Beddall was born in Manchester, England and was employed by the Commonwealth Bank and was a self-employed commercial finance consultant before he entered parliament. He was elected as Australian Labor Party member for the seat of Rankin in the Australian House of Representatives at the 1984 election. In April 1990, he was appointed Minister for Small Business and Customs in the Hawke ministry (Minister for Small Business, Construction and Customs from December 1991). In March 1993 he was appointed Minister for Communications in the second Keating Ministry. In December 1993, he swapped positions with Michael Lee and became Minister for Resources. He lost this portfolio with the defeat of the Keating government at the 1996 election. He retired from parliament at the 1998 election.