News | 24 September 2015

Who is Christian Porter?

Christian Porter photo

The new Social Services Minister, Christian Porter, now tasked with the delivery of the NDIS, is a new face for many. Here’s the top seven things we know about him.

He’s been touted as a future Prime Minister

In December 2013, after Christian Porter delivered his Maiden Speech to the Federal Parliament, the Sydney Morning Herald’s political columnist Paul Sheehan wrote an article with the headline: Christian Porter: Meet Australia’s future Prime Minister.

Given Mr Porter has been elevated to a major portfolio after less than three years in the Federal Parliament, you’d be forgiven for thinking he might just be right.

He has an impressive CV

While he hasn’t been a long player at the federal level, he had a similarly remarkable climb up the ladder at the state level. He entered state politics in Western Australia in 2008 and within four years had held the portfolios of Treasurer and Attorney-General. He resigned in 2012 to take on and win the federal seat of Pearce.

He practiced law before he entered politics, including as a senior state prosecutor at the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions. He holds several degrees including a masters in political theory from the London School of Economics where he graduated top of his class with a distinction.

He is a funny guy

By all accounts he loves a joke and makes sure he includes a few in his speeches, which we’ve heard he writes himself.

His opening line of his Maiden Speech to Parliament was:

“I am intent to bask in this warmth before people get to know me and it grinds to an inevitable halt.”

His dad was won silver at the 1956 Olympic Games

Also in his Maiden Speech, Mr Porter said:

“On 23 November 1956, a painfully angular 19-year-old Brisbane boy, with a physique the cross between a praying mantis and a wire coat hanger, jumped for his country on the first day of the Melbourne Olympic Games. That boy was my father. His sole possessions totalled an ill-fitting Australian team tracksuit and a pair of Buddy Holly-style horn-rimmed glasses. He competed in what was then and what remains to this day the longest and most engrossing field event in Olympic history.”

Mr Porter snr, known as Charles ‘Chilla’ Porter was also a senior player in the WA Liberal Party. And Christian’s grandfather set up the Queensland Liberal Party branch.

He will be focussed on the NDIS

In one of his first interviews after Malcolm Turnbull announced the new ministry, Christian Porter said:

“But I think people can be absolutely assured that disabilities is going to have front and centre care inside portfolios. And of course the new Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull’s first act as Prime Minister was the signing of the deals in Victoria and New South Wales around the NDIS, so it’s completely front and centre in this Government.” (ABC AM, 21 Sept)

He has a big job ahead of him

Christian Porter is now responsible for the largest spending portfolio in the Federal Government. He replaces both Scott Morrison and Mitch Fifield.

And while the new look social services portfolio no longer has carriage of childcare, it still has responsibility for aged care reform, welfare reform and delivery of the full roll out of the NDIS across Australia, on time and on budget.

He is in for some sleepless nights

And if that is not enough to keep him up at night, his wife is expecting their first child this week.

Thanks to variety of sources for this article including:

Christian Porter: 

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