Dennis Hood

Dennis Hood
The Honourable
Dennis Hood
Member of the South Australian Legislative Council
Assumed office
1 July 2006
Personal details
Born 12 January 1970 (1970-01-12) (age 41)
Salisbury, Adelaide, South Australia
Nationality Australian Australia
Political party Family First
Spouse(s) Lisa Hood
Children Madeline Hood
Residence Salisbury, South Australia
Alma mater University of Adelaide (BA(Politics))
University of Adelaide (BEc)
Profession Executive
Religion Christian
Website Official profile

Dennis Garry Edward Hood (born 12 January 1970) is an Australian politician. He is a member of the South Australian Legislative Council, and the South Australian leader of the Family First Party.


Early life and career

Hood was born to working class parents in Salisbury, Adelaide, South Australia; his father a Vietnam War veteran and his mother legally blind.[1] He holds a Bachelors Degree in Arts (Politics) and Economics from the University of Adelaide, and subsequently became an executive for Johnson & Johnson's pharmeceuticals.

Legislative career

Dennis Hood became the federal director of Family First in 2005, and was selected as its primary candidate for the South Australian Legislative Council in the 2006 state election.[citation needed] He was elected with the assistance of preferences on a primary vote of 5%, becoming the party's second representative in state parliament's upper house.[citation needed] Family First and the other minor parties, share the balance of power in the Legislative Council.[citation needed] Although Dennis Hood tends to hold party lines, as distinct from the mandatory requirements of the Australian Liberal Party and Australian Labor Party, and more like the Australian Greens, party members exhibit a unique flavor of policy, as evident by Hood sometimes operating independently from his colleague Brokenshire[2], analogous to Bob Brown who described his own party as having "as many factions as there were candidates".[3] Hood has been vocal about factual errors and false assertions in newspapers about Family First.[4]

Dennis Hood has suggested the scrapping of compulsory voting, on the basis it is undemocratic to force people to cast a vote.[5] He also established a Parliamentary committee to evaluate the establishment of marine parks off the coast of South Australia, which involves the examiniation of the environment, economic and social impacts.[6] Hood has advocated the creation of a task force to address the problem of increasing police warrants.[7] Dennis Hood supported the redevelopment of the Adelaide Oval, but only with severe amendments.[8] Hood has recommended increased funding to the coroners court.[9]

Hood has advocated increased accountability of government departments, describing the referral of SHine SA, a Government organization specializing in sexual health, of disabled clients to a list of prostitutes, was a "gross misuse of taxpayer money",[10] with then opposition leader Iain Evans concurring that a government-funded agency should never advocate what is technically an illegal activity. He has also raised concerns about the AIDS Council, and questioned Gail Gago on why the Government was funding an organization that demands job applicants use drugs and participate in prostitution as mandatory prerequisite for employment.[11] Earlier, Hood attacked the AIDS Council for stating "children are a blessing [because] you never know when you'll need someone to go out and score [drugs] for you", and that "alcohol is fun, but take drugs instead and you will remember your night out",[12] in what Christopher Pyne concurred as "foolish and irresponsible". Hood also voted not to provide Auditor-General Ken McPherson, who drafted the report into corruption and bullying at the Burnside Council, an extension of term, as he has already served 21 years.[13] Equally, Hood has encouraged the injection of capital into Government units that look after vulnerable people who are abused in state care.[14]

Hood is perceived antagonistic to the Australian Greens, in such policies as providing the right to remove dangerous, sick and dying trees, which the Greens strongly opposed.[15] Hood has been the voice of pragmatism, endorsing weekly garbage collection, in a move the Greens disagreed with because it leads to increases in the amount of household rubbish going to landfill[16] Hood has also been a strong proponent of euthanasia legislation introduced by Steph Key[17] on the basis it fails to provide sufficient corroborative evidence of the desire for suicide apart from the killer as the sole witness,[18] and that the elderly and dying could be pressured into suicide if they felt they became a burden on their family,[19] essentially, that voluntary euthanasia, fortuitously, causes involuntary euthanasia.[20] He also outlined an apparent irony that the Greens, who oppose capital punishment, would endorse euthanasia.[21] Hood has criticized the high abortion rate, in light of low fertility rates,[22] and has encouraged adoption in lieu.[23] Hood has rejected the scrapping of parliamentary prayer, saying the practice dates back to the establishment of the Westminster system,[24] and that the brief periods were useful for silent reflection. Hood has also rejected legislation to permit the cloning of human embryos,[25] on the basis new technology could create embryonic stem cells without using human embryos and eggs, thereby making the argument moot. Hood has opposed the decriminalization of prostitution.[26] which is testament to his Christian feminist position. Hood has also suggested plain-packaged DVD's for content that is restricted by law.[27] Despite being jestered by the Chaser's War on Everything that it is necessary to have sexual intercourse to have families,[28] Hood denies he has spoken with the Australian Sex Party for a preference deal.[29] Hood has rejected the Greens call to name and shame religious schools which discriminate based on sexual orientation on their web site.[30] Although sometimes failing to block Green legislation, Hood has nevertheless provided opposition rigor necessary to challenge status quo, including public consultation.[31] The Greens however, sometimes work cooperatively with Family First, for instance in Bob Brown’s call for national changes to electoral legislation,[32] following the issue of counterfeit how-to-vote cards by the Australian Labor Party that were passed off as Family First electoral material,[33] in what was also called "unethical, if not illegal" by opposition leader Isobel Redmond.[34] The perceived antagony is thus undoubtedly questionable, for example in Hood's advocacy of the Adelaide Oval redevelopment as "terrific" for Adelaide, and Mark Parnell concurrence that it would bring back football to the city.[35] In fact, Parnell has voted with Hood in several instances, against the majority government and opposition.[36] Nevertheless, Hood has forayed that he will never make a preference deal with the Greens,[37] as their core policies are irreconcilable with the position of Family First.

Hood has been the conservative voice of parenting, with such policies as calling on the ban of nude beaches, on the basis that children could inadvertently be exposed.[38] Hood has also rejected same-sex parenting on the basis that children of same-sex parents wouldn't gain the right to have heterosexual parents.[39] Hood has advocated mandatory parental consent for children getting a body piercing.[40] Hood has advocated for the permission to administer non-sexual smacking of children by their parents[41][42] Hood has recommended pragmatic child abuse checks by external agencies to address growing dismay relating to the Department of Community Services.[43] Despite saying that his party was comfortable with modest age-appropriate sexual education programs,[44] Hood has remained staunchly opposed to the sex education of primary school kids.[45] In a similar manner, Hood has supported the call of independent MP Bob Such, who has advocated the introduction of a religious education program focusing on compassion, respect and knowledge of various religions.[46] Hood has also recommended a review of the classification system, and that some content classified general should be upward classified, as evident in the comical but paradoxical newshed "G-rated g-string"[47] Hood has also been vocal about the failure of the Advertising Standards Board to properly screen out material of poor taste, including a liquor advertisement with the buttocks of three adult males exposed nude, in what the RAA concurred is a distraction to driving.[48] Hood has worked with Attorney-General John Rau on a number of Bills, including the outlawing of minors from practicing scarification.[49]

Hood has established a reputation for being tough on crime, in particular drugs,[50] suggesting tougher controls on the growing and possession of cannabis, on the basis that possession of commercial quantities ($40,000) would only attract a small (maximum of $500) fine, and provided insufficient disincentive.[51] He has also requested on-the-spot fine for users of heroin, meth-amphetamines, cocaine and ecstasy.[52] He has opposed the use of drug driving[53] and drugs in public, saying it is a threat to the welfare of residents and businesses, as well as to the individual themselves.[54] He introduced law to increase police powers to seize a convicted pedophile's computer at any time without a court order to examine its contents,[55] essentially shifting the burden of proof away to the police to show reasonable cause to suspect to the pedophile to show they have been acting in line with the law. Despite Labor has personified itself as "tough on drugs", Hood has stated figures show otherwise, and has instead established himself as the authority on crime.[56] Apart from increased fines, Hood has also suggested pragmatic drug testing devices at hotels and nightclubs.[57] Hood recommended and successfully passed laws to adopt this stance by setting minimum,[58] as supposed to maximum sentences, which are never implemented by judges.[59] Hood has rejected even the prescription of marijuana for medicinal purposes, backed by Vickie Chapman, saying the harm outweighs the therapeutic benefits.[60] Perhaps the most fancy recommendation is the introduction of an online database to record the details of the acquisition and sales of products containing pseudoephedrine, which using data mining technologies could help identify suspicious buyers, in a move which Commissioner of SAPOL, Mal Hyde, agreed with.[61] Hood was also authority on reducing sexual assaults in taxis,[62] his colleague Rob Brokenshire the chairman of the select committee.

At a Family First State Executive meeting on 1 February 2007, Dennis Hood replaced Andrew Evans as the Family First parliamentary leader.[63] Although failing to gain the reputation as a serial Freedom of Information Act user as colleague Robert Brokenshire,[64] Hood has been an active user of the FOI too,[65][66] but has a better reputation for the publication of public records.[67][68] Nevertheless, Hood is established as the mathematical identity of Family First, involved with the compilation of econometric statistics.[69]

Dennis Hood called for District Court Judge Marie Shaw to be sacked as a result of failing to impose a sentence upon a series of twelve sex offenders she had presided over.[70] To prevent Shaw from taking him to the Supreme Court for defamation over the his naming of her "South Australia's softest judge"[71], in what Shaw described to cause her to become "distressed and humiliated", "subject to ridicule and contempt",[72] Hood settled with her by pronouncing an apology.[73] Chief Justice John Doyle sided with Shaw, saying that judges shouldn't be held personally responsible for their decisions,[74] that much decisions were the inevitable result of precedence, although Judge Shaw eventually resigned just four years after sitting on the bench,[75] despite the principle of tenure, that she could have sat on the bench until she turned 70. Hood's interest in the courts isn't singular, exhibiting particulate interest in the high judicial salaries and pensions that were "out of step with" community expectations, with salaries $540,000 a year, and retired pensions at $114,534 a year.[76] Hood is also a fond judicial activist, in particular precedence by way of ratio decidendi to change "pathetic" sentences for "very serious crimes", ranging from rape[77] to arson,[78] and increase rights for the disabled, including the blind.[79]

Following the 2010 election, although Hood's identity has been outweighed by colleague Robert Brokenshire, dubbed the "de facto opposition leader",[80] Hood has worked with independents Ann Bressington (the Nick Xenophon No Pokies Party) and John Darley, to improve funding for mental health, disability, child protection and public housing.[81] His work with Bressington, whose 22-year-old daughter Shay-Louise Bressington died from heroin overdose, in the area of "tough on drugs" is landmark.[82] Bressington however, is positioned as even tougher on drugs, or at least quintuply economically.[83] Hood's proposal draft bill that will allow parents to become better informed of their children's Facebook activity,[84] was accepted by John Rau and Robert McClelland.[85]

Family and personal life

Dennis Hood was elected to the South Australian Parliament at the age of 34, and was described by Peter Goers as "one of the youngest pollies in State Parliament".[86]. In 2006, Hood's wife Lisa Hood, gave birth to his daughter, Madeline Hood, and said his good experience with the Women's and Children's Hospital was "fantastic" and "outstanding", and that he couldn't comprehend why people "whinged" about the system.[87] He has been a comical conservative voice in South Australia, with such descriptions of the banning of the words "ho ho ho" during Christmas as "plain madness" as the word "ho" could be misconstrued as "whore", in what a UniSA communications senior lecturer concurred as being "nonsense".[88]

Dennis plays the acoustic and electric guitar, is a fan of the Adelaide Crows[89] and loves sports cars[90], and has been dissent on Government policy to crush hoons on the basis of waste. Dennis Hood's parents were apathetic toward religion but he converted to Christianity at 19. He attends Rostrevor Baptist Church in Adelaide.[91] When Sunday Mail columnist Peter Goers stated in a critical editorial that Hood was a young earth Creationist, Goers (a staunch atheist) and Hood have a comical relationship, the most famous accolade being Goers reporting Hood looks like he "walked out of a men's fashion magazine" sporting an expensive cotton pullover and suit,[92] and Hood responding in his The Advertiser column that the "expensive" clothing was obtained from a Salvation Army store. An avid philanthropist, Hood rejected an automatic 6.7% pay rise, and gave it to charity.[93]


  1. ^ Peter Goers (12 August 2006). "This Hood's hardly one of the boyz". AdelaideNow. 
  2. ^ Sarah Martin (3 June 2011). "Upper House hurdle for Adelaide Oval bill". 
  3. ^ Bob Brown interview with Kerry O'Brien, 5 July 2010, Australian Broadcasting Corporation
  4. ^ "Letters: Questions remain on how Oval vote was conducted". 1 July 2011. 
  5. ^ Joanna Vaughan. "Family First MP Dennis Hood wants to scrap compulsory voting". AdelaideNow. 
  6. ^ Sarah Martin (18 May 2011). "Body to study South Australian marine park plans". 
  7. ^ Ken McGregor (10 March 2011). "Hunt down our 13,500 fugitives". 
  8. ^ Sarah Martin (3 June 2011). "Upper House hurdle for Adelaide Oval bill". 
  9. ^ Sarah Martin (29 November 2010). "Coronial delays upsetting families". 
  10. ^ Lisa Allison (14 September 2006). "Sex workers for disabled". 
  11. ^ Tory Shepherd (18 October 2007). "Job seeks sex, drugs experience". 
  12. ^ Nick Henderson (24 June 2007). "Health magazine promoting drug". 
  13. ^ Renato Costello (3 February 2007). "New leader rallies party". 
  14. ^ Tory Shepherd (9 July 2010). "Budget cuts threatens state adoption unit". 
  15. ^ Joanna Vaughan (2 July 2009). "New bid to prune old tree laws". 
  16. ^ Dean Jaensch (16 July 2009). "Principles tossed in rubbish bin". 
  17. ^ Greg Kelton (28 March 2011). "Euthanasia advocate Philip Nitschke eyes death clinic for Adelaide". 
  18. ^ "Anderson: Planning for the end of life". 3 April 2011. 
  19. ^ Tory Shepherd (27 October 2009). "Vocal majority should ensure legislation passes". 
  20. ^ Daniel Wills (5 May 2011). "Bill to allow euthenasia in limited circumstances looks likely to fail in Parliament". 
  21. ^ Tory Shepherd (1 January 2009). "Adventurer Kym Bonython wants right to die". 
  22. ^ Michael Owen (2 December 2007). "Abortion rate increasing". 
  23. ^ "Shock teen abortion rate". 3 January 2008. 
  24. ^ Nick Henderson (10 June 2007). "Prayer 'a waste of time': Atheist MP". 
  25. ^ "Push to drop embryo laws". The Advertiser. 
  26. ^ Greg Kelton (2 June 2011). "MP Steph Key confident of success in changing sex worker law". 
  27. ^ Chris Pepper (17 January 2010). "Avert your eyes - R-rated DVD cover-up in South Australia". Sunday Mail. 
  28. ^ The Chaser’s War on Everything, Season 2 Episode 22, 31 October 2007
  29. ^ Sarah Martin (28 July 2010). "Family First staffer to be counselled over Sex Party approach". 
  30. ^ Joanna Vaughan (8 April 2009). "Greens see red over changes to gay rights in South Australia". 
  31. ^ Joanna Vaughan (26 March 2009). "SA Parliament passes human embryo cloning laws". 
  32. ^ Daniel Wills (23 March 2010). "Protest over 'family' flyers". 
  33. ^ Daniel Wills (5 May 2011). "Election day impostors spark calls for change". 
  34. ^ Ken McGregor (21 April 2010). "Dumped independent MP Kris Hanna takes SA Labor Party dodgy cards to court". 
  35. ^ Daniel Wills (3 May 2011). "Adelaide Oval upgrade gets big green light, paving way for footy in city". 
  36. ^ Greg Kelton (28 September 2006). "Public smoking ban Bill defeated". 
  37. ^ Greg Kelton (4 September 2008). "Mayo preference shock". 
  38. ^ Tory Shepherd (17 October 2007). "Call for nude ban at Maslins". 
  39. ^ Sarah Martin (17 May 2011). "MPs want same-sex adoption rights". 
  40. ^ Joanna Vaughan (13 November 2008). "Parental consent needed for body piercing of SA kids". 
  41. ^ Michael McGuire (5 June 2009). "Way out of whack". The Advertiser. 
  42. ^ Michael Owen (27 February 2008). "Smack is not assault: Police". 
  43. ^ Nick Henderson (17 December 2007). "Child abuse checks ignored". 
  44. ^ "Students miss sex program". 25 July 2007. 
  45. ^ Greg Kelton (30 May 2007). "No primary school sex education". 
  46. ^ Greg Kelton (13 November 2006). "Schools need new focus on religion". 
  47. ^ "G-rated g-strings". 21 July 2007. 
  48. ^ Jill Pengelley (2 February 2008). "Red light for bare bottoms". 
  49. ^ "Body piercing restriction". 18 June 2007. 
  50. ^ Ben Way (15 October 2007). "7 held as drug ring smashed". 
  51. ^ Greg Kelton (4 April 2007). "Tougher controls urged for cannabis". 
  52. ^ Sarah Martin (4 October 2010). "Hard drug users escaping penalties and convictions". 
  53. ^ Lisa Allison (27 September 2006). "Drug drive testing may be widened". 
  54. ^ Nick Henderson (23 March 2007). "Syringe centre 'danger to city traders'". 
  55. ^ "Perverts face new bans". Sunday Mail. 
  56. ^ Joanna Vaughan (20 February 2009). "MP blasts soft sentences". 
  57. ^ "MP calls for club drug tests". 22 November 2006. 
  58. ^ Sean Fewster (16 November 2009). "Shorter jail terms for killer drivers". 
  59. ^ Gavin Lower (25 February 2008). "MPs unite - set minimum terms for worst killer drivers". 
  60. ^ Nick Henderson (25 April 2007). "AMA backs prescribing cannabis". 
  61. ^ Michael Owen (2 August 2007). "Hyde backs drug sale database". 
  62. ^ Renato Castello (18 July 2009). "Catalogue of crime in Adelaide taxi ranks". 
  63. ^ Sunday Mail, 4 February 2007
  64. ^ Brad Crouch (3 April 2011). "Is Robert Brokenshire South Australia's defacto Opposition Leader?". Sunday Mail. 
  65. ^ Sarah Martin (6 July 2011). "Courts ignored on child safety". 
  66. ^ Joanna Vaughan (28 August 2009). "SA's internet ban for paedophiles failing". 
  67. ^ Nick Henderson (31 October 2007). "Crime time sentencing lottery". 
  68. ^ Joanna Vaughan (28 December 2008). "State Govt leaves 2200 parliamentary questions unanswered". 
  69. ^ Joanna Vaughan (6 August 2008). "Labor fails to answer questions in". 
  70. ^ Sean Fewster (19 May 2008). "Controversial sex predator Christopher Niehus avoids jail - again". 
  71. ^ Hunt, Nigel (29 November 2008). "Mary Shaw wins 'softest judge' case: The Advertiser 30 November 2008". News Ltd.,22606,24726985-5006301,00.html. 
  72. ^ Nigel Hunt (29 November 2008). "Marie Shaw wins 'softest judge' case". Sunday Mail. 
  73. ^ "Dennis Hood apologises to Judge Marie Shaw". AdelaideNow. 13 December 2007. 
  74. ^ Sean Fewster (6 May 2010). "New Attorney-General challenges judges". 
  75. ^ Jordanna Schriever (9 December 2009). "Judge Marie Shaw quits after four years on bench". 
  76. ^ Joanna Vaughan (13 November 2007). "Judges' pay inquiry call". 
  77. ^ Gavin Lower (17 October 2007). "Overall bandits given 43-year sentence but to serve 7". 
  78. ^ "Tory Shepherd". 27 September 2007. 
  79. ^ Andrew Dowdell (22 July 2008). "Blind man, guide dog win court action". 
  80. ^ Brad Crouch (3 April 2011). "Is Robert Brokenshire South Australia's defacto Opposition Leader?". Sunday Mail. 
  81. ^ Lauren Novak (14 May 2010). "Independent MPs threaten to block key Government legislation". 
  82. ^ "Editorial: Consistency needed in drugs policy". 4 October 2010. 
  83. ^ "Tough proposals on cannabis". 7 December 2006. 
  84. ^ Sydney Morning Herald (June 16, 2011). "Australian MP takes on Facebook so parents can monitor children". The Sydney Morning Herald. 
  85. ^ Bloomberg (June 16, 2011). "Facebook May Be Banned for Australian Teens". 
  86. ^ Peter Goers (12 August 2006). "This Hood's hardly one of the boyz". AdelaideNow. 
  87. ^ Laura Anderson (31 December 2006). "Polling takes second place". 
  88. ^ Renato Castello (10 November 2007). "Santa ho,ho,ho gets heave-ho". Sunday Mail. 
  89. ^ "Porn found on Crow player internet site". 6 October 2007. 
  90. ^ "What you don't know about our pollies". AdelaideNow. 
  91. ^ Polling takes second place to parenthood; The Advertiser (Adelaide). 1 January 2007
  92. ^ Peter Goers (12 August 2006). "This Hood's hardly one of the boyz". AdelaideNow. 
  93. ^ Nick Henderson (21 June, ]2007). "MPs say no to pay rise". 

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