Richard Mansell Colbeck is an Australian politician and member of the Liberal Party. He was born on 5 April 1958 in Myrtleford, Victoria. After completing his education at Devonport Technical College, Colbeck worked as a building estimator and supervisor, managing director, and proprietor of a building consultancy.
In 2002, Colbeck was appointed to the Senate to fill a casual vacancy and was re-elected in 2007. He served as the Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries, and Forestry and the Minister for Finance and Administration. After the defeat of the Howard government, he served as the Shadow Parliamentary Secretary for Health and later Shadow Parliamentary Secretary for Agriculture, Fisheries, and Forestry under Tony Abbott. After the 2013 federal election, he was appointed as the Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Agriculture.
Following the 2015 leadership spill that saw Malcolm Turnbull replace Abbott as prime minister, Colbeck was appointed as the Minister Assisting the Minister for Trade and Investment and the Minister for Tourism and International Education. In the 2016 federal election, he was demoted to fifth place on the Liberal Senate ticket and lost his seat. However, he returned to the Senate in February 2018 after Senate President Stephen Parry was caught up in the parliamentary eligibility crisis.
Colbeck is considered to belong to the moderate wing of the Tasmanian Liberals and supported Malcolm Turnbull during the 2018 leadership spills. He was appointed Assistant Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources in the Morrison Ministry. After the 2019 federal election, he was preselected in first place on the Liberals’ Senate ticket and was re-elected. In the Second Morrison Ministry, Colbeck served as the Minister for Aged Care and Minister for Youth and Sport.
Colbeck was criticized for his handling of COVID-19 outbreaks in aged care facilities in Victoria from August to September 2020, resulting in the deaths of 350 aged care residents as of late August 2020. In December 2020, his aged care portfolio was passed to health minister Greg Hunt, with Colbeck continuing as Minister for Senior Australians and Aged Care Services and Minister for Sport. He held these portfolios until May 2022, following the appointment of the Albanese ministry.
This page is sourced primarily from official senator Richard Colbeck's
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