James has always had a passion for politics.
As a boy growing up in regional Queensland, his family often debated politics around the kitchen table.
He ran his first campaign as a teenager at Nambour State High School – an ultimately unsuccessful campaign to prevent the sacking of the school principal.
James went on to study Law at Griffith University and was elected President of the Griffith University Liberal Club. He also chaired the Sunshine Coast Branch of the Young Liberals.
After working as a solicitor for three years, James quit the legal profession to work in politics.
He secured a position as an adviser to the South Australian Government (2001-02) before moving to London to work for the Conservative Party in the UK (2002-08), where his roles included Deputy Campaign Director for Boris Johnson’s Mayoral Campaign, Special Adviser to the Shadow Chancellor, Chief of Staff to the Party Chairman, and also Campaign Coordinator.
James also worked as the National Presidential Campaign Director for The Maldivian Democratic Party (2008).
On returning to Australia, James took on the roles of Deputy Federal Director of the Liberal Party of Australia (2009-10), Campaign Director for the LNP (2010-12) and Campaign Director for the Northern Territory’s Country Liberal Party (2012).
James later stepped out of the administrative and strategic side of campaigning to successfully nominate as a Senate candidate for the Liberal National Party at the 2013 Federal Election. He was sworn in in July 2014.
His driving political views include a love for democracy, freedom and liberty, and support for lower taxes and smaller government.
James currently serves in the Ministry as the Assistant Minister to the Prime Minister, the Hon Malcolm Turnbull MP.
- Parliamentary service
- Elected to the Senate for Queensland 2013 (term began 1.7.2014) and 2016.
- Ministerial appointments
- Assistant Minister for Immigration from 18.2.16 to 19.7.16.
- Assistant Minister to the Prime Minister from 21.9.15.
- Assistant Minister for Regulatory Reform from 10.3.17.
- Committee service
- Senate Standing: Library from 1.7.14 to 12.10.15.
- Senate Legislative and General Purpose Standing: Environment and Communications: Legislation and References Committees from 1.7.14 to 12.10.15; Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade: Legislation Committee from 1.7.14 to 12.10.15.
- Senate Select: Abbott Government’s Budget Cuts from 17.7.14 (renamed Scrutiny of Government Budget Measures on 11.8.15) to 12.10.15.
- Joint Standing: Electoral Matters from 1.7.14 to 12.10.15; Treaties from 1.7.14 to 12.10.15; Parliamentary Library from 1.7.14 to 9.5.16.
- Joint Select: Constitutional Recognition of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples from 1.7.14 to 23.6.15.
- Party positions
- President, Griffith University Liberal Club.
- Chair, Sunshine Coast Young Liberal Branch.
- (see also Qualifications and occupation before entering federal Parliament below).
- Born 14.5.1974, Toowoomba, Qld.
- Qualifications and occupation before entering Federal Parliament
- BComm, LLB (Griffith), LLM (QUT).
- Admission as Solicitor, Supreme Court of Queensland.
- Solicitor/Articled Clerk, Bennett Carroll and Gibbons (Qld) 1996-99.
- Investigating Officer, Parliamentary Ombudsman (Qld) 1999-2001.
- Ministerial Adviser, Government of South Australia 2001-02.
- Various roles with the Conservative Party (UK) including Deputy Campaign Director for the Boris Johnson Mayoral Campaign, Special Adviser to Shadow Chancellor, Chief of Staff to the Party Chairman, Campaign Co-ordinator 2002-08.
- National Presidential Campaign Director, The Maldivian Democratic Party 2008.
- Deputy Federal Director, Liberal Party of Australia 2009-10.
- Campaign Director, Liberal National Party (Qld) 2010-12.
- Campaign Director, Country Liberal Party (NT) 2012.
- Self-employed contractor 2012-14.