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Kim Carr

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Kim Carr
Minister for Innovation, Industry, Science and Research
In office
1 July 2013 – 18 September 2013
Prime MinisterKevin Rudd
Preceded byGreg Combet
Succeeded byIan Macfarlane
In office
3 December 2007 – 12 December 2011
Prime MinisterKevin Rudd
Julia Gillard
Preceded byIan Macfarlane
Succeeded byGreg Combet
Minister for Higher Education
In office
1 July 2013 – 18 September 2013
Prime MinisterKevin Rudd
Preceded byCraig Emerson
Succeeded byChristopher Pyne
Minister for Human Services
In office
2 March 2012 – 22 March 2013
Prime MinisterJulia Gillard
Preceded byBrendan O'Connor
Succeeded byJan McLucas
Minister for Defence Materiel
In office
14 December 2011 – 2 March 2012
Prime MinisterJulia Gillard
Preceded byJason Clare
Succeeded byJason Clare
Minister for Manufacturing
In office
14 December 2011 – 2 March 2012
Prime MinisterJulia Gillard
Preceded byNew office
Succeeded byOffice abolished
Senator for Victoria
In office
28 April 1993 – 30 June 2022
Preceded byJohn Button
Succeeded byLinda White
Personal details
Kim John Carr

(1955-07-02) 2 July 1955 (age 69)
Tumut, New South Wales, Australia
Political partyAustralian Labor Party
Alma materUniversity of Melbourne

Kim John Carr (born 2 July 1955) is an Australian former politician who served as a Senator for Victoria between 1993 and 2022. Representing the Labor Party, he was a minister in the Rudd and Gillard governments.[1]

Carr is a graduate of the University of Melbourne, and before entering politics worked as a schoolteacher and political staffer. He was appointed to the Senate in 1993, filling a casual vacancy, and was made a member of the shadow ministry after Labor's defeat at the 1996 election. Carr held a variety of portfolios in the Labor governments between 2007 and 2013. He was considered a leader of the Labor Left faction in Victoria until 2016 when he formed the Industrial Left, a breakaway mini-faction comprising nearly all of Carr's union allies.[2] He became the most senior senator and thus father of the senate in 2019, retaining the title until his retirement in 2022.

Early life


Carr was born on 2 July 1955 in Tumut, New South Wales.[3] His father was a boilermaker,[4] working on the Snowy Mountains Scheme.[5] The family moved regularly when he was a child, living at a caravan park in Gladstone, Queensland, for a period. He attended Moreland High School in Coburg, Victoria,[6] where "a history teacher fuelled his interest in politics by slipping him copies of socialist literature to read at home".[4]

Carr studied history at the University of Melbourne, completing a Bachelor of Arts with honours and a Master of Arts, and later a Diploma of Education.[7] He joined the Labor Party in 1975. He was a secondary school teacher for nine years before becoming a political staffer for Victorian government ministers Joan Kirner and Andrew McCutcheon.[citation needed]

Parliamentary career


Carr was elected to the Senate at the March 1993 election, and was due to take his seat on 1 July. When retiring Senator John Button resigned before the expiry of his term, however, Carr was appointed to the resulting casual vacancy on 28 April.[8] Following his maiden speech, in which he described the opposition as pursuing "inhumane policies", he was accused by Liberal Senate leader Robert Hill of breaking a parliamentary convention around the content of maiden speeches.[9] By 1994, he was regarded as the leader of the Victorian Left faction.[5]

Carr became a Shadow Parliamentary Secretary in March 1996 in addition to being the Manager of Opposition Business in the Senate until his election to the Opposition Shadow Ministry in November 2001. He was Shadow Minister for Science and Research from then until October 2004. He was also Shadow Minister for Industry and Innovation from July 2003 to October 2004. He has been Shadow Minister for Public Administration and Open Government, Shadow Minister for Indigenous Affairs and Reconciliation and Shadow Minister for the Arts October 2004 to June 2005, when he was appointed Shadow Minister for Housing, Urban Development, Local Government and Territories. He is one of five voting Victorian members of the party's National Executive.

Carr was a leading figure in Labor's left faction in his prime.[10][11][12][13] His influential position within the party has attracted substantial criticism from factional opponents, Carr was then described by colleagues as "ruthless", "calculating" and a "headkicker".[4]

After the Labor's victory in the 2007 federal election, the new Prime Minister Kevin Rudd appointed Carr as Minister for Innovation, Industry, Science and Research, and he was sworn into office by Governor-General Michael Jeffery on 3 December.[14]

Carr was re-elected in the 2010 election and retained his portfolio of Minister for Innovation, Industry, Science and Research in the Second Gillard Ministry, which was sworn in on 14 September 2010.[15] He was dropped from the cabinet on 12 December 2011, amid speculation that it was due to his links with former prime minister Kevin Rudd.[16] He remained in the outer Ministry however, as Minister for Manufacturing and Minister for Defence Materiel.[17]

In the Ministerial reshuffle of 2 March 2012, Carr was appointed as Minister for Human Services.[18] Carr resigned his ministerial portfolio on 22 March 2013 after he supported an unsuccessful attempt to reinstall Kevin Rudd as Labor Leader.

Following a subsequent successful leadership spill in which Gillard was defeated, Rudd appointed Carr as the Minister for Innovation, Industry, Science and Research, and Minister for Higher Education and member of Cabinet in the Second Rudd Ministry.[1]

After Labor lost government in the 2013 federal election, Carr was allegedly "responsible for shifting a small but significant number of parliamentary numbers" to install Bill Shorten as party leader ahead of Anthony Albanese.[19] He continued to be appointed to Shorten's shadow ministry. Carr became increasingly "estranged" from the Labor Left faction and in 2016, following the July federal election, the faction did not nominate Carr for the shadow ministry. In response, Carr formed his own mini-faction, the Industrial Left, which was recognised by Shorten's Labor Right, allowing him to remain in the shadow ministry.[19][20][21]

Carr had been regarded as a longstanding political rival of Albanese.[19] When Albanese became party leader in 2019, Carr announced he would not be nominating for Albanese's new shadow ministry.[22]

As the 2022 federal election approached, Carr was facing a preselection challenge to remain on the party's Senate ticket for Victoria. It was reported in early March 2022 that he had lost the support of unions in the Industrial Left faction and was set to miss out on the Senate ticket.[23][24] He had initially wanted to fight to remain in the Senate. However, following the recent death of fellow Senator Kimberley Kitching and "determined urgings" from his children, he announced on 27 March 2022 that he decided to retire at the election, citing health reasons.[19][24]

See also



  1. ^ a b "Second Rudd Ministry" (PDF). Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet. Commonwealth of Australia. 1 July 2013. Retrieved 3 July 2013.[permanent dead link]
  2. ^ Hutchinson, Samantha (20 November 2019). "Premier's faction loses to union-stacked rebel alliance in committee vote". The Age. Retrieved 4 June 2020.
  3. ^ "Senator the Hon Kim Carr". Parliament of Australia. Retrieved 13 June 2021.
  4. ^ a b c Knott, Matthew (28 July 2016). "'It was everyone against Kim': Kim Carr, Labor's ultimate survivor". The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 14 October 2016.
  5. ^ a b Taylor, Mike (27 August 1994). "A factional heavy-weight faces his first bout". The Canberra Times.
  6. ^ Barber, Dylan (20 December 2013). "Labor's frontbench, too, is a mostly private-school affair". Crikey. Retrieved 10 June 2021.
  7. ^ Australian Government. "Minister for Innovation, Industry, Science and Research". Archived from the original on 21 July 2008. Retrieved 24 July 2008.
  8. ^ Parliamentary Biography: Kim Carr; Retrieved 16 August 2013
  9. ^ "Maiden speech 'broke conventions'". The Canberra Times. 6 May 1993.
  10. ^ "ALP meeting leaves some unhappy" (transcript). PM (ABC Radio). Australia. 7 October 2002.
  11. ^ Factional wars at Victoria's ALP State Conference, PM, ABC, 23 May 2005
  12. ^ Ernest Healy (1993), 'Ethnic ALP Branches – The Balkanisation of Labor,' in People and Place, Vol.1, No.4, Page 40
  13. ^ Ernest Healy (1995), 'Ethnic ALP Branches – The Balkanisation of Labor Revisited,' People and Place, Vol.3, No.3, p.48-54
  14. ^ "Rudd hands out portfolios". Australian Broadcasting Corporation. 29 November 2007. Retrieved 24 July 2008.
  15. ^ "Department of the Parliamentary Library - Ministry". Archived from the original on 22 September 2010. Retrieved 21 September 2010.
  16. ^ Reported on ABC Radio National news bulletins, 12 December 2011.
  17. ^ Gillard, Julia (12 December 2001). "Changes to the Ministry" (Press release). Prime Minister of Australia. Archived from the original on 18 March 2012. Retrieved 18 March 2012.
  18. ^ Gillard, Julia (2 March 2012). "Changes to the Ministry" (Press release). Prime Minister of Australia. Archived from the original on 16 March 2012. Retrieved 18 March 2012.
  19. ^ a b c d Martin, Sarah (27 March 2022). "Kim Carr bows out after three decades as Labor senator for Victoria". The Guardian. Retrieved 27 March 2022.
  20. ^ "'It was everyone against Kim': Kim Carr, Labor's ultimate survivor". Sydney Morning Herald. 27 July 2016. Retrieved 28 March 2022.
  21. ^ "Labor branch stacking becomes an arms race, with Stability Pact a possible casualty of war". 23 August 2016. Retrieved 28 March 2022.
  22. ^ "Labor powerbroker Kim Carr ends two decade frontbench career". Australian Financial Review. 24 May 2019. Retrieved 28 March 2022.
  23. ^ "Long-serving Labor senator Kim Carr set to lose seat in preselection challenge". The Guardian. 3 March 2022. Retrieved 28 March 2022.
  24. ^ a b "Labor's Kim Carr retires, Libs sort out NSW factional mess". Australian Financial Review. 28 March 2022. Retrieved 28 March 2022.

Media related to Kim Carr at Wikimedia Commons

Parliament of Australia
Preceded by Senator for Victoria
Succeeded by
Preceded by Father of the Senate
Succeeded by
Political offices
Preceded by Minister for Innovation, Industry, Science and Research
Succeeded by
Preceded by Minister for Defence Materiel
Succeeded by
Preceded by Minister for Human Services
Succeeded by
Preceded by Minister for Innovation, Industry, Science and Research
Succeeded by
Preceded by Minister for Higher Education
Succeeded by
Office Abolished