Senator James Paterson is a Liberal Senator for Victoria. First elected in March 2016 at age 28, Senator Paterson is the youngest Liberal ever elected to the Senate.
During his time in the Senate, he has fought for Australia’s prosperity, freedom, democracy and sovereignty.
Senator Paterson was appointed the Shadow Minister for Cyber Security and the Shadow Minister for Countering Foreign Interference by Opposition Leader Peter Dutton. Cyber attacks and foreign interference are two of the most serious contemporary threats to Australia’s national security.
He was the Chair of the Parliamentary Joint Committee on Intelligence and Security from February 2021 until May 2022. During this time, Senator Paterson oversaw a record high workload in response to Australia’s changing security environment, handing down 23 reports relating to Australia’s national security in just 12 months.
Senator Paterson has also served as the deputy chair of the Senate Select Committee on COVID-19, the chair of the Joint Committee on Corporations and Financial Services and the Senate Finance and Public Administration Committee.
Senator Paterson is also the Australian co-chair of the Inter-Parliamentary Alliance on China; co-patron of Liberal Friends of Israel; and deputy chair of the Modest Members Society – a group of Coalition MPs committed to championing economic freedom.
Prior to entering the Senate, James was Deputy Executive Director of free market think tank, the Institute of Public Affairs. He previously worked for the Victorian Employers’ Chamber of Commerce and Industry (VECCI), and in the office of Senator the Hon. Mitch Fifield. He has a Bachelor of Arts and a Bachelor of Commerce from the University of Melbourne.
James is a member of the Richmond Football Club and lives in Melbourne with his wife Lydia, their two children and their cavoodle.
Senator Paterson has been fighting for freedom, democracy and sovereignty since he was first elected.
These are some of his most significant achievements.
In March 2016 Senator Paterson was chosen to fill the casual vacancy left by Michael Ronaldson. Elected at age 28, he is the youngest Liberal ever elected to the Senate.
First Australian politician to call for embassy in Israel to be moved to Jerusalem
Believing that every nation has the right to choose its own capital city, Senator Paterson was the first Australian politician to call for Australia’s embassy to be moved to Jerusalem. Australia has since recognised West Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and has opened offices there.
First and only Australian politician to back Brexit prior to the vote
Senator Paterson was the only Australian politician to back Brexit prior to the vote. He highlighted the economic opportunities available to Australia if Britain were to quit the undemocratic EU. Leave won and the government has moved to foster closer ties with the UK.
Pushed for 18C reform to protect free speech
Senator Paterson believes there is no greater liberty than free speech as it enables us to defend all our other freedoms. To advance this cause he successfully campaigned for the government to commit to fixing 18C.
Proposed a Bill and amendments to protect religious freedoms while legalising same sex marriage
During the same sex marriage debate Senator Paterson authored a bill and amendments to legalise same sex marriage while also protecting religious liberty and other important freedoms.
Successfully blocked an extradition treaty with China
In 2017 the Turnbull government tried to ratify an extradition treaty with Beijing. Senator Paterson prevented the government from making this incredible mistake by joining with a few colleagues to resist the move. As a result of the Senator’s opposition, the Turnbull government did not proceed with the treaty.
Banned from China
Senator Paterson was invited on a delegation to China to learn about the Chinese people, their culture and their history. Unfortunately, the Chinese government banned him from entering for being an outspoken critic of China’s authoritarian regime, being told to “genuinely repent and redress [his] mistakes”.
Called for free movement and trade with CANZUK
Senator Paterson believes for Australia to safeguard its freedom and prosperity we must strengthen our economic relationships with countries who share our values. In August 2020 he authored a report published by the Adam Smith institute calling for free trade and movement between Australia and the United Kingdom.
Election as chair of PJCIS
In February 2021 Senator Paterson was elected as Chair of the Parliamentary Joint Committee on Intelligence and Security. In this role the Senator works hard to keep Australians safe and free.
Addressed the European Parliament
Senator Paterson addressed the European Parliament on foreign interference. In his keynote speech, Senator Paterson called on democratic nations to work together to understand and address the threats posed by countries like China.
Appointment as Shadow Minister for Cyber Security and Shadow Minister for Countering Foreign Interference
Senator Paterson was appointed the Shadow Minister for Cyber Security and the Shadow Minister for Countering Foreign Interference by Opposition Leader Peter Dutton. Cyber-attacks and foreign interference are two of the most serious contemporary threats to Australia’s democracy, freedom and sovereignty.