Graeme Campbell (politician)

Graeme Campbell (born 13 August 1939) is an Australian politician. He represented the vast seat of Kalgoorlie in the Australian House of Representatives from 1980 to 1998.[1]

Graeme Campbell
Member of the Australian Parliament
for Kalgoorlie
In office
18 October 1980 – 3 October 1998
Preceded byMick Cotter
Succeeded byBarry Haase
Personal details
Born (1939-08-13) 13 August 1939 (age 81)
Oxfordshire, England
NationalityEnglish Australian
Political partyLabor (1980–95)
Independent (1995–96, 2004-present)
Australia First (1996–2001)
One Nation (2001-2004)
Spouse(s)Michele (née Lelievre)

He was born in Abingdon, Oxfordshire, England,[1] came to Australia as a child and was educated at Urrbrae Agricultural High School in South Australia. Campbell is married to Michele (née Lelievre), a French woman who met him first in 1972 on a sheep station in the Nullabor.[2]

Political careerEdit

Campbell worked in a range of occupations before entering federal parliament in October 1980 as the Labor member for Kalgoorlie.

Considered a maverick, he was an ardent supporter of the mining industry,[3] and crossed the floor on gold tax in 1988,[4] and was also a vocal critic of the Mabo decision[5] and sanctions on the apartheid regime in South Africa, and a proponent of uranium mining. In October 1993, and again in May 1995, he delivered a speech at the national seminar of the Australian League of Rights, a far-right group for which he was believed to hold sympathies,[6] and in by-elections in Mackellar and Warringah (safe Liberal seats on the Northern Beaches of Sydney) in 1994, he urged electors to vote for Australians Against Further Immigration (AAFI).[7]

After numerous run-ins with the Labor leadership and considerable media attention to his exploits, he was finally expelled from the party on 30 November 1995[8] after addressing an AAFI meeting where he criticised Labor's immigration policies. He continued to sit in parliament as an independent, and was reelected as an independent in the 1996 election,[9] when he only received 35% of the primary vote, but defeated the Labor candidate, former Deputy Premier of Western Australia Ian Taylor, on Liberal preferences.

In June 1996, Campbell founded the Australia First Party,[10] but was officially reckoned as an independent. He was defeated for reelection at the 1998 federal election[9] after being eliminated on the seventh count.[11] Campbell blamed his loss on Australia First being eclipsed by One Nation. In 2009, he claimed that, if not for the presence of a One Nation candidate, he would have picked up an additional 8.5% of the vote, which would have been enough to keep him in the race.[12]

He remained Australia First's leader until June 2001, when he left the party to stand (unsuccessfully) as a One Nation Senate candidate in Western Australia. In 2004, he attempted unsuccessfully to regain his old federal seat as an independent.[9] He stood for the Senate in Western Australia at the 2007 federal election as an independent, but only achieved 0.13% of the vote.[13]


  1. ^ a b "Biography for Campbell, Graeme". Parliament of Australia. August 2008. Archived from the original on 28 November 2012. Retrieved 24 January 2010.
  2. ^ [1]
  3. ^ Catherine Menagh (2 October 1986). "Dust Makes the Wealth of Kalgoorlie and its Golden Mile". The Age.
  4. ^ "House of Representatives Official Hansard" (PDF). 9 December 1999. p. 37. Archived from the original (PDF) on 26 October 2009. Retrieved 24 March 2017.
  5. ^ Eric D. Butler (3 December 1993). "The Graeme Campbell Tragedy". On Target. Australian League of Rights. Archived from the original on 16 September 2009. Retrieved 24 January 2010.
  6. ^ David Thompson (11 August 1995). "The Campbell Affair and the League of Rights". On Target. Australian League of Rights. Archived from the original on 16 September 2009. Retrieved 24 January 2010.
  7. ^ James Jupp (2002). From white Australia to Woomera: the story of Australian immigration. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. p. 136. ISBN 978-0-521-53140-5.
  8. ^ Scott Bennett (16 February 1999). "The Decline in Support for Australian Major Parties and the Prospect of Minority Government". Archived from the original on 13 July 2010. Retrieved 24 January 2010.
  9. ^ a b c Green, Antony (21 December 2007). "Kalgoorlie". Australia Votes 2007. ABC News. Retrieved 24 January 2010.
  10. ^ "The Eight Core Policies of the Australia First Party". 2005. Archived from the original on 12 June 2007. Retrieved 24 January 2010.
  11. ^ 1998 Western Australia election results
  12. ^ Destiny Magazine, Issue #6
  13. ^ ?Antony Green (2007). "Senate Results Western Australia". Federal Election 2007. ABC News. Retrieved 24 January 2010.


  • Graeme Campbell and Mark Uhlmann. Australia Betrayed: How Australian democracy has been undermined and our naive trust betrayed, Foundation Press, Perth, 1995. ISBN 1-875778-02-0
Parliament of Australia
Preceded by
Mick Cotter
Member for Kalgoorlie
Succeeded by
Barry Haase