Speeches First speech Recent speech Browse all speeches (Hansard) Biography Parliamentary service Elected to the Senate for Queensland 1998 (term began 1.7.1999), 2004 and 2010. Retired prior to general elections 2016 (term ended 9.5.2016). Ministerial appointments Minister for Human Services from 3.12.07 to 9.6.09.Special Minister of State from 9.6.09 to 14.9.10.Cabinet Secretary from 9.6.09 to 14.9.10.Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry from 14.9.10 to 1.7.13.Minister Assisting the Attorney-General on Queensland Floods Recovery from 26.1.11 to 1.7.13. Committee service Senate Legislative and General Purpose Standing: Legal and Constitutional: References Committee from 9.8.99 to 1.7.02, 4.12.03 to 1.3.04, 1.7.05 to 11.9.06 and from 12.11.13 to 9.5.16 and Legislation Committee from 1.7.02 to 11.5.05; Legal and Constitutional Affairs from 11.9.06 to 11.2.08; Finance and Public Administration: References Committee from 1.3.04 to 15.11.04 and 1.7.14 to 9.5.16 and Legislation Committee from 12.2.15 to 12.11.15; Education and Employment: References from 12.11.15 to 9.5.16.Senate Standing: Publications from 9.8.99 to 4.10.00; Regulations and Ordinances from 9.8.99 to 1.7.02; Selection of Bills from 17.8.00 to 11.2.02 and from 1.7.02 to 8.2.12; Procedure from 13.2.02 to 15.11.04, from 7.9.05 to 11.12.05 and from 14.5.08 to 7.2.12; Library from 1.7.02 to 15.11.04; Scrutiny of Bills from 12.11.15 to 9.5.16.Senate Select: Ministerial Discretion in Migration Matters from 23.6.03 to 31.3.04; Certain Aspects of Queensland Government Administration related to Commonwealth Government Affairs from 1.10.14 to 27.3.15; Uncoventional Gas Mining from 12.11.14 to 9.5.16; Establishment of a National Integrity Commission from 25.2.16 to 9.5.16.Joint Statutory: Australian Crime Commission from 1.7.05 to 27.3.07; Intelligence and Security from 12.12.13 to 16.7.14.Joint Standing: Treaties from 9.8.99 to 1.7.02 and from 4.12.13 to 9.5.16; Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade from 1.7.14 to 9.5.16.Joint Select: Trade and Investment Growth from 18.4.16 to 9.5.16. Parliamentary party positions Deputy Opposition Whip in the Senate from 17.8.00 to 22.11.01.Manager of Opposition Business in the Senate from 12.2.02 to 17.10.07.Manager of Government Business in the Senate from 12.2.08 to 14.12.11.Parliamentary Secretary to the Shadow Attorney-General from 25.11.01; and Parliamentary Secretary to the Shadow Minister for Homeland Security from 8.12.03 to 26.10.04.Member, Opposition Shadow Ministry from 22.10.04 to 3.12.07. Shadow Minister for Justice and Customs from 26.10.04 to 9.3.07; Citizenship and Multicultural Affairs from 26.10.04 to 24.6.05; Shadow Attorney-General from 9.3.07 to 3.12.07. Party positions Member, ALP from 1978.Convener, ALP Economic and Industrial Relations Committee 1993-96; Convener, Employment, Training and Industrial Relations Committee 1996-99.Member, ALP Rules Committee 1998-2005. Personal Born 21.7.1959, Longreach, Qld.Married. Qualifications and occupation before entering Federal Parliament BA (Qld), LLB (Qld University of Technology).GradDipLegalPrac (ANU).Management and Industrial Relations Certificate (Kangaroo Point TAFE).Barrister.Cadet Industrial Inspector 1978-80; Assistant Industrial Inspector 1980-82; Industrial Inspector 1982-88.Training consultant 1988.Industrial Advocate, Australian Workers' Union (Qld) 1988-93; Senior Industrial Advocate 1993-99.Justice of the Peace from 1997. Military Service 49 Royal Queensland Regiment (Reserve).2nd Lieutenant 5/11 Field Regiment Royal Australian Artillery (Reserve).Queensland University Regiment (Reserve).