Angus Taylor (politician)
Angus Taylor (born 30 September 1966 in Nimmitabel, New South Wales) is an Australian politician serving as Energy Minister in the Morrison Government since August 2018. He served as Minister for Law Enforcement and Cybersecurity in the Turnbull Government from 20 December 2017 to 23 August 2018. Taylor is a Liberal Member of the Australian House of Representatives, representing the Division of Hume in New South Wales, since 7 September 2013.
|Minister for Energy and Emissions Reduction|
|Assumed office |
28 August 2018
|Prime Minister||Scott Morrison|
|Preceded by||Josh Frydenberg (Environment and Energy)|
|Minister for Law Enforcement and Cybersecurity|
20 December 2017 – 23 August 2018
|Prime Minister||Malcolm Turnbull|
Scott Morrison (Acting)
|Preceded by||Office established|
|Succeeded by||Office abolished|
|Assistant Minister for Cities and Digital Transformation|
18 February 2016 – 20 December 2017
|Prime Minister||Malcolm Turnbull|
|Preceded by||Office established|
|Succeeded by||Michael Keenan|
|Member of the Australian Parliament|
|Assumed office |
7 September 2013
|Preceded by||Alby Schultz|
|Born||30 September 1966|
Nimmitabel, New South Wales, Australia
|Political party||Liberal Party of Australia|
|Alma mater||University of Sydney |
New College, Oxford
Early life and educationEdit
Taylor was brought up on a sheep and cattle property near Nimmitabel, New South Wales, and was educated at Nimmitabel Public School and The King's School, Parramatta. Taylor then studied at the University of Sydney while residing at St Andrew's College, where he graduated with a Bachelor of Economics, winning the university medal and a Bachelor of Laws. He won a Rhodes Scholarship, to study for a Master of Philosophy in Economics at New College, Oxford and completed his thesis on competition policy, with a focus on the ties between brewers and pubs in the UK brewing industry.
His father was heavily involved in agricultural politics, as a President of the NSW Farmers and Vice President of the National Farmers Federation. His maternal grandfather, Sir William Hudson, headed construction of the Snowy Mountains Scheme for hydroelectricity and irrigation in Australia from 1949 to 1967.
Taylor went on to become a Director at Port Jackson Partners, an Australian management consulting firm. He was the Director of Rabobank's Executive Development Program for leading farmers in Australia and New Zealand, as well as their Farm Managers Program which focused on younger farmers.
During his tenure at Port Jackson Partners, Taylor was a member of the Victorian government taskforce to investigate the development of a coal seam gas industry in the state. Reporting in November 2013, the taskforce recommended that the State of Victoria should promote the production of additional and largely on-shore gas supply.
Following an April 2012 decision by Alby Schultz, the Liberal Member for Hume, that he would not recontest the seat at the 2013 federal election, Taylor sought and gained Liberal endorsement. Under Coalition rules, the Nationals were also entitled to run a candidate against Taylor; however decided not to. Taylor was elected as Member for Hume with over 61% of the two-party preferred vote and over 54% of the primary vote.
Taylor has served on a number of parliamentary committees on employment, trade and investment growth and public accounts.
On economic policy, Taylor has argued against increasing government debt, saying that Australia's long-term prosperity is characterised by high real wages and low inequality, and that only by increasing productivity and participation, will Australia's broad-based prosperity continue.
In a 2013 letter to the editor of the Crookwell Gazette, Taylor stated that he became engaged in "the wind farm debate" in approximately 2003 when a plan was announced to build turbines on a ridge behind his boyhood home, referring to the Boco Rock Wind Farm approximately 10 kilometres (6.2 mi) from Nimmitabel, which commenced construction in August 2013.
Taylor has called on the Coalition government to reduce its support for wind farms and is concerned with Australia's Renewable Energy Target (RET) based on a belief that renewable energy projects, in particular wind, are increasing electricity costs and a belief that there are cheaper carbon reduction methods.
I am not a climate sceptic. For 25 years, I have been concerned about how rising carbon dioxide emissions might have an impact on our climate. It remains a concern of mine today. I do not have a vendetta against renewables. My grandfather was William Hudson – he was the first Commissioner and Chief Engineer of the Snowy Scheme, Australia's greatest ever renewable scheme. He believed in renewables and renewables have been in my blood since the day I was born.— Angus Taylor, Wind Power Fraud Rally, 18 June 2013
Speaking about the Renewable Energy Target in June 2014, Taylor said "religious belief is based on faith not facts. The new climate religion, recruiting disciples every day, has little basis on fact and everything to do with blind faith."
Taylor has argued that lower-emission natural gas is a "better way to reduce carbon emissions" and Australia can supply countries such as China and India "with the energy they need to continue their rise.”
Taylor was also a major donor to the Liberal Party, significantly exceeding amounts donated to the party by other candidates and members of parliament during 2012–2013.
Following the 21 August 2018 leadership spill in which Peter Dutton unsuccessfully challenged Malcolm Turnbull for leadership of the Liberal Party, Taylor was one of several frontbenchers to announce his resignation. Taylor wrote in a letter to Turnbull that he was resigning due to his support for Dutton, and expressing opposition to the more moderate policies espoused by Turnbull: "I have previously relayed to you my concerns about the direction of this Government, and my views on the policies that should characterise a traditional centre-right Liberal Party." After a second spill later in the week, Turnbull resigned as Prime Minister, with Scott Morrison being elected leader. Taylor was subsequently appointed as Minister for Energy, characterised by Morrison as "Minister for reducing electricity prices". His appointment prompted strong criticism from renewable energy advocates.
In July 2019 Taylor was accused of misleading the Australian Parliament regarding his involvement in the #Grassgate scandal, involving: "An investigation into illegal land clearing against a company part-owned by the family of federal minister Angus Taylor was dropped by the New South Wales government, and a separate investigation under federal environmental laws has taken more than two years. Both actions relate to allegations of clearing of endangered native grassland in October 2016 near Delegate in southern NSW shortly after a company, Jam Land Pty Ltd, purchased the property. A NSW government briefing document alleged about 200 hectares were illegally cleared." On the 29th July 2019, when questioned concerning his involvement in the illegal land clearing and the origins of the investigation, Taylor informed the Parliament that he was discussing "long & detailed concerns" on native grass legislation with a farmer in Yass on the 21st February 2017, whereas the Parliamentary Records instead show that Taylor was in Sydney participating in a High Value Data Roundtable discussion.
Taylor made headlines during the 2019 election campaign when on 1 May he posted a congratulatory comment on his own Facebook post. In response to an article Taylor shared regarding his commitment to building car parks in his electorate, Taylor posted a comment saying "Fantastic. Great move. Well done Angus." Taylor was mocked on social media for the act, and it was suggested Taylor or one of his staff were deliberately making positive remarks using false accounts. Hundreds of people responded to subsequent Taylor posts on Facebook and Twitter using the same words. Taylor evidently deleted the original comment, and has not spoken about the incident.
Taylor has published reports as part of the ANZ Bank Insight series. The first of these, Earth, Fire, Wind and Water – Economic Opportunity and the Australian Commodities Cycle, focused on the opportunities and challenges faced by Australia's commodity exporters in the face of the commodities boom, and was described as a "landmark report" by The Australian. The second report was Greener Pastures – The Soft Commodity Opportunity for Australia and New Zealand, arguing that a soft commodity boom was taking over from the hard commodity boom. Other reports and articles include The Future for Freight, focused on reform in the freight transport sector, and "More to Nation Building than Big Bucks", critiquing the Labor Government's comparison between its National Broadband Network and the Snowy Mountain Scheme.
In February 2013, Taylor authored the report "A proposal to reduce the cost of electricity to Australian electricity users" while a director at Port Jackson Partners. The report claimed that the Coalition could immediately drop the renewable energy target entirely and save up to A$3.2 billion by 2020 and still meet emissions reduction targets.
Taylor, was a member of a taskforce asked by the Victorian Government to investigate the development of a coal seam gas industry in the state. Reporting in November 2013, the report found that Victoria should promote the production of additional and largely on-shore gas supply. The taskforce was headed by former federal Liberal minister Peter Reith with other members representing energy companies, associated industries and lobby groups.
From 2008 to 2009, Taylor was director and secretary of Eastern Australia Agriculture (EAA). In 2017, the company sold water licenses from two of its agricultural properties back to the Australian government at an unusually high price—$79 million—at a profit to the company of $52 million. In 2018 EAA appears to have paid its Cayman Islands-registered holding company, Eastern Australia Irrigation, $14 million in interest at the extraordinarily high interest rate of around 20%. On 18 April 2019, on his Australian government webpage, Taylor declared he is "Co-founder and director, Eastern Australia Irrigation from 2007". Taylor now says he is no longer part of that corporation. Taylor has denied that he received any financial benefit from the water purchase.
He lives near Goulburn on a farm with his wife, Sydney barrister Louise Clegg and their four children, moving to the area from Sydney six months before winning pre-selection for the seat of Hume in May 2012.
- "Pre-selection race well underway". Goulburn Post. 4 March 2012.
- Chan, Gabrielle (28 May 2012). "Smart, rich, charming: Angus Taylor made to stand". The Australian. Retrieved 15 September 2013.
- Turnbull, Malcolm (19 December 2017). "Ministerial Arrangements" (Press release). Government of Australia. Archived from the original on 13 March 2018. Retrieved 3 February 2018.
Peter Dutton will become Minister for Home Affairs, for the first time bringing together the nation's security, border and intelligence agencies under one department. As Minister for Home Affairs, Peter Dutton will be supported by two Ministers: Angus Taylor as Minister for Law Enforcement and Cybersecurity and Alan Tudge as Minister for Citizenship and Multicultural Affairs. He will also continue to have the assistance of Alex Hawke as Assistant Minister for Home Affairs. The Department of Home Affairs will keep Australians safer by ensuring full coordination between ASIO, the AFP, Australian Border Force, the Australian Criminal Intelligence Commission and AUSTRAC. It will also contribute enormously to nation building through its focus on our immigration program.Cite uses deprecated parameter
- "New Member for Hume: Angus Taylor". The Daily Advertiser. 7 September 2013. Retrieved 15 September 2013.
- "Angus Taylor: Liberal for Hume". Liberal Party of Australia – New South Wales. Retrieved 14 September 2013.
- "2013 Victorian Gas Market Taskforce Final Report" (PDF). Government of Victoria. November 2013. Archived from the original (PDF) on 13 March 2014. Retrieved 15 May 2014. Cite uses deprecated parameter
- Coorey, Phillip (1 August 2012). "Coalition split over candidate for Hume". The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 15 September 2013.
- "House of Representatives: NSW: Hume". Election 2013. Australian Electoral Commission. 13 September 2013. Archived from the original on 9 September 2013. Retrieved 15 September 2013. Cite uses deprecated parameter
- "Mr Angus Taylor MP – Parliament of Australia". Commonwealth Parliament. Retrieved 1 February 2016.
- Taylor, Angus. "Opinion". The Australian. News Corp Australia. Retrieved 11 February 2016.
- "Alan Jones lacks wind at protest". 18 June 2013.
- "Letters to the Editor". Crookwell Gazette. 9 April 2013.
- "Liberals tilt at expensive wind mills". Financial Review. 26 February 2013. Retrieved 15 May 2014.
- "The inconvenient truth in the push to scrap the renewable energy target". The Guardian. 25 July 2014. Retrieved 26 July 2014.
- Massola, James (13 February 2016). "Cabinet reshuffle: Malcolm Turnbull announces new frontbench as Mal Brough resigns". The Age. Retrieved 13 February 2016.
- "Ministerial Swearing-in Ceremony". Events. Governor-General of the Commonwealth of Australia. 18 February 2016. Retrieved 19 February 2016.
- "The biggest donor: Liberal MP Angus Taylor gives a chunk of change to his party". The Sydney Morning Herald. 5 February 2014.
- Sarraf, Samira (23 August 2018). "Cyber security Minister Angus Taylor resigns". ARN. North Sydney. Retrieved 27 August 2018.
- Davies, Anne; Cox, Lisa (8 April 2019). "Company linked to Angus Taylor investigated over alleged illegal landclearing". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved 30 July 2019.
- "'Well done Angus': MP mercilessly trolled". news.com.au — Australia’s #1 news site. 1 May 2019. Retrieved 4 May 2019.
- "People Are Trolling Angus Taylor After He Was Caught Praising Himself On FB". Pedestrian TV. 2 May 2019. Retrieved 4 May 2019.
- Murdoch, Scott (9 September 2011). "Decades of wealth from boom as commodities exports forecast to hit $480bn". The Australian.
- Taylor, Angus (23 September 2010). "More to Nation Building than Big Bucks". The Australian. Retrieved 5 August 2014.
- "The dangerous thinking behind the Coalition renewable energy policy". RenewEconomy. 29 August 2013. Retrieved 10 June 2014.
- "Victorian Premier Denis Napthine won't be pressured into making coal seam gas decision". Australia: ABC News. 7 November 2013. Retrieved 15 May 2014.
- Ten, Network. "Did The Government Waste $80-Million Buying Water?". The Project. Retrieved 20 April 2019.
- Thrower, Louise (1 May 2019). "Water buyback begs answers, says Labor candidate". Goulburn Post. Retrieved 7 May 2019.
- "Angus Taylor triathlon results". triathlon.org. 2009. Retrieved 26 June 2016.
- "Taylor whips Liberal Field". Goulburn Post. 14 May 2012.
|Parliament of Australia|
| Member for Hume
|New ministerial post|| Minister for Law Enforcement and Cybersecurity
as Minister for Home Affairs
| Assistant Minister to the Prime Minister for Cities
and Digital Transformation
as Minister Assisting the Prime Minister for Digital Transformation