Kevin Newman (politician)

The Honourable
Kevin Newman
Member of the Australian Parliament
for Bass
In office
28 June 1975  26 October 1984
Preceded by Lance Barnard
Succeeded by Warwick Smith
Personal details
Born Kevin Eugene Newman
(1933-10-10)10 October 1933
Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
Died 17 July 1999(1999-07-17) (aged 65)
Canberra, Australian Capital Territory, Australia
Nationality Australian
Political party Liberal Party of Australia
Spouse(s) Jocelyn Newman
Children Campbell Newman
Occupation Army Officer
Military service
Allegiance Australia
Service/branch Australian Army
Years of service 1955–1975
Rank Colonel
Unit 3 RAR
Commands 5 RAR
6th Military District

Kevin Eugene Newman AO (10 October 1933  17 July 1999) was an Australian soldier and politician.

Army career

He rose to the rank of Colonel in the Australian Army, serving in Malaysia and the Vietnam War.[1]

Political career

Newman entered political life through a 1975 by-election for the Division of Bass, Tasmania, in the House of Representatives, as the Liberal candidate. The previous member, former Labor Deputy Prime Minister Lance Barnard, had held it for 21 years without serious difficulty. However, Newman took the seat off Labor with a massive 14-point swing, turning Bass into a safe Liberal seat at one stroke. His primary vote margin was actually large enough to win without the need for preferences. This shock result is reckoned as the beginning of the end for the Whitlam government, which was dismissed only six months later.

Newman easily retained his seat at the December 1975 general election. With the election of the Fraser government, he was appointed Minister for Repatriation in the second Fraser Ministry. In July 1976, he became Minister for Environment, Housing and Community Development when Ivor Greenwood became ill. He was responsible for environment issues when the decision was taken to cease sand mining on world heritage listed Fraser Island.

In December 1978, Newman was appointed Minister for National Development in the third Fraser Ministry. In December 1979 he was appointed Minister for Productivity and in November 1980 he was appointed Minister for Administrative Services in the fourth Fraser Ministry, a position he retained until the defeat of the government in the 1983 election. He retired from the parliament prior to the 1984 election.

Post-political activities

In retirement, Newman was appointed President of the National Trust Tasmania, a member of the board of the Menzies Foundation and a director of the Australian Stockman's Hall of Fame in Longreach, Queensland.

Newman was the Chairman of the Old Parliament House Governing Council from 1997 to 1999.

He was appointed an Officer of the Order of Australia in the Queen's Birthday Honours of 1994.[2]


Newman was married to Jocelyn Newman, a Senator for Tasmania, and Minister for Family and Community Services and Minister Assisting the Prime Minister for the Status of Women in the Howard government. They had two children: Kate and Campbell. Campbell Newman was the Lord Mayor of Brisbane 2004-11, and was Premier of Queensland from March 2012 to February 2015.


  1. Vietnam War Nominal Roll
  2. It's an Honour – Officer of the Order of Australia
Political offices
Preceded by
Don Chipp
Minister for Repatriation
Succeeded by
Peter Durack
Preceded by
Ivor Greenwood
Minister for Environment, Housing
and Community Development

Succeeded by
Ray Groom
Preceded by
Doug Anthony
Minister for National Development
Succeeded by
John Carrick
Preceded by
Ian Macphee
Minister for Productivity
Position abolished
Preceded by
John McLeay
Minister for Administrative Services
Succeeded by
John Brown
Parliament of Australia
Preceded by
Lance Barnard
Member for Bass
Succeeded by
Warwick Smith
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