Meet your Local Councilor - Mark Speakman
The State electorate of Cronulla has once again voted in a Liberal member - in fact, the same Liberal member it’s had for over a decade - Mark Speakman.
Born in 1959 and a native of the district, he grew up in the Shire, attending Caringbah North Public School and then Caringbah High School. He studied law and economics at The University of Sydney and The University of Cambridge in the UK.
After receiving his master’s degree, Speakman practised as a lawyer for a number of years before being called to the bar in 1991. He was a highly respected barrister whose exceptional work was recognised in his appointment as a senior counsel in 2004.
Speakman’s political career began in 2011 when he was elected to the Legislative Assembly representing the seat of Cronulla. He was elected again in 2015 and during that term, was appointed Minister for Environment and Minister for Heritage (April 2015 – January 2017).
In January 2017, Speakman became NSW Attorney General and has served in that capacity until March this year. Speakman was voted in again in 2019, and during that term, he was given another portfolio: Minister for Prevention of Domestic and Sexual Violence (March 2019 – December 2021).
In the recent state election, Speakman was voted in yet again for an incredible fourth consecutive term. Upon the feat, Speakman posted on his Facebook page, noting;
“It’s been an extraordinary honour to have served NSW as Attorney General for over six years and before that as Environment Minister for nearly two years.
I’m enormously grateful to the people of Cronulla for re-electing me as their Member of Parliament; still plenty to do!”
He may end up with even more to do.
Since the resignation of NSW Liberal Party leader and former NSW Premier Dominic Perrottet, on March 25, the big chair has been empty and only a few party members have been willing to raise their hands.
Speakman is one of them.
In a statement to the media made just after the election, he said:
“I’m looking forward to discussions with my colleagues to ensure that we have a strong, refreshed and energised team ready to hold the government accountable in the interests of the people of NSW.”
However, Speakman is likely aiming his sights even higher, with the federal member for Cook, former Prime Minister Scott Morrison, expected to resign by the end of the year.
It has been speculated for some time that Speakman might cross over to federal politics, though he has not publicly confirmed or denied the claim. He’ll need to make that decision pretty soon, as members are expected to cast their ballots for a new NSW leader before the end of the month.
The electoral district of Cronulla was created in 1959 and encompasses Gymea Bay, Grays Point, Yowie Bay, Caringbah, Caringbah South, Lilli Pilli, Port Hacking, Dolans Bay, Woolooware, Burraneer, Cronulla, and Kurnell. Three of the four MPs who held the seat have been Liberal and have had lengthy terms.
Ian Griffith, the first person voted to the Legislative Assembly for the seat of Cronulla, held the post from 1959 to 1978. Labor candidate Michael Egan succeeded Griffith, having a relatively short reign from 1978 to 1984. Cronulla was returned to the Liberals in 1984 with Malcolm Kerr, who held it until 2011, when Mark Speakman took the baton and continues to run with it.