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WATSON, John Odin WentworthBiography for WATSON, John Odin Wentworth

Senator for Tasmania 1978-2008

Liberal Party of Australia

Parliamentary Service

Elected to the Senate for Tasmania 1977 (term began 1.7.78), 1983, 1984, 1987, 1990, 1996 and 2001. Retired prior to general elections 2007 (term ended 30.6.2008).

Parliamentary Appointments

Member, Parliamentary Retiring Allowances Trust from 10.2.94 to 30.6.08.

Parliamentary Positions

Temporary Chair of Committees from 10.5.95 to 30.6.08.

Committee Service

Senate Standing: Disputed Returns and Qualifications from 22.8.78 to 4.2.83; Publications from 9.10.87 to 11.9.90 and from 18.11.04 to 14.9.06; Regulations and Ordinances from 1.7.05 to 11.2.08; Privileges from 10.9.07 to 11.2.08.

Senate Legislative and General Purpose Standing: National Resources from 26.11.80 to 4.2.83; Employment, Education and Training from 27.10.87 to 24.8.90; Education, Employment and Workplace Relations from 12.2.08; Finance and Public Administration from 17.9.90 to 10.10.94; Finance and Public Administration: References Committee from 10.10.94 to 9.11.98 and from 30.6.99 to 11.9.06 and Legislation Committee from 8.5.96 to 30.6.99; Finance and Public Administration from 11.9.06; Economics: Legislation Committee from 10.10.94 to 1.6.95 and from 8.5.96 to 11.9.06.

Senate Select: Superannuation from 20.6.91 (Chair from 1.7.93) to 9.11.98 and from 14.3.02 (Chair from 20.3.02) to 10.9.03; Superannuation and Financial Services from 29.9.99 (Chair from 30.9.99) to 11.2.02; Lindeberg Grievance from 1.4.04 to 16.11.04.

Senate Estimates: F from 20.9.78 to 1.4.80; A from 21.8.80 to 2.4.81 and from 9.5.90 to 24.8.90; D from 2.4.81 to 4.2.83, from 26.3.85 to 9.4.86 and from 24.3.88 to 17.5.88; E from 6.9.83 to 4.4.84; B from 31.3.87 to 29.4.87.

Joint Statutory: Public Accounts from 17.8.78 to 19.8.93 and from 29.5.96 to 1.1.98; Public Accounts and Audit from 1.1.98 to 30.6.08; Broadcasting of Parliamentary Proceedings from 4.5.83 to 5.6.87.

Joint Standing: National Capital and External Territories from 30.6.99 (Chair from 11.8.99) to 19.3.02.

Conferences, Delegations and Visits

Member, Parliamentary Exchange visits to New Zealand, July 1980 and March-April 1982.

Attended Independence celebrations of Vanuatu, July 1980.

Member, IPU Spring Meeting, Helsinki, April 1983.

Deputy Leader, Parliamentary Delegation to the 70th IPU Conference, Seoul, October 1983; 71st IPU Conference, Geneva, April 1984; 72nd IPU Conference, Geneva, September 1984; Member, Parliamentary Delegation to the 97th IPU Conference, Seoul, and bilateral visit to Japan, April 1997.

Deputy Leader, Parliamentary Delegation to Council of Europe, Strasbourg, October 1984.

Member, 33rd CPA Conference, Kuala Lumpur, August-September 1987.

Commonwealth Parliamentary visit, London, May 1988.

Member, Parliamentary Delegation to the USA, June-July 1993.

Member, Parliamentary Delegation to AIPO, Singapore and bilateral visit to Thailand, September 1995.

Leader, Parliamentary Delegation to European Parliamentary Institutions, France and Belgium, and bilateral visits to UK (Northern Ireland) and Republic of Ireland, September-October 1996.

Bilateral visits to Sweden and Estonia, October 1999.

Study tour, USA and Canada, November 1999; Canada and USA, May-June 2001.

CPA Study Group on Public Accounts Committees, Toronto, Canada, May-June 2001.

Leader, Parliamentary Delegation to Sri Lanka and Bangladesh, September-October 2003.

Leader, Parliamentary Delegation to New Caledonia and Vanuatu, November 2003.

Member, Parliamentary Delegation to Saudi Arabia and China, June-July 2007.

Member, Parliamentary Delegation to Malaysia and Indonesia, August 2007.

Parliamentary Party Positions

Member, Opposition Shadow Ministry from 11.4.90 to 21.12.94.

Parliamentary Secretary to the Deputy Leader of the Opposition from 11.4.90 to 7.4.93 and from 26.5.94 to 21.12.94.

Parliamentary Secretary to the Business and Economics Group from 11.4.90 to 7.4.93.

Parliamentary Secretary to the Chairperson, Economy, Public Sector and the Law Management Group from 7.4.93 to 26.5.94.

Other Positions

Executive Member, Tasmanian Chamber of Manufactures.

Executive Member, Tasmanian Chamber of Industries.

Secretary, Parliamentary Christian Fellowship, 1983-86.

Former member, Inter-Parliamentary Union Executive.


Born 25.1.1937, Launceston, Tas.


Qualifications and Occupation before entering Federal Parliament

BEc, BComm (Tas).

Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants.

Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Secretaries.

Fellow of the Taxation Institute of Australia.

Fellow of the Australian Institute of Management.

Fellow of the Certified Practicing Accountants.

Chartered accountant.

Company director.

Part-time lecturer, Tasmanian College of Advanced Education, and Launceston Technical College.

Member, Scotch College Council, Launceston.

Primary producer.

Financial consultant.

General Manager, textile manufacturing company.

Military Service

CMF (Army Reserve).