Matthew grew up in Logan just south of Brisbane. After achieving a First Class Honours Degree in Economics at the University of Queensland, Matthew worked at the Productivity Commission where he eventually rose to the level of Director.
During that time Matthew worked on projects ranging from competition laws, housing affordability to counting the number of policies that Australian governments have introduced to tackle climate change (the answer was 244).
Becoming increasingly frustrated at the lack of coherent economic policy by the Rudd Government, Matthew went to work for Barnaby Joyce as his Chief-of-Staff ahead of the 2010 election. In that role, Matthew helped develop policies to provide tax concessions for vital infrastructure and to encourage people to move to the regions, worked on a Senate inquiry that recommended stricter environmental controls on coal seam gas developments and developed a Coalition report on the potential to invest in new dams throughout Australia.
At the 2013 election Matthew was elected to the Senate. He took up his position as a Senator in the Nationals party room in July 2014 as a Senator based in Rockhampton, the first Senator to be based in Rockhampton for more than 20 years.
Matthew has served as the Minister for Northern Australia since February 2016, and was elevated to Cabinet later that year as the Minister for Resources – the first Central Queensland based Cabinet Minister since the 1970’s. He then served as the Deputy Leader of The Nationals in the Senate.
Matthew is a former Lions Youth of the Year and worked as a Leader with the Christian Brothers on Edmund Rice Camps, where he met his wife. They now live in Yeppoon near Rockhampton, with their four sons and baby daughter.
While Matthew’s family is very proud of him being elected to the Senate, his Father remains slightly disappointed that he gave up cricket at 16 and therefore never fulfilled his true calling to play test cricket for Australia.