Australian Bureau of Statistics

Rate the ABS website
ABS Home > Statistics > By Release Date
ABS @ Facebook ABS @ Twitter ABS RSS ABS Email notification service
1301.0 - Year Book Australia, 2002  
Previous ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 25/01/2002   
   Page tools: Print Print Page RSS Feed RSS Bookmark and Share Search this Product  
Contents >> Government >> The Commonwealth Government

Prime Minister

After an election, the Governor-General sends for the leader of the party, or coalition, which has secured a majority in the House of Representatives, and commissions that person to assume the office of Prime Minister and to form a government. The incoming Prime Minister then goes about the process of finding members of his or her parliamentary party or coalition to serve as Ministers in the Government.

The office of Prime Minister is not recognised by the formal Constitution, being a conventional part of the constitutional arrangements.

The Prime Minister has the following powers:

  • nomination of the Governor-General;
  • is the sole source of formal advice for Governor-General;
  • advises the Governor-General when Parliament should be dissolved;
  • has responsibility for setting the date for House of Representatives elections;
  • allocates positions in the Cabinet; and
  • is chairperson of Cabinet.


Ministers

It is customary for all Ministers to be Members of Parliament, and if a Minister is not, it is obligatory for that Minister to become an MP within three months of his/her appointment. Reshuffles of the Ministry may occur at any time between elections. Ministers are invariably members of the same party or coalition as the Prime Minister.

The 55 Commonwealth Ministries since Federation are listed in table 2.1.

In most cases, new governments are formed after general elections have been held to determine the composition of the House. A new government could also be formed on any occasion between elections if the majority party changes its leader, or loses its majority (e.g. as a result of a by-election), or is defeated in an important vote in the House.


Cabinet

In practice, Government policy is determined by the most senior Ministers meeting in a body known as Cabinet. Such meetings are chaired by the Prime Minister. The Governor-General does not attend such meetings. Cabinet is not a body that is recognised by the formal Constitution, being a conventional part of the constitutional arrangements. Despite this, Cabinet effectively controls not only the legislative programme, but also the Departments of State. In effect, therefore, Cabinet is the dominant political and administrative element in Australia's national government. Ministers not included in Cabinet are referred to collectively as the Outer Ministry.


2.1 COMMONWEALTH MINISTRIES SINCE 1901(a)

Ministry
Period of office
Party

1.
Barton
1 January 1901 to 24 September 1903
PROTECTIONIST
2.
Deakin
24 September 1903 to 27 April 1904
PROTECTIONIST
3.
Watson
27 April 1904 to 17 August 1904
ALP
4.
Reid-McLean
18 August 1904 to 5 July 1905
FREE TRADE-PROTECTIONIST
5.
Deakin
5 July 1905 to 13 November 1908
PROTECTIONIST
6.
Fisher
13 November 1908 to 2 June 1909
ALP
7.
Deakin
2 June 1909 to 29 April 1910
PROTECTIONIST-FREE TRADE-TARIFF REFORM
8.
Fisher
29 April 1910 to 24 June 1913
ALP
9.
Cook
24 June 1913 to 17 September 1914
LIB
10.
Fisher
17 September 1914 to 27 October 1915
ALP
11.
Hughes
27 October 1915 to 14 November 1916
ALP
12.
Hughes
14 November 1916 to 17 February 1917
NATIONALIST LABOUR
13.
Hughes
17 February 1917 to 8 January 1918
NATIONALIST
14.
Hughes
10 January 1918 to 9 February 1923
NATIONALIST
15.
Bruce-Page
9 February 1923 to 22 October 1929
NATIONALIST-CP
16.
Scullin
22 October 1929 to 6 January 1932
ALP
17.
Lyons
6 January 1932 to 7 November 1938
UAP
18.
Lyons
7 November 1938 to 7 April 1939
UAP
19.
Page
7 April 1939 to 26 April 1939
CP-UAP
20.
Menzies
26 April 1939 to 14 March 1940
UAP
21.
Menzies
14 March 1940 to 28 October 1940
UAP-CP
22.
Menzies
28 October 1940 to 29 August 1941
UAP-CP
23.
Fadden
29 August 1941 to 7 October 1941
CP-UAP
24.
Curtin
7 October 1941 to 21 September 1943
ALP
25.
Curtin
21 September 1943 to 6 July 1945
ALP
26.
Forde
6 July 1945 to 13 July 1945
ALP
27.
Chifley
13 July 1945 to 1 November 1946
ALP
28.
Chifley
1 November 1946 to 19 December 1949
ALP
29.
Menzies
19 December 1949 to 11 May 1951
LIB-CP
30.
Menzies
11 May 1951 to 11 January 1956
LIB-CP
31.
Menzies
11 January 1956 to 10 December 1958
LIB-CP
32.
Menzies
10 December 1958 to 18 December 1963
LIB-CP
33.
Menzies
18 December 1963 to 26 January 1966
LIB-CP
34.
Holt
26 January 1966 to 14 December 1966
LIB-CP
35.
Holt
14 December 1966 to 19 December 1967
LIB-CP
36.
McEwen
19 December 1967 to 10 January 1968
LIB-CP
37.
Gorton
10 January 1968 to 28 February 1968
LIB-CP
38.
Gorton
28 February 1968 to 12 November 1969
LIB-CP
39.
Gorton
12 November 1969 to 10 March 1971
LIB-CP
40
McMahon
10 March 1971 to 5 December 1972
LIB-CP
41.
Whitlam
5 December 1972 to 19 December 1972
ALP
42.
Whitlam
19 December 1972 to 11 November 1975
ALP
43.
Fraser
11 November 1975 to 22 December 1975
LIB-CP
44.
Fraser
22 December 1975 to 20 December 1977
LIB-CP
45.
Fraser
20 December 1977 to 3 November 1980
LIB-CP
46.
Fraser
3 November 1980 to 7 May 1982
LIB-CP
47.
Fraser
7 May 1982 to 11 March 1983
LIB-CP
48.
Hawke
11 March 1983 to 13 December 1984
ALP
49.
Hawke
13 December 1984 to 24 July 1987
ALP
50.
Hawke
24 July 1987 to 4 April 1990
ALP
51.
Hawke
4 April 1990 to 20 December 1991
ALP
52.
Keating
20 December 1991 to 24 March 1993
ALP
53.
Keating
24 March 1993 to 11 March 1996
ALP
54.
Howard
11 March 1996 to 21 October 1998
LIB-NPA
55.
Howard
21 October 1998
LIB-NPA

(a) Up to November 2001. At the election on 10 November 2001 the Liberal-National Party coalition was returned to office.

Source: Department of the Parliamentary Library.


Particulars of the Second Howard Ministry, comprising Cabinet Ministers and the Outer Ministry, are shown in table 2.2.

2.2 SECOND HOWARD MINISTRY - At October 2001

CABINET MINISTERS

Prime Minister

The Hon. J. W. Howard, MP

Minister for Transport and Regional Services and Deputy Prime Minister

The Hon. J. D. Anderson, MP

The Hon. A. J. G. Downer, MP

Minister for Foreign Affairs

Treasurer

The Hon. P. H. Costello, MP

The Hon. M. A. Vaile, MP

Minister for Trade
Minister for the Environment and Heritage and Leader of the Government in the Senate
Senator the Hon. R. M. Hill

Senator the Hon. R. K. R. Alston
Minister for Communications, Information Technology and the Arts, and Deputy Leader of the Government in the Senate
Minister for Defence, and Leader of the House
The Hon. P. K. Reith, MP


The Hon. M. R. L. Wooldridge, MP

Minister for Health and Aged Care

Minister for Finance and Administration

The Hon. J. J. Fahey, MP
Minister for Education,Training and Youth Affairs and Minister Assisting the Prime Minister for the Public Service, and Vice-President of the Executive Council
The Hon. Dr D. A. Kemp, MP

Minister for Industry, Science and Resources

The Hon. N. H. Minchin, MP

The Hon. D. R. Williams, AM, QC, MP

Attorney-General

Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry

The Hon. W. E. Truss, MP
Minister for Immigration and Multicultural Affairs and Minister Assisting the Prime Minister for Reconciliation and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Affairs
The Hon. P. M. Ruddock, MP

Minister for Family and Community Services and Minister Assisting the Prime Minister for the Status of Women
Senator the Hon. A. E. Vanstone

Minister for Employment, Workplace Relations and Small Business
The Hon. A. J. Abbott, MP

OUTER MINISTRY
Minister for Forestry and Conservation, and Minister Assisting the Prime Minister
The Hon. C.W. Tuckey, MP
Minister for Regional Services, Territories and Local Government
Senator the Hon. I. D. Macdonald
Assistant Treasurer
Senator the Hon. C. R. Kemp
Minister for Financial Services and Regulation
The Hon. J. B. Hockey, MP
Minister for the Arts and the Centenary of Federation, and Deputy Leader of the House
The Hon. P. J. McGauran, MP
Minister for Veterans' Affairs and Minister Assisting the Minister for Defence
The Hon. B. C. Scott, MP
Minister for Aged Care
The Hon. B. K. Bishop, MP
Special Minister of State
Senator the Hon. E. Abetz
Minister for Sport and Tourism
The Hon. J. M. Kelly, MP
Minister for Justice and Customs
Senator the Hon. C. M. Ellison
Minister for Community Services
The Hon. L. J. Anthony, MP
Minister for Employment Services
The Hon. M.T. Brough, MP
Minister for Small Business
The Hon. I. E. Macfarlane, MP
Parliamentary Secretary to the Cabinet
Senator the Hon. W. D. Heffernan
Parliamentary Secretary to the Minster for Transport and Regional Services
Senator the Hon. R. L. D. Boswell
Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for the Environment and Heritage
The Hon. Dr S. N. Stone, MP
Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Communications, Information Technology and the Arts, and Manager of Government Business in the Senate
Senator the Hon. I. G. Campbell
Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Defence
The Hon. Dr B. J. Nelson, MP
Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Health and Aged Care
Senator the Hon. G. E. J. Tambling
Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Finance and Administration
The Hon. P. N. Slipper, MP
Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Education, Training and Youth Affairs
The Hon. P. M. Worth, MP
Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Industry, Science and Resources
Mr W. G. Entsch, MP
Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Reconciliation and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Affairs
The Hon. C. A. Gallus, MP
Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry
Senator the Hon. J. M. Troeth


Source: Department of the Parliamentary Library.


Previous PageNext Page

Bookmark and Share. Opens in a new window


Commonwealth of Australia 2014

Unless otherwise noted, content on this website is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 2.5 Australia Licence together with any terms, conditions and exclusions as set out in the website Copyright notice. For permission to do anything beyond the scope of this licence and copyright terms contact us.