Deputy Prime Minister of Australia

Last updated

Deputy Prime Minister of Australia
Coat of Arms of Australia.svg
Flag of Australia (converted).svg
The Member for New England, Barnaby Joyce (cropped).jpg
Incumbent
Barnaby Joyce

since 22 June 2021
Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet
Style The Honourable
Member of Parliament
Cabinet
Federal Executive Council
Reports to Prime Minister of Australia
Seat Canberra
NominatorPrime Minister
Appointer Governor-General of Australia
on the advice of the prime minister
Term length At the Governor-General's pleasure
Formation10 January 1968 (first gazetted)
First holder John McEwen
SalaryAU$416,212 (since 2017)
Website https://minister.infrastructure.gov.au/joyce

The Deputy Prime Minister of Australia is the deputy chief executive and the second highest ranking officer of the government of Australia. The office of deputy prime minister was officially created as a ministerial portfolio in 1968, although the title had been used informally for many years previously. The Deputy Prime Minister is appointed by the Governor-General on the advice of the Prime Minister. When Australia has a Labor government, the deputy leader of the parliamentary party holds the position of Deputy Prime Minister. When Australia has a Coalition government, the Coalition Agreement mandates that all Coalition members support the leader of the Liberal Party becoming Prime Minister and mandates that the leader of the National Party be selected as Deputy Prime Minister. [1]

Contents

The present office-holder, Barnaby Joyce, was elected to the position when he became leader of the National Party of Australia at the leadership election held on Monday 21 June 2021. Predecessor, Michael McCormack returned to the backbench after losing leadership of the party. This is Barnaby Joyce's second run as Leader of the National Party and Deputy Prime Minister of Australia, after resigning the position initially in 2018.

The 2017–18 Australian parliamentary eligibility crisis resulted in the position being made vacant for the first time since its official creation. Barnaby Joyce, the then-incumbent, was ruled ineligible to be a member of parliament by the High Court of Australia sitting as the Court of Disputed Returns on 27 October 2017, as he held New Zealand citizenship at the time of his election in contravention of Section 44 of the Constitution of Australia Julie Bishop would act in the place of the Prime Minister during the vacancy in the deputy premiership. [2] [3] Joyce regained the position on 6 December 2017 [4] after he won the by-election for the seat of New England several days earlier. [3]

History

Prime Minister John McEwen with John Gorton on 9 January 1968. The following day, Gorton was sworn in as Prime Minister, and McEwen became the inaugural Deputy Prime Minister. McEwen And Gorton.jpg
Prime Minister John McEwen with John Gorton on 9 January 1968. The following day, Gorton was sworn in as Prime Minister, and McEwen became the inaugural Deputy Prime Minister.

Originally the position of deputy Prime Minister was an unofficial or honorary position accorded to the second-highest ranking minister in the government. The unofficial position acquired more significance following the 1922 federal election, which saw the governing Nationalist Party lose its parliamentary majority. The Nationalists eventually reached a coalition agreement with the Country Party, which called for Country Party leader Earle Page to take the second rank in the Nationalist-led ministry of Stanley Bruce. While Page's only official title was Treasurer, he was considered as a deputy to Bruce. [5]

From then until 1968, the Coalition agreement between the Liberals (and their predecessors) and Country Party called for the leader of the Country Party (subsequently the National Party) to rank second in Cabinet. That continues to be case when the Coalition is in government. [1] In the case of Labor governments, the party's deputy leader ranks second in Cabinet.

On 19 December 1967, John McEwen, the long-serving leader of the Country Party in the Coalition government, was sworn in as interim Prime Minister following the sudden death in office of Prime Minister Harold Holt. (There was discussion that deputy Liberal leader and Treasurer William McMahon should assume the office. McMahon had planned a party room meeting on 20 December to elect a new leader, intending to stand for the position himself. However, this was pre-empted by McEwen who publicly declared on the morning of 18 December that he would not serve in a McMahon government.) McEwen was sworn in as prime minister on the understanding that his commission would continue only so long as it took for the Liberals to elect a new leader. Governor-General Lord Casey also accepted the view put to him by McEwen that to commission a Liberal temporarily as Prime Minister would give that person an unfair advantage in the forthcoming party room ballot for the permanent leader. McEwen's appointment was in keeping with the previous occasion when the main non-Labor party was without a leader; Earle Page of the Country Party was interim prime minister between 7 and 26 April 1939—the period between Joseph Lyons' sudden death and the United Australia Party naming Robert Menzies his successor.

The Liberal leadership ballot was rescheduled for 9 January 1968. As it turned out, McMahon did not stand, and Senator John Gorton was elected, replacing McEwen as prime minister on 10 January 1968. [6] McEwen reverted to his previous status as the second-ranking member of the government, as per the Coalition agreement. He had unofficially been deputy prime minister since becoming Country Party leader in 1958, and since 1966 had exercised an effective veto over government policy by virtue of being the longest-serving member of the government; he had been a member of the Coalition frontbench without interruption since 1937. To acknowledge McEwen's long service and his status as the second-ranking member of the government, Gorton formally created the post of Deputy Prime Minister, with McEwen as the first holder of the post.

According to parliamentary records, in the time before the position of deputy prime minister was officially created, the position was known as "deputy leader of the Government." [7]

Since 1968 only two deputy prime ministers have gone on to become prime minister: Paul Keating and Julia Gillard. In both cases, they succeeded incumbent prime ministers who lost the support of their party caucus mid-term and their election as party leader preceded their predecessor's resignations and their subsequent appointments as prime minister. Frank Forde, who had been deputy Labor leader when John Curtin died, was interim prime minister between 6 and 13 July 1945, when a leadership ballot took place that elected Ben Chifley as Curtin's successor.

In November 2007, when the Australian Labor Party won government, Julia Gillard became Australia's first female, and first foreign-born, deputy prime minister.

In 2017, the position became vacant for a period of 40 days, the only time in its history when it has been unoccupied. As part of the 2017–18 Australian parliamentary eligibility crisis, it emerged that the then-incumbent Barnaby Joyce was a citizen of New Zealand by descent ( jus sanguinis by right of blood) at the time of the 2016 federal election. [8] Joyce told the House of Representatives that he was advised of his citizenship status on 10 August 2017 by the New Zealand High Commission [9] and his renunciation of his dual citizenship became effective on 15 August 2017. [10] Nevertheless, he asked for his case to be referred to the High Court of Australia (sitting as the Court of Disputed Returns) for adjudication, [8] and they ruled that his election was invalid under section 44 of the Constitution of Australia. [2] [3] The government immediately issued writs for a by-election for the seat of New England to be held on 2 December 2017, which Joyce won easily. [3] Governor-General Sir Peter Cosgrove re-appointed Joyce as deputy prime minister on 6 December 2017. [4]

In practice, only National party leaders or Labor Party deputy leaders have held the position.

Duties

The Deputy Prime Minister has always been a member of the Cabinet, and has always held at least one substantive portfolio.[ citation needed ] It would be technically possible for a minister to hold only the portfolio of Deputy Prime Minister, but this has never happened.[ citation needed ]

Succession

The Deputy Prime Minister becomes Acting Prime Minister if the Prime Minister is unable to undertake their role for a short time, for example if they are ill, overseas or on leave (and if both are unavailable, then another senior minister takes on this role). [11] If the Prime Minister were to die, then the Deputy Prime Minister would be appointed Prime Minister by the Governor-General, until the government votes for another member to be its leader. [11]

Salary

Members of parliament receive a base salary of $203,030, which is set by the Remuneration Tribunal (an independent statutory authority). Ministers receive an additional amount, which is determined by the government itself based on the recommendations of the Remuneration Tribunal. [12] The deputy prime minister receives an additional 105 percent of the base salary, making for a total salary of $416,212. [13] The holder of the office also receives various other allowances and entitlements. [12]

List of deputy prime ministers of Australia

The following individuals have been officially appointed as deputy prime minister of Australia since the office of deputy prime minister was created as a ministerial portfolio in 1968: [14] [15]

No.PortraitDeputy Prime MinisterPolitical Party
and position
Portfolio(s)Term of officePrime Minister
Took officeLeft officeTime in office
 1 Sir John McEwen.jpg John McEwen Country
Leader 1958–71
Trade and Industry 10 January 19685 February 19713 years, 26 days  John Gorton
 2 Doug Anthony 1970.png Doug Anthony Country
Leader 1971–84
Trade and Industry 5 February 19715 December 19721 year, 304 days 
  William McMahon
 3 Lance Barnard 1970 (cropped).jpg Lance Barnard Labor
Deputy Leader 1967–74
Defence 5 December 197212 June 19741 year, 189 days  Gough Whitlam
4  Jim Cairns.jpg Jim Cairns Labor
Deputy Leader 1974–75
Treasurer 12 June 19742 July 19751 year, 20 days
 5 FrankCrean1967.jpg Frank Crean Labor
Deputy Leader 1975
Overseas Trade 2 July 197511 November 1975132 days
 (2) Doug Anthony.jpg Doug Anthony Country National
Leader 1971–84
Trade and Industry 12 November 197511 March 19837 years, 119 days  Malcolm Fraser
 6 Lionel Bowen.jpg Lionel Bowen Labor
Deputy Leader 1977–90
Trade
Attorney-General
11 March 19834 April 19907 years, 24 days  Bob Hawke
 7 Keating Paul BANNER.jpg Paul Keating Labor
Deputy Leader 1990–91
Treasurer 4 April 19903 June 19911 year, 60 days 
 8 Second Keating Cabinet 1994 (cropped Howe).jpg Brian Howe Labor
Deputy Leader 1991–95
Health
Housing
Community Services
Local Government
Regional Affairs
3 June 199120 June 19954 years, 17 days 
  Paul Keating
 9 Kim Beazley crop.jpg Kim Beazley Labor
Deputy Leader 1995–96
Finance 20 June 199511 March 1996265 days 
 10 Tim Fischer.jpg Tim Fischer National
Leader 1990–99
Trade 11 March 199620 July 19993 years, 131 days  John Howard
 11 John Anderson at Newstead (cropped).jpg John Anderson National
Leader 1999–2005
Transport and Regional Development 20 July 19996 July 20055 years, 351 days
 12 Mark Vaile (TM).jpg Mark Vaile National
Leader 2005–7
Trade
Transport and Regional Services
6 July 20053 December 20072 years, 150 days
 13 Julia Gillard 2010.jpg Julia Gillard Labor
Deputy Leader 2006–10
Employment and Workplace Relations
Education
Social Inclusion
3 December 200724 June 20102 years, 203 days  Kevin Rudd
14  Treasurer Wayne Swan, 2009, crop.jpg Wayne Swan Labor
Deputy Leader 2010–13
Treasurer 24 June 201027 June 20133 years, 3 days  Julia Gillard
 15 Anthony Albanese.jpg Anthony Albanese Labor
Deputy Leader 2013
Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy
Infrastructure and Transport
27 June 201318 September 201383 days Kevin Rudd
 16 Warren Truss Portrait 2010.jpg Warren Truss National
Leader 2007–16
Infrastructure and Regional Development 18 September 201318 February 20162 years, 153 days  Tony Abbott
Malcolm Turnbull
 17 Barnaby Joyce Portrait 2010.jpg Barnaby Joyce National
Leader 2016–18
Agriculture and Water Resources
Resources and Northern Australia
18 February 201627 October 20172 years, 8 days
Infrastructure and Transport 6 December 201726 February 2018
 18 Michael McCormack 2018-02 (cropped).jpg Michael McCormack National
Leader 2018–2021
Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development 26 February 201822 June 20213 years, 227 days
Scott Morrison
 (17) Barnaby Joyce Portrait 2010.jpg Barnaby Joyce National
Leader 2021–present
Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development
22 June 2021Incumbent110 days

Living former deputy prime ministers

As of October 2021, there are 10 living former deputy prime ministers of Australia, the oldest being Brian Howe (born 1936). The most recent former deputy prime minister to die was Doug Anthony (1971–72, 1975–83), on 20 December 2020.

Informal deputy prime ministers

The office of Deputy Prime Minister was created in January 1968 but prior to that time the term was used unofficially for the second-highest ranking minister in the government.

NamePictureTerm of officePolitical party and positionMinisterial OfficesPrime Minister
Alfred Deakin AlfredDeakinA-G.jpg 19011903 Protectionist Party
Deputy Leader 1901–03
Attorney-General
Acting Prime Minister 1902
Edmund Barton
William Lyne Williamlyne.jpg 19031904Protectionist Party
Deputy Leader 1901–09
Minister for Trade and Customs Alfred Deakin
Gregor McGregor Gregor McGregor1.jpg 19041904 Australian Labor Party
Deputy Leader 1901–14
Vice-President of the Executive Council Chris Watson
Allan McLean 19Allanmclean.jpg 19041905 Protectionist Party Minister for Trade and Customs George Reid
William Lyne Williamlyne.jpg 19051908Protectionist Party
Deputy Leader 1901–09
Minister for Trade and Customs
Treasurer
Alfred Deakin
Gregor McGregor Gregor McGregor1.jpg 19081909Australian Labor Party
Deputy Leader 1901–14
Vice-President of the Executive Council Andrew Fisher
Joseph Cook Joseph Cook - Broothorn Studios.jpg 19091910 Commonwealth Liberal Party
Deputy Leader 1909–13
Minister for Defence Alfred Deakin
Gregor McGregor Gregor McGregor1.jpg 19101913Australian Labor Party
Deputy Leader 1901–14
Vice-President of the Executive Council Andrew Fisher
John Forrest JohnForrest1909.jpg 19131914Commonwealth Liberal Party
Deputy Leader 1913–16
Treasurer Joseph Cook
Billy Hughes Billy Hughes 1915.jpg 19141915Australian Labor Party
Deputy Leader 1914–15
Attorney-General
Acting Prime Minister 1915
Andrew Fisher
George Pearce Sir George Pearce.jpg 19151916Australian Labor Party
Deputy Leader 1915–16
Minister for Defence
Acting Prime Minister 1916
Billy Hughes
19161917 National Labor Party
Deputy Leader 1916–17
William Watt 24Williamwatt.jpg 19181920 Nationalist
Deputy Leader 1918–20
Treasurer
Acting Prime Minister 1918–19
Joseph Cook Sir Joseph Cook.jpg 19171921 Nationalist
Deputy Leader 1920–21
Minister for the Navy
Treasurer
acting Prime Minister May–September 1921
Earle Page Earle Page 1920.jpg 19231929 Country Party
Leader 1921–39
Treasurer Stanley Bruce
Ted Theodore Ted Theodore 1931.jpg 19291932Australian Labor Party
Deputy Leader 1929–32
Treasurer James Scullin
James Fenton James Fenton.jpg 19301931Australian Labor Party
Temporary Leader 1929–32
Acting Prime Minister 1930–31 James Scullin
John Latham Johnlatham.jpg 19321934 United Australia Party
Deputy Leader 1932–34
Attorney-General
Minister for External Affairs
Minister for Industry
Joseph Lyons
George Pearce Sir George Pearce.jpg 19341934United Australia Party
Deputy Leader 1934
Minister for External Affairs
Minister in Charge of Territories
Earle Page Earle Page.jpg 19341939Country Party
Leader 1921–39
Minister for Commerce
Minister for Health
Archie Cameron Archie Cameron 1940.jpg 19401940Country Party
Leader 1939–40
Postmaster-General
Minister for Commerce
Minister for the Navy
Robert Menzies
Arthur Fadden FaddenPEO.jpg 19401941Country Party
Leader 1940–58
Minister for the Air
Minister for Civil Aviation
Treasurer
Acting Prime Minister 1940
Robert Menzies Robert Menzies in 1939.jpg 19411941United Australia Party
Leader 1939–41
Minister for Defence Co-ordination Arthur Fadden
Frank Forde Frank Forde 1941 crop.jpg 19411946Australian Labor Party
Deputy Leader 1932–46
Minister for the Army
Minister for Defence
Acting Prime Minister April–July 1944, November 1944 – January 1945, Prime Minister for one week in 1945
John Curtin
Ben Chifley
H. V. Evatt Herbert V. Evatt.jpg 19461949Australian Labor Party
Deputy Leader 1946–51
Minister for External Affairs
Attorney-General
Arthur Fadden Arthur Fadden.jpg 19491958Country Party
Leader 1940–58
Treasurer Robert Menzies
John McEwen John McEwen 1957.jpg 19581967Country Party
Leader 1958–71
Minister for Trade and Industry
Acting Prime Minister June–July 1965
Harold Holt

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References

  1. 1 2 Koziol, Michael; Bagshaw, Eryk (16 February 2018). "Why can't Malcolm Turnbull sack Barnaby Joyce?". The Sydney Morning Herald . Fairfax Media . Retrieved 24 February 2018.
  2. 1 2 Massola, James (27 October 2017). "High Court citizenship verdict: Barnaby Joyce facing byelection in hammer blow to Turnbull government". The Sydney Morning Herald . Fairfax Media . Retrieved 27 October 2017.
  3. 1 2 3 4 Green, Antony (2017). "2017 New England by-election Guide". ABC News (Online). News and Current Affairs Division of the Australian Broadcasting Corporation . Retrieved 24 February 2018.
    Green, Antony (15 January 2018). "2017 New England by-election Commentary". ABC News (Online). News and Current Affairs Division of the Australian Broadcasting Corporation . Retrieved 24 February 2018.
  4. 1 2 Murphy, Jamieson (6 December 2017). "Barnaby Joyce is once again the Deputy Prime Minister after being sworn in". Northern Daily Leader . Rural Press . Retrieved 24 February 2018.
  5. PrimeFacts: Deputy Prime Ministers of Australia
  6. http://primeministers.naa.gov.au/primeministers/mcmahon/before-office.aspx [ bare URL ]
  7. https://parlinfo.aph.gov.au/parlInfo/search/display/display.w3p;query=Id:%22handbook/allmps/DTN%22;querytype=;rec=0 [ bare URL ]
  8. 1 2 Gartrell, Adam; Remeikis, Amy (14 August 2017). "Barnaby Joyce refers himself to High Court over potential dual citizenship". The Sydney Morning Herald . Fairfax Media . Retrieved 26 February 2018.
  9. Barnaby Joyce, Deputy Prime Minister (14 August 2017). "Parliamentary Representation" (PDF). Parliamentary Debates (Hansard) . Commonwealth of Australia: House of Representatives. p. 8185. Retrieved 26 February 2018. Last Thursday afternoon the New Zealand High Commission contacted me to advise that, on the basis of preliminary advice from their Department of Internal Affairs, which had received inquiries from the New Zealand Labour Party, they considered that I may be a citizen by descent of New Zealand.
  10. Vielleris, Renee (15 August 2017). "Documentary evidence Barnaby Joyce has renounced his NZ citizenship". news.com.au . News Corp Australia . Retrieved 26 February 2018.
  11. 1 2 "Does Australia have a parliamentary line of succession to the Prime Minister and if so, what is the order?". Parliamentary Education Office. Retrieved 18 August 2021.
  12. 1 2 Determination 2017/23: Members of Parliament, Remuneration Tribunal. Retrieved 20 February 2018.
  13. Report on Ministers of State - Salaries Additional to the Basic Parliamentary Salary, Remuneration Tribunal. Retrieved 20 February 2018.
  14. "Ministries and Cabinets". 43rd Parliamentary Handbook: Historical information on the Australian Parliament. Parliament of Australia. 2010. Archived from the original on 13 August 2014. Retrieved 9 July 2013.
  15. "Deputy Prime Ministers of Australia" (PDF). Museum of Australian Democracy. Retrieved 27 July 2013.