Andrew’s concern with governance has its origins in his decision to resign from the Office of National Assessments (ONA) on 11 March 2003 in protest over the Iraq war. He was the only serving intelligence official in Australia, the UK and US to resign publicly before the invasion. He subsequently ran against Prime Minister John Howard at the 2004 federal election and wrote a successful account of his experience, Axis of Deceit.
Prior to his work in ONA Andrew served in the Army where he rose to the rank of lieutenant colonel. He has also worked in senior management roles with the American defence contractor Raytheon and run a small business with his then wife. At the 2010 Tasmanian State election Andrew came within 315 votes of being elected as an independent when he finished as the fifth highest vote-getter in the Denison electorate and in the top 25 in the state (five Members are elected in each of Tasmania’s five electorates).
Andrew again ran as an independent in Denison at the 2010 federal election where he caused a major upset by taking the previously safe seat from the ALP in one of the biggest swings seen at the election. Afterwards he decided to provide certainty of supply and confidence to the ALP, making him one of the four cross-benchers giving government to the Labor Party and re-installing Julia Gillard as Prime Minister.
Beyond this minimalist support Andrew remained fiercely independent: considering all bills and motions on their merit and sometimes supporting the Government, and sometimes the Opposition. On 21 January 2012 Andrew withdrew his support for the Labor Government after it broke its agreement he had signed with Julia Gillard to implement mandatory pre-commitment on all poker machines by 2014.
Andrew was re-elected with an increased margin in 2013, and then again in 2016, and continues to be active across a range of issues including health, education and science, and jobs, as well as the issues that the major parties ignore including animal welfare, gambling reform, asylum seekers, foreign and security policy and climate change. Andrew has served on the Parliamentary Joint Committee on Intelligence and Security and was the Chairperson of the Parliamentary Joint Select Committee on Gambling Reform. Andrew’s qualifications include a Bachelor of Arts, Graduate Diploma of Management and Graduate Diploma of Defence Studies.
Awards Andrew has received include the Australian Intelligence Community Medallion (twice), Australia Day Achievement Medallion, UN Association of Australia Whistleblower Award, Australian Plaintiff Lawyers Association Civil Justice Award and Free Speech Victoria Voltaire Award. Andrew is 54 years old and lives in the Denison electorate in Neika near Fern Tree. He has two young daughters, Olive and Rose.