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

Senator for Tasmania

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 BR Archer (resigned) (term ended 30.6.1999). Elected 1998 (term began 1.7.1999), 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.

Committee Service

Senate Standing: Regulations and Ordinances from 24.2.94 to 29.4.96; Senators' Interests from 24.3.94 to 8.2.01 and from 12.9.16 to 28.11.16; Selection of Bills from 20.3.07 to 11.2.08; Procedure from 20.6.07 to 11.2.08 and from 3.2.09 to 9.5.16; Environment and Communications Legislation from 4.2.16 to 15.3.16; Privileges from 4.2.16 to 9.5.16 and from 1.9.16.

Senate Legislative and General Purpose Standing: Environment, Recreation and the Arts from 1.3.94 to 10.10.94; Environment, Recreation, Communications and the Arts: References Committee from 10.10.94 to 29.4.96; Legal and Constitutional: References Committee from 10.10.94 to 9.11.98 and Legislation Committee from 10.10.94 to 17.10.94 and from 8.5.96 (Chair from 3.3.97) to 9.11.98; Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade Legislative from 4.2.16 to 9.5.16 and from 1.9.16; Rural and Regional Affairs and Transport Legislation from 1.9.16 to 12.2.18.

Senate Select: Unresolved Whistleblower Cases from 1.12.94 to 26.10.95; Victorian Casino Inquiry from 20.5.96 to 5.12.96; Scrutiny of Government Measures from 23.2.16 to 15.3.16; Charity Fundraising in the 21st Century from 27.6.18.

Senate Estimates: D from 28.2.94 to 12.5.94; F from 12.5.94 to 10.10.94.

Joint Statutory: Native Title and the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Land Fund from 31.5.96 to 8.2.01 (Chair from 19.6.96 to 4.6.97); Law Enforcement from 12.9.16; Public Accounts and Audit from 15.2.17; Intelligence and Security from 7.2.18.

Joint Standing: Electoral Matters from 28.3.95 to 3.9.97; Treaties from 31.5.96 to 31.8.98; Trade and Investment Growth from 12.9.16.

Joint Select: Republic Referendum from 21.6.99 to 9.8.99; Government Procurement from 1.12.16.

Parliamentary Party Positions

Manager, Government Business in the Senate from 9.3.07 to 17.10.07.

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.

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

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 25.1.1958, Stuttgart, Germany.


Qualifications and Occupation before entering Federal Parliament

BA, LLB (Tas).

Barrister and solicitor.

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