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Mathias Cormann

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Mathias Cormann

Senator The Honorable
Mathias Cormann
14th Minister for Finance
Incumbent
Assumed office
18 September 2013
Prime Minister Tony Abbott
Preceded by Penny Wong
Senator for Western Australia
Incumbent
Assumed office
19 June 2007
Preceded by Ian Campbell
Personal details
Born (1970-09-20) 20 September 1970
Eupen, Belgium
Nationality Australian
Political party Liberal Party
Spouse(s) Hayley
Children One daughter
Alma mater Université de Namur
Katholieke Universiteit Leuven
University of East Anglia
Religion Roman Catholicism[1]
Website www.mathiascormann.com.au

Mathias Hubert Paul Cormann[2] (; German pronunciation: ; born 20 September 1970) is an Australian politician of German-speaking Belgian descent. He is a Liberal Party senator for Western Australia, having been chosen by the Parliament of Western Australia on 19 June 2007 to fill the casual vacancy caused by the resignation of Senator Ian Campbell. Cormann has been the Minister for Finance since 18 September 2013.[3]

Early life

Born in the German-speaking town of Eupen in eastern Belgium, Cormann graduated with a Bachelor of Law degree from Katholieke Universiteit Leuven. As part of his university studies Cormann participated in a one-year student exchange program at the University of East Anglia in Norwich in 1993–94, where he first learnt to speak English. Following a visit to Perth in 1994, he migrated to Australia permanently.[4][5]

Personal life

Cormann is married to Hayley, a lawyer. They have one daughter.[5]

Political career

Belgium

Aged 21, Cormann joined the Christlich Soziale Partei (CSP) in Raeren, where he served as a municipal council member. From 1994 to 1996, Cormann served as an assistant to Member of the European Parliament Mathieu Grosch.[6]

Australia

He joined the Liberal Party in Western Australia and took on a job as ministerial chief-of-staff, then senior adviser to then-Premier of Western Australia, Richard Court. He then moved to federal politics, working for two years as a senior adviser to then Minister for Justice and Customs Chris Ellison. Between 2003 and 2008, Cormann was the state senior vice-president of the Liberal Party in Western Australia. He was also acting general manager of HBF, a WA-based health insurance company, until resigning in May 2007 to contest a Senate seat.

Cormann's preselection for the coveted third position on the Liberal Senate ticket for the 2007 election was all but assured, at the expense of controversial Senator Ross Lightfoot, who withdrew from the preselection race and resigned from politics when he realised the numbers were against him. On the ABC's Stateline program on 27 April 2007, Lightfoot stated that he considered Cormann (although he stopped short of naming him) an "inappropriate person" to replace him. Lightfoot's main complaint was that there were "more appropriate people" to succeed him "who have served the party longer" and "who have been in the country longer".[7]

When Senator Ian Campbell unexpectedly announced his planned resignation on 4 May 2007, Cormann was quickly preselected by the party to fill the resulting casual vacancy. Campbell formally resigned on 31 May 2007. Cormann was sworn in on 20 June 2007 and served the remaining four years of Ian Campbell's term until 2011.[8] On 21 August 2010 Cormann was re-elected for a further six-year term as Senator for Western Australia, which started on 1 July 2011.

In Opposition Cormann served as Shadow Parliamentary Secretary for Health Administration (2008–09), Shadow Minister for Employment Participation, Apprenticeships and Training (2009–2010) and as Shadow Assistant Treasurer and Shadow Minister for Financial Services and Superannuation (2010–2013). In the Senate he chaired the Fuel and Energy Select Committee (2008–2010)[9] and the Scrutiny of New Taxes Committee (2010–2011).

References

  1. ^ "Coalition celebrates a religious Easter: Eight of 19 cabinet members are Catholic". smh.com.au. AAP. 20 April 2014. Retrieved 31 October 2014. 
  2. ^ "Biography for CORMANN, the Hon. Mathias Hubert Paul". parlinfo.aph.gov.au. Retrieved 23 October 2014. 
  3. ^ "Tony Abbott's cabinet and outer ministry". smh.com.au. AAP. 16 September 2013. Retrieved 16 September 2013. 
  4. ^ http://www.abc.net.au/tv/qanda/txt/s3254840.htm
  5. ^ a b http://www.financeminister.gov.au/biography.html
  6. ^ "Van de Hoge Venen naar de Australische top" in De Standaard, 18 September 2013
  7. ^ Carmody, Rebecca (27 April 2007). "Controversial Liberal Senator Ross Lightfoot calls it a day".  
  8. ^ O'Brien, Amanda (7 May 2007). "Ex-gardener lands Senate spot".  
  9. ^ Senate Select Committee on Fuel and Energy: Committee membership,

External links

Parliament of Australia
Preceded by
Ian Campbell
Senator for Western Australia
2007–present
Incumbent
Political offices
Preceded by
Penny Wong
as Minister for Finance and Deregulation
Minister for Finance
2013–present
Incumbent
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