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Members’ biographical register

Hon Simon McDonnell O'Brien

Principal Honours
Date: 16 May 1960
Place: Subiaco, Western Australia
Arrival in WA
Son of Everard McDonnell O’Brien, road board secretary and MLA, and Dulcie Niola Shooter
Marriage and Family
Married 11 July 1980, Fremantle, WA to Joy Marie Lowe, daughter of James Frederick Randall Lowe and Joyce Ada Dow
No children
Cause of Death:
Educated Graylands Primary School, St Louis College, John XXIII College and John Curtin Senior High School
Customs officer
Employment History
Officer cadet with Army January–May 1979 and January–April 1981 (ceased because of injury)
Orderly Fremantle Hospital June 1979–December 1981
Customs officer 1981–1997 including various outport postings, training and staff development, and operational manager at Perth International Airport
Local Government Service
Various Offices of the Liberal Party of Western Australia from 1985 including State Executive, President Fremantle Division; President Cockburn Branch
Date Elected
22 May 1997
Inaugural Speech
Inaugural Video
No inaugural video is available as filming did not start until May 2003
Search for speeches by Simon O'Brien
Valedictory Speech
Year Retired/Resigned
South Metropolitan
Parliamentary Service
  • MLC South Metropolitan Region. Elected to the Thirty-fifth Parliament for South Metropolitan Region on 14 December 1996 for term commencing 22 May 1997. Re-elected 2001, 2005, 2009, 2013 and 2017 (for terms commencing 22 May).
  • Contested Cockburn 4 February 1989, South Metropolitan Region 6 February 1993

  • Shadow Minister for Disability Services, Drug Abuse Strategy 9 March 2001–20 March 2005
  • Deputy Leader of the Opposition in the Legislative Council 30 March 2005–23 September 2008
  • Shadow Minister for Commerce and Trade, Disability Services, Works and Services 20 March 2005–4 February 2006
  • Shadow Minister for Education, Commerce and Trade 4 February 2006–8 April 2006
  • Shadow Minister for Asian Economic Development 4 February 2006–23 September 2008
  • Shadow Minister for Planning and Infrastructure 8 April 2006–23 September 2008
  • Minister for Transport, Disability Services 23 September 2008–14 December 2010
  • Minister for Finance, Commerce, Small Business 14 December 2010–21 March 2013

  • Deputy Chairman of Committees 23 May 2001–21 May 2005. Reappointed 24 May 2005–23 September 2008. Reappointed 22 May 2013–21 May 2017.
  • Chair of Committees 23 May 2017–present
  • Member Standing Committee on Estimates and Financial Operations 27 May 1997–21 May 2001
  • Member Joint Standing Committee on Delegated Legislation 26 June 1997–21 May 2001. Reappointed 28 June 2001–26 March 2002
  • Member Standing Committee on Procedure and Privileges 31 May 2001–21 May 2005. Reappointed 24 May 2005–23 September 2008
  • Member Standing Committee on Uniform Legislation and General Purposes 11 April 2002–21 May 2005. Reappointed 26 May 2005–17 August 2005 (Chairman 31 May 2005–17 August 2005)
  • Member Standing Committee on Uniform Legislation and Statutes Review 17 August 2005–23 September 2008 (Chairman 24 August 2005–23 September 2008)
  • Chair Standing Committee on Environment and Public Affairs 22 May 2013–21 May 2017
  • Deputy Chair Standing Committee on Procedure and Privileges 23 May 2017–present
  • Member Standing Committee on Legislation 23 May 2017–present
  • Member Parliamentary Services Committee 23 May 2017–present

Commonwealth Parliamentary Association
  • Represented WA branch of the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association at the 46th General Conference, London/Edinburgh, 2000
Private Member's Bills
Member Community and Public Sector Union 1994–1997 and Melville/Cockburn Chamber of Commerce 1988–1989
Member Lynwood/Ferndale Progress Association 1989–92 and management committee of Lynwood/Ferndale Sportsgrounds
Chairman Melville Safer WA Committee
Member Board Canning College
Member Cross Roads Community (drug rehabilitation) member management committee Canning Arts Centre and Whaleback Golf Course
Member South East Metropolitan Recreation advisory group, Roe Highway Occasional Committee
Member Lynwood District Council Churches Committee on Education
Search and rescue team leader Port Hedland 1982–1985
Qualified fitness instructor (designed and ran first inhouse PT program for Australian Customs Service)
Patron numerous organisations including Rockingham Totally and Partially Disabled Veterans of WA Inc, CAST (Combined Abuse Support Team) Kwinana, Manning Tennis Club
D Black and G Bolton, eds, Biographical Register of Members of the Parliament of Western Australia: volume two 1930-2010, Western Australian Parliamentary History Project, Perth, WA, 2011, p. 196.
Parliament of Western Australia website. Current Members. Accessed 2 June 2015.
Further Information

No documents found