Karen Andrews

Karen Lesley Andrews (born 23 August 1960) is an Australian politician who has been a member of the House of Representatives since 2010, representing the Division of McPherson in Queensland. She is a member of the Liberal National Party, and sits with the Liberal Party in parliament. She is the Minister for Industry, Science and Technology in the Morrison Government since August 2018.[1] From 2014 until August 2018, Andrews served as a parliamentary secretary or assistant minister in the Abbott and Turnbull Governments. She has been Assistant Minister for Vocational Education and Skills since July 2016,[2] having previously been Assistant Minister for Science.[3][4]

Karen Andrews

Minister for Industry,
Science and Technology
Assumed office
28 August 2018
Prime MinisterScott Morrison
Preceded byArthur Sinodinos (2017)
Assistant Minister for Vocational
Education and Skills
In office
19 July 2016  28 August 2018
Prime MinisterMalcolm Turnbull
Scott Morrison
Preceded byScott Ryan
Succeeded bySteve Irons (2019)
Assistant Minister for Science
In office
23 December 2014  19 July 2016
Prime Minister
Preceded byOffice established
Succeeded byCraig Laundy
Member of the Australian Parliament
for McPherson
Assumed office
21 August 2010
Preceded byMargaret May
Personal details
Karen Lesley Andrews

(1960-08-23) 23 August 1960
Brisbane, Queensland, Australia
Political partyLiberal (LNP)
Spouse(s)Chris Andrews
Alma materQueensland University of Technology;
Victoria University
OccupationIndustrial relations advocate
ProfessionMechanical engineer

Education and early career

Born in Brisbane and raised in Townsville, Queensland, Andrews graduated from the Queensland University of Technology in 1983 with a Bachelor of Mechanical Engineering before going on to work at various power stations in Queensland, and later chemical and petrochemical sites interstate, where she specialised in design and plant maintenance.

After working as an engineer for a number of years, Andrews completed a Graduate Diploma in Industrial Relations from Victoria University and began a new career as an industrial relations advocate working in the engineering and construction industries. Her expertise in industrial relations resulted in the Victorian government approaching her to head up the Industrial Relations Branch of the Department of Health and Community Services, where she was responsible for negotiating with public sector employees including nurses, ambulance officers, doctors and community service workers.

In the mid-1990s Andrews and her husband established a private human resources and industrial relations consultancy with a client base throughout Australia and New Zealand. She undertook further studies in alternate dispute resolution gaining a Certificate in Mediation from the Institute of Arbitrators and Mediators Australia to assist businesses and individuals with disputes through negotiation and mediation.

Political career

Andrews was elected at the 2010 federal election to represent the southern Gold Coast electorate of McPherson in the Australian House of Representatives and is a member of the Liberal National Party of Queensland (a Coalition party). The Federal Electoral Division of McPherson covers an area of approximately 230 square kilometres (89 sq mi) from Coolangatta in the south to Clear Island Waters and Merrimac in the north, and west to Mudgeeraba and Tallebudgera Valley. As part of her parliamentary career, Andrews was previously a member of the House of Representatives Standing Committee for on Education and Employment from 25.10.10 to 10.2.15 and the Joint Standing Committee on Public Works from 25.10.10 to 3.3.15 and was Chair from 12.12.13 to 3.3.15. She is a co-founder and co-chair of the Parliamentary Friends of Science, which seeks to promote closer engagement between the scientific community and political representatives.

In December 2014, Andrews was promoted to Assistant Minister for Science in the Abbott Ministry.[3][4] She continued to hold that position after Malcolm Turnbull became prime minister in September 2015. Following a reshuffle in July 2016, she was instead made Assistant Minister for Vocational Education and Skills.[2]

Following a leadership spill that saw Malcolm Turnbull removed as Prime Minister and leader of the Liberal Party in August 2018, Andrews was promoted to Minister for Industry, Science and Technology of the newly formed Morrison Government. She was sworn in on 28 August 2018.[5]

In an interview with Sky News, Andrews declared that coal would play a major role in Australia's energy mix in the future.[6]

According to the Parliament's registers of financial interests, she has 9 investment properties.[7]

Community work

Andrews is a strong supporter of the not-for-profit sector and their contribution to local communities. She is patron of Point Danger Branch of Palm Beach Surf Life Saving Club, Coolangatta Senior Citizen's Centre and the Australian Shuffleboard Association.


  1. "Scott Morrison's ministry – who's in and who's out". ABC News. 27 August 2018. Retrieved 27 August 2018.
  2. Massola, James (13 February 2016). "Cabinet reshuffle: Malcolm Turnbull announces new frontbench as Mal Brough resigns". The Age. Retrieved 13 February 2016.
  3. Taylor, Lenore (21 December 2014). "Tony Abbott cabinet reshuffle moves Scott Morrison out of immigration". Guardian Australia. Retrieved 21 December 2014.
  4. "Tony Abbott's revamped Ministry sworn in at Government House". news.com.au. News Corp Australia. 23 December 2014. Retrieved 23 December 2014.
  5. Bagshaw, Eryk (26 August 2018). "Prime Minister Scott Morrison reveals new cabinet". The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 1 November 2018.
  6. "Nocookies". The Australian. Retrieved 21 September 2018.
  7. "How many properties does your local politician own? – ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation)". Australian Broadcasting Corporation. Retrieved 21 September 2018.
Parliament of Australia
Preceded by
Margaret May
Member for McPherson
Political offices
New title Minister for Industry, Science and Technology
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