Former Senator the Hon. Richard Alston

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Former Senator

Party
Liberal Party of Australia
Chamber
Senate

Biography

Parliamentary service
  • Chosen by the Parliament of Victoria on 7.5.1986 under section 15 of the Constitution to represent that State in the Senate, vice A Missen (deceased). Elected 1987 (term deemed to have begun 1.7.1987), 1990, 1996 and 2001. Resigned 10.2.2004.
Ministerial appointments
  • Minister for Communications and the Arts from 11.3.96 to 25.9.97.
  • Minister for Communications, the Information Economy and the Arts from 25.9.97 to 21.10.98.
  • Minister for Communications, Information Technology and the Arts from 21.10.98 to 7.10.03.
Committee service
  • Senate Legislative and General Purpose Standing: Constitutional and Legal Affairs from 3.6.86 to 5.6.87; Legal and Constitutional Affairs from 24.9.87 to 24.8.90; Finance and Public Administration from 24.9.87 to 17.9.90.
  • Participating member, Environment, Recreation and the Arts: Legislation Committee from 17.10.94 to 29.4.96.
  • Senate Select: Superannuation from 20.6.91 to 30.6.93; Subscription Television Broadcasting Services from 26.6.92 to 16.9.92; Functions, Powers and Operation of the Australian Loan Council from 5.11.92 to 18.8.93; Matters Arising from Pay Television Tendering Processes from 27.5.93 to 16.12.93; Certain Aspects of Foreign Ownership Decisions in relation to the Print Media from 14.12.93 (Chair from 15.12.93) to 30.3.95; Australian Broadcasting Corporation Management and Operations from 22.9.94 (Chair from 13.10.94) to 30.3.95.
  • Senate Estimates: A from 21.8.86 to 6.9.89; C from 21.2.91 to 20.8.92.
  • Joint Statutory: National Crime Authority from 9.10.87 to 19.2.90; Broadcasting of Parliamentary Proceedings from 27.10.89 to 19.2.90.
  • Joint Select: Corporations Legislation from 20.10.88 to 13.4.89.
Conferences, delegations and visits
  • Member, Parliamentary Delegation to India and Sri Lanka, November 1986.
  • Member, 77th IPU Conference, Managua, Nicaragua, April-May 1987.
  • Official visits to New Zealand, June-July 1996; USA and Canada, July-August 1996; India, October-November 1996; UK and USA, January 1997; Japan, USA, UK, Ireland and Malaysia, July-August 1997; Indonesia and Republic of Korea, November-December 1997; USA, February 1998; Singapore and Malaysia, May-June 1998; South Africa, UK, Switzerland and Italy, January-February 1999; Hong Kong, March 1999; USA, May-June 1999; South Africa, June 1999; Israel, Russia, Finland, Sweden and Germany, July 1999; USA and UK, November 1999; Argentina, Uruguay, Chile, Brazil and Mexico, May 2000; Israel and UK, November 2000; India and China, December 2000; United Arab Emirates, Turkey, Saudi Arabia and Egypt, April-May 2001; USA and Canada, January 2002; Republic of Korea, China and Japan, May-June 2002; UK, France, Sweden, Denmark, Iceland and USA, September-October 2002; Belgium, Germany and Hungary, March 2003.
Parliamentary party positions
  • Deputy Leader of the Opposition in the Senate from 23.3.93 to 11.3.96.
  • Deputy Leader of the Government in the Senate from 11.3.96 to 7.10.03.
  • Member, Opposition Shadow Ministry from 12.5.89 to 11.3.96. Shadow Minister for Communications from 12.5.89 to 11.4.90; Social Security, Child Care and Retirement Incomes from 11.4.90 to 28.4.92; Social Security, Child Care and Superannuation from 28.4.92 to 23.5.92; Superannuation and Child Care from 23.5.92 to 7.4.93; Communications from 7.4.93 to 26.5.94; Communications and the Arts from 26.5.94 to 11.3.96.
  • Shadow Minister Assisting the Leader of the Opposition on Social Policy from 11.4.90 to 28.4.92.
Party positions
  • President, Liberal Party (Vic) 1979-82.
  • Member, Liberal Party Federal Executive 1979-82.
  • Member, Liberal Party State Executive (Vic) 1977-80.
  • Member, Liberal Party Administrative Committee 1980-85.
  • Member, Liberal Party Policy Assembly from 1982.
  • Chair, Liberal Party State Finance Committee 1979-82.
  • Chair, Liberal Party Constitutional Committee 1977-79 and 1982-87.
  • Member, Liberal Speakers Group from 1972.
Personal
  • Born 19.12.1941, Perth, WA.
  • Married.
Qualifications and occupation before entering Federal Parliament
  • LLB, BA, BComm (Melb), LLM, MBA (Monash).
  • Barrister.
  • President, United Nations Association of Australia 1977-79.
  • Chair, Australian Council for Overseas Aid 1978-83.
  • National Chair, International Disaster Emergencies Committee 1978-80.
  • Member, Executive Committee, International Council of Voluntary Agencies 1983-84.
  • Chair and Director, Australian Institute of Political Science (Vic) 1983-88.
  • Chair, Afghan-Australia Council 1987-90.