Member for Throsby (NSW)
Jennie George came to the parliamentary scene in 2001 as the Australian Labor Party member for Throsby (NSW), a seat she held until 2010. Having been heavily involved in politics through her university life and career, George had strong opinions on a range of issues which she continued to canvass in federal parliament.
As a former President of the Australian Council of Trade Unions, George campaigned for better working conditions, stronger workplace relations laws and increased funding for the public education system to ensure people had access to higher education. She also spoke out against deregulating university fees on the grounds that people from lower socio-economic backgrounds would be prevented from participating in higher education.
George was significantly involved in the committee system, particularly in the later years of her parliamentary career. As the chair of the Standing Committee on Climate Change, Water, Environment and the Arts, she tabled an important report, Managing our coastal zone in a changing climate, which advised the government on ways to better manage environmental impacts on Australia’s coastal areas. In her valedictory speech, George praised this inquiry and report for its strong bipartisan cooperation.