Premier of Queensland

Last updated

Premier of Queensland
Coat of Arms of Queensland.svg
Flag of Queensland.svg
Annastacia Palaszczuk 2016.jpg
Annastacia Palaszczuk

since 14 February 2015
Department of the Premier and Cabinet
Status Head of Government
Member of
Reports to Parliament
Seat 1 William Street, Brisbane
Appointer Governor of Queensland
by convention, based on appointee's ability to command confidence in the Legislative Assembly
Term length At the Governor's pleasure
contingent on the premier's ability to command confidence in the house of Parliament
Constituting instrumentNone (constitutional convention)
Formation10 December 1859
First holder Robert Herbert
Deputy Deputy Premier of Queensland
Salary AU$407,954 (as of 1 September 2021) [1] [lower-alpha 1]

The premier of Queensland is the head of government in the Australian state of Queensland.


By convention the premier is the leader of the party with a parliamentary majority in the unicameral Legislative Assembly of Queensland. The premier is appointed by the Governor of Queensland.

The incumbent premier of Queensland since the 2015 election is Annastacia Palaszczuk of the Labor Party.

Constitutional role

Under section 42 of the Constitution of Queensland the premier and other members of Cabinet are appointed by the Governor and are collectively responsible to Parliament. The text of the Constitution assigns to the premier certain powers, such as the power to assign roles (s. 25) to Assistant Ministers (formerly known as Parliamentary Secretaries), and to appoint Ministers as acting Ministers (s. 45) for a period of 14 days.

In practice, under the conventions of the Westminster System followed in Queensland, the premier's power is derived from two sources: command of a majority in the Legislative Assembly, and the premier's role as chair of Cabinet, determining the appointment and roles of Ministers. Although ministerial appointments are the prerogative of the Governor of Queensland, in normal circumstances the Governor will make these appointments under the "advice" (in reality, direction) of the premier.

Immediately following an election for the Legislative Assembly, the Governor will call on the leader of the party which commands a majority in the Legislative Assembly, and ask them to commission a government. A re-elected government will be resworn, with adjustments to the ministry as determined by the premier.

Premier's office

The premier has an office in the Executive Annexe of Parliament House, Brisbane, which is normally used while Parliament is sitting. At other times the premier's ministerial office is in 1 William Street, which is across the road from the Executive Annexe.

List of premiers of Queensland

Before the 1890s, there was no developed party system in Queensland. Political affiliation labels before that time indicate a general tendency only. Before the end of the first decade of the twentieth century, political parties were more akin to parliamentary factions, and were fluid, informal and disorganised by modern standards.



Left officeTerm of officePartyConstituencyElection(s) won
1 Robert Herbert Queensland State Archives 2954 Portrait of The Honourable Sir Robert George Wyndham Herbert Premier of Queensland c 1862.png 10 December 18591 February 18666 years, 53 daysSquatter Conservative Leichhardt 1860
2 Arthur Macalister Arthur Macalister.jpg 1 February 186620 July 1866169 daysNone Town of Ipswich -
(1) Robert Herbert Queensland State Archives 2954 Portrait of The Honourable Sir Robert George Wyndham Herbert Premier of Queensland c 1862.png 20 July 18667 August 186618 daysSquatter Conservative West Moreton -
(2) Arthur Macalister Arthur Macalister.jpg 7 August 186615 August 18671 year, 8 daysNone Town of Ipswich -
3 Robert Mackenzie RobertRamsayMackenzie.jpg 15 August 186725 November 18681 year, 102 daysSquatter Conservative Burnett 1867
4 Charles Lilley Charles Lilley.jpg 25 November 18682 May 18701 year, 158 daysNone Hamlet of Fortitude Valley 1868
5 Arthur Palmer Arthur Hunter Palmer.jpg 3 May 18707 January 18743 years, 249 daysSquatter Conservative Port Curtis 1870
(2) Arthur Macalister, CMG Arthur Macalister.jpg 8 January 18745 June 18762 years, 149 daysNone Ipswich 1873
6 George Thorn George Thorn.jpg 5 June 18768 March 1877276 daysNone Ipswich -
7 John Douglas, CMG John Douglas.jpg 8 March 187721 January 18791 year, 227 daysNone Maryborough -
8 Sir Thomas McIlwraith, KCMG Thomas McIlwraith.jpg 21 January 187913 November 18834 years, 296 daysConservative Mulgrave 1878
9 Sir Samuel Griffith, KCMG , QC SGriff1.jpg 13 November 188313 June 18884 years, 213 daysLiberal North Brisbane 1883
(8) Sir Thomas McIlwraith, KCMG Thomas McIlwraith.jpg 13 June 188830 November 1888170 daysConservative Brisbane North -
10 Boyd Dunlop Morehead Boyd Morehead.jpg 30 November 188812 August 18901 year, 255 daysConservative Balonne 1888
(9) Sir Samuel Griffith, KCMG , QC SGriff1.jpg 12 August 189027 March 18932 years, 227 daysLiberal North Brisbane -
(8) Sir Thomas McIlwraith, KCMG Thomas McIlwraith.jpg 27 March 189327 October 1893214 daysConservative Brisbane North 1893
11 Sir Hugh Nelson, KCMG Sir Hugh Nelson.jpg 27 October 189313 April 18984 years, 168 days Ministerial Murilla 1896
12 Thomas Joseph Byrnes Thomas Joseph Byrnes.jpg 13 April 18981 October 1898171 days Ministerial Warwick -
13 James Dickson James Robert Dickson.jpg 1 October 18981 December 18991 year, 61 days Ministerial Bulimba 1899
14 Anderson Dawson AndersonDawson.jpg 1 December 18997 December 18996 days Labour Charters Towers -
15 Robert Philp Queensland State Archives 3062 Portrait of The Honourable Sir Robert Philp Premier of Queensland c 1900.png 7 December 189917 September 19033 years, 284 days Ministerial Townsville 1902
16 Arthur Morgan Sir Arthur Morgan.jpg 17 September 190319 January 19062 years, 124 daysLiberal Warwick 1904
17 William Kidston William Kidston.jpg 19 January 190619 November 19071 year, 304 days Labor South Brisbane 1907
(15) Robert Philp Queensland State Archives 3062 Portrait of The Honourable Sir Robert Philp Premier of Queensland c 1900.png 19 November 190718 February 190891 daysConservative Townsville -
(17) William Kidston William Kidston.jpg 18 February 19087 February 19112 years, 354 days Kidston; Liberal Rockhampton 1908
18 Digby Denham Digby Denham.jpg 7 February 19111 June 19154 years, 114 days Liberal Oxley 1912
19 T. J. Ryan, KC TJRyanPortrait.jpg 1 June 191522 October 19194 years, 143 days Labor Barcoo 1915
20 Ted Theodore Ted Theodore 1931.jpg 22 October 191926 February 19255 years, 127 days Labor Chillagoe 1920
21 William Gillies William Gillies 1920.jpg 26 February 192522 October 1925238 days Labor Eacham -
22 William McCormack William McCormack.jpg 22 October 192521 May 19293 years, 211 days Labor Cairns 1926
23 Arthur Edward Moore Arthur Edward Moore.jpg 21 May 192917 June 19323 years, 27 days CPNP Aubigny 1929
24 William Forgan Smith William Forgan Smith.jpg 17 June 193216 September 194210 years, 91 days Labor Mackay 1932
25 Frank Arthur Cooper Frank Cooper, circa 1949.jpg 16 September 19427 March 19463 years, 172 days Labor Bremer 1944
26 Ned Hanlon Queensland State Archives 4694 Premier Hanlon MLA c 1952.png 7 March 194617 January 19525 years, 316 days Labor Ithaca 1947
27 Vince Gair Queensland State Archives 4750 Hon VC Gair Premier of Queensland c 1953.png 17 January 195212 August 19575 years, 207 days Labor South Brisbane 1953
Queensland Labor
28 Frank Nicklin, MM Frank Nicklin 1963.jpg 12 August 195717 January 196810 years, 158 days Country Landsborough 1957
29 Jack Pizzey Jack Pizzey 1968.jpg 17 January 19681 August 1968197 days Country Isis -
30 Gordon Chalk Gordon Chalk 1963.jpg 1 August 19688 August 19687 days Liberal Lockyer -
31 Sir Joh Bjelke-Petersen, KCMG
(knighted in 1984)
Joh Bjelke-Petersen.jpg 8 August 19681 December 198719 years, 115 days Country/National Barambah 1969
32 Mike Ahern Mike Ahern, Parliament House, Brisbane City, October 1988.jpg 1 December 198725 September 19891 year, 298 days National Landsborough -
33 Russell Cooper No image.png 25 September 19897 December 198984 days National Roma -
34 Wayne Goss Wayne Goss.png 7 December 198919 February 19966 years, 74 days Labor Logan 1989
35 Rob Borbidge No image.png 19 February 199620 June 19982 years, 121 days National Surfers Paradise -
36 Peter Beattie Peter Beattie, BYCC, August 2013 (cropped).jpg 20 June 199813 September 20079 years, 85 days Labor Brisbane Central 1998
37 Anna Bligh Anna Bligh crop.jpg 13 September 200726 March 20124 years, 195 days Labor South Brisbane 2009
38 Campbell Newman Campbell Newman being interviewed (cropped).jpg 26 March 201214 February 20152 years, 325 days Liberal National Ashgrove 2012
39 Annastacia Palaszczuk Annastacia Palaszczuk 2016.jpg 14 February 2015Incumbent6 years, 257 days Labor Inala 2015

Living former premiers

As of February 2015, six former premiers are alive, the oldest being Russell Cooper (1989, born 1941). The most recent premier to die was Wayne Goss (1951–2014), on 10 November 2014.

NameTerm as premierDate of birth
Mike Ahern 1987–19892 June 1942 (age 79)
Russell Cooper 19894 February 1941 (age 80)
Rob Borbidge 1996–199812 August 1954 (age 67)
Peter Beattie 1998–200718 November 1952 (age 68)
Anna Bligh 2007–201214 July 1960 (age 61)
Campbell Newman 2012–201512 August 1963 (age 58)

Graphical timeline

Annastacia PalaszczukCampbell NewmanAnna BlighPeter BeattieRob BorbidgeWayne GossRussell CooperMichael Ahern (Australian politician)Joh Bjelke-PetersenGordon ChalkJack PizzeyFrancis NicklinVince GairNed Hanlon (politician)Frank CooperWilliam Forgan SmithArthur Edward MooreWilliam McCormackWilliam Gillies (Australian politician)Ted TheodoreT. J. RyanDigby DenhamWilliam KidstonArthur Morgan (Queensland politician)Robert PhilpAnderson DawsonJames DicksonThomas Joseph ByrnesHugh NelsonBoyd MoreheadSamuel GriffithThomas McIlwraithJohn Douglas (Queensland politician)George ThornArthur Hunter PalmerCharles LilleyRobert Mackenzie (Queensland politician)Arthur MacalisterRobert HerbertWorld War IIWorld War IPremier of Queensland

See also

Related Research Articles

Prime minister Most senior minister of cabinet in the executive branch of government in a parliamentary system

A prime minister is the head of the cabinet and the leader of the ministers in the executive branch of government, often in a parliamentary or semi-presidential system. Under those systems, a prime minister is not the head of state or a monarch, but rather the head of government, serving typically under a monarch in a democratic constitutional monarchy or under a president in a republican form of government.

Prime Minister of Australia Australian head of government

The prime minister of Australia is the head of government of Australia. The prime minister is the leader of the federal government and is also accountable to federal parliament under the principles of responsible government. The incumbent prime minister is Scott Morrison, who took office in August 2018 as leader of the Liberal Party.

Prime Minister of Canada Head of government of Canada

The prime minister of Canada is the first minister of the Crown. The prime minister acts as the head of government for Canada, chairs and selects the membership of the Cabinet, and advises the Crown on the exercise of executive power and much of the royal prerogative. As prime ministers hold office by virtue of their ability to command the confidence of the elected House of Commons, they typically sit as a member of Parliament (MP) and lead the largest party or a coalition in the House of Commons.

Prime Minister of the United Kingdom Head of Government of the United Kingdom

The prime minister of the United Kingdom is the head of government in the United Kingdom. The prime minister chairs the Cabinet and selects its ministers, and advises the sovereign on the exercise of much of the royal prerogative. As modern prime ministers hold office by virtue of their ability to command the confidence of the House of Commons, they typically sit as a member of Parliament and lead the largest party or a coalition in the House of Commons.

Westminster system Democratic parliamentary system of government

The Westminster system or Westminster model is a type of parliamentary government that incorporates a series of procedures for operating a legislature. This concept was first developed in England.

Politics of Barbados

The politics of Barbados function within a framework of constitutional monarchy and a parliamentary government with strong democratic traditions; constitutional safeguards for nationals of Barbados include: freedom of speech, press, worship, movement, and association.

Prime Minister of New Zealand Head of the New Zealand government

The prime minister of New Zealand is the head of government of New Zealand. The incumbent prime minister, Jacinda Ardern, leader of the New Zealand Labour Party, took office on 26 October 2017.

In a parliamentary or semi-presidential system of government, a reserve power is a power that may be exercised by the head of state without the approval of another branch or part of the government. Unlike in a presidential system of government, the head of state is generally constrained by the cabinet or the legislature in a parliamentary system, and most reserve powers are usable only in certain exceptional circumstances. In some countries, reserve powers go by another name; for instance, the reserve powers of the President of Ireland are called discretionary powers.

A constitutional convention is an informal and uncodified procedural agreement that is followed by the institutions of a state. In some states, notably those Commonwealth of Nations states that follow the Westminster system and whose political systems derive from British constitutional law, most government functions are guided by constitutional convention rather than by a formal written constitution. In these states, actual distribution of power may be markedly different from those the formal constitutional documents describe. In particular, the formal constitution often confers wide discretionary powers on the head of state that, in practice, are used only on the advice of the head of government, and in some cases not at all.

Premier of Ontario First minister of the government of Ontario

The premier of Ontario is the first minister of the Crown. The premier acts as the head of government for Ontario, chairs and selects the membership of the Cabinet, and advises the Crown on the exercise of executive power and much of the royal prerogative; together with the Cabinet, the premier manages the Government of Ontario.

Prime Minister of Barbados

The prime minister of Barbados is the head of government of Barbados. The prime minister is appointed by Elizabeth II, Queen of Barbados under the terms of the 1966 Constitution. As the nominal holder of executive authority, the governor-general holds responsibility for conducting parliamentary elections and for proclaiming one of the candidates as Prime Minister.

Parliament of Victoria

The Parliament of Victoria is the bicameral legislature of the Australian state of Victoria that follows a Westminster-derived parliamentary system. It consists of the Queen, represented by the Governor of Victoria, the Legislative Assembly and the Legislative Council. It has a fused executive drawn from members of both chambers. The parliament meets at Parliament House in the state capital Melbourne. The current Parliament was elected on 24 November 2018, sworn in on 19 December 2018 and is the 59th parliament in Victoria.

Queensland Government State government of Queensland, Australia

The Queensland Government is the executive administrative authority of the Australian state of Queensland. The Government of Queensland, a parliamentary constitutional monarchy was formed in 1859 as prescribed in its Constitution, as amended from time to time. Since the Federation of Australia in 1901, Queensland has been a State of Australia, with the Constitution of Australia regulating the relationships between all state and territory governments and the Australian Government. Under the Australian Constitution, all states and territories ceded powers relating to certain matters to the federal government.

Parliament of Queensland

The Parliament of Queensland is the legislature of Queensland, Australia. As provided under the Constitution of Queensland, the Parliament consists of the Monarch of Australia and the Legislative Assembly. It has been the only unicameral state legislature in the country since the upper chamber, the Legislative Council, was abolished in 1922. The Legislative Assembly sits in Parliament House in the state capital, Brisbane.

Cabinet of Singapore Executive branch of the Singapore government

The Cabinet of Singapore forms the executive branch of the Singapore Government together with the President. It is led by the Prime Minister who is the head of government. The Prime Minister is a Member of Parliament (MP) appointed by the President who selects a person that in his or her view is likely to command the confidence of a majority of the Parliament of Singapore. The other members of the Cabinet are Ministers who are Members of Parliament appointed by the President on the Prime Minister's advice. Cabinet members are prohibited from holding any office of profit and from actively engaging in any commercial enterprise.

Government of Alberta

The Government of Alberta refers to the provincial government of the province of Alberta. Its powers and structure are set out in the Constitution Act, 1867.

Senate of Bermuda Upper house of the Parliament of Bermuda

The Senate of Bermuda is the upper house of the Parliament of Bermuda, the other being the House of Assembly. The Senate consists of eleven members appointed by the Governor for five-year terms — five Senators are nominated by the Premier, three by the Leader of the Opposition, and three appointed at the discretion of the Governor. Of the three appointed by the Governor, the Senate elects one to serve as the President, and another to serve as the Vice President.

The ministries of Western Australia are the centre of executive power in the Government of Western Australia. They are composed of Ministers who are responsible for one or more portfolios, answer questions on those portfolios in Parliament, and control the operation and administration of departments, authorities, statutes and votes within those portfolios. In a formal constitutional sense, they possess executive power through being appointed to the Executive Council, which contains all members of the Ministry plus a Clerk, and is headed by the Governor of Western Australia who represents the Crown.

The Bjelke-Petersen Ministry was a ministry of the Government of Queensland and was led by Premier Joh Bjelke-Petersen, who led the Country Party and its successor, the National Party. It succeeded the Chalk Ministry on 8 August 1968 as part of a series of events following the death of former Premier Jack Pizzey on 31 July. It was succeeded by the Ahern Ministry on 1 December 1987 following Bjelke-Petersen's resignation as Premier.

The Ahern Ministry was a ministry of the Government of Queensland and was led by National Party Premier Mike Ahern and Deputy Premier Bill Gunn. It succeeded the Bjelke-Petersen Ministry on 1 December 1987 following Joh Bjelke-Petersen's resignation as Premier and from Parliament, and was in turn succeeded by the Cooper Ministry on 25 September 1989, led by Russell Cooper.



  1. Commonly, the premier is usually the leader of their respective party. However, the salary of such position is not included. Thus, if one were to hold both positions simultaneously (Premier, Leader of Party), the total annual salary would be: AU$469,367. This also does not factor in other positions that can be held simultaneously to one or both of those: Ministerial positions, Member/Chair of Committee.


  1. "Legislative Assembly of Queensland – Members' Remuneration Handbook" (PDF). Office of the Clerk of Parliament. 15 September 2021.