Liberal senator and retired major general Jim Molan dies aged 72 of cancer

Senator Jim Molan has died aged 72. The Liberal politician had a long career in the Australian military, rising to the rank of Major General, before entering politics.

His death comes two years after he was diagnosed with an aggressive form of cancer. He took leave from parliament in April 2021 but returned after his initial treatment and was re-elected last year from a six year term. The Liberal party will now select a replacement to fill the vacancy through until 2028.

Molan spent four decades in the army, and served as the Commander of the Australian Defence College, and in 2004 was appointed Chief of Operations of Australian forces in Iraq. Following his retirement from the army he served as part of the administration of the Abbott government as special envoy on Operation Sovereign Borders, where he was credited as being the architect of the government’s ‘stop the boats’ campaign on border protection and asylum seeker policies.

Senator Molan first ran as a Liberal party federal senate candidate to represent New South Wales in 2016, but he was not successful. However a year later when the High Court declared National party member Fiona Nash was ineligible to remain in parliament due to issues over her dual nationality, Molan was swore in as the replacement.

At the 2019 election he was not re-elected, but a few months later he was selected to fill a vacancy created by the retirement of Senator Arthur Sidondinos – who took up the position of Australia’s Ambassador to Washington.

During his time in parliament Senator Molan urged Australian politicians to take more action against China. Last year he said he believed there would be a war with the superpower within three to five years. In 2017 he voted in favour of marriage equality, and also worked on a parliamentary inquiry into still births, sharing that one of his children had lost a child in this manner.

Prime Minister Anthony Albanese has described Senator Molan as “a man of principle and a politician of conviction.”

“Jim Molan lived his life in service of our country,” the PM tweeted.

Opposition leader Peter Dutton said Senator Molan was a “champion for our country”.

“He was respected by all of his colleagues.

“Everybody who knew him knew that he loved our country and he had a great desire to help people.” Dutton said on Tuesday morning at a media conference.

Senator Molan is survived by wife, four children and five grandchildren. His daughter Erin Molan is a presenter on Sky News.

“He was many things – a solider, a pilot, an author, a volunteer firefighter, and a senator,” his family said in a statement on Tuesday.

“Most of all, he was an adored husband, father, grandfather, and brother. Our loss is immeasurable, but we are comforted in our memories of a full life courageously lived, devoted to family and in service of the country he loved.

“We thank you for your thoughts and prayers, and for respecting our privacy at this difficult time.” his family said.

OIP Staff

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