Community News

Politician’s service recognised

The late Honourable Ian Louis Robinson has been awarded a posthumous Order of Australia Medal (OAM) in the Queen’s Birthday Honours List “for service to the Parliaments of Australia and New South Wales”. Late of Grafton, Mr Robinson’s contribution to Australian political life was mentioned in several speeches in both the Senate and House of Representatives on March 27 and 29, 2017 respectively, following his death on March 23. Senator George Brandis gave the following summary (in part); his being the most concise: “Ian Robertson was born on 27 March 1925—92 years ago today in Coraki in New South Wales. “He spent all his life in northern New South Wales. “Before entering parliament he worked as a dairy farmer, as a journalist and as a company director. “His political career spanned an impressive 37 years. “He was first elected to the New South Wales Legislative Assembly as the member for Cowper in 1953 at the age of only 28. “He held that seat for 10 years. “…In 1963, Ian Robinson was endorsed as the Country Party candidate for [the federal seat of] Cowper, which he won at the 1963 federal election having resigned from the New South Wales parliament after 10 years of service. “He was elected as the member for Cowper at the 1963 election, and successfully contested the seat at every election until 1984, when he changed to the seat of Page. “…He continued as the member for Page until his defeat in 1990 in the Labor swing of that year. “A profile of Ian Robinson in the House of Representatives magazine of 18 September 1984 describes him thus, ‘Ian Robinson is a strong speaker, particularly off-the-cuff, and says he has always taken the view that political statements should be based on the strongest facts.’ “…On one occasion when he was elected, he was unopposed; on another occasion, so strong was his support that he was not opposed by an official Labor Party candidate. “During his 27 years of service in the House of Representatives, Ian Robinson served as Assistant Minister to the Postmaster-General, Sir Alan Hulme. “In fact, his appointment to that position on 20 August 1971—after the first reshuffle of the McMahon government following the resignation of then Mr John Gorton as Minister for Defence—means that he was one of the very last members appointed to the frontbench of the coalition government that had served Australia for 23 years, between 1949 and 1972. “Of course he went out of office with the election of the Whitlam government in 1972. “During the period of Malcolm Fraser’s leadership of the opposition, he served as the shadow spokesman on decentralised development, but, with the election of the Fraser government in December 1975, he was not included on the frontbench. “He did, however, serve as deputy chair of committees from 1976 to 1983.”