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Matt Canavan

Updated: Nov 22, 2023

Matt Canavan (born 17 December 1980) is an Australian politician and member of the National Party who has been a Senator for Queensland since 2014. He has served in a number of ministerial roles, including Minister for Resources and Northern Australia (2016–2020), Minister for Industry, Energy and Emissions Reduction (2020–2022), and Minister for Resources and Water (2022–present).

Matt Canavan, wearing a suit and with arms folded, with the text "Matt Canavan" foregrounded.

Mr. Canavan was born in Southport, Queensland, and studied economics and law at the University of Queensland. After graduating, he worked as a research economist at the Productivity Commission. He was elected to the Senate at the 2013 federal election, defeating Labor incumbent Janine Penny Wong. Mr. Canavan is a member of the National Party's conservative wing. He is a vocal critic of climate change action and has argued that the government should focus on economic development rather than environmental protection. He is also a supporter of coal mining and other fossil fuel industries.

Tax-Payer Funded Trip to Brisbane

In April 2022 Mr. Canavan was criticised for billing taxpayers nearly $4000 for a trip to Brisbane with his family, where he spoke at a dinner hosted by the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC). Their trip coincided with the anti-vaccine mandate “freedom rally” in Brisbane on 20 November, but Mr. Canavan’s office reported to media that neither he nor his family attended.

Mr. Canavan defended the expense saying that he was attending parliamentary business. A spokesperson for Mr. Canavan stated:

"Senator Canavan’s travel was for the purpose of his parliamentary business...Senator Canavan did not attend the freedom rally on 20 November. However, Senator Canavan had a busy schedule over this period attending a debate organised by the Australian Taxpayers Alliance, a community meeting on the Gold Coast, several meetings in Brisbane and was the guest speaker at the CPAC Christmas Party.”

Sources & Further Reading

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