May 21, 2018

A(nother) guide to Australia’s (many) political dynasties

In the aftermath of the royal wedding, Crikey returns to Australia's political mini-monarchies.

Charlie Lewis — Journalist

Charlie Lewis


Australian political dynasties

On Friday Crikey marked the preselection of fourth generation politician Georgina Downer by starting a catalogue of Australia's many political dynasties. Here's our second installment.

The Courts

Sir Charles Court held the blue ribbon Western Australia Liberal seat of Nedlands for just under 30 years, from 1953 to 1982 -- the last eight years of those he spent as premier of the state. In true monarchic fashion, Nedlands was handed to his son Richard in the byelection triggered by the old man's retirement. Richard would stay in his seat for nearly 20 years, ascending to the role of premier in 1993. They are currently the only father/son team to both serve as premier of Western Australia. Richard is now Australia's Ambassador to Japan.

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4 thoughts on “A(nother) guide to Australia’s (many) political dynasties

  1. gumshoe

    It’s most interesting to be reminded of the base nepotism–a not-so-subtle form of corruption–that has always pervaded Australian politics. But–to semanticise for a moment–does TWO consecutive generations a ‘dynasty’ comprise?

  2. Tiffox

    When looking at the Beazley dynasty, I’m surprised you didn’t mention Big Kim’s daughter Hannah. She’s won the preselection for Kim’s former Federal seat of Swan – so we’ll see at the next Federal election if we get a third generation of Beazleys in Parliament.

  3. AR

    If there is one certainty from millennia of dynasty it is that the blood thins and the worth, assuming there were any in the first instance, dwindles.

  4. donhanoi

    Successions and dynasties depend greatly on the exercise of privilege, which itself is a form of perversion of polity, is pilferage / piracy / plunder of others’ fair opportunities, is always wrapped in perfidious presumptions, is poison to society’s principles. How do they manage the contradiction, that those who advocate free markets and less government, exercise most fiercely for rigged deals and preferential controls within their sullied hands?

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