Tanya Plibersek husband hopes wife will become prime minister in tell-all interview


Tanya Plibersek’s husband has revealed he would love to see his wife as prime minister as the pair open up on their relationship and love at first sight. 

Secretary of the NSW Department of Premier and Cabinet Michael Coutts-Trotter said there was no better candidate suited for the top job in parliament house. 

‘Would I like her to be prime minister one day? Yes,’ he told The Good Weekend.

‘I think Tanya is extraordinary. She’s the smartest person I know, and has the soundest judgment. She’s the real deal. So I’d love to see her end up in The Lodge.’

His glowing referral came as Mr Coutts-Trotter and Ms Plibersek dished on their relationship after being married for 21 years and sharing three children.

The pair revealed their first impressions of each other, the moment they fell in love and the first date when Mr Coutts-Trotter came clean about his drug trafficking past. 

Tanya Plibersek's husband (pictured, Michael Coutts-Trotter) has revealed he would love to see his wife as prime minister as the pair open up on their relationship and love at first sight

Tanya Plibersek’s husband (pictured, Michael Coutts-Trotter) has revealed he would love to see his wife as prime minister as the pair open up on their relationship and love at first sight

His glowing referral came as Mr Coutts-Trotter and Ms Plibersek dished on their relationship after being married for 21 years and sharing three children (pictured, now aged 20, 16 and 11)

His glowing referral came as Mr Coutts-Trotter and Ms Plibersek dished on their relationship after being married for 21 years and sharing three children (pictured, now aged 20, 16 and 11)

‘The whole story came out that night,’ Ms Plibersek said.

‘Not only about going to jail, but about his drug addiction. He was going to three Narcotics Anonymous meetings a week in those days.’

Mr Coutts-Trotter was thrown in jail in 1984 for conspiracy to import heroin from Thailand after becoming hooked on the drug as a teenager. He served three years.

He was 24-years-old when he met a 20-year-old Ms Plibersek at university.

The pair had their first date at a Thai restaurant on Oxford Street.

Mr Coutts-Trotter revealed that he wanted Ms Plibersek to know about his chequered past from the get-go.

His honesty paid off as the pair revealed they fell immediately in love with each other on that night.

Mr Coutts-Trotter was immediately smitten by the ‘beautiful and super smart’ Ms Plibersek. 

Ms Plibersek described her husband as ‘funny’ and said she never feared he would relapse because of his disciplined nature.

The pair admitted they had their couple’s quarrels and that Ms Plibersek even tried to get out of the car on Anzac Bridge during a heated debate about electricity privatisation.

While the couple are completely open with each other they respect their boundaries when it comes to work.

Ms Plibersek revealed there are some aspects of their office life they cannot share with each other.

'Would I like her to be prime minister one day? Yes!' Mr Coutts-Trotter said about his wife Ms Plibersek

 ‘Would I like her to be prime minister one day? Yes!’ Mr Coutts-Trotter said about his wife Ms Plibersek

The pair revealed their first impressions of each other, the moment they fell in love and the first date when Mr Coutts-Trotter came clean about his drug trafficking pas

 The pair revealed their first impressions of each other, the moment they fell in love and the first date when Mr Coutts-Trotter came clean about his drug trafficking pas

Mr Coutts-Trotter has worked his way up the ladder to become one of the country’s most respected public service officers.

The former Department of Communities and Justice head was made the Secretary of the NSW Department of Premier and Cabinet in October.

Under his new role in the state’s most prestigious department, he is tasked with implementing the government’s signature policies and providing specialist policy and procedural advice to the premier and his ministers. 

Mr Coutts-Trotter was sent to St Ignatius College, Riverview, to be taught by the Jesuits on a scholarship but could not quite fit in with any group.

‘There were a few things about my life that made me stand out a bit,’ he said. ‘I was just a posh-sounding English kid trying to fit in and I didn’t.’

All teenagers need some sort of friendship group and he found the wrong one.

‘I started to fit in with kids who felt pretty marginalised themselves and those were the kids who were drinking, smoking and stealing things,’ he said.

He would binge drink and began smoking marijuana as soon he could. ‘In the modern language I self-medicated.’

The pair admitted they had their couple's quarrels and that Ms Plibersek even tried to get out of the car on Anzac Bridge during a heated debated about electricity privatisation

The pair admitted they had their couple’s quarrels and that Ms Plibersek even tried to get out of the car on Anzac Bridge during a heated debated about electricity privatisation

The former Department of Communities and Justice head was made the Secretary of the NSW Department of Premier and Cabinet in Octobe

The former Department of Communities and Justice head was made the Secretary of the NSW Department of Premier and Cabinet in Octobe

He finished school at the end of Year 12 aged just 16 years and 9 months, left home not long after and was soon injecting drugs with new friends.

While Mr Coutts-Trotter initially found some comfort in heroin it eventually took over his life. He funded his habit by supplying the drug.

‘I was using two-and-a-half, three grams of heroin a day plus a whole lot of other uppers and downers but heroin was my drug of choice,’ he said.

Mr Coutts-Trotter decided to move from small time dealer to drug smuggler when he became involved in a scheme to import half a kilogram of heroin from Thailand.

A joint Commonwealth-NSW police task force was aware of his plans and he was followed from Redfern Mail Exchange to a private hotel on Elizabeth Street near Central train station.

A dozen police officers arrested the 19-year-old carrying about 100g of the drug, part of an intended half-kilogram haul.

By the time Mr Coutts-Trotter was sentenced aged 21 he was clean of drugs, working for a PR firm and had re-established relationships with his family. (Pictured about 1985 in drug rehab)

By the time Mr Coutts-Trotter was sentenced aged 21 he was clean of drugs, working for a PR firm and had re-established relationships with his family. (Pictured about 1985 in drug rehab)

After four to six weeks on remand Mr Coutts-Trotter was bailed to the Salvation Army's William Booth facility at Surry Hills then accepted into the Miracle Haven rehab centre (pictured)

After four to six weeks on remand Mr Coutts-Trotter was bailed to the Salvation Army’s William Booth facility at Surry Hills then accepted into the Miracle Haven rehab centre (pictured)

Upon his arrest Mr Coutts-Trotter, who is 193cm tall, weighed just 50kg.

Mr Coutts-Trotter admitted to conspiring to import a prohibited drug and was remanded to Long Bay.

After four to six weeks he was bailed to the Salvation Army’s William Booth facility at Surry Hills then accepted into Miracle Haven rehabilitation centre on the Central Coast.

That place ‘was actually well named’ and Mr Coutts-Trotter spent more than a year on their drug rehab program.

Ms Plibersek had previously told Daily Mail Australia she accepted people would always be interested in her husband’s criminal history but publicly airing ‘ancient history’ could be hard on their family.

‘It’s always a little bit embarrassing and personal when these things are in the paper,’ she said. ‘It’s a bit exposing and I worry about how it affects my children.’

‘I think the real difficulty of this story is to talk to your children about the fact that their father’s been in jail.’ 



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Written by Bourbiza Mohamed

A technology enthusiast and a passionate writer in the field of information technology, cyber security, and blockchain

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