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Members’ biographical register

Neil McNeill

Date: 19 June 1921
Place: Yarloop, Western Australia
Son of Hugh McNeill, hotelier and farmer, and Kathleen Mary O’Driscoll
Marriage and Family
Married 9 February 1946, St John’s Church, Perth, WA to Ronda Emilie Kelm, daughter of Frank Frederick and Ethel Alma Jaensch
Children: four daughters
Date: 8 February 2009
Place: Bethesda Hospital, Claremont, Western Australia
Cemetery: Drakesbrook Cemetery, Waroona, Western Australia
Educated Pithara (1927–1930) and Waroona Primary Schools (1930–1934) and Scotch College (1934–1939)
University of Western Australia (1940–1942, 1946–1947)—Bachelor of Science (Agriculture)
Nuffield Foundation Farming Scholar to United Kingdom 1951
Employment History
Enlisted Army 1941, Western Command Signals, released to continue at university
Enlisted Royal Australian Navy Reserve 9 July 1941

Sub-Lieutenant, Naval Liaison Officer and Beachmaster, Norther Territory Amphibious, training units for invasion of Pacific Islands
Served in mine sweepers at sea including 3–8 July 1943, 12 February 1944–2 March 1944

On HMAS Coolebar 12 July 1944–18 March 1945
Off east coast of Australia and out of Darwin
Discharged 21 March 1945 to continue university studies
Agricultural adviser, Department of Agriculture 1947–1948
Leased family farming property, Hamel farm, Waroona 1948
Purchased farm 1951
Sold portion of farm 1957 and continued to farm remainder of the property, Djarryl farm
District Officer, Department of Agriculture 1957–1958
Senior Extension Officer, Junior Farmers’ Movement 1958–1961
Continued until 1983 at Djarryl Farm

Purchased small farm at Serpentine
Retired from farming in 2000 (one daughter still running the farm)
Local Government Service
Drakesbrook Road Board (later Waroona Shire Council) 8 September 1956–May 1962
Chairman 1960–1961
Joined party circa 1949
Between 1961–1974 was variously member of State Council, State Policy Committee, Federal Council and Federal Rural Committee 1969–1973
Member State Campaign Committee 1974–1977
Date Elected
22 May 1965
Inaugural Speech
Inaugural Video
Search for speeches by Neil McNeill
Year Retired/Resigned
Lower West
Parliamentary Service

  • MLC Lower West Province 22 May 1965–21 May 1983

  • Minister for Justice, Chief Secretary (from 5 June 1975)
  • Leader of the Government in Legislative Council 8 April 1974–10 March 1977

  • Chairman Joint Select Committee on Offices of Profit and Members’ Contracts with the Crown 21 October 1980–3 November 1982

Royal Commissions
  • Member Hon Royal Commission On Dairy Products and Market Milk 21 October 1981–1982

Commonwealth Parliamentary Association
  • Represented WA branch Commonwealth Parliamentary Association at General Conference, Ottawa 1977
  • Hon life member Commonwealth Parliamentary Association

  • Deputy leader Australian delegation, 5th United Nations Crime Congress, Geneva, 1975
  • State Parliamentary delegate United States–Australian State Legislators Symposium, Hobart, 1980
  • Member of WA delegation Constitutional Conventions Hobart and Perth


  • Member of the House of Representatives (MHR) Canning 9 December 1961–30 November 1963
  • Contested Canning 30 November 1963

  • Member Joint Printing Committee
Member Australian Institute of Agricultural Science
Member Farmers’ Union 1948–1966, Waroona branch president 1952–1959, former member Pastoralists’ and Graziers Association, patron Waroona Agricultural Society
Member policy committee Artificial Breeding Scheme 1952–1957
Member Peel–Harvey Farmers’ Committee
President University of WA Agriculture Faculty Club 1946–1947
Charter member Waroona Lions International
Chairman Waroona Frail Aged Welfare Committee (Inc) 1981–1983 during planning and establishment of Quambie Park Retirement Centre, Waroona
Authorised badge examiner Girl Guides Association for many years
Playing member University Football Club (Amateur League) and University Cricket Club 1945–1947
Captain Waroona Cricket Club during 1950s
Life member Waroona Netball Association
Patron of several sporting organisations
Member Nuffield Scholars Association
Living in Cottesloe in 2003
B Sc (Agri)
D Black and G Bolton, eds, Biographical Register of Members of the Parliament of Western Australia: volume two 1930-2010, Western Australian Parliamentary History Project, Perth, WA, 2011, p. 166.
West Australian 22 February 1965.
Western Australian Parliamentary Debates, 10 March 2009.
Who's Who in Australia (1977)
Further Information