Barry Cohen AM (3 April 1935 – 18 December 2017) was an Australian politician. He was a member of the Australian Labor Party (ALP) and served in federal parliament from 1969 to 1990, representing the Division of Robertson in New South Wales. He held ministerial office in the Hawke Government from 1983 to 1987.
|Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Environment|
13 December 1984 – 24 July 1987
|Prime Minister||Bob Hawke|
|Preceded by||New title|
|Succeeded by||John Brown (Arts, Sport, the Environment, Tourism and Territories)|
|Minister for Home Affairs and the Environment|
11 March 1983 – 13 December 1984
|Prime Minister||Bob Hawke|
|Preceded by||Tom McVeigh|
|Succeeded by||Title abolished|
|Member of the Australian Parliament|
25 October 1969 – 19 February 1990
|Preceded by||William Bridges-Maxwell|
|Succeeded by||Frank Walker|
|Born||3 April 1935|
Griffith, New South Wales, Australia
|Died||18 December 2017(aged 82)|
|Political party||Australian Labor Party|
Cohen was born in Griffith, New South Wales and educated at Griffith High School, Sydney Grammar School and North Sydney Technical High School. He received a Bachelor of Arts from the Australian National University. He was a businessman before entering politics.
He was the federal member for the seat of Robertson from 1969 until his retirement before the 1990 election. Following the Australian Labor Party's win under Bob Hawke at the 1983 election, he was Minister for Home Affairs and the Environment from 1983 to 1984 and then Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Environment until 1987.
Cohen wrote a number of books on political anecdotes, and an autobiography:
- Life with Gough (1996)
- From Whitlam to Winston (1997)
- The Almost Complete Gough (2001)
- The Life Of The Party – Political Anecdotes (1987)
In 2015, Cohen and three other former MPs brought a case before the High Court of Australia, purporting that reductions to their retirement allowances and limitations on the number of "domestic return trips per year" under the Members of Parliament (Life Gold Pass) Act 2002 were unconstitutional under S51(xxxi) of the Constitution of Australia. They lost the case in 2016, with the court finding that Parliament was entitled to vary the terms of allowances.
Cohen married Rae McNeill in October 1959 and they had three sons.
Cohen died on 18 December 2017, having been diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease several years earlier.
Cohen was appointed a Member of the Order of Australia in the Queen's Birthday Honours in 2007, for service to the Australian Parliament and to the community through a range of cultural and environmental roles and contributions to public discussion and debate.
- "Biography for Cohen, the Hon. Barry". ParlInfo Web. Parliament of Australia. Archived from the original on 15 September 2007. Retrieved 1 December 2007.
- "Barry Cohen". Celebrity Speakers. Retrieved 1 December 2007.
- "Former MPs lose High Court challenge over entitlements". ABC News. 12 October 2016.
- Who's Who in Australia. North Melbourne: Crown Contents. 2008. p. 2303. ISBN 1-74095-160-3.
- Cohen, Barry (14 April 2011). "Opposing gay marriage doesn't mean I'm barking". The Australian.
- "Barry Cohen, Hawke government minister and Alzheimer's campaigner, dies". ABC News. 18 December 2017. Retrieved 18 December 2017.
- COHEN, Barry, It's an Honour.
Tom McVeigh (home affairs and the environment)
Neil Brown (consumer affairs)
| Minister for Home Affairs and the Environment
| Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Environment|
|Parliament of Australia|
| Member for Robertson