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SINCLAIR, the Rt Hon. Ian McCahonBiography for SINCLAIR, the Rt Hon. Ian McCahon

Member for New England (NSW) 1963-98

National Party of Australia

Parliamentary Service

State: Elected to the New South Wales Legislative Council 16.3.61. Term commenced 23.4.61. Resigned 24.10.63.

Federal: Elected to the House of Representatives for New England, New South Wales, 1963, 1966, 1969, 1972, 1974, 1975, 1977, 1980, 1983, 1984, 1987, 1990, 1993 and 1996. Retired prior to general elections 1998.

Parliamentary Positions

Speaker of the House of Representatives from 4.3.98 to 31.8.98.

Ministerial Appointments

Minister for Social Services from 22.2.65 to 28.2.68.

Minister assisting the Minister for Trade and Industry from 14.12.66 to 5.2.71.

Minister for Shipping and Transport from 28.2.68 to 5.2.71.

Minister for Primary Industry from 5.2.71 to 5.12.72.

Minister for Agriculture from 12.11.75 to 22.12.75.

Minister for Northern Territory 12.11.75 to 22.12.75.

Minister for Primary Industry from 22.12.75 to 27.9.79.

Minister for Special Trade Representations from 19.8.80 to 3.11.80.

Minister for Communications from 3.11.80 to 7.5.82.

Minister for Defence from 7.5.82 to 11.3.83.

Committee Service

House of Representatives Standing: Standing Orders from 18.7.74 to 12.11.74; from 3.3.76 to 27.9.79; from 19.8.80 to 7.5.82 and from 11.5.83 to 26.10.84; Privileges from 4.12.80 to 7.5.82; Legal and Constitutional Affairs from 16.5.90 to 10.3.98; House from 4.3.98 to 31.8.98.

House of Representatives Select: Print Media from 22.8.91 to 25.3.92.

Joint Statutory: National Crime Authority from 15.11.90 to 8.2.93; Corporations and Securities from 12.5.93 to 10.3.98; Broadcasting of Parliamentary Proceedings from 4.3.98 (Chair from 4.3.98) to 31.8.98.

Joint: Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade from 17.5.90 (Chair from 4.6.96) to 25.3.98; Migration Regulations from 17.5.90 to 8.2.93; Migration from 26.5.93 to 10.3.98.

Member, Mr Speaker's Committee on Parliament House Accommodation.

Conferences, Delegations and Visits

Leader, Parliamentary Delegation to South-East Asia, June-July 1966.

Leader, Australian Delegation, Commonwealth Sugar Conference, June-July 1967.

Represented Australian Government, UNCTAD Conference, New Delhi, February 1968.

Leader, Australian Delegation, Korean- Australian Economic Consultations, Seoul, December 1968; Canberra, September 1969; Seoul, December 1970.

Leader, Australian Delegation, Sino-Australian Trade Consultations, Taipei, December 1968; Canberra 1970.

Visited Japan for discussions on shipping matters, December 1968.

Leader, Australian Delegation, OECD Ministerial Council Meeting, Paris, February 1969.

Represented Australian Government at the funeral of President Zakim Hussein of India, May 1969.

Visited Japan to discuss shipping matters and to represent the Australian Government at the launchings of the Australian Enterprise, May 1969; and the Matthew Flinders, March-April 1970.

Represented Australian Government at the 4th New Zealand International Trade Fair, Auckland, August 1969.

Leader, Australian Delegation to Trade Talks with the Norwegian Trade Mission, Canberra, March 1970.

Visited German Federal Republic and the United Kingdom for discussions on shipping matters, April-May 1970.

Leader, Australian Delegations to South Pacific Conference, Suva, September 1970; trade discussions in Hong Kong and Taiwan, December 1970.

Leader, Australian Delegation to ECAFE Conference, Manila, April 1971.

Visited New Zealand for discussions on agricultural matters, July 1971.

Visited Japan, United Kingdom and several European countries for discussions on wool, November 1971.

Leader, Australian Delegation to 16th Session of FAO, November 1971. Chair of Conference.

Leader, Australian Delegation, 25th Anniversary, International Council for European Migration, Geneva, November 1971.

Visited Egypt for discussion on wheat, December 1971.

Visited Japan for discussions on agricultural exports, June 1972.

Leader, Australian Delegation to 7th Ministerial Meeting of ASPAC, Seoul, June 1972.

Member, Commonwealth Parliamentary Delegations to the Australian Constitutional Conventions, Sydney, September 1973, Hobart, October 1976, Perth, July 1978, Adelaide, April 1983 and Brisbane, July 1985.

Official visits to Canada and Europe, June 1976.

Attended the World Food Conference, Rome, June 1976; Australia-Japan Ministerial Conference, Japan, January 1977.

Official visit to Indonesia, March 1977.

Attended meeting of Asian Development Bank, Vienna, April 1978, and IMF meeting, Mexico City, April-May 1978.

Official visits to USA, October 1978; New Zealand, January 1979; and Canada, USA, UK and Thailand, January-February 1981.

Member, Parliamentary Delegation to USSR, Mongolia and Japan, September-October 1990.

Member, Parliamentary Delegation to Hong Kong, Singapore and Indonesia, January-February 1991.

Member, Joint Committee on Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade visit to Papua New Guinea, February-March 1991.

Member, Joint Committee on Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade study tour of Indonesia, October 1992.

Member, Parliamentary Delegation to the European Institutions, Strasbourg, Belgium and Luxembourg, September-October 1993.

Member, Joint Committee on Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade (Foreign Affairs Sub-Committee) visit to Thailand and Laos, November-December 1994.

Member, Parliamentary Delegation to Germany, Belgium, UK, France, Netherlands, Denmark, Sweden and Austria, September 1995.

Member, Official Delegation to 35th South Pacific Conference, Noumea, and bilateral visit to Fiji, October-November 1995.

Attended meeting of the World Solar Commission and the World Solar Summit, Harare, Zimbabwe, September 1996.

Member, Parliamentary Delegation to 96th IPU Conference, Beijing, China, and bilateral visits to Vietnam and the Philippines, September-October 1996; 97th IPU Conference, Seoul, and bilateral visit to Japan, April 1997; 98th IPU Conference, Cairo, and bilateral visit to Kuwait, September 1997.

Official visit to Macau, April 1997.

Leader, Bilateral visit to Syria, Lebanon, Jordan and Israel, June 1998.

Parliamentary Party Positions

Deputy Leader, Federal Parliamentary National Party of Australia (formerly National Country Party) from 2.2.71 to 17.1.84.

Leader of the House from 22.12.75 to 27.9.79 and from 19.8.80 to 7.5.82.

Leader, Federal Parliamentary National Party of Australia from 17.1.84 to 9.5.89.

Member, Opposition Shadow Ministry from 14.6.74 to 11.11.75; from 16.3.83 to 28.4.87; from 14.8.87 to 12.5.89 and from 17.1.94 to 26.5.94. Shadow Minister for Primary Industry and Opposition Leader of the House from 14.6.74 to 11.11.75; Shadow Minister for Defence from 16.3.83 to 21.4.87; Trade from 21.4.87 to 28.4.87; Trade and Resources from 14.8.87 to 12.5.89; Shadow Special Minister of State from 17.1.94 to 26.5.94.

Opposition Leader of the House from 16.3.83 to 28.4.87.

Spokesman for the National Party on Foreign Relations, Defence and Legal Matters from 30.4.87 to 6.8.87.


Born 10.6.29 at Sydney, NSW.


Qualifications and Occupation before entering Federal Parliament

BA, LLB (Syd), HonDUniv (UNE).

Grazier and barrister.

Member, Legislative Council, New South Wales (see Parliamentary Service above).

Other Positions

Appointed a Member of Her Majesty's Privy Council, January 1977.

Chairman, Australian Constitutional Convention, February 1998.

Military Service

Pilot, No 22 City of Sydney (F) Squadron, Citizens' Air Force 1948-52.


Description: Rural.

Location: Northern New South Wales highlands; it includes the centres of Armidale, Glen Innes, Guyra, Inverell, Tamworth, Tenterfield, Uralla and Walcha.

Area: 38 712 sq km (approx.).

Electors enrolled: 73 847 (at 5.2.96).

Industries: Wool, beef cattle, wheat, oats, maize, grain processing, forestry, dairying, fruit, vegetables, honey, tobacco, lucerne, tin mining, trout hatchery, tourism, boot manufacturing, tannery, gemstones, rubber, brickworks, concrete, plaster works.

State electorates: New England includes parts of the New South Wales Legislative Assembly electorates of Barwon, Clarence, Northern Tablelands, Oxley and Tamworth.