Michael Sven Sukkar (born 11 September 1981) is an Australian politician serving as Assistant Treasurer and Minister for Housing since 2019. He has been a member of the House of Representatives since September 2013, representing the Division of Deakin in Victoria for the Liberal Party. He served as the Assistant Minister to the Treasurer between 24 January 2017 and August 2018, when he returned to the backbench.
|Assumed office |
29 May 2019
|Prime Minister||Scott Morrison|
|Preceded by||Stuart Robert|
24 January 2017 – 28 August 2018
|Prime Minister||Malcolm Turnbull|
|Preceded by||Alex Hawke|
|Succeeded by||Stuart Robert|
|Minister for Housing|
|Assumed office |
29 May 2019
|Prime Minister||Scott Morrison|
|Preceded by||Sarah Henderson|
|Member of the Australian Parliament|
|Assumed office |
7 September 2013
|Preceded by||Mike Symon|
|Born||11 September 1981|
|Alma mater||Deakin University |
University of Melbourne
Early life and background
Sukkar was born in the eastern Melbourne suburb of Ringwood, to a father who was born in Lebanon. Sukkar attended primary school at Sacred Heart in Croydon and then secondary school at Aquinas College in Ringwood. He completed a Bachelor of Laws and Bachelor of Commerce at Deakin University in 2004 and Master of Laws at the University of Melbourne in 2010.
In 2005 Sukkar worked as a senior consultant at PricewaterhouseCoopers where he specialised in taxation. From 2006 he spent seven years working as a tax lawyer with the firm Blake Dawson Waldron (now known as Ashurst Australia) where he was a senior associate.
In 2012, Sukkar was endorsed as the Liberal Party candidate for the marginal seat of Deakin. He won the seat at the 2013 election with a swing to the Liberal Party of 3.8 points, succeeding Labor MP Mike Symon.
At the 2016 federal election, Sukkar increased his margin by 2.5 points, the Liberal Party's largest swing in Victoria.
In his maiden speech, Sukkar declared "strength in our local community is not achieved through government mandate, regulation or handouts, but from the principles of looking after your neighbour and doing unto others as you would have them do unto you."
In 2014 Sukkar launched the Deakin 200 Club with other conservative Liberal MPs to fundraise for Deakin and other marginal conservative seats. The Age reported that the club obscured its donors; "Despite its fundraising activities, the club has never lodged a disclosure as a so-called "associated entity" of a political party, unlike similar clubs run by candidates and their supporters."
On 24 January 2017, Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull appointed Sukkar to the ministry as Assistant Minister to the Treasurer. Sukkar has previously served on a number of parliamentary committees, including being the Chairman of the Parliamentary Joint Committee on Intelligence and Security.
Prime Minister Turnbull gave Sukkar responsibility for addressing housing affordability. When asked about housing affordability on 20 February 2017, Sukkar told Sky News that "we're also enabling young people to get highly paid jobs which is the first step to buying a house". Labor MP Tim Watts said in response that the remarks showed the Coalition was "back to where Joe Hockey started on housing affordability".
In June 2017 Sukkar, Greg Hunt, and Alan Tudge faced the possibility of being prosecuted for contempt of court after they made public statements criticising the sentencing decisions of two senior judges while the government was awaiting their ruling on a related appeal. They avoided prosecution by, eventually, making an unconditional apology to the Victorian Court of Appeal. Conviction could have resulted in their expulsion from parliament under Constitution s 44(ii) and as a result, the government losing its majority in the House of Representatives.
Sukkar supported Minister for Home Affairs Peter Dutton during the Liberal leadership spill in August 2018, and had a pivotal role in removing then-Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull. At the May 2019 federal election Sukkar was re-elected for a third term, although with a reduced margin of 4.8% (a swing of 1.7%), despite support in his electorate falling to 47% of the two-party-preferred vote in an opinion poll released shortly after the leadership spill. Sukkar was not returned to the ministry after Scott Morrison succeeded Malcolm Turnbull, but returned as Assistant Treasurer and as Minister for Housing after the election.
In his maiden speech, Sukkar categorised himself as an "economic liberal" and with "strong conservative foundations". He credited his Catholic faith as being one of the two most significant influences in his life, as well as his family.
Sukkar opposes same-sex marriage. He stated that he would abide by the outcome of the Australian Marriage Law Postal Survey and believes all politicians should be held to it. Despite this, after his electorate voted 66% in favour of same sex marriage, Sukkar abstained from the vote, saying that he could not support the bill.
- "Michael Sukkar Candidate for Deakin". Liberal Party of Australia. 23 July 2013. Retrieved 7 September 2013.
- "New federal ministers officially sworn in". Australia: Sky News. AAP. 24 January 2017. Retrieved 24 January 2017.
- "Mass resignations: Leadership turmoil continues for PM as frontbenchers quit".
- "Electorate: Deakin". Australia: ABC News. Retrieved 9 December 2016.
- "First Speech". Parliament of Australia. Retrieved 9 December 2016.
- "Near-death experience brings tax lawyer to politics". 10 March 2014.
- "Michael Sukkar". IMDb. Retrieved 4 June 2017.
- "Deakin Results". Retrieved 21 February 2017.
- "Victorian Liberals should be proud of their results". Herald Sun. 2016. Retrieved 24 October 2017.
- McColl, Gina (5 March 2017). "The right-wing Liberal club hiding donors and building conservative clout". The Age. Retrieved 4 June 2017.
- "Sukkar to tackle housing affordability". 21 February 2017.
- Bourke, Latika (21 February 2017). "Coalition MP tasked with housing affordability says 'highly paid job' is 'first step' to home ownership". The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 15 June 2017.
- "Michael Sukkar: get a highly paid job to buy a house". The Australian. 21 February 2017.
- "Greg Hunt, Alan Tudge, Michael Sukkar face contempt charge". Financial Review. 15 June 2017. Retrieved 15 June 2017.
- Hutchens, Gareth (14 June 2017). "Greg Hunt declines to say if he'll be in court for hearing over potential contempt charges". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved 15 June 2017.
- Wahlquist, Calla (23 June 2017). "Coalition ministers will not face contempt charges after court accepts apology". The Guardian. Retrieved 23 June 2017.
- Bucci, Nino; Massola, James (23 June 2017). "Ministers escape contempt charges after 'unconditional apology' to Supreme Court". The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 23 June 2017.
- "An Executive and Judicial tussle: Is this healthy for our democracy?". Constitution Education Fund Australia. 23 June 2017. Retrieved 23 June 2017.
- "Deakin (Key Seat) - Federal Election 2019 Electorate, Candidates, Results | Australia Votes - ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation)". ABC News. Retrieved 14 July 2019.
- Latika Bourke & David Crowe (28 August 2018). "Michael Sukkar faces backlash over role in Liberal leadership crisis". The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 28 August 2018.
- "Michael Sukkar at Australian Christian Lobby". Australian Christian Lobby. Retrieved 4 June 2017.
- Michael Sukkar joins us in valuing traditional values which have stood the test of time
- "Liberals and Nationals for Marriage". facebook.com. Retrieved 16 September 2017.
- "Michael Sukkar: any hate speech is the fault of marriage equality advocates | OUTInPerth – Gay and Lesbian News and Culture". www.outinperth.com. 8 August 2017. Retrieved 16 September 2017.
- "Whitehorse MPs to respect public vote". Retrieved 16 September 2017.
- "marriage plebiscite results". Retrieved 28 August 2018.
- "Sukkar abstains from marriage vote". Herald Sun. 8 December 2017. Retrieved 8 December 2017.
|Parliament of Australia|
| Member for Deakin
| Assistant Minister to the Treasurer