Steven "Steve" Fielding (born 17 October 1960), was a Senator representing the state of Victoria and the federal parliamentary leader of the Family First Party in Australia. Elected to the Senate at the 2004 federal election on two percent of the Victorian vote, he failed to gain re-election at the 2010 federal election. His term ended 30 June 2011. Mr Fielding rejects the theory of evolution and has publicly espoused his belief in Creationism.
His first foray into politics came in 2003 when he successfully stood as an Independent candidate for the Knox City Council. Fielding has described the decision to stand as "very last-minute", but others, such as the mayor of the council, Jenny Moore, and then Victorian Labor MP Peter Lockwood, claim that Fielding was very open about his intent to move into Federal politics. Either way, both Lockwood and Labor MP Bob Stensholt have described how Fielding later made inquiries about the possibility of running for one of the major parties prior to joining Family First.
Fielding was elected to represent Victoria in the Senate at the 2004 federal election.
He is the first representative of the Family First Party to be elected to the Federal Parliament.
When first elected the Howard Government held a slim majority in the Senate, sufficient so that Fielding would only hold the balance of power if one of the government Senators chose to cross the floor. This changed after the 2007 Federal election (the changes of which took effect in 2008) when the balance of power in the Senate shifted to a combination of the five Australian Greens Senators, independent Nick Xenophon and Steve Fielding.
While Family First is generally regarded as a conservative party, Fielding has said that he will not be an automatic supporter of the federal opposition in the Senate. On some issues which he sees as affecting the well-being of families, such as the WorkChoices industrial relations policies, he indicated disagreement with government policies. In February 2009, he told a Senate hearing that he believed divorce added to the impact of global warming because it resulted in people switching to a "resource-inefficient lifestyle".
In June 2010, during the Senate discussion on the proposed Paid Parental Leave Scheme, Fielding suggested “some women may rort the scheme by deliberately falling pregnant and then having a late-term abortion”. He was subsequently criticised by all sides of Australian politics for these comments.
Fielding is a Christian and attends CityLife Church, a large Pentecostal church in Melbourne. Fielding and his wife Susan have three children, James, Campbell and Gabrielle. He has claimed that he was sexually abused by a scoutmaster and family friend for two years during his teenage years. No-one has been charged or prosecuted for the alleged offences.
September 17, 2010