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ABETZ, the Hon. EricBiography for ABETZ, the Hon. Eric

Senator for (Tas)

Liberal Party of Australia

Parliamentary Service

Chosen by the Parliament of Tasmania on 22.2.1994 under section 15 of the Constitution to represent that State in the Senate, vice B Archer (resigned). (term ended 30.06.1999). Re-elected 1998 (term began 01.07.1999). 2004, 2010 and 2016.

Ministerial Appointments

Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Defence from 21.10.98 to 30.1.01

Special Minister of State from 30.1.01 to 27.1.06

Minister for Fisheries, Forestry and Conservation from 27.1.06 to 3.12.07

Minister for Employment from 18.9.13 to 21.9.15

Minister Assisting the Prime Minister for the Public Service from 18.9.13 to 21.9.15

Cabinet Minister from 18.09.2013 to 21.09.2015

Committee Service

Senate Standing: Regulations and Ordinances from 24.02.1994 to 29.04.1996; Senators' Interests from 24.03.1994 to 08.02.2001; Selection of Bills from 20.03.2007 to 11.02.2008; Procedure from 20.06.2007 to 11.02.2008; Procedure from 03.02.2009 to 09.05.2016; Privileges from 04.02.2016 to 09.05.2016; Privileges from 01.09.2016; Senators' Interests from 12.09.2016 to 28.11.2016.

Senate Select: Unresolved Whistleblower Cases from 01.12.1994 to 26.10.1995; Victorian Casino Inquiry from 20.05.1996 to 05.12.1996; Scrutiny of Government Budget Measures from 23.02.2016 to 15.03.2016; Charity Fundraising in the 21st Century from 27.06.2018.

Senate Legislative and General Purpose Standing: Environment, Recreation and the Arts from 01.03.1994 to 10.10.1994; Environment, Recreation, Communications and the Arts: References from 10.10.1994 to 29.04.1996; Legal and Constitutional: References from 10.10.1994 to 09.11.1998; Legal and Constitutional: Legislation from 10.10.1994 to 17.10.1994; Legal and Constitutional: Legislation from 08.05.1996 to 09.11.1998 (Chair from 03.03.1997 to 09.11.1998); Environment and Communications: Legislation from 04.02.2016 to 15.03.2016; Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade: Legislation from 04.02.2016 to 09.05.2016; Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade: Legislation from 01.09.2016; Rural and Regional Affairs and Transport: Legislation from 01.09.2016 to 12.02.2018; Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade: References from 10.09.2018.

Senate Estimates: D from 28.02.1994 to 12.05.1994; F from 12.05.1994 to 10.10.1994.

Joint Statutory: Native Title and the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Land Fund from 31.05.1996 to 08.02.2001 (Chair from 19.06.1996 to 04.06.1997); Law Enforcement from 12.09.2016; Public Accounts and Audit from 15.02.2017; Intelligence and Security from 07.02.2018.

Joint Standing: Electoral Matters from 28.03.1995 to 03.09.1997; Treaties from 31.05.1996 to 31.08.1998; Trade and Investment Growth from 12.09.2016; Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade from 10.09.2018.

Joint Select: Republic Referendum from 21.06.1999 to 09.08.1999; Government Procurement from 01.12.2016.

Parliamentary Party Positions

Manager, Government Business in the Senate from 9.3.07 to 17.10.07

Deputy Leader of the Opposition in the Senate from 6.12.07 to 3.5.10

Member, Opposition Shadow Ministry from 6.12.07 to 18.9.13

Shadow Minister for Innovation, Industry, Science and Research from 6.12.07 to 8.12.09

Shadow Minister for Employment and Workplace Relations from 8.12.09 to 18.9.13

Leader of the Opposition in the Senate from 3.5.10 to 18.9.13

Leader of the Government in the Senate from 18.9.13 to 21.9.15

Party Positions

President, Australian Liberal Students' Federation 1978

State President, Liberal Party (Tas.) 1990-94


Born 25.01.1958, Stuttgart, Germany.


Qualifications and Occupations before entering Federal Parliament

B.A (Tas.)

LL.B (Tas.)

Barrister and solicitor