The Hon. Peter Keaston Reith

After leaving  BGS Peter studied economics and  law at Monash University.  Peter practised law in both Melbourne and  Cowes in rural Victoria. His first taste of politics was  serving as a Councillor of the Shire  of Phillip Island  from 1976  to 981, including  servicing in the role of Shire  President from 1980  to 1981. In December 1982  Peter joined the Liberal Party  in a by-election caused by the resignation of Sir Phillip Lynch. He was  elected to the House of Representatives to represent the seat of Flinders. Peter lost his seat four months later at the March 1983  general election. He was  elected again in December 1984  and  remained the Member for Flinders until he resigned from politics in 2001. Peter was  a shadow minister  in various portfolios  from 1987  until 1996,  including Shadow Attorney General in 1988.  He was  elected Deputy  Opposition Leader and appointed Shadow Treasurer by John Hewson, a position he held from 1990-1993. Along with John Hewson, Peter was  one  of the architects of the Liberal Party’s ‘Fightback’ policy, including the Goods and  Services Tax. He resigned as Shadow Treasurer after the loss  of the 1993  election. Following the election of the Howard  Government  in 1996  Peter became Minister for Workplace Relations. In that role, he was  responsible for implementing the Government’s industrial  relations policy. His handling of the 1998 Australian waterfront dispute, in which he openly  supported the Patrick  Corporation in its efforts to defeat the Maritime Union of Australia, led to criticism from unions and  the Australian Labor Party. Prime Minister Howard transferred Peter to the Defence portfolio in 2000.  In 2001  Peter announced his impending retirement and  did not contest the 2001  election. Shortly after leaving  politics, Peter took up employment with Tenix, a major Australian defence contractor. In 2003 he accepted an appointment as an executive director  of the European Bank for Reconstruction and  Development based in London, representing Australia, the Republic of Korea,  Egypt and  New Zealand.

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