Flynn Electorate

106,943 133,063² km



Ken was born in the Gladstone Hospital

Early Years

Ken was reared on his parent’s dairy farm at Bracewell, Mount Larcom

​At a young age, Ken started growing small crops of beans, peas, peanuts and grain along with his brother and sisters to help support his parents dairy income on 3 x 80-acre blocks, known in those days as ‘soldier settlement blocks’. Ken’s memory of his parents is how hard they worked to provide for their family of 5 children. Ken remembers along with his brother and sisters working on farms outside of their own families farms to help pay for their education.


Attended Bracewell State School, then Mount Larcom High School and completed secondary education at Rockhampton Grammar School where Ken was School Captain.

​By the age of 17, Ken had worked as a contract milker and handpicked beans on neighbouring farms, worked in the railways as a fettler, on flying gangs, and worked in construction during the building of the new railway line from Gladstone to Moura.

Working Life

On leaving school Ken worked at QAL Gladstone in administration as a payroll clerk.

In 1970 Ken went to Papua New Guinea and worked on construction at the Bougainville Copper Mine.

Ken returned to Australia in 1978 and began working in the fuel industry in Gladstone at the Seaport Terminal before entering into private business.

In 1981 Ken went into business for himself as fuel distributor for Mobil Australia in Emerald.

In 1988 Ken sold his fuel distribution business on the Central Highlands and became a partner in Shell distributorship. This distributorship covered an area from Rockhampton to Gladstone, Bundaberg and south to Maryborough. Ten years later Ken sold the distributorship back to Shell.

Ken then bought and renovated an old pub in Rockhampton and renamed it O’Dowd’s Irish Pub and on-sold the pub in 2004.

From 1998 until entering politics Ken operated Busteed Building Supplies in Gladstone.

Upon being elected in 2010 Ken has been proud and humbled to be the Federal Member for Flynn and your representative in Canberra.


Ken and his partner Shirley have 6 children and a number of grandchildren.

As a former small business owner, Ken understands the difficulties of juggling a family and running a business.

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.