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EVANS, the Hon. Gareth John, QCBiography for EVANS, the Hon. Gareth John, QC

Senator for Victoria 1978-96; Member for Holt (Vic) 1996-99

Australian Labor Party

Parliamentary Service

Elected to the Senate for Victoria 1977 (term began 1.7.78), 1983, 1987 and 1993. Resigned 6.2.96.

Elected to the House of Representatives for Holt, Victoria, 1996 and 1998. Resigned 30.9.99.

Ministerial Appointments

Attorney-General from 11.3.83 to 13.12.84.

Minister for Resources and Energy from 13.12.84 to 24.7.87.

Minister Assisting the Prime Minister and Minister Assisting the Minister for Foreign Affairs from 13.12.84 to 24.7.87.

Minister for Transport and Communications from 24.7.87 to 2.9.88.

Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade from 2.9.88 to 24.3.93.

Minister for Foreign Affairs from 24.3.93 to 11.3.96.

Committee Service

Senate Standing: Regulations and Ordinances from 17.8.78 to 4.12.80; Standing Orders from 25.2.87 to 5.6.87; Procedure from 9.10.87 to 21.11.89 and from 24.3.94 to 6.2.96; Appropriations and Staffing from 18.5.93 to 6.2.96; Privileges from 18.6.96 to 2.3.98.

Senate Legislative and General Purpose Standing: Constitutional and Legal Affairs from 17.8.78 to 4.2.83; Finance and Government Operations from 17.8.78 to 10.9.81; Scrutiny of Bills from 19.11.81 to 8.12.82.

Senate Estimates: B from 20.9.78 to 2.4.81; A from 2.4.81 to 4.2.83.

Joint Standing: New Parliament House (formerly New and Permanent Parliament House) from 22.8.78 to 4.2.83; Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade from 8.12.98 to 30.9.99.

Joint Select: Parliamentary Privilege from 5.5.82 to 3.10.84.

Conferences, Delegations and Visits

Member, Commonwealth Parliamentary Delegations to the Australian Constitutional Conventions, Perth, July 1978, Adelaide, April 1983, and Brisbane, July 1985.

Official visits to UK and USA, 1983; China, Japan and New Zealand, 1984; Europe, February 1985; New Zealand, March 1985; Indonesia and Japan, June 1985; Europe and UK, July 1985; China, November 1985; UK, USA and Canada, January-February 1986; Papua New Guinea, May and August 1986; Middle East and Europe, September-October 1986; Switzerland and Korea, February 1987; New Zealand, March 1987; Europe, USA and Canada, January 1988; New Zealand, March 1988; South Pacific, September 1988; USA and Fiji, October 1988; Indonesia, Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand and Papua New Guinea, October-November 1988; Asia and Southern Africa, January-February 1989; UK, Europe and USA, March 1989; New Caledonia, May 1989; UK, India, Denmark, Sweden and Finland, June 1989; Brunei, Malaysia and Pacific Islands, July 1989; France, July-August 1989; France and Yugoslavia, August-September 1989; USA, Malaysia and Canada, October 1989; New Zealand, November 1989; Indonesia, Eastern Europe, December 1989; Papua New Guinea, January 1990; Indonesia and Zambia, February-March 1990; Vanuatu, Solomon Islands, Papua New Guinea and New Caledonia, April 1990; UK and Nigeria, May 1990; Europe and North Asia, May-June 1990; Indonesia, Singapore, Thailand, India, Pakistan, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka, July-August 1990; Geneva, Italy, Egypt, France and USA, August 1990; USA and Mexico, September-October 1990; Vanuatu, New Zealand and Polynesia, November 1990; UK, USA, Canada and France, January 1991; Bali, February 1991; UK, February 1991; Japan, Hong Kong and China, April 1991; India and Japan, May 1991; Luxembourg, France and South Africa, June 1991; Malaysia, Singapore and South Pacific, July 1991; India, Europe, Barbados, Jamaica and USA, September 1991; Zimbabwe and France, October 1991; Korea and USSR, November 1991; New Zealand, November 1991; Thailand, Cambodia, Singapore and Indonesia, December 1991; USA, January 1992; South Pacific and Papua New Guinea, January-February 1992; Tahiti, Chile, Argentina, Brazil, Belgium, Portugal and Switzerland, March 1992; Japan and China, April 1992; Germany, Iran, Jordan, Lebanon, France, Spain, Egypt, Israel, Portugal, Syria and Turkey, May 1992; Japan, June 1992; Philippines, June-July 1992; South Pacific Forum, Solomon Islands, July 1992; Papua New Guinea, August 1992; Indonesia, August-September 1992; Thailand, September 1992; Turkey, Greece, Cyprus and Malta, October 1992; Republic of Korea and China, November 1992; Indonesia, November 1992; New Zealand, November 1992; France, Cyprus, Denmark, Thailand and Cambodia, January 1993; USA, March-April 1993; Austria, UK and Romania, June 1993; Singapore, July 1993; Indonesia, August and September 1993; Switzerland, Belgium and USA, September 1993; Japan, November 1993; USA, November 1993; Vietnam and Papua New Guinea, November 1993; New Zealand, December 1993; USA, Greece, Ethiopia, Eritrea, Kenya and Somalia, January 1994; New Zealand, February 1994; Vietnam, Hong Kong and China, March-April 1994; Indonesia and Philippines, June 1994; Indonesia, Poland, Germany, France, Baltic States and Russia, July 1994; Thailand, July 1994; Bali, September 1994; USA, September-October 1994; China, Republic of Korea and Japan, October 1994; Indonesia, November 1994; USA, Virgin Islands, Cuba, Barbados, France and Switzerland, January 1995; Thailand, Brunei and Malaysia, February 1995; Holland, Sweden, Finland and Norway, April 1995; South Africa and India, May 1995; Japan and France, June 1995; New Zealand, June-July 1995; Egypt, Israel, Jordan, Syria, Tunisia, Lebanon and USA, July 1995; Brunei, July-August 1995; Papua New Guinea, September 1995; Singapore, September 1995; USA and Spain, September-October 1995; Colombia, US and Holland, October-November 1995; New Zealand, November 1995; Japan, November 1995; Thailand and Malaysia, November 1995; Indonesia and UK, December 1995; Papua New Guinea, December 1995; USA, January 1996; USA, January 1997; USA and Hong Kong, April 1997; Malaysia, January 1998; New Zealand, March 1998; Middle East, Europe and North Africa, June-July 1999.

Parliamentary Delegate to the Australian Constitutional Convention, Canberra, February 1998.

Study tour, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Indonesia and UK, February-March 1999; China and Republic of Korea, April-May 1999; France, May 1999.

Member, Parliamentary Delegation to South East Asia and East Africa, August 1999.

UNESCO Campaign, South Asia and East Africa, August 1999; Caribbean and Latin America, July-August 1999; France, West Africa and Central Asia, September 1999; France, October 1999.

Parliamentary Party Positions

Member, Opposition Shadow Ministry from 7.11.80 to 11.3.83. Shadow Attorney-General from 23.11.80 to 11.3.83.

Manager of Government Business in the Senate from 17.2.87 to 2.9.88.

Deputy Leader of the Government in the Senate from 17.2.87 to 24.3.93.

Leader of the Government in the Senate from 24.3.93 to 6.2.96.

Deputy Leader of the Federal Australian Labor Party from 19.3.96 to 19.10.98.

Deputy Leader of the Opposition from 19.3.96 to 19.10.98.

Member, Opposition Shadow Ministry from 19.3.96 to 19.10.98. Shadow Treasurer from 20.3.96 to 19.10.98.

Party Positions

Delegate, ALP State Conference (Vic) from 1972.

Member, ALP State Administrative Committee (Vic) 1973-82.

Delegate, ALP Federal Conferences from 1977.


Born 5.9.44 at Melbourne, Vic.


Qualifications and Occupation before entering Federal Parliament

BA, LLB (Hons) (Melb), MA (Oxon).

Barrister and solicitor, Supreme Courts of Victoria and ACT.

Lecturer and Senior Lecturer in Constitutional Law, University of Melbourne 1971-77. Practising barrister 1977-78.

Vice-President, Victorian Council for Civil Liberties.

Convenor, National Conference for a Democratic Constitution 1977; Campaign for Constitutional Change 1978.

Adviser, Victorian Parliamentary Delegation to the Australian Constitutional Convention 1973 and New South Wales Delegation 1976.

Inaugural President, Australian Society of Labor Lawyers.

Appointed Queen's Counsel, December 1983.


Labor and the constitution 1972-75: essays and commentaries on the constitutional controversies of the Whitlam years in Australian government (editor), Melbourne: Heinemann, 1977.

Law, Politics and the Labor Movement (editor), Clayton, Vic: Legal Service Bulletin, 1980.

Labor essays (joint editor), Richmond, Vic: Drummond, 1980, 1981 and 1982.

Australia's constitution: time for change? (with John McMillan and Haddon Storey), Sydney: Law Foundation of New South Wales and George Allen and Unwin, 1983.

Australia's foreign relations: in the world of the 1990s (with Bruce Grant), Carlton, Vic: Melbourne University Press, 1991 and 1995 (2nd edition).

Cooperating for peace: the global agenda for the 1990s and beyond, St Leonards, NSW: Allen and Unwin, 1993.


Description: Outer metropolitan.

Location: South-eastern outskirts of Melbourne; it includes the centres of Doveton, Endeavour Hills, Fountain Gate, Hallam, and parts of Dandenong, Keysborough, Narre Warren and Noble Park.

Area: 106 sq km (approx.).

Electors enrolled: 81 285 (at 3.10.98).

Industries: Car, truck and tractor assembly plants, light engineering, glass production, dairying, market gardening, food processing and packaging.

State electorates: Holt includes parts of the Victorian Legislative Assembly electorates of Berwick, Dandenong, Dandenong North and Springvale.