Russell has lived in the McMillan electorate all of his life. He was born in Koo Wee Rup, and lives in Pakenham with his wife, Bronwyn. They have three adult children.

Russell was first elected to the House of Representatives in 1990 for the seat of Corinella.

He narrowly lost the 1993 election, however in 1996 was successful in gaining election to the seat of McMillan.

Following the anti-GST campaign and Victoria-wide swing of 1998, Russell lost McMillan, but came back again in the 2004 election, using a combination of lifelong, local community contacts, and using the finely honed marginal seat campaign skills he first used when he ran in the safe Labor seat of Streeton in 1984 and 1987.

Russell has played a pivotal role in acquiring drought relief for farmers in Gippsland, securing the mobility payment for people with disabilities and giving assistance to small businesses in the region.

Russell considers the locking in of funding for the Pakenham bypass and seeing it through to fruition as a major achievement for the south eastern growth corridor.

In recent times he has spearheaded a campaign, along with Member for Gippsland Darren Chester, to see all Federal Government departments use Australian made, 100% recycled paper – ensuring important jobs and industry remain in the Latrobe Valley.

A co-chair of the influential Parliamentary Group on Asbestos related Disease (PGARD), Russell has been a strong advocate for the eradication of asbestos products and asbestos related disease both in Australia and overseas.

He is looking forward to continuing his role as a strong advocate in the Party room and the Parliament for his local community and policy areas of interest.

Around 5 million Australians, including pensioners, will start receiving the second $750 support payment from today. Read more:

Jul 13

In a major boost for primary health care, the Australian Government is further strengthening telehealth arrangements, as recommended by the AMA and other medical experts.

Jul 13

“We can’t afford to be complacent. It’s important to maintain the discipline of social distancing behind closed doors, not just out in public." Scott Morrison.

Jul 13

Around 5 million Australians will start receiving our second $750 support payment from today, including pensioners. And millions of Australians are set to benefit again from the important tax cuts we legislated last year, getting up to $1,080 back in their tax returns. It’s all part of our record financial support to help get Australians through these difficult times. Over the weekend, I also agreed to providing more Australian Defence Force support to the Victorian Government to help deal with the COVID outbreak in Melbourne. We’ll continue to provide whatever support is needed to make sure we all get through this together. A wide ranging discussion with Ray Hadley this morning on 2GB - listen to the full interview at:

Jul 13