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Biography for TATE, the Hon. Michael Carter, AO

Senator for Tasmania 1978-93

Australian Labor Party

Parliamentary Service

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

Resigned 5.7.93.

Parliamentary Positions

Temporary Chairman of Committees from 15.5.85 to 27.11.85.

Ministerial Appointments

Special Minister of State from 16.2.87 to 24.7.87.

Parliamentary Secretary for Justice from 24.7.87 to 18.9.87.

Minister for Justice from 18.9.87 to 4.4.90 and from 27.5.92 to 24.3.93.

Minister for Justice and Consumer Affairs from 4.4.90 to 27.5.92.

Minister Assisting the Minister for Immigration, Local Government and Ethnic Affairs from 27.5.92 to 24.3.93.

Committee Service

Senate Standing: Regulations and Ordinances from 22.4.80 to 21.2.85 and from 31.5.85 to 14.11.85; Scrutiny of Bills from 22.4.83 (Chairman from 4.5.83) to 25.2.87 and from 19.5.93 to 5.7.93; Appropriations and Staffing from 27.5.93 to 5.7.93.

Senate Legislative and General Purpose Standing: Constitutional and Legal Affairs from 17.8.78 (Chairman from 22.4.83) to 25.2.87; National Resources from 17.8.78 to 4.2.83; Community Affairs from 18.5.93 to 5.7.93.

Senate Select: Passenger Fares and Services to Tasmania from 22.5.80 to 18.8.81; Conduct of a Judge from 30.3.84 (Chairman from 2.4.84) to 24.8.84; Allegations Concerning a Judge from 10.9.84 (Chairman from 13.9.84) to 31.10.84; Human Embryo Experimentation Bill 1985 (Chairman) from 28.11.85 to 8.10.86.

Senate Estimates: B from 20.9.78 to 2.4.81; A from 2.4.81 to 4.2.83; E from 4.5.83 to 23.8.84; D from 23.8.84 to 21.2.85; C from 6.5.93 to 5.7.93.

Joint Standing: Foreign Affairs and Defence from 12.5.83 to 26.10.84.

Conferences, Delegations and Visits

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

Attended 3rd General Assembly of AIPO, Jakarta, September 1980.

Member, Parliamentary Delegation to Pakistan and India, July 1981.

Member, 68th IPU Annual Conference, Havana, September 1981.

Official visits to the Philippines, Thailand and Fiji, March 1988; Canada, USA, UK, Europe and Middle East, June-July 1989; Papua New Guinea, January-February 1990; Cuba, September-October 1990; New Zealand, March 1991; USA, Europe and UK, September-October 1991; Papua New Guinea, February 1992.

Party Positions

Member, ALP Administrative Committee (Tas) 1981-85.

Member, ALP National Executive 1984-85.


Born 6.7.45 at Sydney, NSW.


Qualifications and Occupation before entering Federal Parliament

LLB (Tas), MA (Oxon).

Lecturer in Law, University of Tasmania; Dean of Faculty 1977.

Legal Adviser, Tasmanian Parliamentary Delegation to Australian Constitutional Conventions 1973-77.

Member, Catholic Commission for Justice and Peace 1972-78.

Other Positions

President, Parliamentary Christian Fellowship 1985-88.


Appointed Officer of the Order of Australia, January 1996.