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UREN, the Hon. Thomas, ACBiography for UREN, the Hon. Thomas, AC

Member for Reid (NSW) 1958-90

Australian Labor Party

Parliamentary Service

Elected to the House of Representatives for Reid, New South Wales, 1958, 1961, 1963, 1966, 1969, 1972, 1974, 1975, 1977, 1980, 1983, 1984 and 1987.

Retired prior to general elections 1990.

Parliamentary Appointments

Member, Advisory Council for Inter-government Relations from 18.5.83 to 1986.

Ministerial Appointments

Minister for Urban and Regional Development from 19.12.72 to 11.11.75.

Minister for Territories and Local Government from 11.3.83 to 13.12.84.

Minister Assisting the Prime Minister for Community Development and Regional Affairs from 11.3.83 to 13.12.84.

Minister for Local Government and Administrative Services from 13.12.84 to 24.7.87.

Committee Service

House of Representatives Standing: Printing from 7.3.62 to 31.10.66; Standing Orders from 3.3.76 to 10.11.77.

Joint: Australian Capital Territory from 1.6.89 to 19.2.90.

Joint Standing: New Parliament House from 12.5.83 to 13.12.84.

Conferences, Delegations and Visits

Member, Commonwealth Parliamentary Delegation to the inauguration of the Papua New Guinea House of Assembly, June 1964.

Deputy Leader, Parliamentary Delegation to the 54th IPU Conference, Ottawa, September 1965; 55th IPU Conference, Canberra, 1966.

Australian Representative to the War Graves Commission, Ambon, April 1967.

Delegate, Australasian Area Conference CPA, Darwin, 1968.

Member, Australian Parliamentary Mission to Europe, June-July 1968.

Member, CPA Conference, Canberra, 1970.

Official visits to Europe, United States and Canada for talks on environmental issues, August-September 1974.

Represented Australian Parliament at the funeral of Earl Mountbatten of Burma, London, September 1979.

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

Leader, Australian Delegation to ESCAP, Bangkok, 1986.

Official visits to Europe and UK, June-July 1986; New Zealand, February 1987; Thailand and Singapore, April 1987.

Leader, Parliamentary Delegation to the 78th IPU Conference, Bangkok, Thailand, October 1987; 79th IPU Conference, Guatemala, April 1988; 80th IPU Conference, Sofia, Bulgaria, September 1988; 12+ Meeting and Council Meeting, Lisbon, Portugal, March 1989; 81st IPU Conference, Budapest, Hungary, March 1989; 82nd IPU Conference, London, September 1989.

Parliamentary Party Positions

Member, Federal Parliamentary Labor Party Opposition Executive 1969-72. Spokesman on Housing, Urban Affairs and Environment 1969-72.

Deputy Leader, Parliamentary Labor Party from 27.1.76 to 22.12.77.

Member, Opposition Shadow Ministry from 27.1.76 to 11.3.83. Spokesman on Urban and Regional Development from 27.1.76 to 29.12.77, and on Urban and Regional Affairs, Decentralisation, Local Government, Housing and Construction from 29.12.77 to 23.11.80 and on Urban and Regional Affairs (including Decentralisation and Urban Development, Housing and Construction, Local Government including that part of Grants Commission that refers to Local Government, Property from Administrative Services and National Estate) from 23.11.80 to 11.3.83.

Party Positions

Member, ALP National Executive from 27.1.76 to 22.12.77.


Born 28.5.21 at Balmain, NSW.

Died 27.01.2015.

Qualifications and Occupation before entering Federal Parliament



Appointed Officer of the Order of Australia, June 1993. Appointed Companion of the Order of Australia, January 2013.

Awarded the Centenary Medal, 2001.


Straight left, Sydney: Random House, 1994.

Military Service

Enlisted in Royal Australian Artillery, Permanent Army, 24.10.39.

Transferred to 2nd AIF 17.6.41.

Served as a Bombardier with 2/1 Heavy Battery in Timor.

Japanese Prisoner of War in Timor, Java, Singapore, Burma-Siam Railway and Japan, 1942-45.

Discharged 27.12.45.


Description: Metropolitan - residential suburban and industrial.

Location: South-western Sydney; following the 1984 Federal redistribution includes the suburbs of Auburn, Chester Hill, Granville, Lidcombe, Regents Park and Sefton.

Area: 59 sq km (approx.).

Electors enrolled: 71 180 (at 11.7.87).

Industries: Rubber works, aluminium products, oil refineries, engineering works and service industries.

State electorates: Reid includes the New South Wales Legislative Assembly electorate of Auburn, and parts of Bass Hill, Fairfield, Granville, Parramatta.