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HUNT, the Hon. Ralph James DunnetBiography for HUNT, the Hon. Ralph James Dunnet

Member for Gwydir (NSW)

National Party of Australia

Parliamentary Service

Elected to the House of Representatives for Gwydir, New South Wales at by-election 1969, vice A Allan (resigned). Re-elected 1969, 1972, 1974, 1975, 1977, 1980, 1983, 1984 and 1987. Resigned 24.2.1989.

Ministerial Appointments

Minister for the Interior from 5.2.1971 to 5.12.1972.

Minister for Health from 22.12.1975 to 8.12.1979.

Minister for Transport from 8.12.1979 to 7.5.1982.

Cabinet Minister from 8.12.1979 to 3.11.1980.

Minister for Transport and Construction from 7.5.1982 to 11.3.1983.

Committee Service

Joint Standing: New Parliament House from 23.9.1987 to 24.2.1989.

Joint Select: Electoral Reform from 12.5.1983 to 1.5.1984.

House of Representatives Standing: Aboriginal Affairs from 29.5.1973 to 20.5.1975; Expenditure from 8.12.1983 to 2.3.1984; Industry, Science and Technology from 8.10.1987 to 24.2.1989.

Conferences Delegations and Visits

Official visits to People's Republic of China, Japan and Hong Kong, June-July 1977

Official visits to USA, April 1979

Attended meeting of Commonwealth Health Ministers, Canada, April 1979

Attended 32nd World Health Assembly Meeting, Switzerland, May 1979

Prime Minister's Special Emissary to the Seychelles, Zambia, Tanzania, Malawi and Zimbabwe, July 1981

Official visits to UK and USA, June 1981

Attended meeting of the South Pacific Regional Civil Aviation and Shipping Council, Cook Islands, April 1982

Attended meeting of the European Council of Ministers of Transport, Dublin, May 1982

Addressed the Third International Transport Conference of the Chartered Institute of Transport, London, May 1982

Attended International Labour Organisation Conference in Geneva as the Australian Ministerial Representative, June 1982

Official visit to the USA as a guest of the US Visitor Information Service to study the US Finance and Banking System with special reference to agriculture, September-October 1983

Official visit to UK, Brussels and Rome as Opposition Spokesman on Primary Industry to discuss trade matters, January 1986

Member, Parliamentary Delegation on Trade, USA, July-August 1986

Member, Parliamentary Delegation on Trade, USA, May 1987

Official visit to Japan as guest of Japanese Government to study economic and trade issues, February 1987

Parliamentary Party Positions

Member of the Opposition Shadow Ministry from 14.6.1974 to 11.11.1975.

Opposition Spokesman on Environment and Conservation from 14.6.1974 to 11.11.1975.

Deputy Leader of the Federal Parliamentary National Party from 18.2.1984 to 23.7.1987.

Member of the Opposition Shadow Ministry from 18.2.1984 to 28.4.1987.

Opposition Spokesman on Trade from 18.2.1984 to 14.12.1984.

Opposition Spokesman on Primary Industry from 14.12.1984 to 28.4.1987.

National Party Spokesman on Rural Affairs and Health from 30.4.1987 to 6.8.1987.

Party Positions

Chairman, Gwydir Federal Electorate Council, 1953-69

Member, Central Council, National Party of Australia (NSW) from 1953

Chairman, Australian Country Party (NSW), 1964-69

Chairman, Country Party Wool Committee, 1967-69

Federal Chairman, Australian Country Party, 1968-69

Trustee, National Party of Australia (NSW) from 1976

Trustee, National Party of Australia Federal Council from 1983


Born 31.3.1928, Narrabri, Australia

Died 21.5.2011


Qualifications and Occupations before entering Federal Parliament

Farmer and grazier

Local Government Service

Councillor, Boomi Shire Council from 1956 to 1968.

Vice-President, Boomi Shire Council from 1962 to 1968.

Councillor, North West County Council, 1962.


Description: Rural

Location: Northern New South Wales; following the 1984 Federal redistribution includes the towns of Baradine, Bingara, Binnaway, Boggabri, Collarenebri, Coolah, Coonabarabran, Gunnedah, Manilla, Moree, Murrurundi, Narrabri, Quirindi, Scone, Walgett and Wee Waa, and parts of Muswellbrook and Warialda.

Area: 105764 Sq km

Electors enrolled: 68719 (at 11.7.1987)

Industries: Wool, wheat and other grain crops, cotton, flour mills, beef cattle and fat lamb production, manufacture of agricultural implements, mining (coal, opals), timber milling.

Electorate: Gwydir includes parts of the New South Wales Legislative Assembly electorates of Barwon, Broken Hill, Castlereagh, Tamworth and Upper Hunter.