The Crest of the Commonwealth of Australia Treasury Portfolio Ministers
Picture of Peter Costello

Peter Costello


11 March 1996 - 3 December 2007

Peter Costello was first elected a Member of the House of Representatives for the seat of Higgins in 1990.

He was elected Deputy Leader of the Liberal Party of Australia in May 1994.

He has been the Treasurer of the Commonwealth of Australia since March 1996.

Peter Costello has brought down eleven consecutive Federal Budgets, including nine surpluses, and has now completely eliminated Commonwealth net debt which stood at $96 billion in 1996. This means the Government is saving $8 billion a year in interest payments.

Peter Costello introduced the largest tax reform in Australian history, under the policy, endorsed at the 1998 election, A New Tax System.

During his period as Treasurer, financial supervision has been redesigned arising out of the Financial System Inquiry. Australia’s corporations law has been modernised under the Corporate Law Economic Reform Program. Australia has become a member of the international group of 20 countries (G-20) considered systemically important to the international financial system. Peter Costello has been a member of the IMF Executive, a Governor of the World Bank and Chairman of the Council of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD). As Chairman of the G-20 for 2006, Peter Costello hosted the annual meeting of Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors in Melbourne in November. He will be the Chairman of the APEC Finance Ministers’ meeting in 2007.


Peter is married to Tanya and they have three children.

Peter holds degrees from Monash University where he was, for a time, a part-time teacher in law and economics/politics, as well as a member of the University Council. Prior to entering Parliament, he was a barrister. He was counsel in some of Australia’s best-known industrial disputes and was a regular advocate in National Wage cases.

Peter Costello describes his favourite activity as cooking in his garden at home (badly) and following his beloved football team (passionately).