Tony has lived in and around the Watson electorate all his life and completed his secondary education at Strathfield. He enjoys getting out and about in the electorate, particularly at local festivals which highlight the colour and community spirit of the Watson area
Upon election to the Federal Parliament in 2004, Tony was placed immediately on the frontbench as Shadow Minister for Small Business and Shadow Minister for Immigration.
In 2007 Tony was appointed Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry. Tony abolished the bulk wheat export monopoly and reformed drought assistance providing better long-term support for the nation's farmers.
In September 2010, Tony was appointed Minister for Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities in the Gillard Labor Government. In consultation with communities, Tony was able to establish the largest marine protected area in the world.
After more than 100 years of disagreement, Tony presented a final Murray Darling Basin Plan: a Plan that restores our rivers to health, supports strong regional communities and sustainable food production.
In March 2013 Tony was appointed as Minister for the Arts.
In June 2013 Tony became the Minister for Immigration, Multicultural Affairs and Citizenship. Tony was able to ensure the release of more than 400 children from community detention during the less-than-four-months he held the Immigration portfolio.
In October 2013, Tony became the Shadow Minister for Finance and the Manger of Opposition Business in the House of Representatives.
Currently, Tony holds the Shadow Minister for Environment and Water, the Shadow Minister for Citizenship and Multicultural Australia and the Shadow Minister for the Arts portfolios and remains the Manager of Opposition Business.
Tony is a keen Canterbury Bulldogs fan and enjoys kayaking in local national parks.