Rob Hulls

The Honourable
Rob Hulls
23rd Deputy Premier of Victoria
In office
30 July 2007  27 November 2010
Premier John Brumby
Preceded by John Thwaites
Succeeded by Peter Ryan
Member of the Victorian Legislative Assembly
for Niddrie
In office
30 March 1996  27 January 2012
Preceded by Bob Sercombe
Succeeded by Ben Carroll
Member of the Australian Parliament
for Kennedy
In office
24 March 1990  13 March 1993
Preceded by Bob Katter, Sr.
Succeeded by Bob Katter
Personal details
Born (1957-01-23) 23 January 1957
Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
Nationality Australian
Political party Australian Labor Party
Profession Solicitor

Rob Justin Hulls (born 23 January 1957) is a former Australian politician who was a member of the Victorian Legislative Assembly from 1996 to 2012, representing the electorate of Niddrie. As well as serving as the Deputy Premier of Victoria, he was also the state Attorney-General and Minister for Racing.


Rob Hulls was born in Melbourne and was privately educated at Xavier College from 1969–72 and then moved to the private Peninsula School from 1973–75. Upon leaving school Hulls worked as a law clerk for his father, a solicitor on the Mornington Peninsula, completing the part-time Articled Clerk's programme at the then Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology in 1982.

Hulls was then a Solicitor for the Legal Aid Commission of Victoria from 1984–86. He was also Principal, Rob Hulls & Associates Mount Isa, from 1986–90.

Political career

Federal Parliament

Rob Hulls served one term in Federal Parliament from 1990–93 as the member for Kennedy, Queensland. He was elected in 1990, succeeding the long-standing National Party member, Bob Katter, Sr, who had retired from politics (he died just prior to the election).

In 1993, he was defeated by Bob Katter, the former member's son, who had been a minister in the Bjelke-Petersen, Ahern and Cooper ministries at state level in Queensland. The race was very close throughout, and was only decided on the eighth count when a Liberal candidate's preferences flowed overwhelmingly to Katter.[1]

Parliament of Victoria

Rob Hulls left Queensland soon after the losing his Federal Parliament seat, and in 1994 on returning to Melbourne was appointed Chief of Staff to the Victorian Opposition Leader, Jim Kennan, former Attorney-General, who resigned from State Parliament shortly after. Rob Hulls stayed on as Chief of Staff under Kennan's replacement John Brumby who was Victoria's State Premier from 2007–2010. Following his election to the State Parliament, in the lower-house seat of Niddrie, Rob Hulls' replacement as Brumby's Chief of Staff was Julia Gillard, who later in her own career became Australia's first female Prime Minister (2010-13).

In his state political career Rob Hulls held the offices of Attorney-General; Minister for Manufacturing Industry and Minister for Racing from 1999–2002; Minister for WorkCover from 2002–2005; Minister for Planning January 2005 – December 2006; Minister for Racing from December 2006 – November 2010 and Minister for Industrial Relations from December 2002 – November 2010.

As Attorney-General, Rob Hulls instigated significant changes to Victoria's legal system which saw the establishment of the state's first Charter of Human Rights and reform to Victoria's Upper House. He established special courts for Victoria's indigenous community and introduced an open tender process for applicants to Victoria's judiciary.

He was unsuccessful in a campaign to defrock the legal profession and ban the wearing of wigs in courts, a move that was actively opposed by the Victorian Bar Association. Rob Hulls was quoted as saying that "members of the legal profession could continue to wear wigs in the privacy of their homes if they so wished but the wearing of wigs by the legal profession in the 21st century was outdated and elitist".

He was appointed as Deputy Premier to John Brumby on 30 July 2007 after the retirement of John Thwaites, and retained the position as Attorney-General until his party's defeat at the election on 27 November 2010.

On 27 January 2012, Hulls announced he was resigning from parliament. This triggered a by-election in the seat of Niddrie.[2]

Personal life

Hulls married twice and lives in Brunswick West with his second wife and has four children. Rob Hulls is a keen supporter of the Geelong Football Club.


  1. "Division of Bowman". Federal election, 1993. Adam Carr. 13 March 1993.
  2. Ly, Linh (27 January 2012). "Labor deputy leader Rob Hulls resigns". Moonee Valley Leader. Retrieved 27 January 2012.
Parliament of Australia
Preceded by
Bob Katter, Sr.
Member for Kennedy
Succeeded by
Bob Katter, Jr.
Victorian Legislative Assembly
Preceded by
Bob Sercombe
Member for Niddrie
Succeeded by
Ben Carroll
Political offices
Preceded by
Jan Wade
Attorney-General of Victoria
Succeeded by
Robert Clark
Preceded by
John Thwaites
Deputy Premier of Victoria
Succeeded by
Peter Ryan
Party political offices
Preceded by
John Thwaites
Deputy Leader of the
Australian Labor Party in Victoria

Succeeded by
James Merlino
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