Norm Foster (politician)

Norman Kenneth Foster OAM (12 March 1921 – 19 November 2006) was a South Australian federal and state Labor Party politician.

Norman Foster

Member of the Australian Parliament
for Sturt
In office
25 October 1969  2 December 1972
Preceded byIan Wilson
Succeeded byIan Wilson
Member of the South Australian Legislative Council
In office
12 July 1975  6 November 1982
Personal details
Born(1921-03-12)12 March 1921
Adelaide, South Australia
Died19 November 2006(2006-11-19) (aged 85)
Adelaide, South Australia
Political partyLabor Party
OccupationDock worker

Early life

Norman was born in Adelaide and left school at 13. He worked as a labourer until he enlisted in the Second Australian Imperial Force's 2/10th Battalion in 1939 at the outbreak of World War II. He served in England, Tobruk, New Guinea and Borneo, where he was mentioned in dispatches for bravery in action as a signaller. After the war he worked on the docks in Port Adelaide and became a leader of the Waterside Workers' Federation and president of the Trades and Labor Council in 1964.[1]

Political career

He won the federal seat of Sturt from Liberal incumbent Ian Wilson at the 1969 election with a 50 percent primary and 50.5 percent two-party vote from a 15 percent two-party swing. Foster's victory in the historically blue-ribbon Liberal seat was part of an 18-seat swing to Labor that nearly ended the Coalition's record tenure in government. However Wilson won the seat back at the 1972 election from a 2.7 percent swing even as Labor won government.

Foster later served in the South Australian Legislative Council from 1975 to 1982 and was probably best known for his support of the Tonkin Liberal government's legislation to enable the Roxby Downs uranium mine in 1982. The legislation was very controversial, and was opposed at the time by Labor. Foster resigned from the Labor Party just before he crossed the floor to give the final vote required to pass the legislation. He ran unsuccessfully for the Legislative Council as an independent Labor candidate in 1982. His ALP membership was reinstated in 1988.

Foster died in Adelaide and was survived by his wife, five children, seven grandchildren and four great-grandchildren.[1]


  1. Kelton, Greg (7 December 2006). "SA: Vale Norman Foster OAM". Labor Herald. Archived from the original on 15 March 2007. Retrieved 29 May 2007.
Parliament of Australia
Preceded by
Ian Wilson
Member for Sturt
Succeeded by
Ian Wilson
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