Nick McKim

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Nick McKim
McKim in June 2010
Senator for Tasmania
Assumed office
19 August 2015
Preceded byChristine Milne
Member of the Tasmanian Parliament
for Franklin
In office
20 July 2002 – 4 August 2015
Succeeded byRosalie Woodruff
Leader of the Greens in Tasmania
In office
7 July 2008 – 7 April 2014
DeputyTim Morris
Preceded byPeg Putt
Succeeded byKim Booth
Minister for Human Services
In office
21 April 2010 – 11 November 2010
Preceded byLin Thorp
Succeeded byCassy O'Connor
Minister for Community Development
In office
21 April 2010 – 11 November 2010
Preceded by(new office)
Succeeded byCassy O'Connor
Minister for Sustainable Transport and Alternative Energy
In office
21 April 2010 – 31 May 2011
Preceded by(new office)
Succeeded byAlternative Energy subsumed back into Energy portfolio
Corrections and Consumer Protection
In office
21 April 2010 – 17 January 2014
Preceded byLisa Singh
Succeeded byCraig Farrell
Minister for Climate Change and
Minister for Aboriginal Affairs
In office
21 April 2010 – 13 May 2011
Preceded by(new offices)
Succeeded byCassy O'Connor
Minister for Education and Skills
In office
13 May 2011 – 17 January 2014
Preceded byLin Thorp
Succeeded byBrian Wightman
Minister for Sustainable Transport
In office
13 May 2011 – 17 January 2014
Preceded by(new office)
Succeeded byCraig Farrell
Personal details
Nicholas James McKim

(1965-06-11) 11 June 1965 (age 54)
Lambeth, London, England, United Kingdom
British (1965–2015)[1]
Political partyTasmanian Greens
Domestic partnerCassy O'Connor

Nicholas James McKim (born 11 June 1965)[2] is an Australian politician, currently a member of the Australian Senate representing Tasmania. He was previously a Tasmanian Greens member of the Tasmanian House of Assembly elected at the 2002 election, representing the Franklin electorate from 2002 to 2015, and led the party from 2008 until 2014. On 21 April 2010, he became the first member of the Greens in any Australian ministry.[3]


McKim was born in London, England. When he was five years old, his family emigrated from the UK to Australia. He attended the Hutchins School, Kingston High School, then Hobart College.[citation needed] He had a younger brother who was killed by falling off a cliff in Blackmans Bay, Tasmania, in the late 1970s. He lived for a number of years in Adelaide, South Australia, before moving to Tasmania.[citation needed] Before entering parliament, McKim worked as a wilderness guide and advertising executive.[4][5]

McKim served time in prison after being arrested during the Farmhouse Creek Blockade in the early 1980s.[5][6]

Citizenship concerns[edit]

The issue of Nick McKim's citizenship was raised during the 2017 constitutional crisis while he was a sitting senator.[7] McKim applied to renounce his UK citizenship by filling out the renunciation form (RN) on the 31st of July 2015. The form was received by the British Home Office on the 14th of August 2015, further received for processing on the 4th of September 2015, and formally registered on the 1st of February 2016.[8] The Home Office citizenship renunciation guidelines state that a person will cease being a British citizen after the date of registration.[9]

Because McKim's RN form was not registered until the 1st of February 2016, he maintained dual citizenship while serving as a senator, in breach of the Australian constitution, from the 20th of August 2015 (when he was sworn in as the retiring Christine Milne's replacement) until the 1st of February 2016, a period of just over 5 months. Since nominations for the 2016 federal election occurred after McKim's citizenship was formally renounced, he was not in breach of section 44(i) when nominating for that election.

Political career[edit]

Elected to Tasmanian House of Assembly in the Division of Franklin at the 2002 election, McKim was re-elected at the 2006 election, receiving 15.93 per cent of first preferences, an increase compared to his previous vote of 12.59%. He replaced Peg Putt as Leader of the Tasmanian Greens when Putt retired from Parliament in 2008[citation needed].

McKim supported the government in passing the same sex relationships bill (which recognises same sex relationships in Tasmania under common law) and has promoted the Greens' own Same-Sex Marriage Bill.[citation needed] During 2008, he campaigned heavily against the use of 1080 poison, forestry practices and the state's anti-terrorism bill.[5]

Tasmanian government minister[edit]

In the 2010 Tasmanian election McKim achieved 24.1% of first preferences in his lower house seat.[10] On 19 April 2010, Labor premier David Bartlett agreed to appoint McKim as a minister along with Cassy O'Connor as cabinet secretary.[11]

As a minister, McKim originally held the portfolios of Sustainable Transport and Alternative Energy, Corrections and Consumer Protection, Climate Change, Human Services, and Community Development: though he delegated responsibility for the portfolios of Human Services and Community Development to fellow Greens MP and then cabinet secretary Cassy O'Connor.[12] After a Cabinet reshuffle in November 2010 the portfolios of human services and community development were formally assumed by newly appointed Greens minister Cassy O'Connor, whilst McKim was sworn in as minister for the newly created Aboriginal Affairs portfolio alongside his other three portfolios.[13] Another Cabinet reshuffle, caused by Lin Thorp losing her seat in the Tasmanian Legislative Council elections and David Bartlett resigning from the assembly, then saw McKim sworn in on 13 May 2011 as Minister for Education and Skills, whilst retaining the three portfolios of corrections, consumer protection and sustainable transport.[14] McKim was responsible for overseeing the closing of the Hayes Prison Farm and the removal of Flex Learning for prisoners as Minister for both portfolio areas of Education and Corrections.

On 16 January 2014, the premier, Lara Giddings, announced that the power sharing arrangement with the Tasmanian Greens was over, and that McKim and O'Connor would be replaced by Labor MPs effective on 17 January. She said that the ALP would not govern with Greens in the cabinet in future.[15]

McKim was re-elected to the House of Assembly at the 2014 Tasmanian State Election with 13.4% of the primary vote.[16]

Federal politics[edit]

After Christine Milne's resignation from the senate, McKim was announced to be one of the 10 Greens members vying to replace her. The ballot, open to Greens members, was held in July 2015.[17]

The Tasmanian Greens announced at a press conference on 30 July 2015 that McKim had won the membership ballot to replace Christine Milne in the Senate.[18] He resigned from the Tasmanian Parliament on 4 August, and a countback was conducted to elect Rosalie Woodruff as his replacement on 17 August.[19] McKim was appointed to the Senate by a joint sitting of the Tasmanian Parliament on 19 August 2015.[20] Unlike other Greens Senators, Senator McKim has had ministerial experience due to him having been a minister in the previous Tasmanian ALP Government whilst as State Greens leader.

McKim was re-elected to the Senate at the 2019 federal election where he received 12.4% of the state's vote, with a swing of 1.41% in his favour.[21]

Personal life[edit]

In July 2009, McKim confirmed he was in a relationship with Cassy O'Connor, also a Tasmanian Greens Member of the House of Assembly.[22]


  1. ^ McMahon, Alle (16 August 2017). "Australian politicians born overseas jump to clarify citizenship after Waters, Ludlam bungles". ABC News. Australian Broadcasting Corporation. Retrieved 22 August 2017.
  2. ^ "Tasmanian Parliamentary profile – Nick McKim". Retrieved 9 July 2008.
  3. ^ Lehman, Ros: "Nick McKim: From hiking guide to the Senate", ABC, 30 Jul 2015
  4. ^ Neales, Sue (21 April 2010). "Time to take the helm". The Mercury. Retrieved 14 November 2010.
  5. ^ a b c "McKim's Green evolution". The Mercury. 9 July 2008. Retrieved 9 July 2008.[dead link]
  6. ^ "Nick McKIM MP Electorate: FRANKLIN Inaugural speech". Parliament of Tasmania website. Government of Tasmania. 25 September 2002. Archived from the original on 28 June 2010. Retrieved 20 April 2010.
  7. ^ "Greens senator Nick McKim seeks confirmation on UK citizenship renunciation".
  8. ^ "Citizenship disclosure" (PDF).
  9. ^ "GUIDE RN Declaration of Renunciation" (PDF).
  10. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 23 March 2010. Retrieved 22 March 2010.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)
  11. ^ "Greens, Bartlett reach last-minute compromise". ABC News Online. Australian Broadcasting Corporation. 20 April 2010. Retrieved 20 April 2010.
  12. ^ "Ministerial Portfolios Set Exciting Challenge". Tasmanian Greens MPs. Tasmanian Parliamentary Greens. April 2010.
  13. ^ "Greens take second Tasmanian ministry". The Age. Fairfax Media. 11 November 2010. Retrieved 8 July 2011.
  14. ^ "Mix-and-match Cabinet". The Mercury. News Limited. 14 May 2011. Retrieved 8 July 2011.
  15. ^ "Giddings removes Greens from Tasmanian Cabinet". Radio National. 17 January 2014. Retrieved 18 January 2014.
  16. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 24 September 2015. Retrieved 6 August 2015.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)
  17. ^ Bolger, Rosemary (16 June 2015). "Ten Greens members nominate for Christine Milne's Senate spot". ABC News. Retrieved 24 June 2015.
  18. ^
  19. ^ "Franklin recount result" (PDF). Tasmanian Electoral Commission. Archived from the original (PDF) on 24 September 2015. Retrieved 17 August 2015.
  20. ^ Richards, Blair (19 August 2015). "Joint sitting of Parliament to confirm Nick McKim's ascent to Senate". The Mercury. Retrieved 19 August 2015.
  21. ^ "Senate Results - ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation)". ABC News. Retrieved 21 July 2019.
  22. ^ Wels, Peter (4 July 2009). "Green MPs pair off". The Examiner. Retrieved 15 July 2009.

External links[edit]