Michael O'Brien (Victorian politician)
Michael Anthony O'Brien (born 5 August 1971) is an Australian politician. He has been a Liberal Party member of the Victorian Legislative Assembly since 2006, representing the electorate of Malvern and currently serves as the leader of the party and Opposition Leader since December 2018.
|Leader of the Opposition in Victoria|
|Assumed office |
6 December 2018
|Preceded by||Matthew Guy|
|Treasurer of Victoria|
13 March 2013 – 4 December 2014
|Preceded by||Kim Wells|
|Succeeded by||Tim Pallas|
Minister for Energy & Resources
Minister for Consumer Affairs
Minister for Gaming
2 December 2010 – 13 March 2013
|Preceded by||Tony Robinson|
|Succeeded by||Nicholas Kotsiras|
(Energy & Resources)
|Member of the Victorian Parliament|
|Assumed office |
25 November 2006
|Preceded by||Robert Doyle|
|Born||5 August 1971|
|Political party||Liberal Party|
O'Brien served as Minister for Gaming, Minister for Consumer Affairs and Minister for Energy and Resources in the Baillieu government from 2010 to 2013, and was promoted to Treasurer in the 2013–2014 Napthine government. Following the defeat of the Napthine government at the 2014 state election, O'Brien contested the leadership of the Liberal Party, but was defeated by Matthew Guy. Guy resigned the party leadership following the party's defeat at the 2018 state election. Subsequently, on 6 December 2018, O'Brien was elected leader of the Liberal Party and became Opposition Leader.
O'Brien underwent secondary education at Marcellin College before completing a Bachelor of Laws (Honours) and a Bachelor of Commerce from the University of Melbourne. He worked as a barrister at the Victorian Bar practising in the fields of trade practices and commercial law. With co-author Jamie Richardson, O'Brien won the Law Institute of Victoria's Rogers Legal Writing Award in 2006. While at the Bar he also lectured part-time in trade practices at the Leo Cussen Institute of Continuing Legal Education and performed pro bono work.
On 6 December 2006, he was appointed to the Shadow Cabinet by the State Opposition leader, Ted Baillieu, to the position of Shadow Minister for Gaming. He was one of three newly elected Liberal MPs who were immediately promoted to Shadow Cabinet following the 2006 election, the others being Mary Wooldridge and Matthew Guy.
In August 2007, he was promoted to Shadow Minister for Consumer Affairs—taking over from Wendy Lovell—in addition to his responsibilities for gaming. In April 2009, he called for the Brumby Government to change company share laws so that apartment owners could take consumer cases to the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal, instead of having to go the Supreme Court.
In November 2009, O'Brien was promoted in a shadow cabinet reshuffle. He had been tipped to gain a "senior portfolio" but ended up in charge of three separate economic portfolios: infrastructure and public-private partnerships; energy and resources; and exports and trade. He told a local newspaper that he was "delighted with the changes" and was looking forward to "developing a better alternative to Labor's poor performance [in energy security and improved infrastructure]". He retained the gaming and consumer affairs portfolios.
Following the election of the Victorian Liberal Nationals Coalition at the 2010 state election, O'Brien was sworn in on 2 December 2010 as Minister for Energy and Resources, Minister for Gaming and Minister for Consumer Affairs.
In 2011 the Victorian Government proposed changing the Gaming Regulation Act to make it an offence to insult the Minister. The Opposition responded by calling him "Windscreens O'Brien – because this proves he's got a glass jaw".
After the move of Liberal MP Geoff Shaw to the crossbenches and the resignation of Premier Ted Baillieu in March 2013, O'Brien became Treasurer of Victoria in the ministry of the Napthine minority government.
Matthew Guy was elected as leader of the Liberal Party in a leadership ballot contested on 4 December 2014, making him Leader of the Opposition after defeating Michael O'Brien for the position. Matthew Guy made O'Brien shadow treasurer in opposition.
- "Hon Michael O'Brien". Parliament of Victoria. Retrieved 4 December 2014.
- 'New day for the party': Vic Liberals pick Michael O'Brien as leader
- Smethurst, Annika (4 December 2014). "Matthew Guy defeats Michael O'Brien in Liberal leadership ballot". Herald-Sun. News Corp Australia. Retrieved 4 December 2014.
- Law Institute of Victoria website.
- Malvern Prahran Leader, 7 October 2009.
- Malvern Prahran Leader, 29 November 2006.
- Main source is The Age, 7 December 2006. Brief mention in the Herald Sun, 7 December 2006. "Three new MPs—Mary Wooldridge, Michael O'Brien and Matthew Guy—have picked up frontbench positions. Both Ms Wooldridge and Mr O'Brien are being touted as potential future state leaders."
- The Age, 6 November 2009. Quote taken from an article in the Herald Sun, 21 October 2009.
- Malvern Prahran Leader, 25 November 2009.
- ABC online, 2 December 2010.
- Herald Sun, 18 October 2011.
- "Matthew Guy defeats Michael O'Brien in Liberal leadership ballot". Herald Sun. 4 December 2014.
- "Matthew Guy defeats Michael O'Brien in Liberal leadership victory". The Herald Sun. Retrieved 24 March 2015.
- Preiss, Adam Carey, Benjamin (5 December 2018). "'New day for the party': Vic Liberals pick Michael O'Brien as leader". The Age. Retrieved 6 December 2018.
- Carlton Football Club website.
- O'Brien, Michael (25 March 2010). "New deal for safer society". Geelong Advertiser. p. 23. Retrieved 13 June 2010.
- News articles
- Austin, Paul (6 November 2009). "Baillieu reshuffles with eye on crime". The Age. p. 4. Retrieved 1 December 2009.
- Drill, Stephen (29 March 2009). "MP backs pooch". Sunday Herald Sun. p. 20.
- Ker, Peter (7 December 2006). "New boys and girl go straight to top". The Age. p. 8. Retrieved 1 December 2009.
- Lappin, David (29 November 2006). "Voters reject change". Malvern Prahran Leader. p. 1.
- Rolfe, Peter (16 October 2011). "12,000 fine for insulting Victorian Gaming Minister Michael O'Brien". Herald Sun. Retrieved 4 January 2015.
- McMahon, Stephen (21 October 2009). "Slack Libs face purge; Baillieu's last-ditch bid to win next election". Herald Sun. p. 12. Retrieved 13 June 2010.
- Ryan, Jon; Bruce-Rosser, Kate; Sheridan, Ainsleigh; Maher, Cassie (7 October 2009). "Local reaction: Costello stands down". Malvern Prahran Leader. Archived from the original on 16 April 2011. Retrieved 13 June 2010.
- Whinnett, Ellen (7 December 2006). "Shadows flit in new deals". Herald Sun. p. 12.
- Unattributed (25 November 2009). "MP attains new portfolios". Malvern Prahran Leader. p. 9.
- Online resources
- "Law Institute of Victoria; 2006 Legal Award Winners". Law Institute of Victoria. 2006. Retrieved 1 December 2009.
- "The Spring Street Blues". Carlton Football Club. 2007. Archived from the original on 13 June 2010. Retrieved 1 December 2009.
- Liberal Party profile
- Parliamentary Handbook profile
- Parliamentary voting record of Michael O'Brien at Victorian Parliament Tracker
|Victorian Legislative Assembly|
| Member for Malvern
| Minister for Gaming
as Minister for Gaming Regulation
| Minister for Consumer Affairs
| Minister for Energy and Resources
| Treasurer of Victoria
| Leader of the Opposition in Victoria
|Party political offices|
| Leader of the Liberal Party in Victoria