Eric Abetz

Eric Abetz (born 25 January 1958), is an Australian politician and a Liberal Party member of the Australian Senate since February 1994, representing the state of Tasmania. Abetz has been the Minister for Employment and the Leader of the Government in the Senate in the Abbott Government since 18 September 2013.

He was educated at the University of Tasmania and was a barrister and solicitor before entering politics. He was Tasmanian State President of the Liberal Party 1990–1994.

OzCar affair

In mid-2009 Abetz was a central figure in the OzCar affair, which involved allegations that Prime Minister Kevin Rudd and Treasurer Wayne Swan had improperly given favourable treatment to a car dealer, John Grant, who was a friend of the Prime Minister.

At a Senate inquiry on 19 June, Abetz asked a series of questions of a Treasury official, Godwin Grech, who testified that he had a “recollection” that a member of Rudd’s staff had sent him an email in February, asking that he provide preferential treatment to Grant.

Abetz read out the text of what he said was an email, which purported to ask for preferential treatment for Grant. On 4 August 2009, Grech admitted that he had forged the email.

Abetz then issued an apology, saying: “I am not only sorry to Malcolm Turnbull but to the Australian people and any anguish that may have been occasioned to Kevin Rudd and other people.”

Eligibility to hold Senate office

On 30 July 2010, a Tasmanian resident, John Hawkins, lodged an objection to Eric Abetz’s nomination for reelection alleging that Abetz holds dual citizenship of both his birthplace, Germany, and Australia.

The Australian Constitution prevents someone who is a citizen of a foreign country from holding Parliamentary office. Hawkins subsequently withdrew the petition to the High Court of Australia after receiving documentation of Abetz’s renunciation of German citizenship.

As a result, the High Court never heard the claim.

See: API


Bookmark this on Delicious

SEO-AU Links Best INFP Websites - Click here to Vote for this site!