• Robert Clark is a former Victorian Attorney-General and Minister for Finance, and was the Member for Box Hill in the Victorian Parliament from 1992 to 2018. 

    Robert was first elected to Parliament in 1988 at the age of 31, and subequently served the community both as a local MP and in a wide range of portfolio areas, including Attorney-General, Treasury, Finance, Industrial Relations, Planning, WorkCover, Gaming, ICT, Energy & Resources, Major Projects and Counter Terrorism.

    From 2010 to 2014 Robert was the Attorney-General, Minister for Finance and (from March 2013) Minister for Industrial Relations in the Coalition Government under Premiers Ted Baillieu and Denis Napthine.

    Robert was elected in 1988 as the Member for Balwyn. Following the abolition of the Balwyn electorate in a redivision of electorate boundaries in 1991, Robert was elected as Member for Box Hill in 1992 and re-elected in 1996, 1999, 2002, 2006, 2010 and 2014. He was involved in bringing about a range of key improvements in the electorate over that time, including:
    – the redevelopment of Box Hill Hospital
    extending tram 109 to Box Hill
    – the growth of Box Hill TAFE
    – extending the Eastern Freeway from Doncaster Road to Springvale Road
    as well as numerous school upgrades, kindergarten capital works and traffic light and intersection improvements.

    From 1988 to 1992, he was a member of the all-party Economic and Budget Review Committee, and a member of the Treasury and Attorney-General’s Committees of the Parliamentary Liberal Party and then the Liberal-National Party Coalition.

    In 1992, he was appointed Parliamentary Secretary to the Victorian Treasurer, Alan Stockdale, helping to restore Victoria’s finances and pride after the damage caused by the Cain and Kirner Labor governments. Robert had particular responsibility assisting with legislation, financial management and the reform of ports and the water industry.

    Following the 1996 election, when Alan Stockdale became Victoria’s (and the world’s) first Minister for Multimedia, Robert was appointed as Parliamentary Secretary, Treasury and Multimedia, a position he held until the Coalition lost government in October 1999.

    From 1992 to 1999 he also convened the Parliamentary Coalition’s Treasury and Finance Committee. He was a member of the Coalition’s Attorney-General’s Committee 1992-1999, Education Committee 1992-1996, Tertiary Education Committee 1996-1999 and Multimedia Committee 1996-1999.

    Following the Kennett government losing office in 1999, Robert held a range of Shadow portfolios under Opposition Leaders Denis Napthine, Robert Doyle and Ted Baillieu:

    Robert was also from 2001 until 2006 a member of the all-party Public Accounts and Estimates Committee of the Victorian Parliament. From 2007 to 2010 he was the Deputy Chair of the Law Reform Committee and the Dispute Resolution Committee , and Deputy Chair of the Legislative Assembly’s Privileges Committee.  From 2011 to 2014 he was a member of the Dispute Resolution Committee and the Privileges Committee, and was reappointed to those committees in 2015 and 2016 respectively as well as to the Legislative Assembly’s Standing Orders Committee.

    Robert was born in 1957 and grew up in St Albans, in Melbourne’s west, the elder of two children. His father, Jack, was an aircraft mechanic and his mother, Peggy, was an accounts clerk before giving up work to raise her family.

    Robert went to St Albans East Primary School and St Albans Heights Primary School, St Albans High School (now St Albans Secondary College) and University High School before entering Melbourne University in 1975, where he obtained a B.Com (Hons) in 1980, an LLB in 1982 and a BA in 1986.

    At university, Robert was active in the Melbourne University Liberal Club and the Australian Liberal Students’ Federation.

    He was also Treasurer of the Melbourne University Students’ Representative Council in 1976-77. While Treasurer, he brought Supreme Court proceedings against the University, members of the SRC and members of the Australian Union of Students, alleging misspending of compulsorily collected student fees. His successes in these proceedings resulted in changes to the law relating to student unionism in Victoria.

    After completing his law degree, Robert was a solicitor practicing in commercial, financial and labour law prior to entering Parliament.

    Robert joined the Liberal Party in 1976. He was President of the Forest Hill Young Liberals from 1986 to 1987, an Executive Member of the Victorian Young Liberal Movement in 1986 and Vice-Chairman of the Deakin Electorate Committee from 1986 to 1988. He was also a member of the Party’s Constitutional Committee from 1987 to 2018.  From December 2018 until August 2022, Robert was Acting President, and then State President, of the Liberal Party in Victoria.

    Robert is married with adult 2 children, and lives in Surrey Hills.

  • Parliament

    Here are links to the Parliament of Victoria’s Hansard search online with all of Robert’s speeches in Parliament for the periods shown:

    Hansard (the official record of the debates in Parliament) was not published online until 1992. However, here is a link to Robert’s First Speech in Parliament in 1988.

  • Launch of Court Services Victoria

    Speech at the launch of Court Services Victoria

    Today is an historic day. For the first time, Victoria now has an independent body, directed by the heads of each jurisdiction, free of departmental or political involvement, and accountable directly to Parliament, that will ... Read More
    Magna Carta as reissued by King Henry III British Library - MS Arundel 310 ff. 8v–9r.

    Tradition and Reform in the Law

    (Victoria Law Foundation/Melbourne University Law School Law Oration 2013, 3rd October 2013) The Oration discusses the importance of both tradition and reform in the law, different possible approaches to law reform, and current law reform ... Read More
    Parliament of Victoria

    The Courts, Parliament and the Executive

    (Deakin Law Oration, 11th September 2013) Thank you for the honour of inviting me to deliver this year's Deakin Law Oration, and to follow the many distinguished speakers who have delivered this oration in previous ... Read More
    Supreme Court of Victoria front steps

    The Rule of Law

    (Address to Melbourne Catholic Lawyers Association, 16th August 2013) I am honoured to have been asked to speak to you this evening, and to follow the long line of distinguished speakers who have addressed your ... Read More
    Acts of violence

    A Principled Approach to Sentencing Reform

    (Speech to forum organised by International Commission of Jurists (Victoria), 18 June 2013) Introduction I thank the International Commission of Jurists (Victoria) for organising this forum and welcome the opportunity to take part. My presentation ... Read More

    The Quest for Rights

    (Edited version of speech introducing the 2011 VEOHRC Human Rights Oration at ZINC, Federation Square, Melbourne) I am sure you are as interested as I am in Bernard Salt’s answer to the question posed for ... Read More

    Towards a just and fair Victoria

    (Edited version of speech opening Human Rights Week panel discussion at Telstra Theatre, Exhibition Street, Melbourne) I’m pleased to say a few words in introducing today’s panel discussion on human rights. As most here today ... Read More