After completing degrees in Arts and Law at the University of Sydney, Tony worked as a union organiser for the Shop, Distributive and Allied Employees’ Association. He was a founding director of Aticus Pty Ltd, an advocacy training business.
Inspired by his dad - who ran a small business - and his time in the union movement, Tony was elected to the NSW Legislative Council in 2003. The next year he entered federal politics and was elected to parliament.
"There have been two main themes in my own working life and upbringing: small business and trade unions. You will not find me ever walking away from either."
Tony held several key ministerial roles involving agriculture and the environment. His major achievements include developing a plan to save the Murray Darling Basin, creating the world's largest network of marine parks, and opening up the wheat market after the Australian Wheat Board controversy.
In his spare time Tony enjoys kayaking and bushwalking, seeing live music and following the Canterbury Bulldogs in the NRL.