Mathias Hubert Paul Cormann (/məˈtiːəs ˈkɔrmən/; German pronunciation: [maˈtiːas ˈkɔʁman]; born 20 September 1970) is an Australian politician of German-speaking Belgian descent. He is a Liberal Party of Australia senator for Western Australia, having been chosen by the Parliament of Western Australia on 19 June 2007 to fill the casual vacancy caused by the resignation of Senator Ian Campbell. Cormann has been the Minister for Finance since 18 September 2013.

When Senator Ian Campbell unexpectedly announced his planned resignation on 4 May 2007, Cormann was quickly preselected by the party to fill the resulting casual vacancy. Campbell formally resigned on 31 May 2007. Cormann was sworn in on 20 June 2007 and served the remaining four years of Ian Campbell’s term until 2011.

On 21 August 2010 Cormann was re-elected for a further six-year term as Senator for Western Australia, which started on 1 July 2011.

In Opposition Cormann served as Shadow Parliamentary Secretary for Health Administration (2008–09), Shadow Minister for Employment Participation, Apprenticeships and Training (2009–2010) and as Shadow Assistant Treasurer and Shadow Minister for Financial Services and Superannuation (2010–2013).

In the Senate he also chaired the Fuel and Energy Select Committee. (2008–2010) and the Scrutiny of New Taxes Committee (2010–2011).

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2014-10-19 Mathias Cormann

Finance Minister Mathias Cormann is not backing away from his description of Opposition Leader Bill Shorten as an “economic girly man”, accusing Labor of “confected outrage” over the issue.

Actor and former California governor Arnold Schwarzenegger used the “girly man” line on numerous occasions but most famously at the 2004 Republican National Convention when he blasted pessimists on the US economy as girly men.

Schwarzenegger was attacked by feminist groups and gay rights campaigners after his comments in 2004.

Senator Cormann claimed “Economic girly men has come to adopt its own meaning. It is not in any way intended as a reflection on girls, it is entirely intended as a reflection on Bill Shorten.”

Interviewed on Sky News on Sunday, Labor frontbencher Penny Wong said Senator Cormann’s language was not appropriate for a political leader.

“I just think, if we use ‘girl’ as an insult, what are we telling our sons and our daughters about being a girl? You are saying it is somehow less competent, weak, whatever, whatever the imputation. I just don’t think that is sensible. Imagine if we used any racial term in the way it was used? I think we would all be outraged for the same reasons.”

Also on Sky News, Education Minister Christopher Pyne declined to defend the language of his cabinet colleague.

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