Murray Patrick Watt is an Australian politician and member of the Australian Labor Party (ALP). Born on January 20, 1973, in Brisbane, Watt grew up in the southern suburbs of the city. Both his parents were schoolteachers from working-class backgrounds. Watt attended Brisbane State High School, where he served as school captain in 1989. He went on to study at the University of Queensland and graduated with degrees in Bachelor of Commerce and Bachelor of Laws in 1996.
After graduating, Watt practiced as a solicitor from 1997 to 2002 and also served as a judge’s associate from 1999 to 2000. He later joined the Queensland Department of Premier and Cabinet and the Department of State Development in 2007 and worked as a public servant until 2009. Watt also worked as the chief of staff to Anna Bligh from 2002 to 2007 and again in 2008.
Watt has a long-standing association with the Australian Labor Party, having served as the president of Queensland Young Labor in 1998 and as a delegate to various state conferences. He also served as a senior associate with the Brisbane office of the legal firm Maurice Blackburn.
Watt began his political career in 2009 when he was elected to the Legislative Assembly of Queensland for Everton. He succeeded Rod Welford, who had retired. However, Watt was defeated in the 2012 state election.
Following the retirement of Senator Jan McLucas in 2015, Watt was endorsed by the Labor Party as a Senate candidate for Queensland at the 2016 federal election and was subsequently elected. In 2019, Watt was included in Anthony Albanese’s shadow ministry as Shadow Minister for Northern Australia and Shadow Minister for Disaster and Emergency Management. He was also appointed as Shadow Minister for Queensland Resources in 2021. Watt is a member of Labor Left and serves as the Deputy Opposition Whip in the Senate.
Watt was re-elected in the 2022 election and became the Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry in the Albanese government. He also took on the role of Minister for Emergency Management.
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