John Watson (Australian politician)

John Watson
Senator for Tasmania
In office
1 July 1978  30 June 2008
Personal details
Born (1937-01-25) 25 January 1937
Launceston, Tasmania
Political party Liberal

John Odin Wentworth Watson, AM (born 25 January 1937), is an Australian politician. He was a Liberal member of the Australian Senate from 1978 to 2008, representing the state of Tasmania. From July 2005 until he left parliament in June 2008, he was the Father of the Senate.

Watson was born in Launceston and educated at the University of Tasmania, where he graduated in economics and accountancy. He was a chartered accountant, company director and lecturer in accountancy before entering politics.

Watson was a member of the Coalition Shadow Ministry from 1990 to 1994 but never held ministerial office. He was however one of the Senate's leading experts on taxation and superannuation matters and is highly regarded by his Coalition colleagues. He was expected to announce his retirement at the 2007 election, but decided to apply for preselection, despite being 70 years of age.

On 12 May 2007, Watson was defeated in his bid for preselection after his decision to recontest sparked anger within the party. Watson considered suing on the grounds of age discrimination but ultimately decided against it.

Parliament of Australia
Preceded by
Brian Harradine
Father of the Australian Senate
2005 – 2008
Succeeded by
Ron Boswell
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