Peter Baldwin (politician)

Peter Jeremy Baldwin (born 12 April 1951)[1] is a former Australian politician. He was an Australian Labor Party member of the Australian House of Representatives from 1983 to 1998.

Peter Baldwin
Member of the Australian Parliament
for Sydney
In office
5 March 1983  31 August 1998
Preceded byLes McMahon
Succeeded byTanya Plibersek
Personal details
Born (1951-04-12) 12 April 1951
Aldershot, England
NationalityEnglish Australian
Political partyAustralian Labor Party

Baldwin was born in Aldershot, England. His family moved to Australia in 1958.[2] He attended Normanhurst Boys' High School in Sydney,[2] and later received a Bachelor of Electrical Engineering from the University of Sydney and a Bachelor of Arts from Macquarie University.[1]

Baldwin was a member of the New South Wales Legislative Council from 1975 to 1982.[3] In the 1970s he was prominent as a left-wing activist in the Australian Labor Party (ALP), in which position he sought to break the grip over the corrupt right-wing machine that controlled many Labor subdivisions in and near central Sydney. In the course of his campaign he uncovered substantial and illegal doctoring of the party's account books in the Enmore branch of the ALP.

On 16 July 1980, he was brutally assaulted at his home in the nearby Sydney suburb of Marrickville. Pictures of his battered face dominated the front pages of newspapers around the nation, and led to increased pressure for reform of the party. No one was ever charged with the assault. Subsequently it was alleged that the bashing was undertaken by underworld figure Tom Domican acting on suggestions from the Labor state secretary at the time, Graham Richardson.[4] In March 2007 Richardson won a settlement against Fairfax of A$50,000 for defamation on the basis of this report.[5]

After leaving state politics, Baldwin held the seat of Sydney in the Federal Parliament from 1983 to 1998. He served as Minister for Employment and Education Services in April 1990, Minister for Higher Education and Employment Services from May 1990 to March 1993, and Minister for Social Security from March 1993 to the defeat of the Keating government in March 1996.[1]

Later career

After leaving politics, Baldwin developed and co-founded Debategraph in March 2008, a web-based collaborative argument visualisation tool for mapping complex public policy debates which is used by the White House,[6] the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office,[7] and the Amanpour series on CNN.[8] He chairs the Blackheath Philosophy Forum.[9]


  1. "Baldwin, the Hon. Peter Jeremy". Parliament of Australia. Retrieved 30 May 2007.
  2. Wright, Tony (19 July 1997). "The man they couldn't bash out of politics to quit prized Labor seat". The Sydney Morning Herald.
  3. "Mr Peter Jeremy Baldwin (1951- )". Former Members of the Parliament of New South Wales. Retrieved 3 May 2019.
  4. McClymont, Kate (25 November 2005). "Lid lifted on the ugly '80s". The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 30 May 2007.
  5. Norington, Brad (6 March 2007). "Richo wins $50k from Fairfax for defamation". The Australian. Retrieved 30 May 2007.
  6. Noveck, Beth (5 June 2009). "Open Government Brainstorm: Collaboration in Action". The White House Blog. Retrieved 31 July 2012.
  7. "Nuclear debategraph". Foreign and Commonwealth Office/Debategraph. May 2010. Retrieved 31 July 2012.
  8. "Amanpour CNN". CNN/Debategraph. 30 April 2010. Retrieved 31 July 2012.
  9. "2018 program". Blackheath Philosophy Forum. Retrieved 30 November 2018.


Political offices
Preceded by
Neal Blewett
Minister for Social Security
Succeeded by
Jocelyn Newman
Parliament of Australia
Preceded by
Les McMahon
Member for Sydney
Succeeded by
Tanya Plibersek
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