Senator Kim Carr is the most experienced member of the Australian Senate, having joined the chamber in 1993.
Kim has been a minister and shadow minister in areas as diverse as industry, science and research, higher education, human services, and defence materiel.
There is a common thread in all these areas – innovation policy.
Kim has always argued that innovation matters to all of us, not just to a particular sector of the economy, because it is about the future of Australia. Innovation policy is about devising initiatives and programs in which great ideas can thrive.
Since stepping down from the shadow ministry in 2019, Kim has been an active member of Senate committees, especially the Scrutiny of Delegated Legislation and the Legal and Constitutional Affairs committees.
Through these two committees he has strived to defend civil liberties and the role of Parliament in holding the executive government to account, and to resist the increasing amount of legislation that is delegated to ministers without parliamentary scrutiny. That trend has accelerated during the Covid 19 pandemic.
As chair of the Senate Legal and Constitutional Affairs References Committee, Kim led the Senate’s inquiry into nationhood, national identity and democracy, which made recommendations on strengthening the role of Parliament and increasing democratic participation by citizens.
For Kim, increasing prosperity for all through innovation policy and increasing participation in democracy have a common goal: the building of a social-democratic Australia in which no one feels that the system has left them behind.