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Michael Egan (Australian politician)

Michael Egan
Chancellor of Macquarie University
In office
February 2008 – February 2019
Preceded byMaurice Newman
Succeeded byMartin Parkinson
Treasurer of New South Wales
In office
3 April 1995 – 21 January 2005
PremierBob Carr
Preceded byPeter Collins
Succeeded byAndrew Refshauge
Leader of the Government in the
Legislative Council
In office
3 April 1995 – 21 January 2005
PremierBob Carr
Preceded byJohn Hannaford
Succeeded byJohn Della Bosca
Vice-President of the Executive Council
In office
3 April 1995 – 21 January 2005
PremierBob Carr
Preceded byJohn Hannaford
Succeeded byJohn Della Bosca
Member of the
New South Wales Legislative Council
In office
24 September 1986 – 8 February 2005
Preceded byBarrie Unsworth
Succeeded byGreg Donnelly
Member of the New South Wales Legislative Assembly
for Cronulla
In office
7 October 1978 – 5 March 1984
Preceded byIan Griffith
Succeeded byMalcolm Kerr
Personal details
Born
Michael Rueben Egan

(1948-02-21)21 February 1948
Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
Died31 January 2024(2024-01-31) (aged 75)
Political partyLabor Party
Alma materUniversity of Sydney

Michael Rueben Egan AO (21 February 1948 – 31 January 2024) was an Australian union official and politician, who served as Treasurer of New South Wales between 1995 and 2005.[1] Egan served as the Chancellor of Macquarie University from 2008 until 2019 and sat on a number of government and non-government advisory boards.

Early years and background

Born in Sydney, Egan was educated at St Patrick's Catholic College, Sutherland and obtained his Bachelor of Arts from The University of Sydney. He worked in the Australasian Meat Industry Employees Union as a Federal Research Officer (1969–1973) and was an Advisor to Les Johnson as Federal Minister for Housing and Construction and Federal Minister for Aboriginal Affairs (1973–1975).

Egan served as an Officer of the NSW State Pollution Control Commission (1976–1978). Subsequently, he was employed as a Senior Policy Advisor to Barrie Unsworth, initially when the latter was Minister for Transport and Minister for Health, and then when Unsworth was Premier of NSW (1984–1986).[2]

Egan died on 31 January 2024, at the age of 75.[1][3]

Political career

Egan was elected to the New South Wales Legislative Assembly on 7 October 1978, representing the seat of Cronulla.[4] Although re-elected on 19 August 1981,[5] he was defeated in the election held on 5 March 1984.[6] He successfully ran for election to the New South Wales Legislative Council on 24 September 1986.[7] It was not until the Bob Carr-led Labor Party took power on 3 April 1995 that he became State Treasurer, Minister for Energy, and Minister for State Development. In a Ministerial reshuffle in November 1997, Bob Debus took over the Energy portfolio. Egan was also Minister for Gaming and Racing for one month during 2003 replacing Richard Face and succeeded by Grant McBride. Egan was eventually to become the longest serving Treasurer in New South Wales.[2]

In the few years before he became Treasurer when Labor was in Opposition, Egan had been the Shadow Finance Minister. Even though then Opposition Leader Bob Carr was Shadow Treasurer, Egan became the informal Opposition counterpart to Liberal Treasurer Peter Collins when Collins was appointed Treasurer in 1993. It was Egan, not Carr, who debated Collins on economic matters in media appearances. Egan in effect, if not in name, acted as the real Shadow Treasurer. It was because of Egan's solid performance against Treasurer Collins that Carr, upon becoming Premier in 1995 with the ALP's victory at the State election, broke with convention in not appointing the Shadow Treasurer just prior to the election (which was Carr himself) as Treasurer and appointed Egan instead.

Another break in convention with Egan's appointment as Treasurer is that he was a member of the Upper House, the New South Wales Legislative Council as previous Treasurers had been from the Lower House, the Legislative Assembly.[8] However, since all money bills had to be introduced first in the Lower House, the Legislative Assembly, Egan delivered the State Budgets of 1995 to 2004 in the Legislative Assembly despite not being a member of that house of Parliament.

Announcing his resignation on 18 January 2005, Egan stated that, "after 35 years of political combat, I think it's time for me to move on."[9][10]

He retired just months short of what would have been his tenth anniversary as Treasurer.[11]

Career after politics

Appointed a member of the Council of Macquarie University in 2006, Egan was appointed Chancellor in February 2008 and held this position until February 2019.[12] Other community roles include Chairman of the Australia Day Council of New South Wales since 2006, Chairman of the Centenary Institute of Cancer Medicine and Cell Biology since 2005, a Governor of the Woolcock Institute of Medical Research since 2005, and a Director of the Maritime Services Board of New South Wales between 1984 and 1986.[2]

In May 2008 Egan was appointed Chairman of Terria, and in 2009, he was appointed the Chair of the Australian Fisheries Management Authority Commission.

During the 2015 New South Wales state election Egan supported the privatisation stance of the Liberal government and slammed the Labor Party on its anti privatisation position.[13]

References

  1. ^ a b Smith, Alexandra (1 February 2024). "Michael Egan, NSW's longest-serving treasurer, dies aged 75". The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 1 February 2024. Egan, who died on Wednesday night after a long illness...
  2. ^ a b c "The Hon. Michael Rueben Egan". Former members of the Parliament of New South Wales. Retrieved 30 April 2019.
  3. ^ "NSW's longest-serving treasurer Michael Egan dies aged 75". ABC News. 1 February 2024. Retrieved 1 February 2024.
  4. ^ Green, Antony. "1978 Cronulla". New South Wales Election Results 1856-2007. Parliament of New South Wales. Retrieved 22 March 2022.
  5. ^ Green, Antony. "1981 Cronulla". New South Wales Election Results 1856-2007. Parliament of New South Wales. Retrieved 22 March 2022.
  6. ^ Green, Antony. "1984 Cronulla". New South Wales Election Results 1856-2007. Parliament of New South Wales. Retrieved 22 March 2022.
  7. ^ Green, Antony. "Electing the Legislative Council 1978–1995" (PDF). ABC Election Archives.
  8. ^ Young, John (Autumn 2014). "How many ministers do Australian upper houses have?" (PDF). Australasian Parliamentary Review. 29 (1): 87. Retrieved 8 October 2021.
  9. ^ Colvin, Mark; Barlow, Karen (18 January 2005). "Michael Egan quits as NSW Treasurer" (transcript). PM (ABC Radio). Australia. Retrieved 5 October 2005.
  10. ^ "NSW Treasurer Michael Egan to quit politics". The Sydney Morning Herald. AAP. 18 January 2005. Retrieved 5 October 2005.
  11. ^ https://www.abc.net.au/news/2024-02-01/nsw-former-treasurer-michael-egan-dies/103412766
  12. ^ "Macquarie University's chancellor announces retirement" (Press release). Macquarie University. 10 September 2018. Retrieved 15 February 2021.
  13. ^ "Egan slams ALP's anti-privatisation stance". 9news.com.au. 28 March 2015. Retrieved 13 November 2016.
New South Wales Legislative Assembly Preceded byIan Griffith Member for Cronulla 1978–1984 Succeeded byMalcolm Kerr Preceded byBarrie Unsworth Member of the New South Wales Legislative Council 1986–2005 Succeeded byGreg Donnelly Political offices Preceded byJack Hallam Leader of the Opposition in the Legislative Council 1991–1995 Succeeded byJohn Hannaford Preceded byJohn Hannaford Leader of the Government in the Legislative Council 1995–2005 Succeeded byJohn Della Bosca Vice-President of the Executive Council 1995–2005 Preceded byPeter Collins Treasurer of New South Wales 1995–2005 Succeeded byAndrew Refshauge Preceded byTed Pickering Minister for Energy 1995–1997 Succeeded byBob Debus Preceded byJohn Faheyas Minister for Economic Development Minister for State Development 1995 Succeeded byHimself Preceded byCarl Scullyas Minister for Small Business and Regional Development Minister for State and Regional Development 1995–1997 Succeeded byHimselfas Minister for State Development Preceded byHimselfas Minister for State Development Succeeded byHarry Woodsas Minister for Regional Development Preceded byHimself Minister for State Development 1997–2005 Succeeded byAndrew Refshauge Preceded byRichard Face Minister for Gaming and Racing 2003–2005 Succeeded byGrant McBride Party political offices Preceded byJack Hallam Leader of the Labor Party in the Legislative Council 1991–2005 Succeeded byJohn Della Bosca Academic offices Preceded byMaurice Newman Chancellor of Macquarie University 2008–2019 Succeeded byMartin Parkinson
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Michael Egan (Australian politician)
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