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- Chosen by the Parliament of Tasmania on 25.8.2005 under section 15 of the Constitution to represent that State in the Senate, vice S Mackay (resigned). Elected 2007 Re-elected 2013 and 2016, 2019 and 2022.
- Assistant Minister for Infrastructure and Transport from 1.6.2022.
- Temporary Chair of Committees from 12.2.2008 to 28.9.2010.
- Temporary Chair of Committees from 2.7.2019.
- Senate Standing: Scrutiny of Delegated Legislation (formerly Regulations and Ordinances) from 13.9.2005 to 1.7.2011; Publications from 14.2.2008 to 11.11.2013 (Chair from 20.3.2008 to 11.11.2013); Selection of Bills from 30.9.2010 to 11.11.2013; Scrutiny of Bills from 1.7.2011 to 11.11.2013; Senators' Interests from 6.3.2014 to 1.7.2014; House from 1.9.2016.
- Senate Select: Autism from 5.12.2019 (Deputy Chair from 25.2.2021).
- Senate Legislative and General Purpose Standing: Finance and Public Administration: Legislation from 13.9.2005 to 11.9.2006; Finance and Public Administration: References from 13.9.2005 to 11.9.2006; Community Affairs: References from 15.9.2005 to 11.9.2006; Finance and Public Administration from 11.9.2006 to 30.6.2008; Community Affairs from 11.9.2006 to 14.5.2009; Community Affairs: Legislation from 14.5.2009 to 9.5.2016; Community Affairs: References from 14.5.2009 to 25.2.2013; Community Affairs: References from 12.11.2013 to 9.5.2016; Rural and Regional Affairs and Transport: Legislation from 23.5.2018 to 23.5.2018 (Substitute member from 23.5.2018 to 23.5.2018); Rural and Regional Affairs and Transport: Legislation from 22.10.2018 to 22.10.2018 (Substitute member from 22.10.2018 to 22.10.2018).
- Joint Statutory: Australian Commission for Law Enforcement Integrity from 14.2.2008 to 19.7.2010; Broadcasting of Parliamentary Proceedings (formerly Broadcasting) from 30.9.2010 to 21.6.2012; Human Rights from 1.7.2014 to 9.5.2016; Human Rights from 12.9.2016 to 1.7.2019.
- Joint Standing: Treaties from 12.9.2005 to 11.2.2008; Electoral Matters from 14.2.2008 to 9.5.2016; National Broadband Network from 23.3.2011 to 21.6.2012; National Capital and External Territories from 9.12.2013 to 9.5.2016; Electoral Matters from 12.9.2016 to 1.12.2016; National Disability Insurance Scheme from 11.10.2016 (Deputy Chair from 25.7.2019); Electoral Matters from 8.2.2017 (Deputy Chair from 25.7.2019); National Capital and External Territories from 22.7.2019 (Deputy Chair from 1.8.2019).
Parliamentary party positions
- Government Deputy Whip in the Senate from 27.9.2010 to 18.9.2013.
- Shadow Parliamentary Secretary for Families and Payments from 18.10.2013 to 23.7.2016.
- Shadow Minister for Disability and Carers from 23.7.2016 to 2.6.2019.
- Shadow Assistant Minister for Infrastructure and Regional Tourism from 2.6.2019.
- Shadow Assistant Minister for Tasmania from 2.6.2019.
- Assistant Secretary for Education and Training in the Australian Labor Party State Branch (Tas.).
- Acting Secretary of the Australian Labor Party State Branch (Tas.), 2000.
- Member of the Parliamentary Group on Population Development.
- Deputy Convener of Parliamentary Friends of Parkinson's.
- Chair of Parliamentary Friends of Arthritis.
- Deputy Chair of Parliamentary Friends of Grandparents Raising Grandchildren.
- Member of the Parliamentary Antarctic Alliance.
- Member of Emily's List.
- Born 19.7.1963, Hobart, Australia
Qualifications and occupation before entering Federal Parliament
- Administrative Officer for the Australian Labor Party from 1984 to 1996.
- Adviser to Senator S Mackay from 1996 to 1998.
- Portfolio Services Manager at the Department of Premier and Cabinet (Tas.) from 1998 to 2002.
- Adviser/Office Manager to the Minister for Primary Industries, Water and Environment (Tas.) from 2002 to 2004.
- Adviser/Office Manager to the Minister for Infrastructure, Energy and Resources (Tas.) from 2004 to 2005.