Maurice Newman

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Maurice Lionel Newman AC (born 20 April 1938, Ilford, England)[1] until March 2012 was the Chairperson of the Australian Broadcasting Corporation,[2] as well as former chair of the board of the Australian Stock Exchange.[1][2] He was Chancellor of Macquarie University until 2008.[2] He was replaced as Chair of the ABC Board by Mr James (Jim) Spigelman AC QC who took up the Chair on 1 April 2012. Currently, he is the chairman of the Prime Minister's Business Advisory Council.

His views are generally considered conservative.[3]

Biography[edit]

He retired as Chairman of the Australian Securities Exchange (ASX Limited) on 24 September 2008.

His career spans forty years in stockbroking and investment banking, including as Managing Director in 1984, and Executive Chairman from 1985 until 1999, of what is now the Deutsche Bank Group in Australia. He was Chairman of the Deutsche Bank Asia Pacific Advisory Board and a Director of Deutsche Bank Asia Pacific from 1999 to 2001. He was also Chairman of Deutsche Asset Management (Australia) Limited from 1997 until 2000.

Mr Newman retired from Deutsche Bank in July 2001.

Mr Newman has chaired a number of Asian business alliances including the East Asia and Oceania Stock Exchange Federation, and the Australia Taiwan Business Council.

Mr Newman has been an adviser to Australian governments, as a member of the Consultative Committee on Relations with Japan (1984–1987); a Commissioner of the National Commission of Audit (1996); a member of the Business Advisory Panel established by the Minister for Multicultural Affairs (1997–2002); Chairman of the National Judging Panel for Innovation in Local Government (1997–1998); Chairman of the Commonwealth Government's National Year 2000 Steering Committee (1997–2000) and the Business Mature Age Workforce Advisory Group (2000–2001); Co-Chair of the Singapore Australia Business Alliance Forum (1999–2002); Chairman of the Federal Treasurer's Financial Sector Advisory Council (1998–2007); Member of the New South Wales Premier's Major Events Board (2002–2004); Chairman of the Sydney Convention & Visitors Bureau (2001–2007); and Chairman of Tourism NSW (2002–2007).

In 1997, he was Australia's Private Sector Representative to the First Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting Business Forum held in London; and in 1999 led a delegation of senior Australian executives to New York promoting "Australia, the Dynamic Success Story of the Asia Pacific - A Centre for Global Financial Services".

Mr Newman was the Chairman of Acrux Limited (1999–2003); Chairman of the Sydney Legacy Citizen's Committee (1998–2004); Member of the Advisory Committee of Australasian Medical Insurance Ltd (January – August 2003); Member of the Advisory Council of the Asia Society AustralAsia Centre (2001–2004); Member of the Business Council of Australia's Chairmen's Panel (2003–2007); and Civil Patron, Royal Australian Naval reserve, Professional Studies Program (2005–2009).

He served as Chancellor of Macquarie University from 2002 to February 2008. Currently he is an Honorary Professor at Macquarie University and Honorary Chair of the Macquarie University Foundation Patrons.

He was a Director of the Australian Broadcasting Corporation from 2000 to 2004.

In 2002 Mr Newman was appointed an Advisor to the Marsh Group of Companies. In June 2004, he was appointed a Director of the Queensland Investment Corporation.

Political views[edit]

Conservatism[edit]

Newman helped establish the Centre for Independent Studies, a conservative Australian political think-tank. He was a member of the first CIS Board which consisted of Neville Kennard, Maurice Newman and Ross Graham-Taylor.[4] Newman was associated with, and spoke at a CIS event in December 2007 given in honour of conservative economist Milton Friedman.[5] Newman is said to have been a close friend of former Australian Prime Minister John Howard. Interviewed in 2010 about their friendship by the Institute of Company Directors, Newman stated: "Much is made of my friendship with Howard, which is long standing. Little is made of my friendship with Bill Hayden, which is just as close and of longer standing. The truth is, I am not party political. I have voted on both sides of the fence, state and Federal, because I am driven not by labels, but by policies."[6] During Newman's tenure as Chairman of the Australian Broadcasting Commission, Rupert Murdoch delivered the 2008 Boyer Lectures, "A Golden Age of Freedom". On the subject of financial market regulation Newman is reported as having said: "Politicians are getting into regulation and Regulators want to get into business. Regulators should look at ways to ensure transparency, but should not end up killing the business."[7]

Climate change[edit]

In a speech to senior ABC staff on 10 March 2010 he said climate change was an example of "group-think". According to an ABC PM account of the speech: "Contrary views had not been tolerated, and those who expressed them had been labelled and mocked. Mr Newman has doubts about climate change himself and says he's waiting for proof either way." Interviewed by Brendan Trembath he said: "But climate change is at the moment an emotional issue but it really is the fundamental issue about the need to bring voices that have authority and are relevant to the particular issue to the attention of our audiences so that they themselves can make decisions. So that we are seen to trust and respect them sufficiently that they can make up their own minds about the various points of view that are being expressed through the medium of the ABC."[8] In answer to the question of whether he was a climate change denier he replied: "I am an agnostic and I have always been an agnostic and I will remain and agnostic until I've found compelling evidence on one side or the other that will move me. I think that what seems fairly clear to me is that the climate science is still being developed. There are a lot question marks about some of the fundamental data which has been used to build models that requires caution."[8]

More recently, Newman has called climate change a delusion, stating that the IPCC "progressively has applied mass psychology through a compliant media to spread the delusion that wicked Western industrialists are causing irreparable damage to the climate." Newman wants the current Australian target for electricity generated by renewable sources dumped because he does not accept climate change science and says renewable energy is pushing up prices.[3]

In August 2014, Newman was widely criticised by leading scientists and newspaper journalists for stating that the earth is undergoing "cooling" rather than warming.[9][10] Furthermore, he suggested that climate change is propaganda.[11]

Wind farms[edit]

In January 2012 Newman had an article published in The Spectator in which he expressed views in opposition to wind energy. He wrote "I am not a conspiracy theorist, but we have witnessed the birth of an extraordinary, universal and self-reinforcing movement among the political and executive arms of government, their academic consultants, the mainstream media and vested private sector interests (such as investment banks and the renewables industry), held together by the promise of unlimited government money. It may not be a conspiracy, but long-term, government-underwritten annuities have certainly created one gigantic and powerful oligopoly which must coerce taxpayers and penalise energy consumers to survive." His article concluded "But don’t expect help from academia, mainstream media or the public service. They are members of the same establishment and worship together at the altar of global warming. By ruthlessly perpetuating the illusion that wind farms can somehow save the planet, they keep the money flowing. All the while the poor become poorer, ever more dependent on welfare and colder in winter."[12]

In July 2014, Newman was kicked off a wind farm committee after it was discovered he was attempting to restrict speakers from attending meetings.[13]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b M. Ricketson, (14 December 2006), There's a chair in there, The Age
  2. ^ a b c ABC Board Members, Mr Maurice Newman AC (Chairman of the Australian Broadcasting Corporation)
  3. ^ a b Michael Bodey (15 December 2006), Thinker at the helm, The Australian
  4. ^ "The History of CIS". Retrieved 15 August 2014. 
  5. ^ "Milton Friedman: A Tribute". Retrieved 15 August 2014. 
  6. ^ "Q&A with Maurice Newman". July 2010. Retrieved 15 August 2014. 
  7. ^ "Dodd Frank Law likely to hit foreign inflows". Business Standard (India). Retrieved 15 August 2014. 
  8. ^ a b "ABC Chairman criticises media's climate change coverage". ABC Online. 10 March 2010. Retrieved 15 August 2014. 
  9. ^ "Fact check: How Maurice Newman misrepresents science to claim future global cooling". The Guardian. 15 August 2014. Retrieved 15 August 2014. 
  10. ^ "Tony Abbott adviser warns of threat of 'global cooling'". The Guardian. 14 August 2014. 
  11. ^ Bourke, Latika (14 August 2014). "Climate change measures like 'primitive civilisations offering up sacrifices to appease the gods', says Maurice Newman". The Sydney Morning Herald. 
  12. ^ "Against the Wind". Spectator (UK). Retrieved 15 August 2014. 
  13. ^ "Newman kicked off wind farm committee". Business Spectator. 24 July 2014. Retrieved 15 August 2014. 
Preceded by
Donald McDonald
Chair, Australian Broadcasting Corporation
2006–March 2012
Succeeded by
James Spigelman