Mary Delahunty

Mary Elizabeth Delahunty (born 7 June 1951) is an Australian journalist and politician with the Labor Party.

Mary Delahunty
Member of the Victorian Legislative Assembly
for Northcote
In office
15 August 1998  24 November 2006
Preceded byTony Sheehan
Succeeded byFiona Richardson
Personal details
Mary Elizabeth Delahunty

(1951-06-07) 7 June 1951
Murtoa, Victoria, Australia
Spouse(s)Jock Rankin
RelationsHugh Delahunty (brother)
Alma materLa Trobe University

Early life

Delahunty was born in the Victorian town of Murtoa and educated at Loreto College in Ballarat.[2] She earned a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from La Trobe University.[3]

Media career

Delahunty was a news journalist for the ABC and Network Ten from 1975 to 1996.[3] She appeared in news and current affairs programs such as Four Corners and The 7.30 Report. She received a Gold Walkley award for the story Aiding and Abetting which was shown and produced by Four Corners in 1983.[4]

Aiding and Abetting was about the improper use of Australian aid money in the Philippines. In the late 1980s, Delahunty, then the chief newsreader for the ABC in Victoria, was parodied by comedian Jean Kittson on The Big Gig, where Kittson portrayed a snobbish, acid-tongued announcer called Veronica Glenhuntly (whose surname was taken from that of the elite Melbourne suburb). Delahunty was the weeknight presenter of ABC News Victoria from 1986 until 1990, she was replaced by Sue McIntosh.

Political career

Delahunty was elected to the seat of Northcote in the Victorian Legislative Assembly at a 1998 by-election. Her maiden speech was about the implications of the Fitzgerald report for Victoria, especially in regard to police corruption.[5]

Delahunty was Minister for Education from 1999–2002, during the term of the first Bracks Government.[3] She was the Minister for the Arts from 1999–2006, Minister for Women's Affairs from 2002–06, and Minister for Planning from 2002–05.[3] As Minister for Planning, she was responsible for the media presentation of Melbourne 2030. As Minister for Planning, Delahunty was criticized for the altering of the annual Surveyor-General’s Report 2002-03, submitted by the Surveyor-General of Victoria, Keith Clifford Bell. The Ombudsman investigation found substantial sections altered after Bell had finished his term as Surveyor-General. It also found that Bell’s signature was assigned to the Annual Report 2002-03 of the Surveyors Board of Victoria, without his knowledge or consent. The government was directed to apologize to Bell.[6][7] Shadow Planning Minister, Ted Baillieu, in his statement to the Parliament on 9 April 2003 reported on the political interference at multiple levels, including the Planning Minister, in the performance of the responsibilities of the Surveyor-General. Bell was acknowledged as a competent, highly respected public servant and he was held in the highest esteem by both the surveying profession and the business sector.[8] In a further statement to Parliament on 4 May 2005, Baillieu commented on the "doctoring" of Bell's report, which had been done at the Minister's direction. Baillieu further cited the Ombudsman's findings that the altering of the report was inappropriate and there were concerns regarding the adequacy of the investigations. It was claimed that then Planning Minister Delahunty had misled the Parliament.[9] The tabled report bears the hand-written note signed by Bell’s successor: “Amended by the direction of the Minister. John E.Tulloch Surveyor General of Victoria 19/4/2005”.[10]

Previously, in 2002, the Auditor-General reviewed the functions and responsibilities of the Surveyor-General and agreed with reports submitted by Bell. The Auditor-General identified the interference by Land Victoria in the performance of the Surveyor-General's responsibilities, including the wrongful transfer of the Surveyor-General's responsibilities to business units of Land Victoria outside of the Office of Surveyor-General. He confirmed that such responsibilities cannot be transferred without legislative mandate. The Auditor-General found that the transfer of the functions of the Surveyor-General had seen them delivered unsatisfactorily and did not meet the obligations of the legislation. The Opposition blamed Delahunty and her predecessor Sherryl Garbutt, for extreme political interference in the performance of the Surveyor-General's responsibilities.[11]

In January 2005 Bracks dumped Delahunty as Planning Minister.[12] Rob Hulls replaced Delahunty in what the media reported as an "increasingly controversial" ministerial portfolio.[13] Delahunty commented in the media that In late February 2005 "she picked up The Sunday Age to read that members of the ruling Right faction of the ALP wanted her out of her safe seat." [12] In October 2006, Delahunty advised that she would not contest the November 2006 election due to health and family reasons.[14][15]

Personal life

Delahunty is the sister of Victorian National Party MP, Hugh Delahunty,[16] who is also a former Victorian Football League player, as is another brother, Michael.[17] Her husband of 22 years, the journalist Jock Rankin, died in 2002.[4][16][18] She has two children,[4] Nicholas and Olivia.[18] She was a guest on Life Matters (ABC Radio National, 26 August 2010)[19] on such topics as grief, parenting, civic participation and public life, and her memoir, Public Life, Private Grief.[16]



  • Delahunty, Mary. Gravity : inside the PM's office during her last year and final days. Hardie Grant Books.

Critical studies and reviews of Delahunty's work

Victorian Legislative Assembly
Preceded by
Tony Sheehan
Member for Northcote
Succeeded by
Fiona Richardson
Media offices
Preceded by
Geoff Raymond
ABC News Victoria
Weeknight presenter

Succeeded by
Sue McIntosh


  1. Doubt over Labor vote as new Delahunty gets off couch for preselection
  2. Who's Who in Australia 2017, ConnectWeb.
  3. "Delahunty, Mary Elizabeth". Profile. Parliament of Victoria. Retrieved 3 December 2014.
  4. "Mary Delahunty profile". Australian Women's Archives Project. Retrieved 3 December 2014.
  5. "Fitzgerald Report on Corruption". Hansard. Parliament of Victoria. Retrieved 3 December 2014.
  8. //
  10. Parliament of Victoria, 2002-2003 Annual Report by the Surveyor General of Victoria on the Administration of the Survey Co-Ordination Act 1958
  16. Delahunty, Mary. Public Life, Private Grief: a memoir of political life and loss. Hardie Grant. ISBN 9781740668583.
  17. Holmesby, Russell & Main, Jim (2007). The Encyclopedia Of AFL Footballers. BAS Publishing. ISBN 9781920910785.
  18. "On life, death and treachery". The Age. Fairfax. 19 March 2005. Retrieved 3 December 2014.
  19. Life Matters episode on which Delahunty appeared, 26 August 2010; accessed 3 December 2014.
This article is issued from Wikipedia. The text is licensed under Creative Commons - Attribution - Sharealike. Additional terms may apply for the media files.