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Benjamin Charles Humphreys AM (born 17 August 1934), Australian politician, is a former Australian Labor Party member of the Australian House of Representatives representing the Division of Griffith, Queensland from 1977 to 1996.

Ben Humphreys

Member of the Australian Parliament
for Griffith
In office
10 December 1977 – 29 January 1996
Preceded byDon Cameron
Succeeded byGraeme McDougall
Personal details
Born (1934-08-17) 17 August 1934 (age 85)
Brisbane, Queensland, Australia
Political partyAustralian Labor Party

Humphreys served a six-year term as Minister for Veterans' Affairs in the ministries of Bob Hawke and Paul Keating. In May 1992, that ministry and Humphreys along with it was promoted to Cabinet, and Humphreys also took over the duties of Minister assisting the Prime Minister for Northern Australia from Senator Bob Collins. Humphreys' elevation to Cabinet was because he was a Queenslander and there was a push to get at least one other Queenslander to Cabinet as Queensland in Cabinet prior to the May 1992 reshuffle was underrepresented. Despite this promotion to Cabinet, Humphreys was not reselected for a place in the ministry by the ALP caucus after the ALP's 1993 election victory ten months later.

After 18 years in parliament, Humphreys intended to leave politics in 1994, but delayed his retirement when the man he considered his ideal successor was ready to stand for preselection for Griffith – Kevin Rudd in 1995, later to become leader of the ALP and Prime Minister of Australia, lost the 1996 election to Liberal candidate Graeme McDougall but later won the seat in 1998.[1]

Humphreys would perhaps have retired from Parliament in 1995 after Kevin Rudd's preselection in Griffith but decided against it as that would have meant an unwanted by-election not long after the ALP's loss of the seat of Canberra in a by-election earlier that year.

Humphreys was known for his close contact with Australia's South Pacific neighbours, and in August 2001 he was part of a Commonwealth Observer Group sent to oversee the 2001 election in Fiji.[2]



  1. ^ Gordon, Michael: "One determined bastard", The Age, 19 April 2003.
  2. ^ Media Release: Australia Welcomes Commencement of Fiji Elections Archived 12 June 2007 at the Wayback Machine, Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (Australia), 24 August 2001.
  3. ^ It's an Honour, Australian Government.
  4. ^ It's an Honour, Australian Government.
Political offices
Preceded by
Arthur Gietzelt
Minister for Veterans' Affairs
Succeeded by
John Faulkner
Preceded by
Bob Collins
Minister assisting the Prime Minister
for Northern Australia

Parliament of Australia
Preceded by
Don Cameron
Member for Griffith
Succeeded by
Graeme McDougall