Gavin Jennings

Gavin Wayne Jennings (born 18 April 1957) is an Australian politician. He has been a Labor Party member of the Victorian Legislative Council since 1999, representing Melbourne Province (1999–2006) and then the South Eastern Metropolitan Region (2006–) . He has been Leader of the Government in the Legislative Council and Special Minister of State in the Andrews Ministry since December 2014.

Not to be confused with RTÉ Radio 1 This Week presenter Gavin Jennings.

Gavin Jennings

Member of the Victorian Legislative Council
Assumed office
18 September 1999
Personal details
Born (1957-04-18) 18 April 1957
Political partyLabor Party

He previously served as Cabinet Secretary (1999–2002), Minister for Aged Care (2002–2006), Minister for Aboriginal Affairs (2006–2007), Minister for Community Services (2006–2007), Minister for Environment and Climate Change (2007–2010) and Minister for Innovation (2007–2010) in the Bracks Ministry and Brumby Ministry. He had also been Deputy Leader of the Government in the Legislative Council from 1999 to 2010.[1] Jennings is a leading member of the party's Socialist Left faction.[2]

Jennings studied at Beaufort High School and Monash University, attaining degrees in arts and social work. He worked at various times as a factory worker, actuarial clerk, actor, social worker and policy analyst. He was employed as an adviser to Cain government minister Kay Setches between 1988 and 1990, and then to Premiers John Cain and Joan Kirner between 1990 and 1992. After the defeat of the Kirner government at the 1992 state election, Jennings began working as an industrial officer, working for the Public Transport Union, Liquor, Hospitality and Miscellaneous Union and Electrical Trades Union at various times until his election to parliament.

Jennings won preselection for the safe Labor Legislative Council seat of Melbourne Province in advance of the 1999 state election, and was thus easily elected. He was immediately appointed as Cabinet Secretary and Deputy Leader of the Government in the Legislative Council. He was promoted to the ministry after the 2002 state election, serving as Minister for Aged Care and Minister for Aboriginal Affairs. He was shifted from the aged care to the community services portfolio after the 2006 state election. He received a significant promotion in the wake of John Brumby's accession to the premiership in August 2007, receiving the portfolios of the environment and climate change, and innovation.

On 25 May 2016, the Legislative Council passed a contempt motion against Jennings, effectively suspending him from parliament for up to six months, unless he released documents to the Upper House relating to the Victorian Comprehensive Cancer Centre.[3]


  1. "Gavin Jennings (Ministers & Members Search)". Parliament of Australia. Retrieved 6 December 2014.
  2. Tomazin, Farrah (11 March 2006). "Friends and enemies in ALP's factional labyrinth". The Age. Retrieved 12 December 2014.
  3. "Gavin Jennings: Special Minister of State suspended from Parliament for up to six months". ABC News. 25 May 2016. Retrieved 25 May 2016.
Political offices
Preceded by
Keith Hamilton
Minister for Aboriginal Affairs
Succeeded by
Richard Wynne
Preceded by
Bronwyn Pike
Minister for Aged Care
Succeeded by
Lisa Neville
Minister for Community Services
Preceded by
John Thwaites
Minister for Environment and Climate Change
Succeeded by
Ryan Smith
Preceded by
John Brumby
Minister for Innovation
Succeeded by
Louise Asher
New ministry Special Minister of State
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