Ed Casey

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The Hon
Ed Casey
Member of the Queensland Legislative Assembly
for Mackay
In office
17 May 1969 – 15 July 1995
Preceded by Fred Graham
Succeeded by Tim Mulherin
Personal details
Born Edmund Denis Casey
(1933-01-02)2 January 1933
Mackay, Queensland, Australia
Died 1 May 2006(2006-05-01) (aged 73)
Mackay, Queensland, Australia
Nationality Australian
Political party Australian Labor Party (1969-1972, 1977-2006)
Other political
Independent (1972-1977)
Occupation Bank clerk, Carrier and contractor
Religion Roman Catholic

Edmund Denis (Ed) Casey (2 January 1933 – 1 May 2006) was best known as the leader of the Australian Labor Party in Queensland between 1978 and 1982. He also served as Primary Industries Minister in the government of Wayne Goss between 1989 and 1995. Casey was the member for Mackay in the Legislative Assembly of Queensland between 1969 and 1995.[1]

Early life and career

Of Irish Catholic background, Casey started his working life as a bank clerk before entering his family's construction business.[2] He was active in local government, becoming deputy mayor of the City of Mackay. Shortly before the 1969 election, he won Labor Party preselection for the seat of Mackay in the state parliament. He lost preselection for the Labor Party in the mid-1970s but was re-elected twice as an independent.[3]

Leader of the ALP

Casey was readmitted to the Labor caucus in 1977. In November 1978 he became Labor leader, replacing Tom Burns who had resigned unexpectedly.[4] He led Labor into the 1980 election but failed to make an impression on the Coalition Government led by Joh Bjelke-Petersen, and narrowly retained his leadership.

Casey made an offer to the Queensland Liberal Party after the 1980 election to join with the ALP to force a redistribution with one-vote-one-value. Relations between the Liberals and National Party in the Coalition were poor, with the Liberal Party disadvantaged by the electoral system in place. He renewed his offer in 1982 when relations within the Coalition were poor, but it was again rebuffed despite a Liberal Convention in June voting against the current electoral system. Casey lost the leadership of the ALP to Keith Wright in October 1982.[4]


Casey was re-elected comfortably in the 1983 and 1986 election. By this stage, the popularity of the National Party Government had declined and the Coalition with the Liberals had ended. Wayne Goss was elected as the new Premier in late 1989 after the Fitzgerald Inquiry had uncovered serious problems with corruption in the Queensland police force.

Goss appointed Casey as his Primary Industries Minister. He reformed the sugar industry, established agricultural academies and set up a drought relief task force. He resigned from the Ministry and from Parliament in 1995 due to health problems from diabetes. He died of a stroke on 1 May 2006.

While Casey did not become Premier, he was a very popular member of his seat of Mackay and at his last election in 1992 he won every booth in the electorate.


  1. "Former Members". Parliament of Queensland. 2015. Retrieved 8 February 2015.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  2. [1]
  3. [2]
  4. 4.0 4.1 Encyclopedia of Australian Events 1978, The Macquarie Library Pty Ltd
  • [3] Courier Mail "Ed Casey dies" 2 May 2006
  • [4] AAP News on Yahoo "Former Qld ALP boss Casey a visionary" 2 May 2006
  • [5] 2004 Queensland Elections Mackay on ABC Online
Parliament of Queensland
Preceded by
Fred Graham
Member for Mackay
Succeeded by
Tim Mulherin