Richard Alston (politician)

Richard Kenneth Robert Alston (born 19 December, 1941) was a Liberal member of the Australian Senate from 1986 to 2004, representing the state of Victoria.

Born in Perth, Western Australia, he was educated at the Jesuit Xavier College, the University of Melbourne and Monash University, graduating in law, arts and commerce. He was a barrister before entering politics.

On May 7 1986 Alston was appointed by the Parliament of Victoria under section 15 of the Australian Constitution to fill the vacancy in the Australian Senate caused by the death of Senator Alan Missen. He was re-elected in 1987, 1990, 1996 and 2001.cite web|url=|title=Biography for ALSTON, the Hon. Richard Kenneth Robert|Publisher=Parliament of Australia Parliamentary Library|accessdate=2007-11-30]

Alston was a member of the Opposition Shadow Ministry from 1989 to 1996, and was Deputy Leader of the Opposition in the Senate 1993-96. He was Minister for Communications and the Arts 1996-97, Minister for Communications, the Information Economy and the Arts 1997-98 and Minister for Communications, Information Technology and the Arts 1998-2003. He was also Deputy Leader of the Government in the Senate 1996-2003.

Due to his efforts to regulate the Internet within Australia, including attempts to ban online gambling, and make email forwarding illegal, he was dubbed 'the world's biggest luddite'. []

Alston resigned from the Senate on February 10 2004, upon which the Parliament of Victoria appointed Mitch Fifield to replace him.

From February 2005 to February 2008, Alston was Australian High Commissioner to the United Kingdom in London.

Alston's brother is renowned human rights academic Philip Alston.


External links

* [ Biography of the High Commissioner] , Australian High Commission to the United Kingdom
* [ Speeches and media releases by Richard Alston as a minister]
* [ Sydney Morning Herald 9 Feb]

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