Flynn Electorate

102,332 133,063² km

About Ken O’Dowd

Ken was born in Gladstone Hospital and raised on his parent’s dairy farm at Bracewell, Mount Larcom.

He grew small crops of beans, peas, peanuts and grain to support our farm income on three 80-acre blocks, known in those days as ‘soldier settlement blocks’. His parents worked hard to provide for them children. As kids his brother, Bob, and sisters, Lorraine, Bernice and Maureen, and him worked on the farm before and after school. At an early age, his brother and sisters and himself worked on farms outside their own farm to pay for their education.

He attended Bracewell State School, then Mount Larcom high school and then Rocky Grammar, where he was school captain.

By the age of 17 he had worked as a contract milker and he had picked beans on his neighbours’farms, worked on the railways as a fettler and on flying gangs and then worked on construction to build a new railway line from Gladstone to Moura.

On leaving school he worked at QAL Gladstone in administration as a payroll clerk. In 1970 he went to New Guinea to work on construction at the Bougainville Copper mine. He returned to Australia in 1978 to work in the fuel industry at Gladstone at the seaport terminal before entering into his own business at Emerald in 1981 as a fuel distributor for Mobil. he sold that business in 1988 and became a partner in the Shell distributorship that covered an area from Rockhampton to Gladstone, Bundaberg and south to Maryborough. That business was sold back to Shell in 1998. he bought and renovated an old pub in Rockhampton, renaming it O’Dowd’s Irish Pub, which was sold in 2004.His current business is Busteed Building Supplies, which I have operated since 1998. Each of the two above categories of business was sold to make way for the entry in these areas by Colesand Woolworths to the fuel and alcohol and gaming businesses.

In my early years he enjoyed playing cricket at home in Australia and in PNG. He has played rugby league and squash. He still enjoys a game of golf and he has been the President of the Calliope Country Club for over 20 years.


Parliamentary service

  • Elected to the House of Representatives for Flynn, Queensland, 2010. Re-elected 2013 and 2016.Committee service
  • Joint Standing: Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade from 25.10.2010 to 5.8.2013; Treaties from 11.12.2013 to 9.5.2016; Treaties from 1.9.2016 to 7.11.2016; Trade and Investment Growth from 14.9.2016 (Chair from 14.9.2016).
  • Joint Select: Trade and Investment Growth from 25.9.2014 to 9.5.2016 (Chair from 27.11.2014 to 9.5.2016).
  • House of Representatives Standing: Publications from 25.10.2010 to 5.8.2013; Appropriations and Administration from 4.12.2013 to 9.5.2016; House from 4.12.2013 to 9.5.2016 (Chair from 25.6.2014 to 9.5.2016); Petitions from 14.9.2016; Employment, Education and Training from 7.11.2016.