Philip Davis (Australian politician)

Philip Davis (Australian politician)

"For other persons named Philip Davis, see Philip Davis (disambiguation)."

Philip Rivers Davis (born December 7, 1952) is an Australian politician. He has been a Liberal member of the Victorian Legislative Council since October 1992, representing Gippsland Province. He is the current Leader of the Opposition in the Legislative Council, Shadow Minister for Agriculture and Shadow Minister for Country Victoria.

Davis was born in the rural town of Maffra, but attended the elite Brighton and Geelong Grammar Schools in Melbourne and Geelong respectively. He studied in farm management, and worked as a jackaroo, farm manager, and then self-employed farmer. In the 1980s, he moved into business, becoming a company director, although he retired from his directorships after being elected to parliament. During the 1980s, Davis also became actively involved with the Victorian Farmers Federation, becoming the president of its Gippsland branch.

Davis had joined the Liberal Party in the 1970s, soon rising to become the president of his local branch of the Young Liberal Movement. By 1978, he had became president of the main party branch. He made two unsuccessful attempts at entering parliament, with a 1979 run for the Victorian Legislative Assembly seat of Gippsland East, and a 1983 bid for the federal seat of Gippsland. In 1992, in his third attempt at entering parliament, Davis won Liberal pre-selection for the Legislative Council seat of Gippsland Province, and was ultimately successful.

In his first four years in office, Davis sat on the Economic Development Committee, but remained on the backbenches. After retaining power at the 1996 state election (though Davis was not up for election, as Legislative Councillors only come up for election every eight years), then-Premier Jeff Kennett promoted Davis to the position of Parliamentary Secretary for Natural Resources. He also switched to the Legislative Council Privileges Committee.

When Kennett was defeated in a surprise result at the 1999 election, numerous changes were made to the Liberal ministerial lineup. Davis was re-elected, and subsequently became the Shadow Minister for Natural Resources, Energy and Ports. After the Liberal wipeout at the 2002 election, in which numerous members of the Liberal ministry lost their seats, Davis was again promoted, becoming the Leader of the Opposition in the Legislative Council. In January 2004, Davis was given responsibility for two additional portfolios - agriculture and country Victoria.

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