Treasurer of Australia

Last updated

Treasurer of Australia
Josh Frydenberg April 2019.jpg
Josh Frydenberg

since 24 August 2018 (2018-08-24)
Department of the Treasury
Style The Honourable
Appointer Governor-General of Australia on recommendation of Prime Minister of Australia
Inaugural holderSir George Turner
Formation1 January 1901

The Treasurer of Australia (or Federal Treasurer) is the minister in the Government of Australia responsible for government expenditure and for collecting revenue. The Treasurer plays a key role in the economic policy of the government. The current Australian Treasurer is Josh Frydenberg whose term began on 24 August 2018.


The Treasurer implements ministerial powers through the Department of the Treasury and a range of other government agencies. According to constitutional convention, the Treasurer is always a member of the Parliament of Australia with a seat in the House of Representatives. The office is generally seen as equivalent to the Chancellor of the Exchequer in the United Kingdom or the Secretary of the Treasury in the United States or, in some other countries, the finance minister. It is one of only four ministerial positions (along with Prime Minister, Minister for Defence and Attorney-General) that have existed since Federation. [1]

The Department of the Treasury, Canberra Ministere des Finances australien.jpg
The Department of the Treasury, Canberra

Duties and importance

The Treasurer is the minister in charge of government revenue and expenditure. The Treasurer oversees economic policy: fiscal policy is within the Treasurer's direct responsibility, while monetary policy is implemented by the politically independent Reserve Bank of Australia, the head of which is appointed by the Treasurer. The Treasurer also oversees financial regulation. Each year in May, the Treasurer presents the Federal Budget to the Parliament.

The Prime Minister and Treasurer are traditionally members of the House, but the Constitution does not have such a requirement. [2]

The Treasurer is a very senior government post, usually ranking second or third in Cabinet. Historically, many Treasurers have previously, concurrently or subsequently served as Prime Minister or Deputy Prime Minister; two subsequently served as Governor-General. Service as Treasurer is seen as an important (though certainly not essential) qualification for serving as Prime Minister: to date, six Treasurers have gone on to be Prime Minister.

Paul Keating and Wayne Swan are currently the only two to have been named "Euromoney Finance Minister of the Year" by Euromoney magazine. [3]

Since 1958, Treasurers in Coalition Governments have often but not always been the deputy leader of the Liberal Party. In contrast, only four Labor Treasurers have also been the deputy leader of the Labor Party.

Along with the Treasurer, other ministers have responsibility for the Department of the Treasury. The Treasurer together with these other ministers are known as the "Treasury Ministers". At present, the Treasury Minister positions are: [4]

The work of the Department of Finance is closely related to the work of the Department of the Treasury. The ministers who have responsibility for the Department of Finance are: [5]

Treasury Portfolio

Eleven organisations nominally fall under the auspices of the Australian Treasurer. The agencies undertake a range of activities aimed at achieving strong sustainable economic growth and the improved well-being of Australians. This entails the provision of policy advice to portfolio ministers who seek to promote a sound macroeconomic environment; effective government spending and taxation arrangements; and well-functioning markets. It also entails the effective implementation and administration of policies that fall within the portfolio ministers' responsibilities.

List of Treasurers

The following individuals have been appointed as Treasurer of Australia: [4]

OrderTreasurerPartyPrime MinisterTerm startTerm endTerm in office
1Sir George Turner   Protectionist Barton 1 January 190126 April 19043 years, 116 days
2 Chris Watson 1   Labor Watson 27 April 190417 August 1904112 days
(1)Sir George Turner Protectionist Reid 17 August 19044 July 1905321 days
3Sir John Forrest Deakin4 July 190529 July 19072 years, 25 days
4Sir William Lyne 30 July 190712 November 19081 year, 105 days
5 Andrew Fisher 1  Labor Fisher 13 November 19081 June 1909200 days
(3)Sir John Forrest Commonwealth Liberal Deakin2 June 190928 April 1910330 days
(5)Andrew Fisher 1  LaborFisher29 April 191023 June 19133 years, 55 days
(3)Sir John ForrestCommonwealth Liberal Cook 24 June 191316 September 19141 year, 84 days
(5)Andrew Fisher 1  LaborFisher17 September 191426 October 19151 year, 39 days
6 William Higgs Hughes 27 October 191527 October 19161 year, 0 days
7 Alexander Poynton   National Labor 14 November 191616 February 191794 days
(3)Sir John Forrest  Nationalist 17 February 191726 March 19181 year, 37 days
8 William Watt 27 March 191827 July 19202 years, 122 days
9Sir Joseph Cook 28 July 192020 December 19211 year, 145 days
10 Stanley Bruce 21 December 19218 February 19231 year, 49 days
11Dr Earle Page   Country Bruce 9 February 192321 October 19296 years, 254 days
12 Ted Theodore  Labor Scullin 22 October 19298 July 1930259 days
13 James Scullin 1 9 July 193028 January 1931203 days
(12)Ted Theodore29 January 19315 January 1932341 days
14 Joseph Lyons 1   United Australia Lyons 6 January 19322 October 19353 years, 269 days
15 Richard Casey 3 October 19357 April 19393 years, 204 days
Page 7 April 193925 April 1939
16 Robert Menzies 1 Menzies 26 April 193913 March 1940322 days
17 Percy Spender 14 March 194027 October 1940227 days
18 Arthur Fadden 1  Country28 October 194029 August 1941343 days
Fadden 29 August 19416 October 1941
19 Ben Chifley 1  Labor Curtin 7 October 19415 July 19458 years, 72 days
Forde 6 July 194513 July 1945
Chifley 13 July 194518 December 1949
(18)Sir Arthur Fadden CountryMenzies19 December 19499 December 19588 years, 355 days
20 Harold Holt   Liberal 10 December 195825 January 19667 years, 46 days
21 William McMahon Holt 26 January 196617 December 19673 years, 289 days
McEwen 19 December 196710 January 1968
Gorton 10 January 196811 November 1969
22 Leslie Bury 12 November 196910 March 19711 year, 129 days
McMahon 10 March 197121 March 1971
23 Billy Snedden 22 March 19714 December 19721 year, 257 days
24 Gough Whitlam 1  Labor Whitlam 5 December 197218 December 197213 days
25 Frank Crean 19 December 197210 December 19741 year, 356 days
26Dr Jim Cairns 11 December 19745 June 1975176 days
27 Bill Hayden 6 June 197511 November 1975158 days
28 Phillip Lynch  Liberal Fraser 12 November 197518 November 19772 years, 6 days
29 John Howard 19 November 197710 March 19835 years, 111 days
30 Paul Keating  Labor Hawke 11 March 19833 June 19918 years, 84 days
31 Bob Hawke 1 3 June 19914 June 19911 day
32 John Kerin 4 June 19918 December 1991188 days
33 Ralph Willis 9 December 199120 December 199117 days
Keating 20 December 199126 December 1991
34 John Dawkins 27 December 199122 December 19931 year, 360 days
(33)Ralph Willis23 December 199310 March 19962 years, 78 days
35 Peter Costello  Liberal Howard 11 March 19963 December 200711 years, 267 days
36 Wayne Swan  Labor Rudd 3 December 200724 June 20105 years, 206 days
Gillard 24 June 201027 June 2013
37 Chris Bowen Rudd27 June 201318 September 201383 days
38 Joe Hockey  Liberal Abbott 18 September 201315 September 20152 years, 3 days
Turnbull 15 September 201521 September 2015
39 Scott Morrison 21 September 201524 August 20182 years, 337 days
40 Josh Frydenberg Morrison 24 August 2018Incumbent1 year, 303 days
1 Treasurers Watson, Fisher, Scullin, Lyons, Fadden, Menzies, Chifley, Whitlam and Hawke were also Prime Minister during some or all of their period as Treasurer.

List of Assistant Treasurers

The following individuals have been appointed as Assistant Treasurer, or any precedent titles: [4]

OrderMinisterPartyPrime MinisterTitleTerm startTerm endTerm in office
1 Stanley Bruce UAP Lyons Assistant Treasurer6 January 193229 June 1932175 days
2 Richard Casey UAP Lyons Assistant Treasurer12 October 19343 October 1935356 days
3 George Gear Labor Keating Assistant Treasurer24 March 199311 March 19962 years, 353 days
4 Jim Short Liberal Howard 11 March 199614 October 1996217 days
5 Rod Kemp 14 October 199625 November 20015 years, 42 days
6 Helen Coonan Minister for Revenue and Assistant Treasurer26 November 200117 July 20042 years, 234 days
7 Mal Brough 18 July 200426 January 20061 year, 192 days
8 Peter Dutton 27 January 20063 December 20071 year, 310 days
9 Chris Bowen Labor Rudd Assistant Treasurer
Minister for Competition Policy and Consumer Affairs
3 December 20078 June 20091 year, 187 days
10 Nick Sherry Assistant Treasurer9 June 200924 June 20101 year, 97 days
Gillard 24 June 201014 September 2010
11 Bill Shorten Assistant Treasurer
Minister for Financial Services & Superannuation
14 September 201014 December 20111 year, 91 days
12 Mark Arbib Assistant Treasurer14 December 20115 March 201282 days
13 David Bradbury Assistant Treasurer
Minister Assisting for Financial Services & Superannuation
5 March 201227 June 20131 year, 197 days
Rudd27 June 201318 September 2013
14 Arthur Sinodinos Liberal Abbott Assistant Treasurer18 September 201319 December 20141 year, 92 days
15 Josh Frydenberg 23 December 201415 September 2015271 days
Turnbull 15 September 201521 September 2015
16 Kelly O'Dwyer 21 September 201519 July 20162 years, 341 days
Minister for Revenue and Financial Services19 July 201628 August 2018
17 Stuart Robert Morrison Assistant Treasurer28 August 201829 May 2019274 days
18 Michael Sukkar 29 May 2019Incumbent1 year, 24 days

List of assistant ministers for superannuation, financial services and financial technology

The following individuals have been appointed as Assistant Minister for Superannuation, Financial Services and Financial Technology, or preceding titles: [4]

OrderMinisterPartyPrime MinisterTitleTerm startTerm endTerm in office
1 Kelly O'Dwyer Liberal Abbott Assistant Minister to the Treasurer23 December 201415 September 2015266 days
2 Alex Hawke Turnbull 25 September 201518 July 20164 years, 271 days
3 Michael Sukkar LiberalTurnbullAssistant Minister to the Treasurer24 January 201721 August 20183 years, 150 days
4 Zed Seselja Morrison Assistant Minister for Treasury and Finance28 August 201829 May 2019274 days
5 Jane Hume Assistant Minister for Superannuation, Financial Services and Financial Technology29 May 2019Incumbent1 year, 24 days

Former ministerial titles

List of ministers for competition policy and consumer affairs

The Competition and Consumer Act 2010 (formerly the Trade Practices Act 1974) is administered by the Treasurer through the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission, but was formerly administered by other ministers. The following individuals were appointed as ministers with responsibility for competition and consumer affairs matters: [6]

OrderMinisterPartyPrime MinisterTitleTerm startTerm endTerm in office
1 Lionel Murphy   Labor Whitlam Attorney-General19 December 197212 June 19741 year, 175 days
2 Bill Morrison Minister for Science and Consumer Affairs12 June 19746 June 1975359 days
3 Clyde Cameron 6 June 197511 November 1975158 days
4Sir Bob Cotton Liberal Fraser 11 November 197522 December 197541 days
5 John Howard Minister for Business and Consumer Affairs22 December 197517 July 19771 year, 207 days
6 Wal Fife 17 July 19778 December 19792 years, 144 days
7Sir Victor Garland 8 December 19793 November 1980331 days
8 John Moore 3 November 198020 April 19821 year, 168 days
9 Neil Brown 20 April 198211 January 1983325 days
10 Barry Cohen Labor Hawke Minister for Home Affairs and the Environment11 January 198313 December 19841 year, 277 days
11 Peter Staples LaborHawkeMinister for Consumer Affairs24 July 198715 February 1988206 days
12 Nick Bolkus 15 February 19884 April 19902 years, 48 days
13 Michael Tate Minister for Justice and Consumer Affairs4 April 199020 December 19912 years, 53 days
Keating 20 December 199127 May 1992
14 Jeannette McHugh Minister for Consumer Affairs27 May 199211 March 19963 years, 289 days
15 Geoff Prosser Liberal Howard Minister for Small Business and Consumer Affairs11 March 199618 July 19971 year, 129 days
16 Chris Ellison Minister for Customs and Consumer Affairs18 July 19979 October 199783 days
17 Warren Truss Nationals 9 October 199721 October 19981 year, 12 days
18 Joe Hockey LiberalMinister for Financial Services and Regulation21 October 199826 November 20013 years, 36 days
19 Chris Bowen Labor Rudd Minister for Competition Policy and Consumer Affairs3 December 20079 June 20091 year, 188 days
20 Craig Emerson 9 June 200920 June 20101 year, 97 days
Gillard 20 June 201014 September 2010
21 David Bradbury LaborRuddMinister for Competition Policy and Consumer Affairs1 July 201318 September 201379 days

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