Stewart West

Stewart John West (born 31 March 1934) is a former Australian politician. He represented the Australian Labor Party (ALP) in the House of Representatives from 1977 to 1993, holding the New South Wales seat of Cunningham. He was a member of cabinet in the Hawke Government, serving as Minister for Immigration and Ethnic Affairs (1983–1984), Housing and Construction (1984–1987), and Administrative Services (1987–1990).

Stewart West
Stewart West.jpg
West in 1978
Minister for Administrative Services
In office
24 July 1987 – 4 April 1990
Prime MinisterBob Hawke
Preceded byTom Uren
Succeeded byNick Bolkus
Minister for Housing and Construction
In office
13 December 1984 – 24 July 1987
Prime MinisterBob Hawke
Preceded byChris Hurford
Succeeded byPeter Morris
Minister for Immigration and Ethnic Affairs
In office
11 March 1983 – 13 December 1984
Prime MinisterBob Hawke
Preceded byJohn Hodges
Succeeded byChris Hurford
Member of the Australian Parliament
for Cunningham
In office
15 October 1977 – 8 February 1993
Preceded byRex Connor
Succeeded byStephen Martin
Personal details
Born (1934-03-31) 31 March 1934 (age 88)
Forbes, New South Wales, Australia
Political partyLabor

Early lifeEdit

West was born on 31 March 1934 in Forbes, New South Wales. Before entering parliament he was president of the Port Kembla branch of the Waterside Workers' Federation from 1972 to 1977. He also served as Rex Connor's campaign manager from 1966 to 1975.[1]


West was elected to parliament in the Cunningham by-election on 15 October 1977, after the sudden death of the sitting member, Rex Connor. He was promoted to the shadow ministry of Bill Hayden in 1980.[1]

When the Labor Party won government in the 1983 federal election, West was appointed Minister for Immigration and Ethnic Affairs in the Cabinet under Prime Minister Bob Hawke. As the only member of Labor's left-wing faction to be a Cabinet minister, West found himself at odds with the Labor Right-dominated Cabinet, and he resigned on 4 November 1983 when he was unable to support a Cabinet decision on uranium mining.[2] He was reappointed to Cabinet on 3 April 1984, and served out the remaining parliamentary term as Immigration Minister.

West remained in Cabinet for the Hawke government's two subsequent terms as Minister for Housing and Construction from 1984 to 1987, and Minister for Administrative Services from 1987 to 1990. He resigned from Parliament on 8 February 1993 after losing pre-selection for the seat of Cunningham to Stephen Martin.[3]


  1. ^ a b "Biography for WEST, the Hon. Stewart John". Parliament of Australia. Retrieved 20 September 2020.
  2. ^ Faulkner, John; Stewart Macintyre (2001). True Believers: The Story of the Federal Parliamentary Labor Party. Sydney: Allen & Unwin. ISBN 1-86508-609-6.
  3. ^ Seat profile: Cunningham, Australian Broadcasting Corporation, 2007.
Political offices
Preceded by Minister for Immigration and Ethnic Affairs
Succeeded by
Preceded by Minister for Housing and Construction
Succeeded by
Peter Morris
Housing and Aged Care
Preceded by
Tom Uren
Local Government and
Administrative Services
Minister for Administrative Services
Succeeded by
Parliament of Australia
Preceded by Member for Cunningham
Succeeded by