Joe Ludwig was born in Longreach, Queensland. He is married and lives in Brisbane with his wife and two daughters.
Senator Ludwig began his career as an Industrial Inspector and Training Consultant, before moving to the Queensland Branch of the Australian Workers’ Union.
He is also a Barrister and served for over 10 years with the Australian Army Reserve.
Joe has a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Queensland, a Bachelor of Laws from the Queensland University of Technology and a Graduate Diploma in Legal Practice from the Australian National University.
An ALP member since 1978, Joe was first elected to the Senate in 1998. He was re-elected to the Senate in 2004 and 2010.
Following the 2004 election, he was appointed to the Shadow Ministry as Shadow Minister for Justice and Customs, Citizenship and Multicultural Affairs and Shadow Attorney-General. Prior to this he was appointed Parliamentary Secretary to the Attorney-General and for Homeland Security. He was Manager of Opposition Business in the Senate from 2001 to 2007.
After the 2007 election, Senator Ludwig was sworn in as Minister for Human Services and Manager of Government Business in the Senate. On 8 June 2009, Joe was appointed Special Minister of State and Cabinet Secretary.
Senator Ludwig was sworn in as Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry on 14 September 2010.