Former pollies on ASX-listed boards

November 28, 2023

This list tracks the former Australian politicians who have or still serve on public company boards. Send any corrections of additions to

Tony Abbott: the chaotic former Australian PM and right wing culture warrior struggled to get a gig for the first 4 years after losing his seat of Warringah to Zali Steggall in 2019 then old mate Lachlan Murdoch rescued him on the day after Rupert's retirement from the Fox board was disclosed, announcing him as a new director to replace former BHP chairman Jac Nasser at the November AGM.

John Anderson: the former Agriculture and Transport Minister in the Howard Government was one of John Howard's deputy Prime Ministers before retiring in 2007. He then chaired Eastern Star Gas until it was taken over by Santos in 2011. Lost preselection when attempting a come back via the Senate at the 2022 election.

Doug Anthony: the former Federal National Party leader and former deputy-PM became a director of Normandy Mining. He was also a director of several smaller companies such as PosGold Ltd, Clyde Agriculture Ltd, and Swires Australia Ltd. Also chaired a company called Pan Australia Mining.

Larry Anthony: the former Federal Minister for Children and Youth Affairs held the seat that was previously held by his father, Doug Anthony, and his grandfather, Larry Anthony. Was a director of ABC Learning when it collapsed and also served on the board of the old Macquarie Leisure, which then became Ardent Leisure.

Neil Batt:
former Tasmanian government minister and Deputy Premier was the Chairman of one of the Armstrong Jones property trusts, which was later rebranded ING Industrial Fund.

Anna Bligh: the biggest job taken by the former Queensland Premier was CEO of the Australian Bankers' Association but she also served on the Medibank board until exiting in November 2023.

Steve Bracks: the former Victorian Labor Premier has an extraordinary CV as outlined here on his personal website and made his debut in ASX land when co-worker property company Victory floated in 2019 before getting smashed by COVID.

Alan Brown: a former Liberal opposition leader and Transport Minister in Victoria who joined the board of strife-torn Traffic Group in January 2004 and was also Chairman of Apprenticeships Plus.

Ian Campbell:
John Howard's Environment Minister became a non-executive director of IT service provider ASG Group and other listed companies including Austal, Solco and Proto Resources.

Helen Coonan: one of John Howard's Communications Ministers spent 10 years on the Crown Resorts board culminating in a stint as executive chairman until August 2021. Also briefly chaired the listed HGL.

Simon Crean: one of the few Federal Opposition leaders, along with Alexander Downer and Brendan Nelson, who never got to lead their party to an election. However, he did get onto the board of ASX-listed Ashley Services which performed poorly during his tenure. Most of his other gigs are unlisted.

Keith de Lacy: from Treasurer of Queensland in the Goss government to a professional director who chaired Macarthur Coal and Reef Casino Trust, owner of the Cairns casino. He also chaired Cubbie Group, Nimrod Resources, Queensland Energy Resources, Queensland Sugar and Trinity Ltd but has now retired from all public company boards.

John Dawkins: former Treasurer in the Keating Labor government from December 1991 to December 1993. He was non-executive Chair of Integrated Legal Holdings which listed in 2006, only the second law firm to do so in Australia. Also chaired failed vocational education provider Vocation Ltd and was sued for his troubles.

Alexander Downer: Australia's longest serving Foreign Minister is chair the recently floated and innovatively named Gold Hydrogen, which raised $20 million at 50c in early 2023 and is capitalised at $140 million. Here is the 305 page prospectus and the story in The Australian after the first day of trade on Friday, January 13.

John Ducker: the late Labor senator and NSW right wing powerbroker was chairman of pokies giant Aristocrat until he was sacked with a monstrous payout in 2004 shortly after the shares tanked to a record low of around $1. They are now above $30. Also served on the Hills Motorway board as from 2002 and retired as chairman in January 2005, citing ill health.

Cheryl Edwardes AO: the former WA Liberal Minister Cheryl Edwards AO which Kalium Lakes (KAL), $93.3m: a potash and salt mining outfit chaired by appointed receivers in August 2023 and last reported in February 2023 when it claimed to have net assets of $93.3 million after accumulating $190.6 million in losses. Federal taxpayers look to have lost $83 million through the Northern Australia Infrastructure Fund (NAIF).

Joel Fitzgibbon: the coal loving former Federal Labor MP from the Hunter Valley was appointed to the Brickworks board in November 2022, the day before the AGM. Brickworks is long time heavy Coalition donor controlled by billionaire Rob Millner, and it controls coal miner New Hope Corporation.

Andrew Fraser: the young gun Queensland Labor Treasurer lost his seat in Campbell Newman's 2012 landslide and has forged an impressive corporate career since then, which is outlined here, although none appear to be listed.

Wayne Goss:
the late Queensland Labor Premier chaired Brisbane-based mining engineering company Ausenco from 2002 and previously served as a director of Webcentral and Peplin.

Robin Gray:
the former Tasmanian Premier and Liberal Government Minister was a long serving director of tree-lopping giant Gunns Ltd, which later collapsed.

Nick Greiner: the former Premier and Treasurer of New South Wales spent more than 20 years as a professional director sitting on boards including Coles Myer, Bradken, Healthcare Australia, Stockland, British America Tobacco Australasia and several others.

Bob Hawke: the late Labor PM was briefly a director of a listed Joe Gutnick diamond explorer in the 1990s and insiders say he used to lodge large expense claims.

David Hamill: the former Queensland Treasurer went on to chair Babcock & Brown Infrastructure during its disastrous expansion and then subsequence collapse.

Don Hayward:
the former Victorian Liberal Education Minister served on the board of construction company Abigroup and was also chairman of Australian Public Trustees.

Dr John Hewson: the former Federal Liberal and opposition leader was a director CBD Online and the former Vice Chairman of the listed GRD Limited. He also served as a non executive director of IT&T Services.

Robert Hill: John Howard's Environment Minister is the current chair of Viva Energy, a $4 billion concern which owns the old Shell oil refinery in Geelong and other petroleum businesses. Scott Morrison visited Geelong to announce a $125 million taxpayer grant during the 2022 election campaign.

Tony Hyams: the former Victorian Liberal backbencher was a director of Mike Fitzpatrick's Australian Infrastructure Fund in the late 1990s.

Paul Keating: the former Labor PM was briefly a director of the listed Brain Resource Company but kept his other gigs away from the ASX.

Jeff Kennett: the former Victorian Liberal Premier turned to the corporate world and became a director and then successful chair of Equity Trustees. Other boards gigs such as Seven West Media, Q Ltd, Sofcom, National Telecoms Group and Data & Commerce Ltd weren't so good.

Michael Lee: Paul Keating's former Federal Communications and Arts Minister spent several years on the Macquarie Airports board, served as independent director of DUET Group, plus was on one another Macquarie vehicle, Macquarie Capital Alliance Group.

Kate Lundy: served as a Labor senator representing the ACT for 19 years until 2015 and now serves on the board of Canberra-based defence contractor Electro Optic Systems, along with a range of other positions.

Wendy Machin: the first woman elected to represent the National Party in NSW in 1985 became a junior minister in the Greiner government and went on to chair the unlisted mutual, NRMA, after its insurance division was floated as IAG.

Terry Mackenroth: from Treasurer and planning minister in the Beattie government to a director of developer Devine Ltd.

Peter Nixon: the former Federal Minister of Transport and Primary industry is a retired chairman of Southern Cross Broadcasting and also a former deputy chairman of Bob Ansett's failed Budget Corp.

Martin Pakula: spent 8 years in the Dan Andrews Cabinet holding portfolio such as Major Projects, Attorney General, Racing and Tourism and then retired at the 2022 election and went straight onto the board of travel agent Helloworld 4 days after the election.

Andrew Peacock: his one public company dalliance with Gold Coast-based financial and property play MFS ended in disaster when it collapsed in 2008.

Mike Rann: the former South Australian Labor Premier had a tough time on two listed boards, medicinal marijuana outfit Health House and Spacetalk (the old MGM Wireless) where he faced down a director removal resolution from shareholders in 2022. As explained in this Rear Window column, both companies performed poorly for shareholders.

Nicola Roxon: Kevin Rudd's former Health Minister and Julia Gillard's Attorney General has a full dance card and now chairs industry fund Hesta and serves on two public company boards, Dexus and Lifestyle Communities.

Chris Schacht:
the former Minister for Science and Small Business in the Keating Labour government was a non-executive director of uranium wannabe Marathon Resources.

John Sharp: John Howard's first transport minister who departed in the travel rorts affair and these days is deputy chair of Regional Express.

Jim Short: when he resigned as the Federal Liberal Assistant Treasurer, he took up a $150,000-a-year (tax-free) position at the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, where he remained until 2000. He served as President and also Executive Director & Board Member of the Victorian Branch until November 2009 and is the former Chairman of the leading economic consultancy, ACIL Tasman. Also chaired Vision Sciences.

Ryan Smith: the former Liberal member for Warrandyte joined the board of Lincoln Minerals in July 2023 shortly after quitting the Victorian Parliament in a 2023 by-election. The company is a tiddler with a market cap of around $12 million.

Warwick Smith: the former Federal sports minister went off to work for the likes of Macquarie Group, ANZ and Kerry Stokes, where he represented his interest on the board of listed aged care provider Estia Health.

Alan Stockdale: a reforming Treasurer in the Kennett Government left Parliament in 1999 to join Macquarie Bank and then took up a range of gigs including the chair at Symex Holdings for almost a decade, along with the chair at struggling technology play Senetas and even an unfortunate experience on one of Bill Ireland's Mariner vehicles. He was also a director of Melbourne Football Club 1999-2001 and a Partner at Mills Oakley Lawyers 2005 after WorkChoices came in.

Shane Stone: the former federal President of the Liberal Party of Australia and former Chief Minister in the NT, has also been a director of the now collapsed Gold Coast property and financial group City Pacific.

Andrew Stoner: the former NSW Nationals leader and deputy premier spent 16 years in the Parliament until 2015 and now claims to have served on numerous public and private company boards.

Lindsay Tanner: after serving as Kevin Rudd's Finance Minister, he become a professional director including serving as President of Essendon Football Club and a director of Suncorp, which explains his full impressive CV.

Mark Vaile: the former Nationals leader, deputy prime minister and Trade minister was chairman of renewable energy technology specialist CBD Energy and a non-executive director of Virgin Blue Holdings Limited. He is also the long term chair of Whitehaven Coal.

Michael Wooldridge: the qualified nephrologist and former Federal Liberal Health Minister served on several listed health plays including Australian Pharmaceuticals Industries. Wooldridge was also chair of Prime Trust, which collapsed in a $500 million fiasco, sparking years of litigation.

Neville Wran: the late NSW Labor Premier and multi-millionaire consultant and merchant banker who served on the listed Webcentral and Cabcharge boards. Was also Executive Chairman of Turnbull & Partners, a deputy chancellor of Bond University and a director of British Aerospace Australia. Also chaired Ghana Gold Mines and sat on the CSIRO board form 1986 until 1991.

Ben Wyatt: retired as West Australian Treasurer in March 2021 and by the first week of June had joined the Rio Tinto and Woodside boards.