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Barry Thomas Cunningham (26 October 1939 – 12 September 2018) was an Australian politician. Born in Pakenham, Victoria, he was a dairy and potato farmer and an agricultural contractor before entering politics. In 1980, he was elected to the Australian House of Representatives as the Labor member for McMillan, defeating Barry Simon of the Liberal Party, who had been deprived of Democratic Labor Party preferences due to his views on abortion. He was defeated in 1990, but was re-elected in 1993, before being defeated again in 1996.[1]

Barry Cunningham
Member of the Australian Parliament
for McMillan
In office
18 October 1980 – 24 March 1990
Preceded byBarry Simon
Succeeded byJohn Riggall
In office
13 March 1993 – 2 March 1996
Preceded byJohn Riggall
Succeeded byRussell Broadbent
Personal details
Born(1939-10-26)26 October 1939
Pakenham, Victoria, Australia
Died12 September 2018(2018-09-12) (aged 78)
Warragul, Victoria, Australia
Political partyAustralian Labor Party

In 2015, Cunningham 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[2] was 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.[3] He died in 2018.[4]


  1. ^ Carr, Adam (2008). "Australian Election Archive". Psephos, Adam Carr's Election Archive. Archived from the original on 23 July 2008. Retrieved 20 June 2008.
  2. ^ Members of Parliament (Life Gold Pass) Act 2002, ''
  3. ^ "Former MPs lose High Court challenge over entitlements". ABC News. 12 October 2016.
  4. ^ "Former local member dies". Warragul & Drouin Gazette. 18 September 2018.
Parliament of Australia
Preceded by
Barry Simon
Member for McMillan
Succeeded by
John Riggall
Preceded by
John Riggall
Member for McMillan
Succeeded by
Russell Broadbent