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Charles Roderick Kemp

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Charles Roderick ("Rod") Kemp is an Australian politician and a prominent member of the Kemp family which runs many of the country;s libertarian think-tanks -- most specifically the Institute for Public Affairs in Melbourne and its subsidiaries. The IPA was co-founded by his father Charles D Kemp and the father of Rupert Murdoch together with some manufacturing and mining magnates. It claims to be the world's first real think-tank.

The day-to-day activities of the IPA are in the hands of IPA staff and his lawyer brother David Kemp (a prominent staffer in the Fraser Liberal Government). Between 1990 and 2008 'Rod' Kemp was a Liberal (conservative) member of the Australian Senate. (He was born 21 December 1944) His positions in the Federal Liberal Coalition government have been:

  • 1996 May 11 to 1996 Oct 14 Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Social Security
  • 1996 Oct 14 to 2001 Nov 26 Assistant Treasurer
  • 2001 Nov 26 to 2007 Jan 30 Minister for the Arts and Sport
    • 2008 Aug 1 Took over as Chairman of the IPA from Alan Stockdale.

During his time in the Federal Senate he held no official position with the Institute of Public Affairs, but behind the scenes both David and Rod Kemp held full control -- along with another Liberal politician John Hyde from Western Australia who had merged his Perth-based Australian Institute for Public Policy into the IPA The funding support for the IPA now comes from many different corporations and industry groups, but for decades it was the main propaganda mouthpiece for the tobacco industry in Australia; Philip Morris often had two seats on the Board, held by Donna M Staunton and Eric Windholtz.

At that time the IPA was still closely affiliated with the Liberal party in Australia, and with the Mont Pelerin Society (MPS) in Europe and Institute for Economic Affairs (IEA) in England. It also has a territorial agreement with the Sydney based Centre for Independent Studies (CIS), which has close connections through the Atlas Group network to a wide range of libertarian think-tanks in the USA. (Heritage Institute, Cato Institute, American Enterprise Institute, etc)