Dean Smith has been a Liberal Senator for Western Australia since May 2012.
In June 2022, he was appointed to the Coalition’s Shadow Economics Team as Shadow Assistant Minister for Competition, Charities and Treasury.
Dean was previously a member of the Coalition Government’s Senate Leadership Team – having been elected Chief Government Whip in the Senate by his Liberal Senate colleagues in January 2019.
The son of a WA Policeman, Dean grew up in Port Hedland and Perth’s northern suburbs.
He maintains close ties to both and is a champion for issues important to those communities – and to all regional Western Australia.
As a Liberal Senator for WA, Dean has been one of the State’s strongest voices in Canberra.
He first spoke on GST reform in the Senate in 2012 and advocated relentlessly for the fairer GST deal struck in 2018, which delivers Western Australia a GST floor of 75 cents in 2024/2025.
Early in his Parliamentary career, Dean successfully fought to protect the Federation and Western Australian interests by co-ordinating other Liberal Senators to oppose the Rudd and Gillard Governments’ plan to recognise local government in the Australian Constitution.
Dean also backed Western Australian farming communities by opposing attempts to re-regulate Australia’s wheat exports and our premium wine producers by progressing reform of the wine equalisation tax, supporting tourism and jobs.
He is the architect of the Marriage Amendment (Definition and Religious Freedoms) Bill 2017 that brought marriage equality to Australia – legislation that delivers marriage equality while also protecting religious views on marriage.
Dean was awarded the McKinnon Prize in Political Leadership in 2018 by a panel of eminent Australians, including John Howard and Julia Gillard.
Prior to entering the Senate, he held senior executive roles at Insurance Australia Group and SingTel Optus.
Dean brings to his Senate role extensive policy experience, having worked as Policy Adviser to both Western Australian Premier Richard Court and Prime Minister John Howard.
His Parliamentary Committee obligations include Chair of the Senate Scrutiny of Bills Committee and Deputy Chair of the Joint Standing Committee on the Implementation of the National Redress Scheme.
Dean was previously Chair of the Joint Parliamentary Committee on Public Accounts and Audit and the Parliamentary Joint Committee on Human Rights, among others.
He was appointed to the National Archives of Australia Advisory Council in July 2022.