Denis Napthine

Denis Napthine
The Honourable
Dr Denis Napthine
Leader of the Opposition of Victoria
In office
26 October 1999 – 20 August 2002
Deputy Louise Asher
Preceded by Jeff Kennett
Succeeded by Robert Doyle
Minister for Ports
Minister for Regional Cities
Minister for Racing
Minister for Major Projects
Assumed office
2 December 2010
Premier Ted Baillieu
Member of the Victorian Parliament
for South West-Coast
Assumed office
30 November 2002
Preceded by New seat
Personal details
Born 6 March 1952
Victoria, Australia
Nationality Australian
Political party Liberal Party of Australia
Profession Veterinarian
Religion Roman Catholic

Denis Vincent Napthine (born 6 March 1952) is an Australian politician for the Liberal Party in the state of Victoria. He is a member of the Victorian Legislative Assembly, representing the electoral district of South-West Coast.[1][2]


Early life

One of Napthine's ancestors is the renowned convict, Joseph Potaski.[3] Before entering political life he was a veterinarian, undertaking a Bachelor's and then a Master's Degree in Veterinary Science, both from the University of Melbourne, and later gaining a Master's Degree in Business Administration, from Deakin University.

Political career

Napthine was elected to the Victorian Legislative Assembly in 1988 as Member for the country seat of Portland, as the electorate was then known. He was re-elected in 1992, 1996 and 1999. The electorate of Portland was abolished in the 2002 redivision. Napthine was then elected MLA for South-West Coast in the November 2002 election. He was re-elected in November 2006 with an increased margin.

Kennett Ministry

He was appointed as Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Health in 1992 and then promoted to Minister for Youth and Community Services in 1996 in Jeff Kennett's Liberal government, a position he held from 1996 to 1999.

Leader of the Opposition

Following the shock defeat of the Liberal Party at the 1999 election, Kennett resigned as Liberal leader, and Napthine was a surprise choice to take his place. Napthine had briefly served as Deputy Liberal Leader having been elected to the position just shortly before Kennett stood down as Liberal Leader. During his term as Opposition Leader the Liberal-National coalition split, fracturing the opposition parties.

Throughout his time as Opposition Leader he was also constantly undermined by rivals within his own party room. The most visible dissident was Robert Doyle MP, Member for Malvern. Doyle was supported by sources aligned to a rival group seeking control of the State Party's Administrative committee, this group being closely aligned to the Federal Treasurer, Peter Costello MP, and his University friend Michael Kroger.[citation needed]

Under Napthine's leadership, the Liberal Party did poorly in the polls and did not make any significant electoral inroads on the ruling Labor Government. Shortly before the 2002 state election, Doyle challenged Napthine for the leadership of the Liberal Party. Doyle won the leadership by a narrow margin, but went on to lead the party to its worst electoral defeat ever, in which Napthine nearly lost his seat.

Baillieu Ministry

After the Liberals won the 2010 Victorian election, Napthine was made a member of Ted Baillieu's cabinet. He is currently serving as the Minister for Ports, Racing, Regional Cities and Major Projects.[4]


External links

Victorian Legislative Assembly
Preceded by
Digby Crozier
Member for Portland
Succeeded by
Seat abolished
Preceded by
Seat created
Member for South West-Coast
Succeeded by
Political offices
Preceded by
Steve Bracks
Leader of the Opposition of Victoria
Succeeded by
Robert Doyle
Party political offices
Preceded by
Jeff Kennett
Leader of the Liberal Party in Victoria
Succeeded by
Robert Doyle

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