Gary Nairn

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The Honourable
Gary Nairn
Special Minister of State
In office
27 January 2006 – 3 December 2007
Prime Minister John Howard
Preceded by Eric Abetz
Succeeded by John Faulkner
Member of the Australian Parliament
for Eden-Monaro
In office
2 March 1996 – 24 November 2007
Preceded by Jim Snow
Succeeded by Mike Kelly
Personal details
Born (1951-01-03) 3 January 1951 (age 68)
Sydney, New South Wales
Nationality Australian
Political party Liberal Party of Australia
Alma mater University of New South Wales
Occupation Surveyor

Gary Roy Nairn AO (born 3 January 1951) is a former Australian politician.

Nairn was born in Sydney, New South Wales, and was educated at Sydney Boys High School from 1963–68[1] before attending University of New South Wales. He was a surveyor in private practice and managing director of a surveying and mapping consultancy before entering politics. He moved to the Northern Territory where he lived for many years.[2] He was President of the Country Liberal Party between 1990 and 1994, during which time the CLP won two elections with an increased vote.[3]

Nairn returned to New South Wales and in March 1996 was elected a Liberal Party of Australia member of the Australian House of Representatives, representing the seat of Eden-Monaro.

In 2003, he headed a federal inquiry into the 2003 Canberra bushfires. He was appointed Parliamentary Secretary to the Prime Minister in October 2004. In January 2006 he was promoted to the front bench as Special Minister of State which includes responsibilities with Ministerial and Parliamentary Services, the Australian Government Information Management Office, Australian Electoral Commission, Defence Housing Authority and Film Australia.[2]

In September 2007, Nairn's Chief of Staff, Dr Peter Phelps, engaged in a heated verbal exchange with the Labor Party candidate for Eden-Monaro, Mike Kelly at a forum on the Iraq War in Queanbeyan, New South Wales. At the meeting Dr Phelps claimed that Mike Kelly was a hypocrite as a former soldier running for the ALP when they are opposed to the war in Iraq. Dr Phelps stated at the meeting that he thought Dr Kelly was using the Nuremberg Defence, and compared it to the kind of defence used by guards at the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp.[4] Mr Nairn did not agree with his staffer's sentiments.[5]

In the 2007 federal election, Nairn lost his seat to Labor candidate Mike Kelly. Nairn was one of five Coalition frontbenchers to lose their seats at the election. The loss of the Division of Eden-Monaro by the Liberal Party to the Labor Party continues the trend of the seat being won by every party to form Government since 1972.


  2. 2.0 2.1 "Biography for Nairn, the Hon. Gary Roy". ParlInfo Web. Parliament of Australia. Retrieved 2007-10-28.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  3. "Eden-Monaro(Key Seat)". Australia Votes 2007. ABC. Retrieved 2007-10-28.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  4. Bradford, Gillian (2007-09-17). "Govt puts up fight in Parliament". Radio National: PM. Australian Broadcasting Corporation. Retrieved 2007-09-19.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  5. "The Hon Gary Nairn MP, Member for Eden-Monaro (NSW): Questions Without Notice" (PDF). Hansard. Parliament of Australia. 19 September 2007.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
Political offices
Preceded by
Eric Abetz
Special Minister of State
Succeeded by
John Faulkner
Parliament of Australia
Preceded by
Jim Snow
Member for Eden-Monaro
Succeeded by
Mike Kelly