|Leader of the United Australia Party|
in the Senate
|Assumed office |
18 June 2018
|Preceded by||Glenn Lazarus|
|Deputy Leader of Pauline Hanson's|
4 October 2000 – 27 January 2002
|Preceded by||David Oldfield|
|Succeeded by||Frank Hough|
|Leader of Pauline Hanson's|
One Nation in New South Wales
31 March 2010 – 18 June 2018
|Preceded by||Judith Newson|
|Party Whip of Pauline Hanson's One Nation in the Senate|
30 August 2016 – 24 May 2018
|Preceded by||Office established|
|Succeeded by||Peter Georgiou|
|Senator for New South Wales|
|Assumed office |
2 July 2016
|Born||25 February 1948|
Cessnock, New South Wales, Australia
|Political party||United Australia (since 2018)|
|One Nation New South Wales (2000–2004)|
Pauline Hanson's United Australia (2007–2010)
One Nation (1997–2000; 2010–2018)
|Residence||Coal Point, New South Wales|
|Education||Cessnock High School|
|Alma mater||Hunter Institute of TAFE|
Sydney Institute of TAFE
Sydney Teachers' College
Brian Burston (born 25 February 1948) is an Australian politician who has been a Senator for New South Wales since 2016, originally representing One Nation. After a falling out with party leader Pauline Hanson over company tax cuts, Burston left One Nation and joined businessman Clive Palmer's newly relaunched United Australia Party. Palmer announced Burston as the new parliamentary leader of the party on 18 June 2018.
Burston was born and grew up in Cessnock in the Hunter Region of New South Wales. He started an apprenticeship as a boilermaker with BHP at age 15. He has taught at TAFE NSW, trained TAFE teachers at Newcastle University and worked as a contract draftsman. He was employed at the former Newcastle Teachers College.
He has been a councillor on Cessnock City Council. He married at age 22, had three children and later divorced. He married his second wife, a teacher named Rosie, in 2008. Their home overlooks Lake Macquarie.
Burston was a member of Pauline Hanson's One Nation from closely after its inception. He was a former National Director of One Nation, serving alongside David Ettridge. In concert with the overthrow and imprisonment of Pauline Hanson, Burston left Pauline Hanson's One Nation and joined One Nation NSW, a splinter group of Pauline Hanson's One Nation, founded and led by David Oldfield. After Oldfield abandoned One Nation NSW, Burston rejoined Pauline Hanson's One Nation.
In his maiden speech to parliament, Burston warned that large-scale immigration was undermining social cohesion, placing pressure on infrastructure and housing affordability and increasing crime in Australia. He also criticised "aggressive multiculturalism", stating:
It seems that every group pride is promoted in the media and schools except for ours, the nation's. The ABC long ago abandoned any semblance of patriotism, or even balance. Other taxpayer-funded media – SBS and NITV – serve immigrants and indigenous Australians. The national flag is often ignored or dishonoured in schools, while multiculturalism and indigenous issues are now part of the curriculum. The majority of students are not supported in their Anglo-Australian identity, but are made to feel guilty for supposed historical injustices committed by their ancestors.
Burston is a public opponent of same sex marriage, and was one of twelve senators who voted against what became the Marriage Amendment (Definition and Religious Freedoms) Act 2017. In 2017, he was one of ten senators to vote in favour of Cory Bernardi's motion to ban gender-selective abortion. It was defeated by ten votes to 36.
In May 2018, Burston announced he would support the Turnbull Government's proposed corporate tax cuts, a move that contradicts One Nation policy. He was soon demoted from the role of party whip, and reportedly attempted to leave One Nation for the Shooters, Fishers and Farmers Party. He later resigned from One Nation to sit as an independent. On 18 June 2018, he announced that he would join Clive Palmer's United Australia Party. The same day, he joined the economically conservative voting bloc formed by crossbench Senators David Leyonhjelm, Cory Bernardi and Fraser Anning.
- "Senate results – AEC tally room". Australian Electoral Commission. 4 August 2016. Archived from the original on 3 August 2016. Retrieved 4 August 2016.
- Gribbin, Caitlyn (18 June 2018). "Brian Burston joins Clive Palmer's United Australia Party as Senate leader". ABC News. Australian Broadcasting Corporation. Retrieved 18 June 2018.
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- "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 3 June 2016. Retrieved 3 September 2016.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)
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- "First Speech". Parliament of Australia. 2016-10-11. Retrieved 2018-06-04.
- "Senate passes same-sex marriage bill". News.com.au. News Limited. 29 November 2017. Retrieved 9 January 2018.
- "Motions - Abortion - Gender grounds". They Vote For You. 2017-11-16. Retrieved 2018-06-04.
- "Cory Bernardi is using provocative motions to make ideological points in the Senate". ABC News. 2017-11-16. Retrieved 2018-06-04.
- Gribbin, Caitlyn (24 May 2018). "Former One Nation whip says he won't 'have a dummy spit' after being demoted by Pauline Hanson". ABC News. Retrieved 25 May 2018.
- "Pauline Hanson fights tears on national television, claims One Nation senator Brian Burston has tried to defect". ABC News. 2018-05-31. Retrieved 2018-06-04.
- "Pauline Hanson to lose 'self-serving' senator after company tax row". Smh.com.au. 2018-05-31. Retrieved 2018-06-04.
- "One Nation senator Brian Burston quits party after prolonged feud with Pauline Hanson". Australian Broadcasting Corporation. 14 June 2018. Retrieved 14 June 2018.
- "The tax cut battle explained in less than two minutes". Sydney Morning Herald. 18 June 2018.
- "Brian Burston levels sexual harassment allegations at One Nation leader Pauline Hanson". ABC.net. 14 February 2019. Retrieved 14 February 2019.