Prime Minister of Australia

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Prime Minister of Australia
Coat of Arms of Australia.svg
01 Scott Morrison 2016.jpg
Scott Morrison

since 24 August 2018
Member of
Reports to Parliament, Governor-General
Seat Canberra
Appointer Governor-General of Australia
by convention, based on appointee's ability to command confidence in the House of Representatives [2]
Term length At the Governor-General's pleasure
contingent on the Prime Minister's ability to command confidence in the lower house of Parliament [3]
Inaugural holder Edmund Barton
Formation1 January 1901
Deputy Michael McCormack
Salary$538,460 (AUD)

The Prime Minister of Australia is the head of government of Australia. The individual who holds the office is the most senior Minister of State, the leader of the Federal Cabinet. The Prime Minister also has the responsibility of administering the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet, and is the chair of the National Security Committee and the Council of Australian Governments. The office of Prime Minister is not mentioned in the Constitution of Australia but exists through Westminster political convention. The individual who holds the office is commissioned by the Governor-General of Australia and at the Governor-General's pleasure subject to the Constitution of Australia and constitutional conventions.

Head of government is a generic term used for either the highest or second highest official in the executive branch of a sovereign state, a federated state, or a self-governing colony, who often presides over a cabinet, a group of ministers or secretaries who lead executive departments. The term "head of government" is often differentiated from the term "head of state", as they may be separate positions, individuals, or roles depending on the country.

Australia Country in Oceania

Australia, officially the Commonwealth of Australia, is a sovereign country comprising the mainland of the Australian continent, the island of Tasmania and numerous smaller islands. It is the largest country in Oceania and the world's sixth-largest country by total area. The neighbouring countries are Papua New Guinea, Indonesia and East Timor to the north; the Solomon Islands and Vanuatu to the north-east; and New Zealand to the south-east. The population of 25 million is highly urbanised and heavily concentrated on the eastern seaboard. Australia's capital is Canberra, and its largest city is Sydney. The country's other major metropolitan areas are Melbourne, Brisbane, Perth and Adelaide.

Minister of the Crown is a formal constitutional term used in Commonwealth realms to describe a minister to the reigning sovereign or their viceroy. The term indicates that the minister serves at His/Her Majesty's pleasure, and advises the sovereign or viceroy on how to exercise the Crown prerogatives relative to the minister's department or ministry.


Scott Morrison has held the office of Prime Minister since 24 August 2018. He received his commission after replacing Malcolm Turnbull as the leader of the Liberal Party, the largest party in the Coalition government, following the Liberal Party leadership spill earlier the same day. [4]

Scott Morrison 30th Prime Minister of Australia

Scott John Morrison is an Australian politician serving as the 30th and current Prime Minister of Australia and leader of the Liberal Party since 24 August 2018. He has been a member of the House of Representatives since 2007, representing the Division of Cook in New South Wales.

Malcolm Turnbull 29th Prime Minister of Australia

Malcolm Bligh Turnbull is an Australian former politician who was the 29th Prime Minister of Australia from 2015 to 2018. He served twice as Leader of the Liberal Party, firstly from 2008 to 2009 when he was also Leader of the Opposition, and a second time from 2015 to 2018. He was the MP for Wentworth in the House of Representatives from 2004 to 2018.

Liberal Party of Australia Australian political party

The Liberal Party of Australia is a major centre-right political party in Australia, one of the two major parties in Australian politics, along with the centre-left Australian Labor Party (ALP). It was founded in 1944 as the successor to the United Australia Party (UAP).

Constitutional basis and appointment

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Australia's first Prime Minister, Edmund Barton at the central table in the House of Representatives in 1901. Australian House of Reps 1901.jpg
Australia's first Prime Minister, Edmund Barton at the central table in the House of Representatives in 1901.

The Prime Minister of Australia is appointed by the Governor-General of Australia under Section 64 of the Australian Constitution, which empowers the Governor-General, as the official representative of the Crown, to appoint government ministers of state on the advice of the Prime Minister and requires them to be members of the House of Representatives or the Senate, or become members within three months of the appointment. The Prime Minister and Treasurer are traditionally members of the House, but the Constitution does not have such a requirement. [5] Before being sworn in as a Minister of State, a person must first be sworn in as a member of the Federal Executive Council if they are not already a member. Membership of the Federal Executive Council entitles the member to the style of The Honourable (usually abbreviated to The Hon) for life, barring exceptional circumstances. The senior members of the Executive Council constitute the Cabinet of Australia.

Constitution of Australia the supreme law of Australia

The Constitution of Australia is the supreme law under which the government of the Commonwealth of Australia operates, including its relationship to the States of Australia. It consists of several documents. The most important is the Constitution of the Commonwealth of Australia, which is referred to as the "Constitution" in the remainder of this article. The Constitution was approved in a series of referendums held over 1898–1900 by the people of the Australian colonies, and the approved draft was enacted as a section of the Commonwealth of Australia Constitution Act 1900 (Imp), an Act of the Parliament of the United Kingdom.

Monarchy of Australia Form of government in Australia

The monarchy of Australia concerns the form of government in which a hereditary king or queen serves as the nation's sovereign and head of state. Australia is governed under a form of constitutional monarchy, largely modelled on the Westminster system of parliamentary government, while incorporating features unique to the Constitution of Australia. The present monarch is Elizabeth II, styled Queen of Australia, who has reigned since 6 February 1952. She is represented in Australia as a whole by the Governor-General, in accordance with the Australian Constitution and letters patent from the Queen, and in each of the Australian states, according to the state constitutions, by a governor, assisted by a lieutenant-governor. The monarch appoints the Governor-General and the governors, on the advice respectively of the Commonwealth government and each state government. These are now almost the only constitutional functions of the monarch with regard to Australia.

Treasurer of Australia Australian government minister in charge of economic policy

The Treasurer of Australia is the minister in the Government of Australia responsible for government expenditure and revenue raising. The Treasurer plays a key role in the economic policy of the government. The current holder of the position is Josh Frydenberg, whose term began on 24 August 2018.

The Prime Minister is, like other ministers, normally sworn in by the Governor-General and then presented with the commission (letters patent) of office. When defeated in an election, or on resigning, the Prime Minister is said to "hand in the commission" and actually does so by returning it to the Governor-General. In the event of a Prime Minister dying in office, or becoming incapacitated, or for other reasons, the Governor-General can terminate the commission. Ministers hold office "during the pleasure of the Governor-General" (s. 64 of the Constitution of Australia), so theoretically, the Governor-General can dismiss a minister at any time, by notifying them in writing of the termination of their commission; however, their power to do so except on the advice of the Prime Minister is heavily circumscribed by convention.

Letters patent type of legal instrument in the form of a published written order

Letters patent are a type of legal instrument in the form of a published written order issued by a monarch, president, or other head of state, generally granting an office, right, monopoly, title, or status to a person or corporation. Letters patent can be used for the creation of corporations or government offices, or for the granting of city status or a coat of arms. Letters patent are issued for the appointment of representatives of the Crown, such as governors and governors-general of Commonwealth realms, as well as appointing a Royal Commission. In the United Kingdom they are also issued for the creation of peers of the realm. A particular form of letters patent has evolved into the modern patent granting exclusive rights in an invention. In this case it is essential that the written grant should be in the form of a public document so other inventors can consult it to avoid infringement and also to understand how to "practice" the invention, i.e., put it into practical use. In the Holy Roman Empire, Austrian Empire and Austria-Hungary, imperial patent was also the highest form of generally binding legal regulations, e. g. Patent of Toleration, Serfdom Patent etc.

According to convention, the Prime Minister is the leader of the majority party or largest party in a coalition of parties in the House of Representatives which holds the confidence of the House. Some commentators argue that the Governor-General may also dismiss a Prime Minister who is unable to pass the government's supply bill through both houses of parliament, including the Australian Senate, where the government doesn't normally command the majority, as happened in the 1975 constitutional crisis. [6] Other commentators argue that the Governor General acted improperly in 1975 as Whitlam still retained the confidence of the House of Representatives, and there are no generally accepted conventions to guide the use of the Governor General's reserve powers in this circumstance. [2] However, there is no constitutional requirement that the Prime Minister sit in the House of Representatives, or even be a member of the federal parliament (subject to a constitutionally prescribed limit of three months), though by convention this is always the case. The only case where a member of the Senate was appointed Prime Minister was John Gorton, who subsequently resigned his Senate position and was elected as a member of the House of Representatives.

Australian House of Representatives Lower house of Australia

The House of Representatives is the lower house of the bicameral Parliament of Australia, the upper house being the Senate. Its composition and powers are established in Chapter I of the Constitution of Australia.

Australian Senate upper house of the Australian Parliament

The Senate is the upper house of the bicameral Parliament of Australia, the lower house being the House of Representatives. The composition and powers of the Senate are established in Chapter I of the Constitution of Australia. There are a total of 76 Senators: 12 are elected from each of the six states regardless of population and 2 from each of the two autonomous internal territories. Senators are popularly elected under the single transferable vote system of proportional representation.

1975 Australian constitutional crisis constitutional crisis in Australia caused by the dismissal of Prime Minister Gough Whitlam by Governor-General John Kerr

The 1975 Australian constitutional crisis, also known simply as the Dismissal, has been described as the greatest political and constitutional crisis in Australian history. It culminated on 11 November 1975 with the dismissal from office of the Prime Minister, Gough Whitlam of the Australian Labor Party (ALP), by Governor-General Sir John Kerr, who then commissioned the Leader of the Opposition, Malcolm Fraser of the Liberal Party, as caretaker Prime Minister.

Despite the importance of the office of Prime Minister, the Constitution does not mention the office by name. The conventions of the Westminster system were thought to be sufficiently entrenched in Australia by the authors of the Constitution that it was deemed unnecessary to detail them.[ citation needed ] The formal title of the portfolio has always been simply "Prime Minister", except for the period of the Fourth Deakin Ministry (June 1909 to April 1910), when it was known as "Prime Minister (without portfolio)". [7]

Westminster system democratic parliamentary system of government

The Westminster system is a parliamentary system of government developed in the United Kingdom. This term comes from the Palace of Westminster, the seat of the British Parliament. The system is a series of procedures for operating a legislature. It is used, or was once used, in the national and subnational legislatures of most former British Empire colonies upon gaining responsible government, beginning with the first of the Canadian provinces in 1848 and the six Australian colonies between 1855 and 1890. However, some former colonies have since adopted either the presidential system or a hybrid system as their form of government.

Fourth Deakin Ministry

The Fourth Deakin Ministry was the 8th ministry of the Government of Australia. It was led by the country's 2nd Prime Minister, Alfred Deakin. The Fourth Deakin Ministry succeeded the First Fisher Ministry, which dissolved on 2 June 1909 after the Protectionist Party and the Anti-Socialist Party merged into the Commonwealth Liberal Party "fusion" and withdrew their support in order to form what became the first majority government in federal Australian history. The ministry was replaced by the Second Fisher Ministry on 29 April 1910 following the federal election that took place on 13 April which saw the Labour Party defeat the Commonwealth Liberals.

If a government cannot get its appropriation (budget) legislation passed by the House of Representatives, or the House passes a vote of "no confidence" in the government, the Prime Minister is bound by convention to immediately advise the Governor-General to dissolve the House of Representatives and hold a fresh election.

Following a resignation in other circumstances or the death of a Prime Minister, the governor-general generally appoints the Deputy Prime Minister as the new Prime Minister, until or if such time as the governing party or senior coalition party elects an alternative party leader. This has resulted in the party leaders from the Country Party (now named National Party) being appointed as Prime Minister, despite being the smaller party of their coalition. This occurred when Earle Page became caretaker Prime Minister following the death of Joseph Lyons in 1939, and when John McEwen became caretaker Prime Minister following the disappearance of Harold Holt in 1967. However in 1941, Arthur Fadden became the leader of the Coalition and subsequently Prime Minister by the agreement of both coalition parties, despite being the leader of the smaller party in coalition, following the resignation of UAP leader Robert Menzies.

Excluding the brief transition periods during changes of government or leadership elections, there have only been a handful of cases where someone other than the leader of the majority party in the House of Representatives was Prime Minister:

Powers and role

The first Prime Minister of Australia, Edmund Barton (sitting second from left), with his Cabinet, 1901. Ac.bartonministry.jpg
The first Prime Minister of Australia, Edmund Barton (sitting second from left), with his Cabinet, 1901.

Most of the Prime Minister's power derives from being the head of Government.[ citation needed ] In practice, the Federal Executive Council acts to ratify all executive decisions made by the government and requires the support of the Prime Minister. The powers of the Prime Minister are to direct the Governor General through advice to grant Royal Assent to legislation, to dissolve and prorogue parliament, to call elections and to make government appointments, which the Governor-General follows.

The Constitution divides power between the federal government and the states, and the prime minister is constrained by this. [8]

The formal power to appoint the Governor-General lies with the Queen of Australia, on the advice of the Prime Minister, whereby convention holds that the Queen is bound to follow the advice. The Prime Minister can also advise the monarch to dismiss the Governor-General, though it remains unclear how quickly the monarch would act on such advice in a constitutional crisis. This uncertainty, and the possibility of a "race" between the Governor-General and Prime Minister to dismiss the other, was a key question in the 1975 constitutional crisis. Prime Ministers whose government loses a vote of no-confidence in the House of Representatives, are expected to advise the Governor-General to dissolve parliament and hold an election, if an alternative government cannot be formed. If they fail to do this, the Governor-General may by convention dissolve parliament or appoint an alternative government. [6]

The Prime Minister is also the responsible minister for the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet, which is tasked with supporting the policy agendas of the Prime Minister and Cabinet through policy advice and the coordination of the implementation of key government programs, to manage Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander policy and programs and to promote reconciliation, to provide leadership for the Australian Public Service alongside the Australian Public Service Commission, to oversee the honours and symbols of the Commonwealth, to provide support to ceremonies and official visits, to set whole of government service delivery policy, and to coordinate national security, cyber, counterterrorism, regulatory reform, cities, population, data, and women's policy. [9] Since 1992, the Prime Minister also acts as the chair of the Council of Australian Governments (COAG), an intergovernmental forum between the federal government and the state governments in which the Prime Minister, the state premiers and chief ministers, and a representative of local governments meet annually. [10]

Privileges of office


Prime Ministerial salary history
Effective dateSalary
2 June 1999$289,270
6 September 2006$309,270
1 July 2007$330,356
1 October 2009$340,704 [11]
1 August 2010$354,671 [12]
1 July 2011$366,366
1 December 2011$440,000
15 March 2012$481,000 [13]
1 July 2012$495,430 [14]
1 July 2013$507,338 [15]
1 January 2016$517,504 [16]
1 July 2017$527,852 [17]
1 July 2018$538,460 [18]

As of 1 July 2018, Australia's Prime Minister is paid a total salary of $538,460. This is made up of the 'base salary' received by all Members of Parliament ($207,100) plus a 160 percent 'additional salary' for the role of Prime Minister. [19] Increases in the base salary of MPs and senators are determined annually by the Australian Government's Remuneration Tribunal. [20]


Prime Ministers Curtin, Fadden, Hughes, Menzies and Governor-General The Duke of Gloucester 2nd from left, in 1945. Curtin GGPrinceHenry Fadden Hughes Menzies.jpg
Prime Ministers Curtin, Fadden, Hughes, Menzies and Governor-General The Duke of Gloucester 2nd from left, in 1945.

Whilst in office, the Prime Minister has two official residences. The primary official residence is The Lodge in Canberra. Most Prime Ministers have chosen The Lodge as their primary residence because of its security facilities and close proximity to Parliament House. There have been some exceptions, however. James Scullin preferred to live at the Hotel Canberra (now the Hyatt Hotel) and Ben Chifley lived in the Hotel Kurrajong. More recently, John Howard used the Sydney Prime Ministerial residence, Kirribilli House, as his primary accommodation. On her appointment on 24 June 2010, Julia Gillard said she would not be living in The Lodge until such time as she was returned to office by popular vote at the next general election, as she became Prime Minister by replacing an incumbent during a parliamentary term. Tony Abbott was never able to occupy The Lodge during his term (2013–15) as it was undergoing extensive renovations, which continued into the early part of his successor Malcolm Turnbull's term. [21] Instead, Abbott resided in dedicated rooms at the Australian Federal Police College when in Canberra.

During his first term, Rudd had a staff at The Lodge consisting of a senior chef and an assistant chef, a child carer, one senior house attendant, and two junior house attendants. At Kirribilli House in Sydney, there is one full-time chef and one full-time house attendant. [22] The official residences are fully staffed and catered for both the Prime Minister and their family. In addition, both have extensive security facilities. These residences are regularly used for official entertaining, such as receptions for Australian of the Year finalists.

The Prime Minister receives a number of transport amenities for official business. The Royal Australian Air Force's No. 34 Squadron transports the Prime Minister within Australia and overseas by specially converted Boeing Business Jets and smaller Challenger aircraft. The aircraft contain secure communications equipment as well as an office, conference room and sleeping compartments. The call-sign for the aircraft is "Envoy". For ground travel, the Prime Minister is transported in an armoured BMW 7 Series model. It is referred to as "C-1", or Commonwealth One, because of its licence plate. It is escorted by police vehicles from state and federal authorities. [23]

After office

Politicians, including Prime Ministers, are usually granted certain privileges after leaving office, such as office accommodation, staff assistance, and a Life Gold Pass, which entitles the holder to travel within Australia for "non-commercial" purposes at government expense. In 2017, Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull said the pass should be available only to former prime ministers, though he would not use it when he was no longer PM. [24]

Only one Prime Minister who had left the Federal Parliament ever returned. Stanley Bruce was defeated in his own seat in 1929 while Prime Minister but was re-elected to parliament in 1931. Other Prime Ministers were elected to parliaments other than the Australian federal parliament: Sir George Reid was elected to the UK House of Commons (after his term as High Commissioner to the UK), and Frank Forde was re-elected to the Queensland Parliament (after his term as High Commissioner to Canada, and a failed attempt to re-enter the Federal Parliament).

Acting and interim Prime Ministers

From time to time Prime Ministers are required to leave the country on government business and a deputy acts in their place during that time. In the days before jet aircraft, such absences could be for extended periods. For example, William Watt was acting Prime Minister for 16 months, from April 1918 until August 1919, when Prime Minister Billy Hughes was away at the Paris Peace Conference, [25] and Senator George Pearce was acting Prime Minister for more than seven months in 1916. [26] An acting Prime Minister is also appointed when the prime minister takes leave. The Deputy Prime Minister most commonly becomes acting Prime Minister in those circumstances.

Three Prime Ministers have died in office – Joseph Lyons (1939), John Curtin (1945) and Harold Holt (1967). In each of these cases, the Deputy Prime Minister (an unofficial office at the time) became an interim Prime Minister, pending an election of a new leader of the government party. In none of these cases was the interim Prime Minister successful at the subsequent election.

Former Prime Ministers

As of April 2019, there are seven living former Australian Prime Ministers. [27]

Bob Hawke
In office: 1983-1991
Age: 89 Bob Hawke (8215439313).jpg
Bob Hawke
In office: 19831991
Age: 89
Paul Keating
In office: 1991-1996
Age: 75 Paul Keating 2017 01.jpg
Paul Keating
In office: 19911996
Age: 75
John Howard
In office: 1996-2007
Age: 79 John Howard March 2014 (cropped).jpg
John Howard
In office: 19962007
Age: 79
Kevin Rudd
In office: 2007-2010; 2013
Age: 61 Kevin Rudd (Pic 12).jpg
Kevin Rudd
In office: 20072010; 2013
Age: 61
Julia Gillard
In office: 2010-2013
Age: 57 Julia Gillard at Faulconbridge (36190455175) (cropped).jpg
Julia Gillard
In office: 20102013
Age: 57
Tony Abbott,
In office: 2013-2015
Age: 61 Tony Abbott October 2014.jpg
Tony Abbott,
In office: 20132015
Age: 61
Malcolm Turnbull,
In office: 2015-2018
Age: 64 Malcolm Turnbull 2014.jpg
Malcolm Turnbull ,
In office: 20152018
Age: 64

The greatest number of living former Prime Ministers at any one time was eight. This has occurred twice:

Ben Chifley lived the least of all former prime ministers, as he died one year and six months after his term as prime minister. [28] All other deceased former prime ministers have lived at least another 10 years, with the longest surviving former prime minister being Gough Whitlam, who lived 38 years and 11 months after office, surpassing Stanley Bruce's previous record of 37 years and 10 months. [29]


Six Australian prime ministers - Forde, Curtin, Menzies, Hughes, Fadden and Holt - at a meeting of the Advisory War Council in 1940. Percy Spender (Minister for the Army) seated third from the right. Six prime ministers.jpg
Six Australian prime ministers – Forde, Curtin, Menzies, Hughes, Fadden and Holt – at a meeting of the Advisory War Council in 1940. Percy Spender (Minister for the Army) seated third from the right.

The youngest person to become prime minister was Chris Watson 37, [30] who was also 37 when he ceased being prime minister. The oldest person to become prime minister was John McEwen 67 as an interim prime minister, [31] otherwise William McMahon 63. [32] Robert Menzies was the oldest person to ever be prime minister, leaving office at 71 years old. [33]

List and timeline

The longest-serving Prime Minister was Sir Robert Menzies, who served in office twice: from 26 April 1939 to 28 August 1941, and again from 19 December 1949 to 26 January 1966. In total Robert Menzies spent 18 years, 5 months and 12 days in office. He served under the United Australia Party and the Liberal Party respectively.

The shortest-serving Prime Minister was Frank Forde, who was appointed to the position on 6 July 1945 after the death of John Curtin, and served until 13 July 1945 when Ben Chifley was elected leader of the Australian Labor Party.

The last Prime Minister to serve out a full government term in the office was John Howard, who won the 2004 election and led his party to the 2007 election, but lost. Since then, the five subsequent Prime Ministers have been either voted out of the office mid-term by the caucuses of their own parties, assumed the office mid-term under such circumstances, or both.


   Australian Labor Party    Liberal Party of Australia    Australian Country Party    Nationalist Party of Australia    United Australia Party    Commonwealth Liberal Party    National Labor Party    Free Trade Party    Protectionist Party

PortraitPartyTerm of officeElectorate servedElections wonMinistryRef
1 Sir Edmund Barton
Edmund Barton crop.PNG Protectionist 1 January
24 September
Hunter, NSW,
1901–1903 (resigned)
1901 Barton [34]
2 Alfred Deakin
Alfred Deakin crop.jpg Protectionist 24 September
27 April
Ballaarat, Vic, [Note 1]
1901–1913 (retired)
1903 1st Deakin [35]
3 Chris Watson
ChrisWatsonBW crop.jpg Labour 27 April
18 August
Bland, NSW,
South Sydney, NSW,
1906–1910 (retired)
Watson [30]
4 George Reid
George Reid crop.jpg Free Trade 18 August
5 July
East Sydney, NSW,
1901–1909 (resigned)
Reid [36]
(2) Alfred Deakin
AlfredDeakin.jpeg Protectionist 5 July
13 November
Ballaarat, Vic, [Note 1]
1901–1913 (retired)
2nd Deakin
1906 3rd Deakin
5 Andrew Fisher
Andrew Fisher 1908.jpg Labour 13 November
2 June
Wide Bay, Qld,
1901–1915 (resigned)
1st Fisher [37]
(2) Alfred Deakin
Rt. Hon. A. Deakin LCCN2014695989.tif Commonwealth Liberal 2 June
29 April
Ballaarat, Vic, [Note 1]
1901–1913 (retired)
4th Deakin
(5) Andrew Fisher
Andrew Fisher 1912 (b&w).jpg Labor 29 April
24 June
Wide Bay, Qld,
1901–1915 (resigned)
1910 2nd Fisher
6 Joseph Cook
Joseph Cook - Crown Studios 03.jpg Commonwealth Liberal 24 June
17 September
Parramatta, NSW,
1901–1921 (resigned)
1913 Cook [38]
(5) Andrew Fisher
AndrewFisher.jpg Labor 17 September
27 October
Wide Bay, Qld,
1901–1915 (resigned)
1914 3rd Fisher
Billy Hughes
Billy Hughes 1915.jpg Labor 27 October
14 November
West Sydney, NSW,
Bendigo, Vic,
North Sydney, NSW,
Bradfield, NSW,
1949–1952 (died)
1st Hughes [39]
7 National Labor 14 November
17 February
2nd Hughes
Nationalist 17 February
9 February
3rd Hughes
1917 4th Hughes
1919 5th Hughes
8 Stanley Bruce
Stanley Bruce - Stoneman.jpg Nationalist
( Coalition )
9 February
22 October
Flinders, Vic,
1918–1929 (defeated) ;
1931–1933 (resigned)
1922 1st Bruce [40]
1925 2nd Bruce
1928 3rd Bruce
9 James Scullin
Portrait of the Right Hon. J. H. Scullin.png Labor 22 October
6 January
Corangamite, Vic,
19101913 (defeated)
Yarra, Vic,
19221949 (retired)
1929 Scullin [41]
10 Joseph Lyons
Joseph Lyons.jpg United Australia
( Coalition )
6 January
7 April
Wilmot, Tas,
1929–1939 (died)
1931 1st Lyons [42]
1934 2nd Lyons
3rd Lyons
1937 4th Lyons
11 Sir Earle Page
Earle Page.jpg Country
( Coalition )
7 April
26 April
Cowper, NSW
19191961 (defeated)
Page [43]
12 Robert Menzies
Robert Menzies in 1939.jpg United Australia
( Coalition )
26 April
28 August
Kooyong, Vic,
1934–1966 (resigned)
1st Menzies [33]
2nd Menzies
1940 3rd Menzies
13 Arthur Fadden
FaddenPEO.jpg Country
( Coalition )
28 August
7 October
Darling Downs, Qld
McPherson, Qld
1949–1958 (retired)
Fadden [44]
14 John Curtin
JohnCurtin.jpg Labor 7 October
5 July
Fremantle, WA,
19281931 (defeated) ;
1934–1945 (died)
1st Curtin
1943 2nd Curtin
15 Frank Forde
Frank Forde 1945.jpg Labor 6 July
13 July
Capricornia, Qld,
19221946 (defeated)
16 Ben Chifley
Benchifley.jpg Labor 13 July
19 December
Macquarie, NSW,
19281931 (defeated) ;
1940–1951 (died)
1st Chifley
1946 2nd Chifley
(12) Sir Robert Menzies
Portrait Menzies 1950s.jpg Liberal
( Coalition )
19 December
26 January
Kooyong, Vic,
1934–1966 (resigned)
1949 4th Menzies
1951 5th Menzies
1954 6th Menzies
1955 7th Menzies
1958 8th Menzies
1961 9th Menzies
1963 10th Menzies
17 Harold Holt
Harold Holt 1965 01.jpg Liberal
( Coalition )
26 January
19 December
Fawkner, Vic,
Higgins, Vic,
1949–1967 (disappeared)
1st Holt
1966 2nd Holt
18 John McEwen
Sir John McEwen.jpg Country
( Coalition )
19 December
10 January
Echuca, Vic,
Indi, Vic,
Murray, Vic,
1949–1971 (resigned)
19 John Gorton
JohnGorton1968.jpg Liberal
( Coalition )
10 January
10 March
Senator 1950–1968 (resigned) [Note 2]

MP for Higgins, Vic,
19681975 (retired) [Note 3]

1st Gorton
1969 2nd Gorton
20 William McMahon
McMahon 1971 (cropped).jpg Liberal
( Coalition )
10 March
5 December
Lowe, NSW,
1949–1982 (resigned)
21 Gough Whitlam
Gough Whitlam - ACF - crop.jpg Labor 5 December
11 November
Werriwa, NSW,
1952–1978 (resigned)
1972 1st Whitlam
2nd Whitlam
1974 3rd Whitlam
22 Malcolm Fraser
Malcolm Fraser 1977 - crop.jpg Liberal
( Coalition )
11 November
11 March
Wannon, Vic,
1955–1983 (resigned)
1st Fraser
1975 2nd Fraser
1977 3rd Fraser
1980 4th Fraser
23 Bob Hawke
Bob Hawke 1987 portrait crop.jpg Labor 11 March
20 December
Wills, Vic,
1980–1992 (resigned)
1983 1st Hawke
1984 2nd Hawke
1987 3rd Hawke
1990 4th Hawke
24 Paul Keating
Paul Keating 1985.jpg Labor 20 December
11 March
Blaxland, NSW,
1969–1996 (resigned)
1st Keating
1993 2nd Keating
25 John Howard
Image-Howard2003upr.JPG Liberal
( Coalition )
11 March
3 December
Bennelong, NSW,
19742007 (defeated)
1996 1st Howard
1998 2nd Howard
2001 3rd Howard
2004 4th Howard
26 Kevin Rudd
Kevin Rudd official portrait.jpg Labor 3 December
24 June
Griffith, Qld,
1998–2013 (resigned)
2007 1st Rudd
27 Julia Gillard
Julia Gillard 2010.jpg Labor 24 June
27 June
Lalor, Vic,
1998–2013 (retired)
1st Gillard
2010 2nd Gillard
(26) Kevin Rudd
The Hon. Kevin Rudd.jpg Labor 27 June
18 September
Griffith, Qld,
1998–2013 (resigned)
2nd Rudd
28 Tony Abbott
Prime Minister Tony Abbott.jpg Liberal
( Coalition )
18 September
15 September
Warringah, NSW,
since 1994
2013 Abbott
29 Malcolm Turnbull
Malcolm Turnbull PEO (cropped).jpg Liberal
( Coalition )
15 September
24 August
Wentworth, NSW,
2004–2018 (resigned)
1st Turnbull
2016 2nd Turnbull
30 Scott Morrison
Scott Morrison 2014 crop.jpg Liberal
( Coalition )
24 August
Incumbent Cook, NSW,
since 2007

See also


  1. 1 2 3 The Electoral Division of Ballaarat was spelled with a double a until 1977.
  2. Gorton was elected to the Senate at the general election of 10 December 1949, but his term did not commence until 22 February 1950. He was appointed Prime Minister on 10 January 1968; resigned from the Senate on 1 February; and was elected to the House of Representatives at a by-election on 24 February.
  3. Gorton retired from the House of Representatives at the double dissolution of 11 November 1975, and stood for an Australian Capital Territory Senate seat as an independent at the general election of 13 December 1975, but was unsuccessful.

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Further reading