Peter Duncan (Australian politician)

Peter Duncan (born 1 January 1945) is an Australian Labor Party politician and one of the relatively few members of parliament to have served not only in both a state and national parliament but also as a minister in both cases.

Peter Duncan
Member of the Australian Parliament
for Makin
In office
1 December 1984  2 March 1996
Preceded byNew seat
Succeeded byTrish Draper
Personal details
Born (1945-01-01) 1 January 1945
Melbourne, Victoria
Political partyAustralian Labor Party
Alma materUniversity of Adelaide

Peter Duncan was born in Melbourne and went to the University of Adelaide, where he studied law and was co-editor of the student newspaper On Dit in 1968. He was elected to the South Australian House of Assembly from the electorate of Elizabeth in the 1973 South Australian election, when he was 28.[1]

In state parliament Duncan served as 41st Attorney-General of South Australia from 1975 until 1979, and then as Minister for Health until the defeat of the Corcoran Labor government at the 1979 election. He resigned from state politics in 1984, sparking an Elizabeth by-election, to contest the seat of Makin in the 1984 Australian election, which he held at every election until defeated when Labor lost office federally in 1996.

Duncan was Minister for Land Transport and Infrastructure Support for the last half of 1987 and Minister for Employment and Education Services for over three years from 1988 to 1990. After leaving the ministry in 1990, he became Parliamentary Secretary to the Attorney-General in December 1991, a post he held until Labor lost office.[1]

Duncan had a business career after politics, which became a source of controversy when he was charged in September 2007 with 'making an untrue statement in application for a Commonwealth grant and with dishonestly causing loss to a Commonwealth entity'.[2] It was reported that this had occurred in the wake of the failure of his plastics recycling business Omnipol.[3] He was subsequently ordered to stand trial on three counts in the South Australian District Court.[4] Duncan went on trial on 3 November 2008, pleading not guilty.[5] On 11 November, he was acquitted on all charges.[6]


  1. "The Hon. Peter Duncan". Australian Parliamentary Handbook online. Parliament of Australia. Retrieved 13 September 2009.
  2. Riches, Sam (5 September 2007). "Peter Duncan arrested". AdelaideNow. Retrieved 13 September 2009.
  3. "Former Hawke minister refused passport by court". ABC News. 12 September 2007. Retrieved 13 September 2009.
  4. Pia Akerman, 'Hawke minister to stand trial on fraud charge', The Australian, 31 October 2007
  5. "Duncan fraud trial starts in SA". ABC News. 3 November 2008. Retrieved 4 November 2009.
  6. "Former minister acquitted in fraud trial". ABC News. 11 November 2008. Retrieved 4 November 2009.
Parliament of South Australia
Preceded by
John Clark
Member for Elizabeth
Martyn Evans
Preceded by
Gil Langley
Government Whip
Succeeded by
Glen Broomhill
Preceded by
Don Dunstan
Attorney-General of South Australia
Succeeded by
Don Banfield
Preceded by
Ron Payne
Minister for Prices and Consumer Affairs
Succeeded by
Don Banfield
Preceded by
Don Banfield
Minister for Health
Succeeded by
Jennifer Cashmore
Parliament of Australia
New division Member for Makin
Succeeded by
Trish Draper
Preceded by
New ministry
Minister for Land Transport
and Infrastructure Support

Succeeded by
Clyde Holding
Preceded by
Clyde Holding
Minister for Employment and
Education Services

Succeeded by
Peter Baldwin
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