|Senator for New South Wales|
14 November 2019 –16 January 2023
|Preceded by||Arthur Sinodinos|
22 December 2017 –30 June 2019
|Preceded by||Fiona Nash|
Andrew James Molan
11 April 1950
|Died||16 January 2023 72)(aged|
|Children||4, including Erin|
|Years of service||1968–2008|
Major General Andrew James Molan,(11 April 1950 – 16 January 2023) was an Australian politician and a senior officer in the Australian Army. He was a senator for New South Wales from December 2017 to June 2019 and from November 2019 until his death in January 2023, representing the Liberal Party.
During his military career, Molan commanded the 6th Battalion, Royal Australian Regiment, the 1st Brigade, the 1st Division and its Deployable Joint Force Headquarters, and the Australian Defence College. In April 2004, he was deployed to Iraq for a year to serve as chief of operations of the new headquarters for the Multinational Force in Iraq. He was awarded the Distinguished Service Cross, as well as the Legion of Merit by the United States government. He retired from the Australian Army in 2008, and later that year released his first book, Running the War in Iraq.
Following his retirement from the Australian Army, Molan was appointed by the Abbott government as a special envoy for Operation Sovereign Borders and was subsequently credited with being an architect of the coalition's Stop the Boats Australian border protection and asylum-seeker policies.In 2016, Molan unsuccessfully stood as a Liberal Party candidate for the Senate in New South Wales at the 2016 federal election. In December 2017, during the parliamentary eligibility crisis, the High Court declared him elected in place of Fiona Nash, who was ineligible to stand. He was not re-elected to the Senate in the 2019 federal election.
On 10 November 2019, Molan was selected by the NSW Liberal Party to fill the casual vacancy left by the resignation of Senator Arthur Sinodinos. He was appointed by a joint sitting of the NSW Parliament on 14 November 2019.At the 2022 election, he was re-elected to a six-year term that was supposed to expire 30 June 2028. He died less than a year into his new term.
Molan joined the Australian Army following completion of his schooling in Victoria. On graduating from the Royal Military College, Duntroon in 1971,he was allocated to the Royal Australian Infantry Corps. He graduated with a Bachelor of Arts from the University of New South Wales and a Bachelor of Economics from the University of Queensland. He was a graduate of the Australian defence force's School of Languages where he studied Indonesian. He maintained an interest in aviation and held civil commercial licences and instrument ratings for fixed and rotary wing aircraft. He was also a fellow of the Australian Institute of Company Directors (FAICD) and was accredited as a master project director (MPD).
Molan had a long and active military career. Regimental postings included the 1st Battalion, Pacific Islands Regiment (Papua New Guinea) as a rifle platoon commander; 9th Battalion, Royal Queensland Regiment, as adjutant; rifle company second-in-command and rifle company commander in the 3rd Battalion, Royal Australian Regiment; commanding officer of the 6th Battalion, Royal Australian Regiment; commander of the Army's mechanised 1st Brigade; and commander of the 1st Division and its Deployable Joint Force Headquarters.Molan was the commander of the Australian Defence College, including the Australian Defence Force Academy; the Australian Command and Staff College; and the Australian Centre for Defence and Strategic Studies.
Molan served as the army attache in Jakarta as a colonel between 1992 and 1994 and for this service he was awarded the Indonesian decoration Bintang Dharma Yudha Nararya in 1995. Between 1998 and 1999, Molan was the defence attache in Jakarta as a brigadier and served in East Timor.On 25 March 2000 he was upgraded to an Officer of the Order of Australia for his service in Indonesia and in East Timor.
In April 2004, he was deployed for a year to Iraq. He was despatched to serve as the chief of operations of the new Multinational Force in Iraq headquarters that was being planned. However, he initially instead spent some time trying to find a specific role within the headquarters structure, before being allocated responsibility for energy security.He was eventually made deputy chief of staff for operations, and served during continuous and intense combat operations. For distinguished command and leadership in this period, he was awarded the Distinguished Service Cross, and the American Legion of Merit. Molan has been accused of responsibility for planning and carrying out multiple purported war crimes during the attack on Fallujah in late 2004.
After returning from Iraq he served as defence materiel advocate for the Defence Materiel Organisation; and adviser to the Vice Chief of the Defence Force on Joint Warfighting Lessons and Concepts.Major General Molan retired in July 2008.
In August 2008 Molan released his first book, Running the War in Iraq.The book concentrated on his experience as chief of operations in Iraq during 2004–05, and contained some criticism about Australia's capacity to engage in military conflict. In an August 2008 speech, Molan stated that: "Our military competence was far worse than even we thought before East Timor, and people may not realise that the military performance bar has been raised by the nature of current conflict, as illustrated in Iraq and Afghanistan". Writing in a February 2009 article, Molan called for a doubling of the Australian military presence in Afghanistan, from about 1,100 troops to 2,000.
Molan was associated with the Liberal Party, helping to launch the Liberal opposition party's military-led border protection campaign in the lead up to the 2013 federal election in Brisbane on 25 July 2013.Molan has been an outspoken critic of Labor's management of defence matters. Stephen Smith, at the time the minister for defence, described Molan as "partisan" and a "Liberal Party activist". In mid-2014 Molan was engaged as an advisor to minister for defence David Johnston, but resigned after three weeks. In a subsequent interview Molan implied that his resignation was due to dissatisfaction with Johnston.
At the 2016 federal election, Molan was a Liberal party senate candidate for New South Wales. However, in what former prime minister Tony Abbott called a "tragedy for our country and for our party", Molan failed to be elected.
In November 2017, the High Court of Australia ruled that Nationals Senator Fiona Nash was ineligible to be elected to the Senate due to her dual British citizenship.On 22 December, the High Court declared Molan duly elected in place of Nash.
In February 2018 it was revealed that Molan shared, on his personal Facebook page in March 2017, anti-Muslim content from far-right political party Britain First.Molan refused to apologise for his sharing of this material. In response to the Facebook post, Greens MP Adam Bandt accused Molan of war crimes over his actions in Iraq. Bandt later apologised.
Molan was a member of the centre-right faction of the Liberal Party.
In November 2018, Molan polled the third-highest number of votes in the Liberal Party's Senate preselection ballot for the 2019 federal election. Subsequently he was placed in the "unwinnable" fourth position on the coalition's Senate ticket in New South Wales, below Hollie Hughes, Andrew Bragg, and the Nationals' candidate Perin Davey.
Molan was disappointed at being relegated to a low-priority position on the official coalition NSW Senate ticket and spoke of being unable to defend the Liberal Party after the decision.Later, in May 2019 during the Australian Federal election campaign, a row broke out affecting both the Liberal Party and the National Party when Molan began an independent campaign, not supported by the Liberal Party, to be elected. Molan and his supporters began urging voters to ignore the official joint how-to-vote instructions issued by both the Liberal Party and the National Party. Instead, voters were encouraged to vote directly for Molan. This independent campaign was reported in the media as leading to marked divisions within the Liberal and National Parties. Disagreements grew to the extent that in the week before the election, senior officials of the National Party in NSW took the "extraordinary step" of advising voters to ignore the agreed Liberal-National how-to-vote card and vote directly for the preferred National Party candidates. Former deputy prime minister and parliamentary leader of the National Party, Barnaby Joyce, was reported as saying that the row threatened to undermine the coalition agreement which existed between the Liberal and National Parties at the federal level.
However, on 10 November 2019, Molan was selected by the NSW Liberal Party to fill the casual vacancy left by the resignation of Senator Arthur Sinodinos. He was appointed by a joint sitting of the NSW Parliament on 14 November 2019, and served the remainder of Sinodinos's six-year term which expired in June 2022.Molan was re-elected at the 2022 federal election for a six-year term starting on 1 July 2022.
On 3 February 2020, on the ABC program Q&A , Molan was asked about his declaration that his "mind is open" on whether humans were causing climate change. Asked "What is the evidence you are relying on?", Molan replied: "I'm not relying on evidence..." and was promptly laughed at by the live audience.Molan was challenged about being so open minded that "his brain may fall out" in response to the 2019–20 Australian bushfire season and climate change on the same episode of Q&A.
Molan has published his opinion on matters related to his expertise, and gave interviews and speeches to recount his experiences. The following is an incomplete list of his published works, interviews, speeches, opinion pieces and debates:
Molan, son of Andrew Molan, a World War II veteran, and Noni (née Harnetty), was born in Melbourne on 11 April 1950.He was married to Anne and they had three daughters and a son. One of their daughters, Erin Molan, is a media personality and was a presenter of the rugby league television program The Footy Show .
On 5 April 2021, Molan announced that he had been diagnosed with an aggressive form of cancer, and that he would be taking leave from the Senate to undergo further testing and treatment.
Molan died on 16 January 2023, at age 72.
The Australian Greens, commonly known as The Greens, are a confederation of Green state and territory political parties in Australia. As of the 2022 federal election, the Greens are the third largest political party in Australia by vote and the fourth largest by elected representation. The leader of the party is Adam Bandt, with Mehreen Faruqi serving as deputy leader. Larissa Waters currently holds the role of Senate leader.
William Daniel Heffernan, is an Australian former politician who was a Liberal Party member of the Senate representing the state of New South Wales from September 1996 to May 2016.
Marise Ann Payne is an Australian politician who served in the Morrison Government as Minister for Foreign Affairs from 2018 to 2022 and as Minister for Women from 2019 to 2022. She has been a Senator for New South Wales since 1997, representing the Liberal Party.
Mitchell Peter Fifield is the Permanent Representative of Australia to the United Nations. He is a former Australian politician who served as a Senator for Victoria from 2004 to 2019, representing the Liberal Party. He was a government minister in the Abbott, Turnbull, and Morrison Governments, serving as Assistant Minister for Social Services (2013–2015), Manager of Government Business in the Senate (2013–2015), Minister for Communications (2015–2019), and Minister for the Arts (2015–2019).
Andrew Alexander Nikolic is a former Australian politician, retired senior Australian Army officer, and a former public servant in the Department of Defence. He was elected to the Australian House of Representatives as the Liberal Party representative for the Tasmanian seat of Bass at the 2013 federal election, but after one term, he lost his seat at the 2016 federal election.
Arthur Sinodinos is an Australian diplomat and former Liberal Party politician who has been Ambassador to the United States since February 2020. He served as Chief of Staff to Prime Minister John Howard from 1997 to 2007 and was a Senator for New South Wales from 2011 to 2019, becoming a minister in the Abbott and Turnbull Governments.
John Archibald McCallum was an Australian school teacher and politician, Senator for New South Wales.
Deborah Mary O'Neill is an Australian politician who has served as a Senator for New South Wales since 2013. Before entering politics O'Neill was a school teacher and university academic. She is a member of the Australian Labor Party and formerly represented the seat of Robertson as a member of the House of Representatives from 2010 to 2013.
This is a list of members of the Australian Senate between 2011 and 2014. Half of the state senators had been elected at the November 2007 election and had terms due to finish on 30 June 2014; the other half of the state senators were elected at the August 2010 election and had terms due to finish on 30 June 2017. The territory senators were elected at the August 2010 election and their terms ended at the next federal election, which was September 2013. The new Senate first met in July 2011, with state senators elected in 2010 sworn in on 4 July 2011.
David Martin Shoebridge is an Australian politician and former barrister. He is a member of the Australian Greens and was elected to the Senate as the party's lead candidate in New South Wales at the 2022 federal election, to a term beginning on 1 July 2022. He previously served in the New South Wales Legislative Council from 2010 to 2022 and on the Woollahra Municipal Council from 2004 to 2012.
Timothy Francis Owen is a former Australian politician and a former deputy commander of the Australian Forces in Iraq and Afghanistan. He was a member of the New South Wales Legislative Assembly representing the electoral district of Newcastle for the Liberal Party from the 2011 New South Wales state election until 6 August 2014, when he moved to the parliamentary crossbench and sat as an independent, following evidence given to the Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC) that he may have breached electoral funding laws.
David Ean Leyonhjelm is an Australian former politician. He was a Senator for New South Wales, representing the Liberal Democratic Party from 2014 to 2019. Having been elected at the 2013 federal election, he took office on 1 July 2014, and was re-elected in the 2016 full Senate election. He resigned from the Senate in March 2019 to stand for the Legislative Council at the 2019 New South Wales state election, but failed to be elected. Before being elected to federal parliament, Leyonhjelm worked as a veterinarian and then as an agribusiness consultant. He also writes columns for several Australian publications, with a concentration on rural issues.
Erin Molan is an Australian television sports presenter.
The Australian Greens have had four federal leadership elections in their history. On each occasion, a single candidate was elected unopposed.
The 2022 Australian federal election was held on Saturday 21 May 2022 to elect members of the 47th Parliament of Australia. The incumbent Liberal/National Coalition government, led by Prime Minister Scott Morrison, sought to win a fourth consecutive term in office but was defeated by the opposition, the Labor Party, led by Anthony Albanese. Up for election were all 151 seats in the lower house, the House of Representatives, and 40 of the 76 seats in the upper house, the Senate.
Andrew James Bragg is an Australian politician who was elected as a Senator for New South Wales at the 2019 federal election. He is a member of the Liberal Party. A member of several committees related to finance and technology, Bragg advocates changes to the Australian retirement system and supports the 2017 Uluru Statement from the Heart.
This is a list of members of the Australian Senate following the 2019 Australian federal election held on 18 May 2019. Terms for newly elected senators representing the Australian states began on 1 July 2019. Terms for senators in the Australian Capital Territory and Northern Territory began on the day of the election, 18 May 2019.</ref>
The history of the Australian Greens has its origins in the Green parties founded in the 1980s in the each of the states of Australia.
This is a list of members of the Australian Senate following the 2022 Australian federal election held on 21 May 2022. Terms for newly elected senators representing the Australian states begin on 1 July 2022. Terms for senators in the Australian Capital Territory and Northern Territory began on the day of the election, 21 May 2022.</ref>
The following is a list of events including expected and scheduled events for the year 2023 in Australia.
Citation: For service to the Australian Army as Commanding Officer 6th Battalion, RAR
Citation: For distinguished service to the Australian Defence Force as the Head of the Australian Defence Staff in Jakarta during the Indonesian and East Timor crisis.
Citation: For distinguished service in command and leadership in action while serving as Deputy Chief of Staff for Strategic Operations and Deputy Chief of Staff Civil Military Operations with Multi-National Force – Iraq from April 2004 to April 2005, during Operation CATALYST.