Born on May 15, 1939, Staley took an active interest in student politics while studying law at Melbourne University.
He went on to become a senior lecturer in political science at the same university before winning the federal Melbourne seat of Chisholm in a by-election.
Staley shared a house with former Prime Minister Malcolm Fraser in 1972-73 and the two men became close.
They would debate into the late hours of the night on topics such as society and the possibilities and limits of government.
Staley played a key role in elevating Fraser to the Liberal Party leadership and bringing down the Whitlam government.
He became Fraser’s chief numbers man in an unusually public stalking exercise that overthrew Billy Snedden in 1975.
After the dismissal and subsequent election that swept Fraser to power, Staley became Minister for the Capital Territory and, in 1977, Minister for Post and Telecommunications.
Staley resigned from parliament in 1980 to work mainly in telecommunications.
He also directed the Melbourne International Comedy Festival and remained active in Victorian Liberal Party politics throughout the 1980s.
In 1990, Staley was involved in a car accident that left him severely disabled and wheelchair-bound.
Despite this setback, he continued his political activities, defeating Fraser for the federal presidency in 1993 with the strong support of former Prime Minister John Howard.
Tony Staley Cause of Death
Former president of the Liberal Party, Tony Staley, passed away at the age of 83.
Staley was a key figure in the party’s leadership struggles for several decades, and his contributions to Australian politics have been celebrated by current and former Liberal Party heavyweights.
Staley was Liberal Party president until 1999 and went on to become chairman of the National Museum of Australia Council.
He married several times and had four children.
Opposition Leader Peter Dutton, former Prime Minister John Howard, and other Liberal Party leaders have paid tribute to Staley’s lifetime of service to the Liberal Party and his country.
His contributions to Australian politics will not be forgotten.