Bruce retired from Federal Parliament in 2016 after serving as the Member for Maranoa for 26 years, and now lives on his property near Roma where he remains a passionate advocate for his region.
When Bruce left the Parliament he had served as Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives for 4 years. He held many positions including 5 years as Minister for Veterans Affairs and Assistant Defence Minister during which time he administered programmes to ensure the health and wellbeing of 350,000 veterans and war widows, with a budget of $8.2billion, 2700 staff, a Health purchasing contract covering hospital care and pharmaceuticals.
In 1983 he spent 6 months in Europe as a Nuffield Farming Scholar, during which time he studied the European Common Agricultural policies, the Wool Industry Research and Development and market, livestock and arable farming practices. He was the Australian Parliamentary delegate to the Autumn Sessions of the United Nations in New York in 2002.
He joined the Queensland Board of the RFDS in June 2016. He is a member of the RFDS Risk and Compliance Committee and chairman of the Fundraising Marketing and Community Engagement Committee, and in the same year was appointed to the Board of the Australian Stockman’s Hall of Fame and Outback Heritage Centre in Longreach. In February 2017 he was appointed co-chairman of Telstra’s Regional Advisory Council for Queensland.
Bruce is an Honorary Life Member of the RSL Australia, the RSL Queensland Western Districts, and the Stanthorpe RSL sub branch, the RAAF Association Australia, the Roma Show Society, the Queensland Merino Stud Sheep Breeders’ Association, and is Patron of the QMSSA and the Roma History Lodge.
Bruce was appointed as Chairman of SQNRM on 31 October 2018.