Christian Porter

Charles Christian Porter (born 11 July 1970) is an Australian Liberal Party politician and lawyer serving as Attorney-General of Australia since 2017, and has served as Member of Parliament (MP) for Pearce since 2013. He was appointed Minister for Industrial Relations and Leader of the House in 2019.

From Perth, Porter attended Hale School, the University of Western Australia and later the London School of Economics, and practised law at Clayton Utz and taught law at the University of Western Australia before his election to parliament. He is the son of the 1956 Olympic silver medallist, Charles "Chilla" Porter, and the grandson of Queensland Liberal politician, Charles Porter, who was a member of the Queensland Legislative Assembly from 1966 to 1980.[4][5]

Before his election to the federal House of Representatives, Porter had served in the Parliament of Western Australia. He first entered the Legislative Assembly after winning the seat of Murdoch in a 2008 by-election following the death of the sitting member, Trevor Sprigg, and he was subsequently elected to the new seat of Bateman at the 2008 general election. After the Liberals formed government, Porter was appointed Attorney-General in the Barnett ministry. In December 2010, he was also appointed Treasurer, and held both portfolios until June 2012, when he resigned from the ministry to contest the 2013 federal election.

Prior to assuming his current position, Porter was Parliamentary Secretary to the Prime Minister in the Abbott Government from December 2014 to September 2015,[6][7] and then Minister for Social Services in the Turnbull Government from September 2015 to December 2017.

Background and early career

Porter's father was Charles "Chilla" Porter, who during the 1970s and 1980s was director of Western Australia's Liberal Party.[5] His grandfather, Sir Charles Robert Porter, was a Queensland Liberal state MP between 1966 and 1980 and served in the ministry of Joh Bjelke-Petersen.[5]

Porter was educated at Hale School, then at the University of Western Australia where he graduated Bachelor of Economics and Bachelor of Arts with first-class honours in politics, before completing a Bachelor of Laws degree. Porter later studied at the London School of Economics for a Master of Science in political theory, from which he graduated at the top of his class with distinction.[8]

Prior to entering Parliament, Porter worked predominantly as a lawyer, starting as a commercial litigator at Clayton Utz before moving to public practice. He spent a year as an advisor to the Federal Minister for Justice and then began working for the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions as a senior state prosecutor. Before his election in 2008, Porter was working as a lecturer at Curtin University and the University of Western Australia as well as retaining, part-time, his position as senior prosecutor at the DPP.[9]

Porter has described himself as "not particularly religious".[10]

Political career

State politics

At the 2008 election, Porter contested and won the newly created seat of Bateman following the abolition of the seat of Murdoch in the 2007 redistribution. He was appointed Attorney-General and Minister for Corrective Services after the election,[11] having held the equivalent shadow portfolios prior to the election.[12]

On 14 December 2010, Porter was sworn in as Treasurer of Western Australia. He retained the portfolio of Attorney General, while the Corrective Services portfolio was transferred to Terry Redman.

On 12 June 2012, he announced he was stepping down from his ministerial portfolios to contest the seat of Pearce at the 2013 Australian federal election.[13]

Federal politics

On 20 September 2015, Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull announced that Porter would replace Scott Morrison as Social Services Minister as part of a Cabinet overhaul.[14]

In 2016, Centrelink, operating under Porter's senior oversight as Social Services Minister, became involved in a debt recovery controversy. Despite heightened media interest and complaints, after meeting with the Department of Human Services,[15] Porter stated that the program was working "incredibly well".[16] The program was later subject to a Senate committee inquiry.[17]

In a December 2017 reshuffle of the Turnbull ministry, Porter became Attorney-General in place of George Brandis. He relinquished the social services portfolio to Dan Tehan. At the same time, some of the national security powers and responsibilities previously held by the Attorney-General were transferred to the new position of Minister for Home Affairs, which was given to Peter Dutton.[18]


  1. ^ WA Parliament bio
  2. ^ "Christian Porter Biography". Christian Porter: Federal Member for Pearce. Archived from the original on 12 August 2016. Retrieved 7 November 2015.
  3. ^ a b "Hon Christian Porter MP - Parliament of Australia". Retrieved 26 April 2019.
  4. ^ "First Speech: Hon Christian Porter MP". Parliament of Australia. Retrieved 7 November 2015.
  5. ^ a b c Poprzeczny, Joseph (7 July 2012). "Promising WA MP's Canberra bid". News Weekly. Retrieved 13 February 2016.
  6. ^ Taylor, Lenore (21 December 2014). "Tony Abbott cabinet reshuffle moves Scott Morrison out of immigration". Guardian Australia. Retrieved 21 December 2014.
  7. ^ "Tony Abbott's revamped Ministry sworn in at Government House". News Corp Australia. 23 December 2014. Retrieved 23 December 2014.
  8. ^ "From Cleo to Canberra: Christian Porter is an MP to watch".
  9. ^
  10. ^
  11. ^ Anglie Raphael, Christian Porter is given the role of Shadow Attorney General, Melville times community, 18 March 2008, p.3
  12. ^ Tullberg, Julie (23 February 2008). "SMH Online News – Porter claims win in Murdoch by-election". The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 12 June 2008.
  13. ^
  14. ^
  15. ^ "Community Affairs References Committee". Parliament of Australia. 18 May 2017. p. 46. Retrieved 14 August 2017.
  16. ^ McIlroy, Tom (3 January 2017). "Centrelink's automated debt recovery system working 'incredibly well': Minister Christian Porter". The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 14 August 2017.
  17. ^ Doran, Matthew (8 March 2017). "Centrelink debt recovery program to be investigated at Senate committee today". ABC News. Retrieved 14 August 2017.
  18. ^ "Porter's the new AG, but can he keep his own seat?". ABC News. 19 December 2017. Retrieved 20 December 2017.

External links

Parliament of Australia
Preceded by
Judi Moylan
Member for Pearce
Political offices
Preceded by
Scott Morrison
Minister for Social Services
Succeeded by
Dan Tehan
Preceded by
George Brandis
Attorney-General for Australia
Preceded by
Jim McGinty
Attorney-General of Western Australia
Succeeded by
Michael Mischin
Preceded by
Colin Barnett
Treasurer of Western Australia
Succeeded by
Colin Barnett
Parliament of Western Australia
Preceded by
Trevor Sprigg
Member for Murdoch
District abolished
District established Member for Bateman
Succeeded by
Matt Taylor