John Kerin

John Charles Kerin AO, FTSE (born 21 November 1937) is an Australian economist and former Australian Labor Party (ALP) politician.


John Kerin

Minister for Trade and Overseas Development
In office
27 December 1991  22 December 1993
Prime MinisterPaul Keating
Preceded byNeal Blewett
Succeeded byPeter Cook
Minister for Transport and Communications
In office
9 December 1991  27 December 1991
Prime MinisterBob Hawke
Paul Keating
Preceded byKim Beazley
Succeeded byGraham Richardson
Treasurer of Australia
In office
4 June 1991  8 December 1991
Prime MinisterBob Hawke
Preceded byPaul Keating
Succeeded byRalph Willis
Minister for Primary Industry
In office
11 March 1983  3 June 1991
Prime MinisterBob Hawke
Preceded byPeter Nixon
Succeeded bySimon Crean
Member of the Australian Parliament
for Werriwa
In office
23 September 1978  22 December 1993
Preceded byGough Whitlam
Succeeded byMark Latham
Member of the Australian Parliament
for Macarthur
In office
2 December 1972  13 December 1975
Preceded byJeff Bate
Succeeded byMichael Baume
Personal details
Born
John Charles Kerin

(1937-11-21) 21 November 1937
Bowral, New South Wales
NationalityAustralian
Political partyAustralian Labor Party
ResidenceCanberra
OccupationEconomist

Early life and education

Kerin was born in Bowral in the Southern Highlands of New South Wales.[1] Growing up in a rural area, he was educated at Hurlstone Agricultural High School and Bowral High School. He worked as a poultry farmer before later completing a BA from the University of New England, Armidale, in 1967, and then a B.Econ. from the Australian National University in Canberra in 1977.[1]

Career in politics

Kerin worked at the Australian Bureau of Agricultural and Resource Economics (ABARE) before being elected to the Commonwealth Parliament as the Labor member for Macarthur in the 1972 federal election. He lost his seat in the Labor defeat in the 1975 election and returned to the ABARE. He was re-elected as the ALP member for Werriwa in 1978 following the retirement from that seat of former prime minister Gough Whitlam.

Kerin served as Minister for Primary Industries (1983–1987), Minister for Primary Industries and Energy (1987–1991), Minister for Transport and Communications (1991), and Treasurer (1991) in the Labor government of Bob Hawke and later Minister for Trade and Overseas Development (1992–1993) in the Labor Government of Paul Keating.

Kerin replaced Paul Keating as Australian Treasurer in June 1991 after Keating resigned following an unsuccessful challenge to Hawke as Labor leader and Prime Minister, although Bob Hawke himself was treasurer for a day after Paul Keating resigned.[2] Kerin was highly regarded as Minister for Primary Industry[3] but his period as Treasurer was a difficult one,[4] not least because of the ongoing tension between Bob Hawke and Paul Keating.[5] Kerin resigned as Treasurer shortly before Keating's second, successful, bid for leadership in December 1991. Keating later appointed Kerin as Minister for Trade and Overseas Development.

Activities since leaving parliament

After leaving politics in 1993, Kerin held senior positions with the Australian Meat and Livestock Corporation and numerous other bodies. Kerin remains active across a range of activities in public policy in Australia. In October 2008 he was appointed to the board of the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation. He was appointed the 2008 Distinguished Life Member of the Australian Agriculture and Resource Economics Society.[6]

In October 2010 he was appointed Chair of the Crawford Fund, a position he held until early 2017. The Crawford Fund aims to increase Australia's engagement in international agricultural research, development and education.

In 2011 he resigned from the NSW branch of the ALP in protest at what he saw as the increasingly highly centralised nature of control over the operations of the organisation. He said that the administrative arm of the ALP in NSW had become increasingly involved in policy formulation leaving little room for meaningful participation by rank and file members of the ALP.[7] In August 2012 he rejoined the ALP in Canberra where he felt that local management of the party was more responsive to the concerns of rank and file members.

Later, in 2017, he set out his memoirs of his experiences as a minister in the agriculture and natural resource portfolios between 1983 and 1991 in his book "The way I saw it; the way it was: the making of national agricultural and natural resource management policy".

References

  1. Kerin, John C. (2017). The way I saw it; the way it was. Melbourne: Analysis & Policy Observatory (APO). Retrieved 20 October 2018.
  2. "Hawke Ministry (ALP) 4.4.1990 – 20.12.1991". Parliamentary Handbook of the Commonwealth of Australia. Commonwealth of Australia. 10 January 2003. Archived from the original on 18 October 2006. Retrieved 30 November 2006.
  3. Hayden, Bill (1996). Bill Hayden: An Autobiography. Sydney, Australia: Angus & Robertson. p. 483. ISBN 0207 18769X.
  4. Gordon, Michael (1993). Paul Keating: A Question of Leadership. St Lucia, Queensland: University of Queensland Press. pp. 169, 170. ISBN 0 7022 2586X.
  5. Ibid., p. 170.
  6. "The Honorable John Kerin A.M., C.M., FTSE, FAIAST". Australian Journal of Agricultural and Resource Economics. 54: 269–270. 2010. doi:10.1111/j.1467-8489.2010.00502.x.
  7. Steve Lewis, 'ALP elder Kerin quits in disgust', The Courier-Mail, 15 August 2011.
Political offices
Preceded by
Peter Nixon
Minister for Primary Industry
Minister for Primary Industries and Energy

1983–1991
Succeeded by
Simon Crean
Preceded by
Bob Hawke
Treasurer of Australia
1991
Succeeded by
Ralph Willis
Preceded by
Kim Beazley
Minister for Transport and Communications
1991
Succeeded by
Graham Richardson
Preceded by
Neal Blewett
Minister for Trade and Overseas Development
1991–1993
Succeeded by
Peter Cook
Parliament of Australia
Preceded by
Jeff Bate
Member for Macarthur
1972–1975
Succeeded by
Michael Baume
Preceded by
Gough Whitlam
Member for Werriwa
1978–1993
Succeeded by
Mark Latham
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