Title Biography for ABETZ, the Hon. Eric
Database Biographies
Date 03-02-2021 04:20 AM
Source Parliamentary Library
Current member Yes
State Tas
System Id handbook/allmps/N26

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 B Archer (resigned). Re-elected 1998, 2004, 2010 and 2016.

Ministerial Appointments

Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Defence from 21.10.1998 to 30.1.2001.

Special Minister of State from 30.1.2001 to 27.1.2006.

Minister for Fisheries, Forestry and Conservation from 27.1.2006 to 3.12.2007.

Minister for Employment from 18.9.2013 to 21.9.2015.

Minister Assisting the Prime Minister for the Public Service from 18.9.2013 to 21.9.2015.

Cabinet Minister from 18.9.2013 to 21.9.2015.

Committee Service

Senate Standing: Scrutiny of Delegated Legislation (formerly Regulations and Ordinances) from 24.2.1994 to 29.4.1996; Senators' Interests from 24.3.1994 to 8.2.2001; Selection of Bills from 20.3.2007 to 11.2.2008; Procedure from 20.6.2007 to 11.2.2008; Procedure from 3.2.2009 to 9.5.2016; Privileges from 4.2.2016 to 9.5.2016; Privileges from 1.9.2016 (Deputy Chair from 4.7.2019); Senators' Interests from 12.9.2016 to 28.11.2016.

Senate Select: Unresolved Whistleblower Cases from 1.12.1994 to 26.10.1995; Victorian Casino Inquiry from 20.5.1996 to 5.12.1996; Scrutiny of Government Budget Measures (formerly Abbott Government's Budget Cuts) from 23.2.2016 to 15.3.2016; Charity Fundraising in the 21st Century from 27.6.2018 to 14.2.2019; Administration of Sports Grants from 5.2.2020.

Senate Legislative and General Purpose Standing: Environment, Recreation and the Arts from 1.3.1994 to 10.10.1994; Environment, Recreation, Communications and the Arts: References from 10.10.1994 to 29.4.1996; Legal and Constitutional Affairs: References from 10.10.1994 to 9.11.1998; Legal and Constitutional Affairs: Legislation from 10.10.1994 to 17.10.1994; Legal and Constitutional Affairs: Legislation from 8.5.1996 to 9.11.1998 (Chair from 3.3.1997 to 9.11.1998); Environment and Communications: Legislation from 4.2.2016 to 15.3.2016; Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade: Legislation from 4.2.2016 to 9.5.2016; Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade: Legislation from 1.9.2016 to 13.2.2019; Rural and Regional Affairs and Transport: Legislation from 1.9.2016 to 12.2.2018; Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade: References from 10.9.2018 (Deputy Chair from 3.7.2019); Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade: Legislation from 25.2.2019 (Chair from 25.2.2019).

Senate Estimates: D from 28.2.1994 to 12.5.1994; F from 12.5.1994 to 10.10.1994.

Joint Statutory: Native Title and the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Land Fund from 31.5.1996 to 8.2.2001 (Chair from 19.6.1996 to 4.6.1997); Law Enforcement (formerly National Crime Authority from 15.6.1984 to 1.1.2003 and Australian Crime Commission from 1.1.2003 to 24.11.2010) from 12.9.2016 to 1.7.2019; Public Accounts and Audit from 15.2.2017 to 1.7.2019; Intelligence and Security from 7.2.2018.

Joint Standing: Electoral Matters from 28.3.1995 to 3.9.1997; Treaties from 31.5.1996 to 31.8.1998; Trade and Investment Growth from 12.9.2016 to 1.7.2019; Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade from 10.9.2018.

Joint Select: Republic Referendum from 21.6.1999 to 9.8.1999; Government Procurement from 1.12.2016 to 29.6.2017.

Parliamentary Party Positions

Manager of Government Business in the Senate from 9.3.2007 to 17.10.2007.

Leader of the Government in the Senate from 18.9.2013 to 21.9.2015.

Deputy Leader of the Opposition in the Senate from 6.12.2007 to 3.5.2010.

Shadow Minister for Innovation, Industry, Science and Research from 6.12.2007 to 8.12.2009.

Shadow Minister for Employment and Workplace Relations from 8.12.2009 to 18.9.2013.

Leader of the Opposition in the Senate from 3.5.2010 to 18.9.2013.

Party Positions

President of the Australian Liberal Students' Federation, 1978.

State President of the Liberal Party (Tas.) from 1990 to 1994.


Born 25.1.1958, Stuttgart, Germany


Qualifications and Occupations before entering Federal Parliament

BA (University of Tasmania).

LLB (University of Tasmania).

Barrister and solicitor.