Martin was born in Sydney in 1953 and was educated at St Patrick’s, Strathﬁeld. He has a Bachelor of Economics degree (Hons) from Sydney University. Martin was elected to Federal Parliament as the Member for Batman in 1996 and served continuously as a Shadow Minister until the election of the Labor Government on 3 December 2007. His portfolios included Employment and Training (March 1996-August 1997); Employment and Training, Population and Immigration and Assistant to the Leader on Multicultural Affairs (August 1997-October 1998); Employment, Training and Population (October 1998 to 3 October 1999); Regional Development, Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Services and Population (October1999-November 2001); Regional and Urban Development, Transport andInfrastructure (November 2001-August 2002); Regional Development, Transport, Infrastructure and Tourism (August 2002-July 2003); Urban and Regional Development, Transport and Infrastructure (July 2003-October 2004); Primary Industries, Resources and Tourism (October 2004-June 2005); Primary Industries, Resources, Forestry and Tourism (June 2005-December 2006) and Transport, Roads and Tourism (December 2006- December 2007).
Previously, Martin was President of the Australian Council of Trade Unions (ACTU) after working for the Federated Miscellaneous Workers’ Union of Australia since 1975. As president of the ACTU, Martin was a member of advisory councils and foundations including the Social Security Review, the Economic Planning Advisory Council, the National Labour Consultative Council and the Advance Australia Foundation. Martin was also a member of the ILO Governing Body from 1990 to 1996. Martin and his wifePatricia have two children. He was appointed a Member of the Order of Australia in June 1996.