Dean Smith

Biography.

Since becoming a Senator for Western Australia in May 2012, Dean Smith has been a strong voice for WA and the values of the Liberal Party.

As Patron Senator for Durack he is an active champion of WA regional interests, especially in the areas of telecommunications, road infrastructure and aged care. 

In October 2015, Dean’s Senate colleagues elected him to the position of Government Deputy Whip in the Senate.

In March 2015, Dean was promoted to Chair of the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Public Works which in 2015 oversaw the parliamentary approvals of $3.5 billion worth of Government public works projects. Prior to this appointment, he was Chair of the Joint Parliamentary Committee on Human Rights. 

In addition to travelling vast distances across WA, he is an active participant on a variety of parliamentary committees including the Senate Finance and Public Administration Committee, the Senate Privileges Committee, the Senate Select Committee on the National Broadband Network, the Joint Standing Committee on Northern Australia, and the Joint Parliamentary Committee on Public Accounts and Audit. 

In addition he is the Chair of the Coalition Backbench Committee on Communications and the Arts.  

Following the election of the Abbott Government in September 2013 he was appointed Chair of the WA Black Spots Road Funding Committee, was appointed as the Government’s nominee to the Australian National University ‘China in the World Centre’, and Chairs the Parliamentary Liaison Group on HIV, BBBV and STI’s. 

As a committed Liberal, Dean is a fervent believer in limited government, promoting personal responsibility and liberty, and strengthening Australian Federalism. Beginning in January 2015, he has been a regular columnist in Australia’s leading business and financial newspaper, The Australian Financial Review.

Since his appointment to the Senate in May 2012 he has led a variety of policy campaigns. He was selected by colleagues as Convenor the ‘NO’ Parliamentarians and successfully campaigned against the recognition of local government in the Australian constitution, he stood up for the united position of WA grain growers in calling for the full deregulation of WA wheat exports, has defended the principle of freedom of speech by co-sponsoring a Private Senators Bill to reform Section 18C of the Racial Discrimination Act and has been a lead proponent of GST distribution reform. 

Dean has been an active member of the WA Liberal Party for almost 30 years having joined the Liberal Students and the Young Liberals as a student at the University of Western Australia in 1987. During this time he served five terms as the Honorary State Treasurer of the WA Liberal Party and in 2011 was awarded the ‘Distinguished Service Medal’ in recognition of long and distinguished service to the Liberal Party.

Prior to entering the Senate he had almost 25 years’ experience working across both State and Federal Governments. He worked as Principal Policy Adviser to former WA Premier Richard Court, and as an Adviser to former Prime Minister John Howard and various Federal Government Ministers. 

His extensive first-hand political and policy experience is matched with almost 10 years commercial experience with two of Australia’s most prominent companies. He has held senior executive roles at Australia’s largest general insurer, Insurance Australia Group (IAG), and at Asia’s largest integrated telecommunications company, SingTel Optus.  

I have always been outcomes focused - nothing frustrates me more than talk-fests.

The best politicians are those that set themselves goals and get on with the job of delivering on those commitments.

– Dean