Peter Walsh (Australian politician)

Peter Alexander Walsh AO (11 March 1935  10 April 2015) was an Australian senator and Labor politician from 1974 to 1993.

Peter Walsh

Minister for Finance
In office
13 December 1984  4 April 1990
Prime MinisterBob Hawke
Preceded byJohn Dawkins
Succeeded byRalph Willis
Minister for Resources and Energy
In office
11 March 1983  13 December 1984
Prime MinisterBob Hawke
Preceded byDoug Anthony
Succeeded byGareth Evans
Senator for Western Australia
In office
18 May 1974  30 June 1993
Personal details
Born(1935-03-11)11 March 1935
Kellerberrin, Western Australia
Died10 April 2015(2015-04-10) (aged 80)
Perth, Western Australia
Political partyAustralian Labor Party
OccupationFarmer and grazier

Walsh grew up in Doodlakine, Western Australia, where he was a wheat and sheep farmer. He was elected to the Australian Senate in 1974, and served as Minister for Resources and Energy from 1983 to 1984 and Finance Minister from 1984 to 1990.[1] He was noted for his pro-free market views.[2]

In his 1995 memoirs, Confessions of a Failed Finance Minister, Walsh was critical of his colleagues and of political processes in general for failing to curb what he saw as wasteful government expenditure, and unnecessary government intervention. Also in his book he corrected errors made in Whatever It Takes, the book written by former ministerial colleague and fellow Senator Graham Richardson.[3]

After leaving politics, Walsh was a columnist for the Australian Financial Review and was particularly critical of environmentalism. He was one of the founders of the Lavoisier Group which opposes the Kyoto protocol on global warming. Walsh also expressed criticism over the Rudd government's National Broadband Network scheme.[4]

Walsh died at a hospital in Perth after a short illness on 10 April 2015.[5]

In his tribute to him, sitting Liberal Finance Minister and another WA Senator Mathias Cormann described his predecessor as "a real pillar of the Hawke Government".[6]


  1. "Biography for Walsh, the Hon. Peter Alexander, AO". ParlInfo Web. Parliament of Australia. Retrieved 27 October 2007.
  2. Walsh, Peter. "Labor and the Constitution: Forty Years On". Samuel Giffith Society. Retrieved 17 February 2008.
  3. Walsh, Peter (1995). Confessions of a failed finance minister. Milsons Point, N.S.W: Random House Australia. p. 291. ISBN 0-09-182999-2.
  4. Leaders with no instinct for numbers: The Advertiser 9 January 2010
  5. Powell, Graeme (10 April 2015). "Former WA Labor senator Peter Walsh dies". ABC News. Retrieved 10 April 2015.
Political offices
Preceded by
Doug Anthony
Minister for Resources and Energy
Succeeded by
Gareth Evans
Preceded by
John Dawkins
Minister for Finance
Succeeded by
Ralph Willis
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