The Senator Ron Boswell Story... so far
Senator Ron Boswell, was elected to the Senate as The Nationals representative for Queensland in 1983, and subsequently in 1984, 1987, 1990, 1996 and 2001. His current term expires on 30 June, 2008. Since 1990, he has held the position of Leader of The Nationals in the Senate. He was also the Parliamentary Secretary to the Deputy Prime Minister and Minster for Transport and Regional Services up until the recent reshuffle, leaving the position to concentrate his energies on issues in Queensland.
Previously, Senator Boswell held various positions in the Shadow Ministry, including, Shadow Minister for Regional Development and External Territories from 16.9.88 to 11.4.90, Northern Australia and External Territories from 7.4.93 to 26.5.94 and Consumer Affairs from 26.5.94 to 9.12.94.
During his time in the Australian Federal Parliament, Senator Boswell has been an active campaigner for rural and small business causes. Over twenty years Senate service, Senator Boswell's achievements have included changes in legislation to benefit both rural and small business interests. In 1989, he successfully campaigned to have the wording of section 50 of the Trade Practices Act on mergers and acquisitions strengthened from 'market dominance' to 'a substantial lessening of competition in a substantial market'.
His campaigns on behalf of rural producers and small business have extended to issues including providing better communications for regional areas, campaigning against dumped and highly subsidised imported foodstuffs, providing exceptional circumstances for rural dwellers during times of prolonged drought, securing assistance packages for the restructuring of rural industries like dairy and sugar, and taking up the case for independent newsagents, service station operators, grocers, pharmacists, hoteliers and other small businesses in light of the growth of the large retailers.
Senator Boswell was a manufacturer’s agent before entering parliament. His small business background, of which he is very proud, has helped him in his efforts to fight for the small business and independent retail sectors. He was instrumental in instigating a Joint Parliamentary Inquiry into Competition in the Retail Sector and he continued his commitment to small business as a member of the Inquiry committee. Senator Boswell also helped to instigate the Dawson Review of the Trade Practices Act and made a detailed submission to it.
In February 1998, Senator Boswell was chosen as The Nationals Representative to the Constitutional Convention.
Senator Boswell has led a long fight against the far-right political movement in Australia, culminating at the November 2001 Federal Election when he vindicated his position by refusing to preference One Nation and competing directly with Pauline Hanson, defeating her to retain his Queensland Senate seat.
Senator Boswell is also a strong advocate of the family and, recently, has been a vocal spokesperson against the use of Human Embryonic Stem Cells for research in Australia.