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Wayne Swan


Wayne Swan

The Honourable
Wayne Swan
14th Deputy Prime Minister of Australia
In office
24 June 2010 – 27 June 2013
Monarch Elizabeth II
Prime Minister Julia Gillard
Preceded by Julia Gillard
Succeeded by Anthony Albanese
Deputy Leader of the Labor Party
In office
24 June 2010 – 26 June 2013
Leader Julia Gillard
Preceded by Julia Gillard
Succeeded by Anthony Albanese
Minister for Finance and Deregulation
In office
3 September 2010 – 14 September 2010
Prime Minister Julia Gillard
Preceded by Lindsay Tanner
Succeeded by Penny Wong
Treasurer of Australia
In office
3 December 2007 – 27 June 2013
Prime Minister Kevin Rudd
Julia Gillard
Preceded by Peter Costello
Succeeded by Chris Bowen
Manager of Opposition Business in the House
In office
25 November 2001 – 16 June 2003
Leader Simon Crean
Preceded by Bob McMullan
Succeeded by Mark Latham
Member of the Australian Parliament
for Lilley
Assumed office
3 October 1998
Preceded by Elizabeth Grace
In office
13 March 1993 – 2 March 1996
Preceded by Elaine Darling
Succeeded by Elizabeth Grace
Personal details
Born Wayne Maxwell Swan
(1954-06-30) 30 June 1954
Nambour, Australia
Political party Australian Labor Party
Spouse(s) Toni Jensen (Late 1970s)
Kim Swan (1984–present)
Children Erinn
Alma mater University of Queensland
Religion Christianity (Non-practising)[1]
Website .orgswanmp

Wayne Maxwell Swan (born 30 June 1954) is an Australian politician who was the Deputy Prime Minister of Australia and the Deputy Leader of the Labor Party from 2010 to 2013, and the Treasurer of Australia from 2007 to 2013.

Swan was first elected to the House of Representatives in 1993 for Lilley in Queensland, although he lost this seat in 1996. He regained the seat in 1998 and has represented it ever since. Following Labor's victory in 2007, Swan was appointed Treasurer of Australia by Prime Minister Kevin Rudd. On 24 June 2010, when Julia Gillard became Prime Minister of Australia and Leader of the Labor Party following the resignation of Kevin Rudd, Swan was elected unopposed to become Deputy Leader of the Labor Party, and was subsequently sworn in as the 14th Deputy Prime Minister of Australia.[2]

Following a leadership spill in the Australian Labor Party held in June 2013, during which Kevin Rudd replaced Julia Gillard as Labor leader, Swan resigned from all of his positions and returned to the backbench.[3]


  • Early life and career 1
  • Political career 2
    • Parliament 2.1
    • Shadow cabinet 2.2
    • Treasurer of Australia 2.3
      • Deputy Prime Minister 2.3.1
  • Book 3
  • Family and other 4
  • See also 5
  • References 6
  • External links 7

Early life and career

Swan was born and educated in Nambour, Queensland. He attended Nambour State High School and graduated in 1972.[4] Kevin Rudd attended the same school at the same time, although the two did not know each other. Swan was awarded a Commonwealth scholarship and studied Public Administration at The University of Queensland where he resided at Emmanuel College. After graduation he became a lecturer in the Department of Management at the Queensland Institute of Technology.[5][6] From 1978 to 1980, Swan acted as an advisor to Labor Leader Bill Hayden, and from 1983 to 1984 was an advisor to Mick Young and Kim Beazley. He was also the State Secretary of the Queensland Labor Party from 1991 to 1993.

Political career


Swan was first elected as the Member for Lilley in the 1993 federal election, but was defeated three years later by Elizabeth Grace in what was a large defeat for Labor nationwide. In 1996, Swan donated $500–$1400 (amount disputed) to the Australian Democrats campaign manager in his seat of Lilley.[7] At the time, speculation surrounded the nature of the donation.[8][9] The matter was referred to the Australian Federal Police who chose to take no further action.[10][11] Following these events, he worked as an advisor to Labor Leader Kim Beazley.

Shadow cabinet

Swan contested Lilley again in the 1998 federal election, regaining his seat. Shortly after his return to Parliament, he was elected to the shadow cabinet. He was made Shadow Minister for Family and Community Services in 1998, and then Manager of Opposition Business in 2001. During the 2003 Labor leadership election he was a prominent supporter of Kim Beazley, but retained his position in the Shadow Cabinet when Mark Latham became the new Leader. After the 2004 federal election defeat, Swan was promoted to become Shadow Treasurer. This was seen by many as a surprise, as it was rumoured that Latham was intending to appoint then-Shadow Health Minister Julia Gillard to the position. It was believed that strong opposition from Labor's Right Faction had put Latham under pressure to appoint either Swan or Shadow Industrial Relations Minister Stephen Smith as Shadow Treasurer.[12]

Swan worked with Kim Beazley and Stephen Smith to devise Labor's response to the Howard Government's 2006 budget, with Labor proposing tax relief for low- and middle-income earners. Swan launched his book during the same month, Postcode: The Splintering of a Nation. In early November 2007, Swan and Labor Leader Kevin Rudd revisited Nambour State High School, their old school. Rudd gave a speech to students, in which he said that, at school, "Wayne was very, very cool; and I was very, very not."[13]

Treasurer of Australia

US Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner (left) with Wayne Swan (right).

Following Labor's landslide win in the 2007 federal election, Swan was duly appointed Treasurer of Australia by Prime Minister Kevin Rudd on 3 December 2007 succeeding Peter Costello.[14]

Swan's first budget concentrated on inflationary pressures in the economy, with substantially reduced spending that exceeded the A$11 billion outlayed for tax cuts. The policy debate shifted around August 2008 after mortgage lending banks in the United States began to collapse and economic activity faltered as American investments were written off one after the other. In response to the resulting global downturn, Swan coordinated an "economic security strategy" worth $10 billion in October 2008. Designed as a stimulus package and directed towards retail sales, it was largely supported by the International Monetary Fund. When the December quarterly growth report showed the economy contracting, he moved ahead with the Nation Building and Jobs Plan to provide government-sponsored work worth A$42 billion.

Deputy Prime Minister

On 24 June 2010, Deputy Prime Minister Julia Gillard challenged Kevin Rudd in a leadership election. Realising that he would be unable to win, Rudd resigned as leader and Prime Minister and Gillard was elected unopposed. Swan stood to fill the now vacant position of deputy leader of the Labor Party, also being elected unopposed, and he was subsequently sworn in as Deputy Prime Minister under Gillard. Days later, Swan attended the G-20 Toronto summit in Gillard's place.[15]

On 21 September 2011, Swan was named the World's Best Finance Minister by Euromoney magazine, joining Paul Keating as the only Australian treasurers to have been conferred the title.[16]

In an essay published in The Monthly magazine in March 2012[17] and a subsequent address to the National Press Club,[18] Swan criticised the rising influence of vested interests, in particular paying attention to mining entrepreneurs Clive Palmer, Gina Rinehart and Andrew Forrest, and how Swan believes they are threatening Australia's egalitarian social contract. In The Monthly essay he opined:

The latest example of this is the foray by Australia’s richest person, Gina Rinehart, into Fairfax Media, reportedly in an attempt to wield greater influence on public opinion and further her commercial interests at a time when the overwhelming economic consensus is that it's critical to use the economic weight of the resources boom to strengthen the entire economy.
Politicians have a choice: between exploiting divisions by promoting fear and appealing to the sense of fairness and decency that is the foundation of our middle-class society; between standing up for workers and kneeling down at the feet of the Gina Rineharts and the Clive Palmers.
For every Andrew Forrest who wails about high company taxes and then admits to not paying any, there are a hundred Australian businesspeople who held on to their employees and worked with government to keep the doors of Australian business open during the GFC. Despite the howling of a small minority, the vast bulk of the resources industry is in the cart for more efficient profits-based resource taxation which serves to strengthen our entire economy. The vast majority of our miners accept that they have a social obligation to pay their fair share of tax on the resources Australians own.


  • Swan, Wayne (2005). Postcode: the splintering of a nation. North Melbourne, VIC: Pluto Press.  

Family and other

Swan is married to his second wife Kim and has three children.[19] An earlier marriage, when he was 21, lasted for one year.[19]

At age 48, Swan was diagnosed with prostate cancer but has since fully recovered. He has become an advocate for the prostate cancer public awareness campaign.[20]

See also


  1. ^ Gordon, Josh; Fyfe, Melissa (14 March 2010). "Pollies in the no-God squad". The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 11 May 2011. 
  2. ^ Kenny, Mark (24 June 2010). "Julia Gillard replaces Kevin Rudd as Prime Minister of Australia". Adelaide Now. Retrieved 24 June 2010. 
  3. ^ Griffith, Emma (26 June 2013). "Kevin Rudd defeats Julia Gillard 57-45 in Labor leadership ballot, paving way for a return to PM".  
  4. ^ Fraser, Andrew (5 December 2006). "Genesis of an ideas man". The Australian. Retrieved 17 March 2012. 
  5. ^ Atkins, Dennis (2 August 2008). "Wayne Swan and Kevin Rudd seek government reform". The Courier-Mail. Retrieved 21 August 2008. 
  6. ^ Swan, Wayne (21 August 2007). Australian Treasurer (transcript). Interview with  
  7. ^ Karvelas, Patricia (14 August 2007). Kick Swan out' for Democrats donation"'". The Australian. Retrieved 23 June 2010. 
  8. ^ Sanderson, Wayne (27 November 2000). "Preferential treatment" (transcript). 7.30 Report (Australia). Retrieved 23 June 2010. 
  9. ^ Royal, Simon (29 November 2000). "Tracking the money path of the Swan donation" (transcript). 7.30 Report (Australia). Retrieved 23 June 2010. 
  10. ^ Pearson, Christopher (23 July 2002). "Why Wayne Swan will not realise the ALP leadership". The Age (Australia). Retrieved 23 June 2010. 
  11. ^ "Swan targeted over Democrats money". The Australian. Retrieved 23 June 2010. 
  12. ^ Toohey, Paul (17 April 2007). "Swan's Song". The Bulletin. pp. 17–23. Retrieved 10 January 2008. 
  13. ^ Donald, Peta (13 November 2007). "Labor says Coalition spending will raise inflation" (transcript). PM (ABC Radio) (Australia). Retrieved 5 December 2007. 
  14. ^ "Rudd hands out portfolios". Australia: ABC News. 29 November 2007. 
  15. ^ O'Malley, Sandra (26 June 2010). "Swan to take International Stage at G20". The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 6 April 2011. 
  16. ^ Uren, David (21 September 2011). "Wayne Swan named world's best Treasurer by Euromoney magazine". The Australian. Retrieved 17 March 2012. 
  17. ^ Swan, Wayne (March 2012). "The 0.01 Per Cent: The Rising Influence of Vested Interests in Australia". The Monthly. Retrieved 17 March 2012. 
  18. ^ "Swan launches second assault on mining billionaires" (transcript). PM (ABC Radio) (Australia). 5 March 2012. Retrieved 17 March 2012. 
  19. ^ a b Hall, Louise (2 March 2008). "'"Treasurer Wayne Swan's first marriage didn't last long it went for about one year 'no secret. The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 23 May 2008. 
  20. ^ Scott, Sophie (27 February 2003). "The prostate debate" (transcript). 7:30 Report (Australia). Retrieved 23 June 2010. 

External links

  • Personal website
  • Paul Kelly, Triumph and Demise: The Broken Promise of a Labor Generation, Melbourne University Press, 2014. ISBN 9780522862102
  • Search or browse Hansard for Wayne Swan at
Parliament of Australia
Preceded by
Elaine Darling
Member of Parliament for Lilley
Succeeded by
Elizabeth Grace
Preceded by
Elizabeth Grace
Member of Parliament for Lilley
Political offices
Preceded by
Peter Costello
Treasurer of Australia
Succeeded by
Chris Bowen
Preceded by
Julia Gillard
Deputy Prime Minister of Australia
Succeeded by
Anthony Albanese
Party political offices
Preceded by
Julia Gillard
Deputy Leader of the Labor Party
Succeeded by
Anthony Albanese
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