News State Western Australia News Don Randall: from Western Australia’s Wheatbelt to Federal Parliament

Don Randall: from Western Australia’s Wheatbelt to Federal Parliament

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Don Randall, 62, was elected to the federal seat of Canning in 2001, before being re-elected four times.

He had earlier served as the federal member for Swan between 1996 and 1998, when he was defeated after one term.

Born in the Western Australian Wheatbelt town of Merredin, Mr Randall grew up in a farming family and was educated at Graylands Teachers College in Perth, before working as a teacher for almost two decades.

Liberal MP Don Randall found dead in WA

He also worked as a horse trainer and marketing consultant, and served as a councillor with Belmont City Council in Perth for three years.

Mr Randall and his wife Julie had two children, Tess and Elliott.

His 17-year federal political career was not without controversy.

He was among a small group of Liberal MPs not present in the House of Representatives in February 2008, when a motion was passed unanimously apologising to the stolen generations of Indigenous children.

He was also implicated in two expenses scandal after charging taxpayers more than $10,000 in travel entitlements to go to Cairns and Melbourne.

Mr Randall claimed more than $5,000 for a trip to far north Queensland in November 2012, when he and his wife Julie travelled to Cairns for what he said was “electorate business”.

A week later, he updated his register of members interests to declare he had bought a four-bedroom investment property in the area.

Mr Randall repaid the cost of the trips after the issue was raised publicly but denied it was the reason for his trip.

Two months earlier, he and his wife flew from Perth to Melbourne at a cost of more than $5,000, for what a Department of Finance document said was “sittings of Parliament”.

Mr Randall’s tenure as the federal Member for Canning saw him defeat a string of Labor opponents, including high-profile candidate and former state Labor MP Alannah MacTiernan.

The backbencher was also part of an attempt earlier this year to oust Tony Abbott as Prime Minister, having co-signed a letter to Mr Abbott from disaffected MPs.

Mr Randall was previously chairman of the joint standing committee on migration, and at the time of his death, was a member of the standing committees on procedure and selection, and the joint standing committee on defence, foreign affairs and trade.

He also previously held a series of positions in the shadow cabinet between 2007 and 2010.

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