Darren Chester was elected to Federal Parliament as the Member for Gippsland on June 26, 2008, in a by-election following the retirement of the Hon Peter McGauran.
He was re-elected in 2010 and served as the Opposition’s Shadow Parliamentary Secretary for Roads and Regional Transport as well as being an active member of various Parliamentary Committees until the most recent Federal election.
Following a successful campaign in 2013 and the introduction of the Abbott-Truss Government, he was appointed the Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Defence.
Darren continued as the Assistant Minister for Defence under the new Turnbull Government and in February 2016, was appointed to Cabinet as the Federal Minister for Infrastructure and Transport. In October 2017 Darren became the Acting Minister for Regional Development and the Acting Minister for Local Government and Territories.
Following a Cabinet reshuffle on December 19, 2017, Darren returned to the back bench.
Darren, aged 50, was born and educated in Sale and now lives in Lakes Entrance with his wife Julie and their four children.
Prior to entering Federal Parliament, he worked as a newspaper and television journalist throughout Gippsland and then became Chief of Staff to the Leader of The Nationals in Victoria, Peter Ryan.
Darren is a former Chief Executive Officer of regional lobby group Champions of the Bush and served two terms as President of the Lakes Entrance Business Tourism Association (LEBTA), where he was heavily involved in tourism marketing and organising major events.
He has led various community campaigns and has been actively involved in projects to improve the environment of the world-renowned Gippsland Lakes.
Darren is a keen sportsman who enjoys boating, camping and running marathons. He also assists as a volunteer with his children’s junior sporting interests, including the Lakes Entrance Surf Lifesaving Club and Lakes Entrance Football Netball Club.