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Biography for COLEMAN , William Peter
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Member for Wentworth (NSW) 1981-87

Liberal Party

Parliamentary Service

State: Elected to the New South Wales Legislative Assembly for Fuller 1968. Defeated 1978.

Federal: Elected to the House of Representatives for Wentworth, New South Wales at by-election 11.4.81, vice the Hon. R. J. Ellicott, Q.C.


Re-elected 1983 and 1984.

Retired prior to general elections 1987.

Parliamentary Appointments

Member, Advisory Council for Inter-government Relations from 23.5.85 to 5.6.87.

Ministerial Appointments

State: Minister for Revenue and Assistant Treasurer, October 1975-January 1976.

Chief Secretary, January-May 1976.

Committee Service

State: Chairman, Select Committee into Appointment of Judges to the High Court 1974.

Federal: House of Representatives: Publications from 26.3.85 to 5.6.87.

Joint Standing: Australian Capital Territory from 20.8.81 to 4.2.83; Foreign Affairs and Defence from 18.8.82 to 26.10.84 and from 8.10.85 to 5.6.87.

Conferences, Delegations and Visits

Member, 68th IPU Conference, Havana, September 1981; Councillor, Spring Meeting IPU, Helsinki, April 1983; Member, 70th IPU Conference, Seoul, South Korea, October 1983; Member, 71st IPU Conference, Geneva, Switzerland, April 1984.

Parliamentary Party Positions

State: Parliamentary Secretary to the Premier, June-October 1975.

Leader, State Parliamentary Liberal Party, December 1977 to October 1978.

Leader of the Opposition, December 1977 to October 1978.

Party Positions

Member, Liberal Party Joint Policy Committee (NSW) 1976-77.

Member, Liberal Party State Executive (NSW) 1977-78.


Born 15.12.28 at Melbourne, Vic.

Qualifications and Occupation before entering Federal Parliament

BA (Syd), MSc(Econ) (London).


Administrator, Norfolk Island 1979-81.

Editor, The Bulletin 1964-67.

Editor, Quadrant 1967-75 and from 1981.

Managing Editor, Australian Liberal 1971-73.

Executive Member, Australian Association for Cultural Freedom from 1967.

Member, Australian Council for the Arts 1968-73.

Councillor, National Institute of Dramatic Art 1970-1985.

Chairman, Interim Council for a National Film and Television School 1971-73.

Trustee, Australian Museum 1973-75.


Australian civilisation: a symposium (Editor), Melbourne: Cheshire, 1962.

Obscenity, blasphemy, sedition: censorship in Australia, Brisbane: Jacaranda Press, 1974.

Cartoons of Australian history (with Les Tanner), West Melbourne: Thomas Nelson, 1978.

The heart of James McAuley: life and work of the Australian poet, Sydney: Wildcat Press, 1980.

Memoirs of a slow learner, Pymble: Angus and Robertson, 1994.


Description: Metropolitan - residential suburban, some light industrial.

Location: Eastern Sydney; following the 1984 Federal redistribution includes the the suburbs of Bellevue Hill, Bondi Junction, Darlinghurst, Double Bay, East Sydney, Kings Cross, Morehead, Paddington, Point Piper, Potts Point, Rose Bay, Rushcutters Bay, Vaucluse, Watsons Bay, Woollahra and Woolloomooloo.

Area: 24 sq km (approx.).

Electors enrolled: 70 417 (at 1.12.84).

Industries: Commercial and retail activities, some light manufacturing.

State electorates: Wentworth includes the New South Wales Legislative Assembly electorate of Bligh, and parts of Elizabeth, Vaucluse and Waverley.