John Mansfield Brumby (born 21 April 1953), Australian Labor Party politician, is the 45th Premier of Victoria, assuming office on 30 July 2007 after the resignation of Steve Bracks. He also serves as the Minister for Veterans' Affairs and the Minister for Multicultural Affairs.
In 1983 John Brumby was elected to the Australian House of Representatives for the seat of Bendigo, which he held until his defeat in 1990. A member of the Labor Unity faction, he was a strong supporter of Prime Minister Bob Hawke and an opponent of the Socialist Left faction, which historically had its stronghold in the Victorian branch of the Labor Party.
John Brumby then worked as a consultant before being appointed Chief of Staff to the federal Minister for Resources and Tourism, Alan Griffiths with responsibility for the development of policy in areas such as energy, petroleum, minerals and tourism. He held this position until February 1993, when he was elected to the Victorian Legislative Council at a by-election for the seat of Doutta Galla Province in Melbourne's western suburbs.
In 1996, John Brumby opposed the Kennett State Government's proposed relocation of the State Museum to Carlton Garden's site adjacent to the Royal Exhibition Building. It was at this time that Brumby first proposed that the Royal Exhibition Building and the Carlton Gardens be nominated for World Heritage Listing. The World Heritage nomination was opposed at the time by the Kennett Liberal State Government. It was not until after the 1999 State Election that the Bracks Labor Government nominated and obtained World Heritage Listing for the site.
From 1993 to 1996 Brumby worked to restore Labor's fortunes in Victoria. The defeat of the federal Labor government in March 1996 prompted Kennett to call an early state election three weeks later, at which Labor lost heavily, with a net gain of two seats. This defeat was claimed to have undermined Brumby's position as Leader. John Brumby was later replaced as Labor leader in March 1999, agreeing to resign in favour of Steve Bracks.
Steve Bracks narrowly won the state election called by Kennett in September 1999 and appointed John Brumby as Minister for Finance, Assistant Treasurer and Minister for State and Regional Development. Brumby formed part of the core leadership team of senior ministers in the new Government along with Bracks, Deputy Premier John Thwaites and Attorney-General Rob Hulls. Steve Bracks initially served as Treasurer as well as Premier, assisted by John Brumby who was responsible for Victoria's finances and most of the workload of the Treasury portfolio. In May 2000 John Brumby was appointed State Treasurer.
As Treasurer, John Brumby presided over a period of steady economic growth in Victoria, and his economic management was given some of the credit, along with the personal popularity of Bracks, for Labor's landslide re-elections in 2002 and 2006. Brumby ensured that the Labor Government maintained a budget surplus. Victoria's budget surpluses have been fueled in part by revenue from the Federal Government's goods and services tax, which federal Labor opposed.
During 2004 John Brumby was criticised by the state Liberal opposition for sharp increases in the rate of land tax in Victoria, which was criticised by many for potentially threatening the viability of many small businesses. Land tax rates were cut in the 2005 state budget. Faced with a choice of having to fund road infrastructure at the expense of development of Victoria's schools, hospitals and public transport, Brumby decided to impose a toll on the new Scoresby Freeway (later known as EastLink) in eastern Melbourne. The decision, which broke a 2002 pre-election promise, provoked a hostile response from the Liberal Opposition and local community groups as well as causing the Federal Government to withhold its share of the funding for the project.
An early challenge occurred in November 2007 when State Labor MP Tammy Lobato publicly criticised Brumby over a decision by cabinet to allow genetically modified canola to be grown in Victoria. Other State Labor MPs were also said to be upset over Brumby's approach to the issue, and in particular, the way that he allegedly rail-roaded the policy through.
Brumby's response to a plan proposed by then Liberal Party of Australia Prime Minister John Howard for the federal government to assume control of the Murray-Darling Basin water catchment from the states was also an early issue. Under the previous Premier Steve Bracks, Victoria had been the only state to refuse to accept Howard's plan. Following the election on 24 November 2007 of a new Australian Labor Party controlled federal government Brumby agreed to commit Victoria to an amended plan on 26 March 2008.
In April 2008 he was widely applauded for his move to break up the Victorian poker machine gambling duopoly starting in 2012. The move was supported in particular by organisations such as the Interchurch Gambling Taskforce and the Australian Hotels Association. Some concerns, however, were raised that the decision could ultimately result in a AUS$1 billion compensation claim from the companies standing to lose their duopoly status as a result of the decision, Tattersalls and Tabcorp. The government, however, denied that any claim for compensation would be successful.
Australian infrastructure and transport minister Mr Anthony Albanese and Victorian Premier Mr John Brumby attended a groundbreaking ceremony on September 26 to mark the start of construction of the 5km Wodonga rail bypass.(Australia)
Nov 01, 2008; Australian infrastructure and transport minister Mr Anthony Albanese and Victorian Premier Mr John Brumby attended a...
On top down under: Australia is providing a worthy challenge to the UK's PPP market lead. Victorian treasurer John Brumby is leading the charge.(public-private partnerships, Parliamentary Labour Party (United Kingdom))
Dec 01, 2004; With countries like Spain and Italy delivering projects at a fast pace, contractors disaffected with the protracted bid times of...