This is the maiden speech by Alan Tudge, delivered in the House of Representatives on October 26, 2010.
Tudge was 39 when he was elected to the Victorian electorate of Aston in Melbourne’s outer east.
Watch Tudge’s maiden speech – final half only (16m):
Aston had been held for the Liberal Party by Chris Pearce since a by-election in 2001. Previously, the seat had been held since 1990 by Peter Nugent, whose death precipitated the by-election. The only ALP member for Aston was John Saunderson, who won the seat at its creation in 1984, was re-elected in 1987 and defeated by Nugent in 1990.
Aston included the suburbs of Vermont, Knox, Scoresby and Wantirna. By the time Tudge retired in 2023, the seat had been redistributed a number of times and had shifted eastward to take in Boronia and Ferntree Gully, areas formerly in La Trobe.
Prior to his election, Tudge worked as a management consultant. He was seconded to Noel Pearson’s Cape York Institute. From 2002, Tudge worked as an adviser to Howard government ministers Brendan Nelson and Alexander Downer, before setting up his own policy advisory firm.
Tudge became a minister in 2016 and served in a number of portfolios under prime ministers Malcolm Turnbull and Scott Morrison, until the government’s defeat in 2022. His first portfolio was as Minister for Human Services. His role in the RoboDebt scandal led to him giving testimony to the RoboDebt Royal Commission in the week before his retirement.
Tudge’s ministerial career ended as Minister for Education and Youth. He stood aside in December 2021, following allegations about his relationship with his former press secretary, although he retained the title until the government lost office.
At his final election on May 21, 2022, Aston recorded an 11.64% fall in the Liberal Party’s primary vote. A two-party-preferred swing of 7.32% saw Tudge retain the seat with 52.81% of the two-party vote.
This post was updated on February 9, 2023, following Tudge’s announcement of his retirement. A transcript of Tudge’s maiden speech appears below, as does video of his resignation statement.
Watch Tudge’s resignation statement and responses by Prime Minister Albanese and Opposition Leader Dutton (16m):