Ted O'Brien (Australian politician)

Edward Lynam O'Brien (born 7 May 1974) is an Australian politician. He has been the Liberal National Party of Queensland member for Fairfax in the Australian House of Representatives since being elected at the 2016 federal election.[1]

Ted O'Brien

Member of the Australian Parliament
for Fairfax
Assumed office
2 July 2016 (2016-07-02)
Preceded byClive Palmer
Personal details
Born (1974-05-07) 7 May 1974
Brisbane, Queensland, Australia
Political partyLNP
CommitteesParliamentary Committee for Indigenous Affairs; Parliamentary Committee for Industry, Innovation, Science and Resources; Parliamentary Committee for Infrastructure, Transport and Cities. LNP Backbench Committee for Foreign Affairs; LNP Backbench Committee for Economics and Finance; LNP Backbench Committee for Environment and Energy and LNP Backbench Committee for Social Services.

O'Brien won the seat in the 2016 election, after having lost to Clive Palmer by only 53 votes in the 2013 election.[1]

Before politics

O'Brien has over 20 years experience in business, commencing his career in the family business, Defiance Mills. During his teenage years and young adulthood, he worked for Defiance from the shop floor as a trainee baker, and he ultimately progressed through to senior management in Australia and throughout Asia, spending several years in Taiwan as Country Manager expanding the business. He then worked for Australia's rice industry, focusing on international negotiations with a particular focus on Japan and market entry work across various Asian markets that were looking to enter the World Trade Organisation, including Greater China.

O'Brien spent over 10 years with global consulting firm, Accenture. He started with the firm's Strategy Consulting division in Sydney, leading service delivery for clients in the communications and high technology sectors before being promoted to roles managing the firm's larger and more complex international deals. His final posting with Accenture was as Director of Growth & Strategy for the Asia Pacific and Emerging Markets – responsible for corporate strategy, mergers & acquisitions and mega deals based in Beijing.


O'Brien ran as the Liberal challenger in Brisbane in 2007, losing to Labor incumbent Arch Bevis.

On returning to Australia, O'Brien became Managing Director of government relations firm Barton Deakin Qld before being endorsed by the Coalition to contest the 2013 Federal election in the seat of Fairfax, where he was beaten by 53 votes by Clive Palmer, making Fairfax the most marginal seat in Australia.

He started his own advisory practice on the Sunshine Coast.

Ahead of the 2016 Federal Election, Clive Palmer announced he would not seek re-election in the seat. Fairfax has historically been safely conservative in a "traditional" two-party matchup (Labor vs. Liberal/LNP); the LNP would have picked up a healthy five-percent swing in a traditional two-party contest in 2013. Palmer's retirement thus made O'Brien favourite to retake the seat for the LNP. O'Brien won the seat with 60.9 percent of the two-party vote, reverting Fairfax to its traditional status as a safe LNP seat.[1]

He established Generation Innovation[2] to connect budding young entrepreneurs with the marketplace.


  1. "Fairfax – Australia Votes". Australian Broadcasting Corporation. Retrieved 6 July 2016.
  2. "The board". Generation Innovation. Retrieved 13 July 2017.
Parliament of Australia
Preceded by
Clive Palmer
Member for Fairfax
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