Former Senator the Hon Helen Coonan

Former Senator

Party
Liberal Party of Australia
Chamber
Senate

Biography

Parliamentary service
  • Elected to the Senate for New South Wales, 1996 (term began 1.7.1996), 2001 and 2007. Resigned 22.8.2011.
Parliamentary appointments
  • Temporary Chair of Committees from 16.8.11 to 22.8.11.
Ministerial appointments
  • Minister for Revenue and Assistant Treasurer from 26.11.01 to 18.7.04.
  • Minister for Communications, Information Technology and the Arts from 18.7.04 to 3.12.07.
Committee service
  • Senate Standing: Privileges from 1.7.96 to 31.8.99; Scrutiny of Bills from 24.11.98 to 31.8.99 and from 13.10.08 (Chair from 15.10.08) to 1.7.11; Regulations and Ordinances from 22.9.97 to 27.1.98 and from 31.3.99 to 11.2.02 (Chair from 12.8.99 to 26.11.01); Selection of Bills from 24.11.98 to 11.2.02 and from 23.9.08 to 13.5.09; Procedure from 22.6.06 to 11.8.06.
  • Senate Legislative and General Purpose Standing: Community Affairs: Legislation Committee from 1.7.96 to 15.5.97 and References Committee from 22.8.96 to 15.5.97 and from 2.2.10 to 1.7.11; Environment, Recreation, Communications and the Arts: References Committee from 13.2.97 to 1.9.97; Legal and Constitutional: Legislation and References Committees from 26.2.97 to 11.2.02.
  • Senate Select: Socio-Economic Consequences of the National Competition Policy from 10.3.99 to 17.2.00.
  • Joint Statutory: Public Accounts from 7.5.97 to 1.1.98; Public Accounts and Audit from 1.1.98 to 11.2.02; Corporations and Financial Services from 1.7.08 to 13.10.08; Intelligence and Security from 5.12.08 to 25.6.09.
  • Joint Standing: Treaties from 26.2.97 to 11.2.02 and from 1.7.11 to 22.8.11.
  • Joint Select: Intelligence Services from 28.6.01 to 27.8.01.
Conferences, delegations and visits
  • Member, Parliamentary Delegation to Taiwan, 2000; New Zealand, March 2000.
  • Official visits to Fiji, July 2003; USA, January 2005; UK and Italy, April-May 2005; Peru, Chile, Brazil and Republic of Korea, May-June 2005; India, October 2005; USA, April-May 2006; Israel and UK, November 2006.
Parliamentary party positions
  • Deputy Government Whip in the Senate from 10.11.98 to 23.11.01.
  • Deputy Leader of the Government in the Senate from 27.1.06 to 3.12.07.
  • Member, Opposition Shadow Ministry from 6.12.07 to 8.12.09. Shadow Minister for Human Services from 6.12.07 to 22.9.08; Shadow Minister for Foreign Affairs from 22.9.08 to 16.2.09; Shadow Minister for Finance, Competition Policy and Deregulation from 16.2.09 to 8.12.09.
  • Manager of Opposition Business in the Senate from 22.9.08 to 16.2.09.
Party positions
  • Member, Liberal Party from 1990.
  • Executive Committee, Liberal Party Sydney City Branch 1991-92.
  • President, Liberal Party Watsons Bay Branch 1994-95; Vice-President 1995-96.
  • Delegate, Liberal Party Women's Council 1994-96.
  • Member, Liberal Party Women's Forum 1994-96.
Personal
  • Born 29.10.1947, Wagga Wagga, NSW.
  • Married.
Qualifications and occupation before entering Federal Parliament
  • BA, LLB (Syd).
  • Barrister and solicitor.
  • Attorney, New York.
  • Mediator.
Publications
  • Law of contract' in An annual survey of Australian law (with K Lindgren), Sydney: Law Book Company, 1987 and 1988.