alexander and Daisy
Religion Roman Catholic
Website MalcolmTurnbull.com.au

Malcolm Bligh Turnbull[2] (born 24 October 1954) is an Australian politician. He has been a member of the Australian House of Representatives since 2004, and was Leader of the Opposition and parliamentary leader of the Liberal Party from 16 September 2008 to 1 December 2009.

Turnbull has represented the Division of Wentworth in Sydney's eastern suburbs since his election in October 2004. He served as the federal Minister for Environment and Water Resources in 2007. Before entering parliamentary politics he practised as a barrister. He has also been a merchant banker and was leader of the Australian Republican Movement.

When the Liberal and National coalition government led by John Howard lost government at the November 2007 federal election, a vote for the Liberal leadership took place days later. Brendan Nelson was elected Liberal Party leader over Turnbull by a margin of 45 votes to 42. In September 2008, following a second vote for the Liberal leadership, Turnbull was elected Liberal Party leader by a margin of 45 votes to 41 over Nelson.[3]

Crippling Liberal Party divisions, including unprecedented mass shadow cabinet resignations over Liberal Party support for the amended Rudd Labor Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme (CPRS), came to a head in November 2009 with Liberal MPs deciding on 1 December to have a second leadership spill motion in less than a week and whether or not seven or more Turnbull/CPRS-supporting Liberal senators are prepared to guillotine debate and vote with the government on the CPRS which would also in the process deny the government a double dissolution trigger. In a secret ballot against Joe Hockey and Tony Abbott on 1 December 2009 he was defeated by Abbott by one vote in the second round.[4]

Contents

Early life

Turnbull was born on 24 October 1954 to Bruce Turnbull and Coral Lansbury, who married the following year.[5] His mother was a radio actor, writer and academic and a cousin of the British film and television actor Angela Lansbury.[6] They separated when Malcolm was nine and he was brought up by his father.[7][8][9] He spent his first three years of school at Vaucluse Public School. He continued his primary education at the private fee paying Sydney Grammar Prep, St Ives. He then went to Sydney Grammar School's senior school at College Street in Sydney. He was Senior School Co-Captain in 1972. In 1987, in memory of his late father, he set up the Bruce Turnbull means-tested scholarship at Sydney Grammar School, which offers full remission of fees to a student who is unable to pay the school's fees.

Turnbull graduated from the University of Sydney with a double degree in law and arts. He then studied law at Brasenose College, a constituent college of the University of Oxford as a Rhodes Scholar from 1978 to 1980. He studied for a Bachelor of Civil Law degree while at Oxford and then returned to Australia. While at university in Sydney he worked as a political journalist for The Nation Review, Radio 2SM and Channel 9 covering state politics. While at Oxford he worked for The Sunday Times as well as contributing to a number of other newspapers and magazines in the United States and Australia.[10] He married Lucy Hughes in 1980 at Cumnor, near Oxford, while he was studying at Oxford University. He and Lucy returned to Australia later that year when he was admitted to the bar. Turnbull left the bar in 1983 to become the General Counsel for Consolidated Press Holdings Limited, the Packer family's media group. He rose to the public's attention as the successful advocate in the Spycatcher trial (he blocked the British Government's attempts to suppress the memoirs of a former MI5 agent), and later wrote a book on the trial.[11]

Career

Turnbull was General Counsel and Secretary for Australian Consolidated Press Holdings Group, the family company of Kerry Packer, from 1983 to 1985. During this time he defended Packer against the "Goanna" allegations made by the Costigan Commission. In partnership with Bruce McWilliam he established his own law firm, Turnbull McWilliam, in 1986 and in that year successfully defended Peter Wright in his battle with the British Government over his book Spycatcher. In 1987, he established an investment banking firm, Whitlam Turnbull & Co Ltd in partnership with Neville Wran (former Labor Premier of New South Wales) and the former State Bank of NSW chief executive, Nicholas Whitlam (son of Gough Whitlam, former Labor Prime Minister of Australia). Whitlam parted company with the others in 1990, and, from then until 1997, when Turnbull moved to become a managing director and later a partner of Goldman Sachs, the firm operated as Turnbull & Partners Ltd. Turnbull was also chair of a large Australia Internet Service Provider, OzEmail (1994-99), a director of FTR Holdings Ltd (1995-2004), chair and managing director of Goldman Sachs Australia (1997-2001) and a partner with Goldman Sachs and Co (1998-2001). In the 1990s, Turnbull was chairman of Axiom Forest Resources, which conducted logging in the Solomon Islands under the trading name Silvania Forest Products. The latter's work was described by the Australian International Development Aid Bureau as a "clear-felling operation", and the then Solomon Islands Prime Minister Solomon Mamaloni reportedly threatened to close it down for "constant breaches of logging practices", according to a critical article in the Solomon Times.[12][13]

In 1999, Turnbull sold OzEmail to the then telecommunications giant MCI Worldcom. Turnbull's stake was reportedly worth nearly A$60 million; In 2005 his net worth was estimated at $133 million,[14] making him Australia's richest parliamentarian.[15] The 2009 annual BRW list of the richest Australians put Turnbull at 182 of 200, with an estimated net worth of $178 million. He is the only MP in Australia to make the list.[16]

From 1993 to 2000, Turnbull was the chairman of the Australian Republican Movement. He was an elected delegate at the Constitutional Convention in Canberra in February, 1998, and in 1999 published a book on the subject, called Fighting for the Republic. Following the unsuccessful 1999 referendum campaign to establish an Australian republic, in 2000 Turnbull retired as chairman of the Australian Republican Movement. Turnbull left the board of Ausflag in 1994 after being asked for his resignation and in 2004 joined the Australian National Flag Association.[17]

In May 2002, Turnbull appeared before the HIH royal commission and was questioned on Goldman Sachs' involvement on the possible privatisation of one of the acquisitions of the collapsed insurance company. The Royal Commissioner's Report made no adverse findings against him or Goldman Sachs.[18]

Turnbull was Federal Treasurer of the Liberal Party and a member of the party's federal and New South Wales executives from 2002 to 2003 and was also a director of the Menzies Research Centre, the Liberal Party's research centre.

Politics

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Howard Government

Turnbull first ran for Liberal Party preselection for the seat of Wentworth in the eastern suburbs of Sydney in the Wentworth 1981 by-election, but was beaten by Peter Coleman.[7] In 2003, Turnbull announced that he was seeking a seat in Federal Parliament. In early 2004 he won another hotly contested battle for Wentworth, defeating Peter King, the sitting Liberal member. King ran for the seat at the 2004 election as an independent. This turned the traditionally safe Liberal electorate into an electoral wildcard, the contest for the seat becoming a three man race between Turnbull, King and Labor candidate David Patch. During the campaign, Turnbull spent over $600,000 on electoral expenditure.[19] The Liberal vote fell 10 per cent, but Turnbull still won.

Announcing his cabinet reshuffle on 24 January 2006, the Prime Minister John Howard promoted Turnbull from the backbench to Parliamentary Secretary, with special responsibility for water. In this new capacity he reported directly to the Prime Minister. On 26 September 2006, John Howard announced the creation, within the department of the Prime Minister, of the new "Office of Water Resources" to address the problem of drought in Australia. Turnbull was in charge of this office until he was elevated by Prime Minister John Howard to head the Environment and Water Resources portfolio in January 2007.

In his position as Environment Minister, Turnbull approved a proposed $1.7 billion Bell Bay Pulp Mill in Tasmania's north, near Launceston.[20] His final approval of the Bell Bay Pulp Mill project of Gunns Ltd came on 4 October 2007. Turnbull's approval followed a report by the Government's chief scientist Jim Peacock on the project's potential environmental impact, which requires the project to meet 48 "strict environmental" conditions. Critics have accused him of failing to assess the environmental cost of the mill in terms of forest destruction and greenhouse emissions. According to The Wilderness Society, the Pulp Mill will, amongst a number of other toxic emissions, increase Australia's yearly contribution to greenhouse gas emission by more than 2 per cent. This reportedly amounts to an extra 10 million tonnes of greenhouse gas a year[21]

In February 2007, Turnbull was criticised for claiming a government allowance of $175 a night and paying it to his wife as rent while living in a townhouse owned by her in Canberra.[22]

During the 2007 election campaign, Turnbull announced that the then Government would contribute $10 million to the investigation of an untried Russian technology that aims to trigger rainfall from the atmosphere, even when there are no clouds. Literature suggests that the technology is based on bogus science. The Australian Rain Corporation presented research documents written in Russian, explained by a Russian researcher who spoke to local experts in Russian [23].

Although Turnbull claimed that Australian Rain Corporation is Australian-based, investigations have shown that it is in fact 75 per cent Swiss-owned. It was also revealed that a prominent stakeholder in the Australian Rain Corporation, Matt Handbury, is a nephew of Rupert Murdoch. Turnbull has refused to answer questions regarding Matt Handbury's contribution to the Wentworth Forum, the main fund-raising organisation for Turnbull's 2007 election campaign [23].

In 2007, Turnbull promised that his government, if elected, would grant same-sex couples death benefits in Commonwealth superannuation schemes, a similar promise to which was made three years prior during the 2004 Federal election campaign.[24]

Opposition

Turnbull retained his seat at the 2007 election gaining a two-party 1.3 per cent swing in Wentworth,[25] despite a 5.6 per cent swing away from the coalition in the state, and a 5.4 per cent swing nationwide.[26]

Following the defeat of John Howard in his seat of Bennelong and the announcement on 25 November by the then-deputy leader Peter Costello would not be a Liberal Party leadership candidate, Turnbull announced later the same day that he would contest the Liberal leadership. There was widespread speculation that Turnbull would be the new Opposition Leader,[27] but he was defeated by Brendan Nelson in a 45 to 42 vote. Nelson in turn appointed him Shadow Treasurer.[28] Shortly afterwards, fellow Opposition front bencher Nick Minchin suggested that Turnbull's failure to consult with party colleagues before declaring his opinion to the media on such issues as an apology to the Stolen Generations cost him the leadership.[29] This led to a disagreement between the two and culminated in Minchin privately telling Turnbull that he was "too f***ing sensitive".[30]

In May 2008, Turnbull attacked the 2008 Australian federal budget, concerned by increased taxes on luxury cars and certain alcoholic drinks, citing possible increased inflation.[31]

On 16 September 2008, following a second vote for the Liberal leadership, Turnbull was voted in as the parliamentary leader of the Liberal Party by a margin of 45 votes to 41 over Brendan Nelson.[3]

In January 2009, Turnbull appointed former Alexander Downer staffer and The Advertiser journalist Chris Kenny as his chief of staff.[32]

In May 2009, Turnbull attacked the 2009 Australian federal budget, in particular the means testing of the private health insurance rebate.[33]

On 19 June 2009 Treasury official Godwin Grech alleged that a car dealer with links to the Labor Party had received preferential treatment under the Ozcar program, sparking the so-called 'OzCar affair'. That day Turbull stated that Prime Minister Rudd and Treasurer Wayne Swan had "used their offices and taxpayers' resources to seek advantage for one of their mates and then lied about it to the Parliament" and that they needed to explain their actions or resign.[34] On 22 June the email Grech had provided to the Liberal Party to support this allegation was found to have been faked by Grech, something he later admitted,[35] and an Australian National Audit Office inquiry cleared both Rudd and Swan of any wrongdoing on 4 August.[36] Turnbull's handing of the OzCar affair led to a large decline in his and the Liberal Party's approval ratings in opinion polls.[37][38][39 ]

In November 2009 a party room meeting was held to discuss the Rudd Government's proposed Emissions Trading Scheme legislation. Turnbull instructed the party to support the bill despite significant disagreement among his colleagues.[40] In response, MPs Wilson Tuckey and Dennis Jensen moved a motion the next day to hold a vote on the party's leadership, but it was defeated by 48 votes to 35.[41] Many front bench Liberals resigned from shadow cabinet over the issue, including Tony Abbott.[4]

Soon after on 1 December 2009, another leadership spill motion was moved, this time successfully. A vote was held and Abbott was elected leader of the party, defeating Turnbull 42–41.[42] Turnbull stated his intention to serve the full term as member for Wentworth.[43]

Writing

Turnbull has written several books in relation to his contributions to the Republican debate, as well as his experiences during the Spycatcher trial. Notable examples of his writings include: "The Spycatcher Trial" (1988); "The Reluctant Republic" (1993; foreword by Robert Hughes, his wife's uncle); and "Fighting for the Republic: the Ultimate Insider's Account" (1999).

In 1994 a portrait of Malcolm Turnbull by artist Bill Leak won the People's choice award at the Archibald Prize.

Family

One of Turnbull's ancestors was colonist John Turnbull, who emigrated to New South Wales from Scotland in frigate Coromandel in 1802. John Turnbull became a Hawkesbury Settler, the farmers of the region demonstrating strong support for the then deposed Governor Bligh during the Rum Rebellion. John Turnbull, disgusted with the rebel regime, named his youngest son William Bligh Turnbull in honor of the deposed Governor. This tradition continues down to the present day.[44]

Turnbull is married, with two children (his son has the middle name Bligh in a continuance of the family tradition), and lives in Sydney. His wife, Lucy Turnbull, née Hughes, is a prominent businesswoman and a former Lord Mayor of Sydney. Lucy Turnbull's father is Tom Hughes, former Liberal Party MP and Attorney-General of Australia.

Although Turnbull is a convert to Roman Catholicism, he has found himself at odds with the Church's teaching on abortion and stem cell research. Turnbull supported legislation relaxing restrictions on abortion pill RU486 and he also voted for the legalisation of Somatic Cell Nuclear Transfer (therapeutic cloning). He did so despite the vocal public opposition to both proposals by Cardinal George Pell, Archbishop of Sydney.

References

  1. ^ "2007 Election guide to Bradfield". Australian Broadcasting Corporation. 29 December 2007. http://www.abc.net.au/elections/federal/2007/guide/went.htm. Retrieved 2009-06-02.  
  2. ^ "Passage to wild colonial days: The Hawkesbury has rich links to our nation's pioneers" (Escape, p34), John Rozentals in the Sunday Telegraph, 16 August 2009, noting 'Bligh' comes from great-great-great-grandfather John Turnbull who has "so incensed by the treatment of governor William Bligh during the Rum Rebellion that he named one of his sons William Bligh Turnbull in his honour. It's a tradition that has continued right down to..." Malcolm Bligh Turnbull.
  3. ^ a b http://www.news.com.au/story/0,23599,24353392-421,00.html
  4. ^ a b Senior Liberals desert Turnbull
  5. ^ NSW Registry of Births Deaths and Marriages registration number 21952/1955
  6. ^ New York Times obituary
  7. ^ a b Ackland, Richard (17 October 2003). "A sureness that weakens Turnbull's case". The Sydney Morning Herald. http://www.smh.com.au/articles/2003/10/16/1065917548326.html?from=storyrhs. Retrieved 2007-09-10.  
  8. ^ Lee, Sandra (3 December 2006). "A leader in waiting?". The Daily Telegraph. http://www.news.com.au/dailytelegraph/story/0,22049,20853389-5001031,00.html. Retrieved 2007-09-11.  
  9. ^ "Turnbull battles for Wentworth". The 7.30 Report (ABC TV). 8 November 2006. http://www.abc.net.au/7.30/content/2007/s2085244.htm. Retrieved 2007-11-09.  
  10. ^ Team Kevin rattled as Malcolm eyes the middle
  11. ^ Ferguson, Sarah (25 August 2008). "My Brilliant Career". Four Corners. http://www.abc.net.au/4corners/content/2008/s2346015.htm. Retrieved 2008-09-10.  
  12. ^ "A Former Logger Becomes Australian Federal Opposition Leader", Solomon Times, September 21, 2008
  13. ^ "Turnbull's logging background raises questions", ABC Radio Australia, September 26, 2008
  14. ^ Rich-kid taunts about Malcolm Turnbull may backfire on Labor Party | The Australian
  15. ^ The politics of envy and the actions of greed: Livenews 24/9/2008
  16. ^ BRW doesn't know my wealth: Turnbull - The Australian 27/5/2009
  17. ^ Malcolm Turnbull joins the Australian National Flag Association
  18. ^ Turnbull fights HIH liquidator claims: ABC Lateline 22/02/2006
  19. ^ "Candidate electoral return for the election held on 9 October 2004" (pdf). Australian Electoral Commission. 2004. http://fader.aec.gov.au/return/12246/FAD03/729.pdf. Retrieved 2007-08-28.  
  20. ^ "Turnbull approves Tasmanian pulp mill". The Age. 4 October 2007. http://www.theage.com.au/news/national/green-light-for-pulp-mill/2007/10/04/1191091238327.html. Retrieved 2007-11-19.  
  21. ^ Why the proposed Tamar Valley pulp mill would be a disaster
  22. ^ "Turnbull defends using travel allowance to pay rent at wife's house". Australian Broadcasting Corporation. 25 February 2007. http://www.abc.net.au/news/newsitems/200702/s1856270.htm. Retrieved 2007-08-28.  
  23. ^ a b "Turnbull pumps $10m into rainmaking gamble". ABC. 20 November 2007. http://www.abc.net.au/news/stories/2007/11/20/2095678.htm. Retrieved 2007-11-21.  
  24. ^ "Gay activists remind parties of promises". The Age. 9 November 2007. http://www.theage.com.au/news/federal-election-2007-news/gay-activists-remind-parties-of-promises/2007/11/08/1194329414759.html. Retrieved 2007-11-09.  
  25. ^ Wentworth Election Results
  26. ^ Two Part Preferred by State
  27. ^ "Media gather at Turnbull's residence". The Age. 25 November 2007. http://www.theage.com.au/news/National/Media-gather-at-Turnbulls-residence/2007/11/25/1195947546091.html. Retrieved 2007-11-25.  
  28. ^ Nelson wins Lib leadership, The Age, 29 November 2007.
  29. ^ Turnbull criticises Minchin for gibe
  30. ^ Minchin used f-word in Turnbull stoush
  31. ^ "Turnbull accuses Swan of 'voodoo economics'". ABC News (ABC). 14 May 2008. http://www.abc.net.au/news/stories/2008/05/14/2244944.htm?section=justin. Retrieved 2008-05-14.  
  32. ^ Turnbull appoints new right-hand man: The Advertiser 7/1/2008
  33. ^ Turnbull responds to budget: SMH 15/5/2009
  34. ^ "PM refers OzCar allegations to inquiry". AM (Australian Broadcasting Corporation). 20 June 2009. http://www.abc.net.au/am/content/2009/s2603723.htm. Retrieved 25 November 2009.  
  35. ^ "Grech 'wrote fake email'". The Age. 4 August 2009. http://www.theage.com.au/national/grech-wrote-fake-email-20090804-e7fm.html. Retrieved 25 November 2009.  
  36. ^ Saulwick, Jacob (4 August 2009). "Rudd, Swan cleared over OzCar scandal". The Sydney Morning Herald. http://www.smh.com.au/national/rudd-swan-cleared-over-ozcar-scandal-20090804-e7tk.html. Retrieved 25 November 2009.  
  37. ^ Malcolm Turnbull and Utegate | Liberal Party
  38. ^ Support for Turnbull plunges
  39. ^ "Turnbull smashed by polling". The Australian. 2009-06-29. http://www.theaustralian.news.com.au/story/0,25197,25704929-601,00.html. Retrieved 2009-06-29.  
  40. ^ Malcolm Turnbull sharpens the knife
  41. ^ Coorey, Phillip (25 November 2009). "Three quit as Turnbull survives". The Sydney Morning Herald. http://www.smh.com.au/national/three-quit-as-turnbull-survives-20091125-jp30.html?autostart=1. Retrieved 25 November 2009.  
  42. ^ Shock win for Abbott in leadership vote, Australian Broadcasting Corporation, 1 December 2009.
  43. ^ Nine Morning News, 1 December 2009.
  44. ^ Captain Bligh's Other Mutiny. Sydney: Random House Australia. 2007. p. 84–85. ISBN 9781741667981.  

External links

Parliament of Australia
Preceded by
Peter King
Member for Wentworth
2004–present
Incumbent
Political offices
Preceded by
Ian Campbell
as Minister for the Environment and Heritage
Minister for the Environment and Water Resources
2007
Succeeded by
Peter Garrett
as Minister for the Environment, Heritage and the Arts
Succeeded by
Penny Wong
as Minister for Climate Change and Water
Preceded by
Brendan Nelson
Leader of the Opposition of Australia
2008–2009
Succeeded by
Tony Abbott
Party political offices
Preceded by
Brendan Nelson
Leader of the Liberal Party of Australia
2008–2009
Succeeded by
Tony Abbott

Simple English

The Honourable
 Malcolm Turnbull
 MP

In office
16 September 2008 – 1 December 2009
Deputy Julie Bishop
Preceded by Brendan Nelson
Succeeded by Tony Abbott

20th Minister for the Environment and Water Resources
In office
23 January 2007 – 3 December 2007
Preceded by Ian Campbell
Succeeded by Peter Garrett & Penny Wong

Member of the Australian Parliament
for Wentworth
Incumbent
Assumed office 
9 October 2004
Preceded by Peter King
Majority 3.85%[1]

Born 24 October 1954 (1954-10-24) (age 56)
Sydney
Political party Liberal Party of Australia
Spouse Lucy Turnbull née Hughes
Children Alexander and Daisy
Religion Roman Catholic
Website MalcolmTurnbull.com.au

Malcolm Bligh Turnbull[2] (born 24 October 1954) is an Australian politician, the former Leader of the Opposition in the Australian Parliament, and former leader of the Liberal Party, succeeding Brendan Nelson on 16 September 2008.

He lost the leadership positions on December 1, 2009, by one vote to Tony Abbott. Turnbull had agreed to allow the government's emissions trading scheme (ETS) to pass through the parliament. This was opposed by many people in the Liberal Party who argued that an ETS was unnecessary.[3] Other people in the party thought an ETS would harm Australia's coal exports. Others in the party did not like the way that Turnbull managed the arguments within his party.

References

  1. "2007 Election guide to Bradfield". Australian Broadcasting Corporation. 2007-12-29. http://www.abc.net.au/elections/federal/2007/guide/went.htm. Retrieved 2009-06-02. 
  2. "Passage to wild colonial days: The Hawkesbury has rich links to our nation's pioneers" (Escape, p34), John Rozentals in the Sunday Telegraph, 2009-08-16, noting 'Bligh' comes from great-great-great-grandfather John Turnbull who has "so incensed by the treatment of governor William Bligh during the Rum Rebellion that he named one of his sons William Bligh Turnbull in his honour. It's a tradition that has continued right down to..." Malcolm Bligh Turnbull.
  3. Davis, Mark (November 30, 2009). "Turnbull swings at Lib "wreckers"" (in English). The Age. pp. 4. 


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