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The Hon. Janet Irene Hunt (b. January 5, 1958) is a Georgeland politician and former trade union official currently serving as Minister for Employment in the multi-party government of Long Island. She is a member of the Free Progressive Party of Georgeland. A former federal parliamentarian and cabinet minister, since 2019 she has been a member of the Legislature of Long Island. Beginning her career in the United Islands Labour Party, she was subsequently a member of the Liberal Party and the Liberal Democratic Party before forming the Free Progressive Party in February 2019.  From 1992 to 2016, Hunt served in the Senate for the state of Long Island.

In 2016 Hunt was elected to the House of Commons for the seat of Burnsleigh in the Dannyburg suburbs. Hunt has

Hunt

Sen. Hon. Janet Hunt

served in multiple Cabinet positions, including as Minister for Home Affairs, Minister for Industry, Trade and Commerce and Minister for Finance, as well as Leader of the House of Commons

When Clare Price became LDP leader and Prime Minister in January 2019, she removed Hunt, a factional rival, from her positions in Cabinet. Hunt subsequently formed the Free Progressive Party with other former colleagues. In April 2019, she was elected for the Free Progressives to the Long Island legislature.

Early life & education[]

Trade union career[]

Political career[]

Senator[]

Hunt was elected to the Senate at the general election of 1991, with her first term beginning on 1 January 1992. She served on the Industrial Relations, Finance and International Trade senate committees, and was a member of the Senate inquiry into the Point Freeman accident in 1996. 

At the first election of 1999, Hunt was re-elected for a second eight-year term. After the election she served as chair of the Senate committee on Industrial Relations. 

Labour split of 1999[]

After the failed leadership coup by right-wing forces within the UILP, Hunt sided with the centre-left and left. Theoretically, she was a member of the right-wing faction that had launched the coup with the far-left's assistance, but her personal loyalty to Charlton Robards as Prime Minister saw her side with the Robards faction. Hunt and her faction resigned from the Labour Party and formed the United Islands Liberal Party. She headed the Liberal senate ticket for the second 1999 election, and was re-elected for a second time. 

Cabinet minister []

Environment[]

Immediately following the election, with the swearing-in of the new coalition government, Hunt became Minister for the Environment, being promoted directly into Cabinet. As Environment Minister Hunt introduced the Clean Energy Generation Subsidy Fund, one of the government's first responses to global warming, in 2000. She retained her position under Michael Elderton, and again when Robards regained the leadership in 2001. In 2003, Hunt signed the Kyoto Protocol, which the Cabinet ratified, and in 2004 she introduced legislation which placed the National Trust under federal jurisdiction. 

Hunt was elected to another Senate term in 2002. In 2004 she, along with all other Liberals, joined the new Liberal Democratic Party. 

After the 2005 election, Hunt replaced Lawrence Porter, who had transferred to the House of Commons, as Liberal leader in the Senate. 

Trade and Home Affairs[]

After Robards' resignation and the leadership change to Zoe Parker, a factional ally and friend, Hunt became Minister for Trade. Six weeks later, however, Hunt was moved to the Home Affairs portfolio in a second reshuffle prompted by Attorney General Michael Gannett 's resignation. This portfolio gave Hunt jurisdiction over customs control, the Elections Office, the coast guard and administrative services. She retained this position until the end of the Parker government in 2007.

Opposition 2007-2010[]

The Liberal Democrats lost the 2007 election and went into opposition for the first time. Hunt retained the LDP leadership in the Senate, and was appointed by new leader Robin Sales as Shadow Minister for Industry, Trade and Commerce. In 2008, Hunt threatened to sue Tory MP Nick Sheridan for remarks he made about her divorce in the House of Commons, but Sheridan's parliamentary privilege meant the case could not proceed. Hunt was shuffled to become Shadow Minister for Health when Lawrence Porter became leader in 2009. 

Return to Cabinet 2010-2019[]

Health minister[]

The LDP won the 2010 election, defeating the Conservative government after only one term. Hunt was again Leader of the Government in the Senate, and was appointed Minister for Health. As Health Minister in April 2011, Hunt sacked the entire board of the National Health Service including its Chair, Donald Groom, for mismanagement and appointed Charles Baxter as an interim administrator. The sacking and appointment were controversial, as Hunt had used a ministerial order without Cabinet authority. The Prime Minister supported Hunt, and it was later revealed he had authorised Hunt to act, outside Cabinet, a violation of the NHS governance procedures. Hunt was criticised for her handling of the matter, and was referred to the Federal Administrative Appeals Tribunal. The AAT ruled, on October 17, that Hunt had violated the governance procedures. Hunt was pressured to resign, but continued to have Porter and the Cabinet's backing. By the end of 2011, the scandal had largely vanished from media.

Industry minister[]

After the 2013 election, Hunt was shuffled from Health into the Industry, Trade and Commerce portfolio, the job she had been seeking since her backbench days. She remained Leader of the Government in the Senate. As Industry and Trade minister, Hunt took a leading role in the negotiation for the Georgeland-European Free Trade Agreement, made between Georgeland and the European Union. The negotiations had been running since 2006. In 2014 the agreement was finally signed, as the Georgeland-European Economic and Trade Agreement (GEETA), which was less of a free trade deal and more of a favoured-nation status arrangement for Georgeland agriculture and some European industries. 

Culture minister & MP

After Deborah Robards became prime minister in August 2015, Hunt became Minister for Culture, Robards' former position. 

In the lead-up to the 2016 federal election, Hunt announced she would be seeking selection for the House of Commons seat of Burnsleigh. Hunt was raised in that area of Dannyburg, and did not face significant opposition. Many in politics and the press saw Hunt's transfer to the lower house as a clear indication of leadership ambition, something she strenously denied. When the election was called and the writs issued, Hunt resigned from the Senate as sitting senators may not be elected to the House. 

Hunt was elected MP for Burnsleigh at the election. In the post-election reshuffle she was immediately appointed Leader of the House of Commons, making her one of the government's most senior members in that chamber. She was succeeded as leader in the Senate by Mark Duffy. She succeeded Erica Lucas as House Leader; Lucas had been defeated for her seat at the election. 

As House Leader, Hunt was known for an acerbic and tough style, and frequently clashed with opposition members. In charge of arranging government business and debates, Hunt was criticised for 'ramming through' several major pieces of legislation, including the 2017 Registered Organisations Act, limiting debate times. She was House Leader when Charlton Robards, the prime minister's husband, was nominated for the presidency in June, and again in September 2017; on both occasions she organised for extremely limited debate on the matter in the joint sitting, and was a major target for criticism of the government concerning the appointment.

A close ally of Deborah Robards, Hunt was alienated when in January 2019 Robards was removed from the leadership and replaced by Clare Price. Price immediately removed Hunt from her positions, and replaced her in the new ministry with Victoria Englehart. The Leader of the House position returned to Lucas, who was once again an MP. 

A week later, Hunt announced she was resigning from the Liberal Democrats. In the House she condemned Price for her actions in removing the prime minister, and accused Price and her supporters of "a radical lurch to the left that will destroy the party and, in so doing, open the door to the forces of regression and oppression". Several weeks after that she, along with her ally Michael Sheen, who had also been dumped from Cabinet, announced the foundation of the Free Progressive Party. Hunt was chosen its overall leader, with Steen its leader in the Senate. The FPP was joined by eight other MPs, which drastically lowered the Liberal Democratic majority in the House. 

State politics[]

Hunt resigned from Burnsleigh on 2 March 2019. She announced she would instead head the FPP ticket for the upcoming Long Island state election, which had been called as a result of a no-confidence motion. At the election, the Free Progressives failed to win a constituency seat, but won just under 3% of the state-wide vote. This entitled them to one seat in the legislature, and Hunt was elected as a list member. 

In order to secure her backing for the multi-party government, Hunt was offered the position of Minister for Employment, Workplace Relations and Communities. She was sworn into the new government, which also included members of the People's Party of Long Island, Georgeland Alliance, Reform and Green Party. 

Personal life[]

Hunt was married to union lawyer Gordon Hunt from 1983 to 2004. The couple are now divorced. The Hunts have four grown-up children; the eldest, Tobias Hunt, is a singer-songwriter and DJ. 

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