Premier of Queensland

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.

Premier of Queensland
Coat of Arms of Queensland
Flag of Queensland
Annastacia Palaszczuk 2016
Annastacia Palaszczuk

since 14 February 2015
StyleThe Honourable
Member ofCabinet of Queensland
AppointerGovernor of Queensland
Term lengthAt the Governor's pleasure
Inaugural holderRobert Herbert
Formation10 December 1859
Salary$380,000 per annum

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.

No. Name
Portrait Term of Office Party Constituency Election(s) Won
1 Robert Herbert Queensland State Archives 2954 Portrait of The Honourable Sir Robert George Wyndham Herbert Premier of Queensland c 1862 10 December 1859 1 February 1866 Squatter Conservative Leichardt 1860
2 Arthur Macalister Arthur Macalister 1 February 1866 20 July 1866 None Town of Ipswich -
(1) Robert Herbert Queensland State Archives 2954 Portrait of The Honourable Sir Robert George Wyndham Herbert Premier of Queensland c 1862 20 July 1866 7 August 1866 Squatter Conservative West Moreton -
(2) Arthur Macalister Arthur Macalister 7 August 1866 15 August 1867 None Town of Ipswich -
3 Robert Mackenzie RobertRamsayMackenzie 15 August 1867 25 November 1868 Squatter Conservative Burnett 1867
4 Charles Lilley Charles Lilley 25 November 1868 2 May 1870 Liberal Hamlet of Fortitude Valley 1868
5 Arthur Palmer Arthur Hunter Palmer 3 May 1870 7 January 1874 Squatter Conservative Port Curtis 1870
(2) Arthur Macalister, CMG Arthur Macalister 8 January 1874 5 June 1876 Liberal Ipswich 1873
6 George Thorn George Thorn 5 June 1876 8 March 1877 Liberal Ipswich -
7 John Douglas, CMG John Douglas 8 March 1877 21 January 1879 Liberal Maryborough -
8 Sir Thomas McIlwraith, KCMG Thomas McIlwraith 21 January 1879 13 November 1883 Conservative Mulgrave 1878
9 Sir Samuel Griffith, KCMG, QC SGriff1 13 November 1883 13 June 1888 Liberal North Brisbane 1883
(8) Sir Thomas McIlwraith, KCMG Thomas McIlwraith 13 June 1888 30 November 1888 Conservative Brisbane North -
10 Boyd Dunlop Morehead Boyd Morehead 30 November 1888 12 August 1890 Conservative Balonne 1888
(9) Sir Samuel Griffith, KCMG, QC SGriff1 12 August 1890 27 March 1893 Liberal North Brisbane -
(8) Sir Thomas McIlwraith, KCMG Thomas McIlwraith 27 March 1893 27 October 1893 Conservative Brisbane North -
11 Sir Hugh Nelson, KCMG Sir Hugh Nelson 27 October 1893 13 April 1898 Ministerial Murilla 1896
12 Thomas Joseph Byrnes Thomas Joseph Byrnes 13 April 1898 1 October 1898 Ministerial Warwick -
13 James Dickson James Robert Dickson 1 October 1898 1 December 1899 Ministerial Bulimba 1899
14 Anderson Dawson AndersonDawson 1 December 1899 7 December 1899 Labour Charters Towers -
15 Robert Philp Queensland State Archives 3062 Portrait of The Honourable Sir Robert Philp Premier of Queensland c 1900 7 December 1899 17 September 1903 Ministerial Townsville 1902
16 Arthur Morgan Sir Arthur Morgan 17 September 1903 19 January 1906 Liberal Warwick 1904
17 William Kidston William Kidston 19 January 1906 19 November 1907 Labor South Brisbane 1907
(15) Robert Philp Queensland State Archives 3062 Portrait of The Honourable Sir Robert Philp Premier of Queensland c 1900 19 November 1907 18 February 1908 Conservative Townsville -
(17) William Kidston William Kidston 18 February 1908 7 February 1911 Kidston; Liberal Rockhampton 1908
18 Digby Denham Digby Denham 7 February 1911 1 June 1915 Liberal Oxley 1912
19 T. J. Ryan, KC TJRyanPortrait 1 June 1915 22 October 1919 Labor Barcoo 1915
20 Ted Theodore Ted Theodore 1931 22 October 1919 26 February 1925 Labor Chillagoe 1920
21 William Gillies William Gillies 1920 26 February 1925 22 October 1925 Labor Eacham -
22 William McCormack William McCormack 22 October 1925 21 May 1929 Labor Carins 1926
23 Arthur Edward Moore Arthur Edward Moore 21 May 1929 17 June 1932 CPNP Aubigny 1929
24 William Forgan Smith William Forgan Smith 17 June 1932 16 September 1942 Labor Mackay 1932
25 Frank Cooper Frank Cooper, circa 1949 16 September 1942 7 March 1946 Labor Bremer 1944
26 Ned Hanlon Queensland State Archives 4694 Premier Hanlon MLA c 1952 7 March 1946 17 January 1952 Labor Ithaca 1947
27 Vince Gair Queensland State Archives 4750 Hon VC Gair Premier of Queensland c 1953 17 January 1952 12 August 1957 Labor South Brisbane 1953
Queensland Labor
28 Frank Nicklin, MM Frank Nicklin 12 August 1957 17 January 1968 Country Murrumba 1957
29 Jack Pizzey Jack Pizzey 17 January 1968 1 August 1968 Country Isis -
30 Gordon Chalk Gordon Chalk 1963 1 August 1968 8 August 1968 Liberal Lockyer -
31 Sir Joh Bjelke-Petersen, KCMG
(knighted in 1984)
Joh Bjelke-Petersen 8 August 1968 1 December 1987 Country/National Barambah 1969
32 Mike Ahern Mike Ahern, Parliament House, Brisbane City, October 1988 1 December 1987 25 September 1989 National Landsborough -
33 Russell Cooper No image 25 September 1989 7 December 1989 National Roma -
34 Wayne Goss Wayne Goss 7 December 1989 19 February 1996 Labor Logan 1989
35 Rob Borbidge No image 19 February 1996 20 June 1998 National Surfers Paradise -
36 Peter Beattie Peter Beattie, BYCC, August 2013 (cropped) 20 June 1998 13 September 2007 Labor Brisbane Central 1998
37 Anna Bligh Anna Bligh crop 13 September 2007 26 March 2012 Labor South Brisbane 2009
38 Campbell Newman Campbell Newman being interviewed (cropped) 26 March 2012 14 February 2015 Liberal National Ashgrove 2012
39 Annastacia Palaszczuk Annastacia Palaszczuk 2016 14 February 2015 Incumbent 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.

Name Term as premier Date of birth
Mike Ahern 1987–1989 2 June 1942 (age 76)
Russell Cooper 1989 4 February 1941 (age 78)
Rob Borbidge 1996–1998 12 August 1954 (age 64)
Peter Beattie 1998–2007 18 November 1952 (age 66)
Anna Bligh 2007–2012 14 July 1960 (age 58)
Campbell Newman 2012–2015 12 August 1963 (age 55)

See also

1905 in Australia

The following lists events that happened during 1905 in Australia.

1953 Queensland state election

Elections were held in the Australian state of Queensland on 7 March 1953 to elect the 75 members of the state's Legislative Assembly. The Labor government was seeking its eighth continuous term in office since the 1932 election. It was the first electoral test for Vince Gair, who had become Premier of Queensland 14 months earlier after the death of Ned Hanlon.

Andrew Fraser (Queensland politician)

Andrew Peter Fraser (born 15 September 1976) was first elected into the Legislative Assembly of Queensland on 7 February 2004. He was the Deputy Premier of Queensland, Treasurer and Minister for State Development and Trade of the Queensland Government.

On 24 March 2012, Andrew Fraser lost his seat to the LNP candidate Saxon Rice.

Arthur Macalister

Arthur Macalister, (18 January 1818 – 23 March 1883) was three times Premier of Queensland, Australia.

Arthur Morgan (Queensland politician)

Sir Arthur Morgan (19 September 1856 – 20 December 1916) was an Australian politician and Premier of Queensland from 1903 to 1906.

Deputy Premier of Queensland

The Deputy Premier of Queensland is a role in the Government of Queensland assigned to a responsible Minister in the Australian state of Queensland. It has second ranking behind the Premier of Queensland in Cabinet, and its holder serves as Acting Premier during absence or incapacity of the Premier. The Deputy Premier may either be appointed by the Premier during the cabinet formation process, or may be elected by caucus; during periods of Coalition government, the leader of the junior coalition partner is usually automatically selected for the role. Due to the contingent role of the Deputy Premier, they almost without exception always have additional ministerial portfolios.

Until December 1974, although the role carried the same responsibilities (especially during the absence of the Premier) it was never formally recognised or titled as such; the first reference in Hansard to a Deputy Premier was during the Forgan Smith Ministry in 1936, but the term was in common use in newspapers from as early as 1892, when a minister in the First Griffith Ministry was criticised for his performance in the role.

Division of Dawson

The Division of Dawson is an Australian Electoral Division in Queensland. The division was created in 1949 and is named after Anderson Dawson, the first Labor Premier of Queensland and leader of the first parliamentary socialist government anywhere in the world. It is located on the North Queensland coast, taking in the towns of Ayr, Bowen, Mackay, Proserpine and some south-eastern suburbs of the city of Townsville.

Apart from a period from 1966 to 1975 and 2007 to 2010, it has been held by the National Party. While Mackay, the largest city wholly within the electorate, is a longstanding Labor stronghold, it is usually not enough to overcome the region's overall conservative leaning.

Division of Lilley

The Division of Lilley is an Australian Electoral Division in Queensland. The division was first proclaimed in 1913. The division is named after Sir Charles Lilley, a former Premier of Queensland and a former Chief Justice in the Supreme Court of Queensland.

The Division of Lilley includes sparsely populated areas of Brisbane Airport, tidal wetlands around Boondall and industrial areas around Pinkenba.

It was held by the Liberal Party and its antecedents for all but four terms from 1913 to 1980. However, since 1980, it has tended to be a marginal Labor seat. It is currently represented by former Treasurer and former Deputy Leader of the Labor Party and Deputy Prime Minister, Wayne Swan. Besides Swan, its most notable member has been George Mackay, who served as Speaker of the Australian House of Representatives during the first term of the Lyons Government, and Kevin Cairns, a minister in the McMahon government.

Division of Ryan

The Division of Ryan is an Australian Electoral Division in Queensland. The division was created in 1949 and is named after T. J. Ryan, Premier of Queensland from 1915 to 1919. Ryan is located in south east Queensland, and is generally based on the western suburbs of the City of Brisbane.

Electoral district of Mackay

Mackay is a Legislative Assembly of Queensland electoral district in North Queensland, Australia, encompassing the inner suburbs of the city of Mackay. Outer suburbs of the city are included in the neighbouring electorates of Mirani and Whitsunday.

Mackay has been held by the Labor Party for all but five years since 1915, when it was won by William Forgan Smith, who served as Premier of Queensland from 1932 to 1942. He retired undefeated in 1942 and was replaced by long-serving backbencher Fred Graham. Graham retired in 1969, and was succeeded by Ed Casey. Casey went to lose Labor preselection in 1972, but recontested and won as an independent, and did so again in 1975 before being readmitted to the party in 1977. He subsequently served as Labor leader from 1978 to 1982, and later as a minister in the Goss Labor government. He was succeeded upon his retirement by Tim Mulherin, who was comfortably elected six more times, winning with more than 60% of the vote in 2006.

For the better part of a century, Mackay was a safe Labor seat, remaining in Labor hands even at the height of Joh Bjelke-Petersen's popularity. Aside from Casey's stint as an independent, the only time Labor's grip on the seat was seriously threatened before 2012 was in 1986, when Casey was reduced to 53 percent of the two-party vote. At the 2012 election it became the most marginal ALP seat with Mulherin winning 50.5% of the two-party preferred vote. Mulherin was elected deputy leader of what remained of Labor; it was reduced to only seven seats.

Mulherin retired in 2012, and the seat reverted to its traditional status as a safe Labor seat, with Julieanne Gilbert retaining the seat for Labor on a swing of 12 percent.

Electoral district of South Brisbane

South Brisbane, also known as Brisbane South, is an electoral district of the Legislative Assembly of Queensland. The electorate encompasses suburbs in Brisbane's inner-south, stretching from East Brisbane to West End, and south to Annerley. Parts of Greenslopes and Coorparoo are also located in the electorate.

South Brisbane is Queensland's oldest electorate, having been the only one of the original 16 districts to have been contested at every election. South Brisbane has generally been considered a safe seat for the Labor Party since 1915. It has only been lost by the party on three occasions: the Country and Progressive National Party's 1929 landslide victory; after the 1957 Labor split, when sitting member and Premier Vince Gair quit the party to form the Queensland Labor Party; and finally in 1974, at the height of the Bjelke-Petersen government's popularity. Anna Bligh, the former Premier of Queensland held the seat from 1995 until her resignation in 2012 after Labor's defeat at the 2012 state election on 24 March. Labor Deputy Premier Jackie Trad is the current member.

List of female heads of government in Australia

A total of twelve women have served, or are serving, as the head of an Australian government. Of these, one has served as the prime minister of Australia, six as the premier of a state and four as the chief minister of a territory. Fifteen women have also served, or are serving, as the deputy head of government in Australian states and territories; one has served as the deputy prime minister of the country, eight as the deputy premier of a state, and six as the chief minister of a territory.

The first female head of government in Australia, was Rosemary Follett in 1989, who was the 1st Chief Minister of the Australian Capital Territory. Carmen Lawrence became the first female premier of a state in 1990, by serving as the 25th Premier of Western Australia. In 2010, Julia Gillard became the first, and to date, only female Prime Minister of Australia.

Today, every Australian state and territory has had at least one female government head, except for South Australia; the Australian Capital Territory has had the most, with three serving throughout its 27 year history; both New South Wales and Queensland have also a second female premier serving in their respective jurisdiction. The most female heads to serve concurrently was four, during the 315 days of 16 May 2011 to 26 March 2012. Clare Martin, who served as 7th Chief Minister of the Northern Territory for 6 years, from 2001 to 2007, has the longest–serving tenure of any female head of government in Australia. Queensland's Anna Bligh served as the 37th Premier of Queensland for 4 years, from 2007 to 2012, making her the longest–serving woman premier of a state. The shortest tenure of a former female head of government, belongs to Kristina Keneally, who served as the 42nd Premier of New South Wales for a year, from December 2009 to March 2011.

There are currently two serving female heads of government in Australia, Annastacia Palaszczuk (39th Premier of Queensland) who was elected on 14 February 2015, and Gladys Berejiklian (45th Premier of New South Wales) who was appointed on 23 January 2017. Three women currently serve as deputy heads of government in Australia; Jackie Trad (Deputy Premier of Queensland) since 14 February 2015, Nicole Manison (Deputy Chief Minister of the Northern Territory) since 12 September 2016, Yvette Berry (Deputy Chief Minister of the Australian Capital Territory) since 31 October 2016, and Vickie Chapman (Deputy Premier of South Australia) since 19 March 2018. The tenures of these incumbents are accurate as of 20 April 2019.

Nuclear Device (The Wizard of Aus)

"Nuclear Device (The Wizard of Aus)" is a 1979 single by British band The Stranglers. The second single from their album The Raven, it peaked at No. 36 on the UK Singles Chart.Hugh Cornwell stated in Song by Song that the song was written about the then Premier of Queensland, Joh Bjelke-Petersen. It also makes references to gerrymandering, and genetic mutation in animals.

T. J. Ryan

Thomas Joseph Ryan (1 July 1876 – 1 August 1921) was an Australian politician who served as Premier of Queensland from 1915 to 1919, as leader of the state Labor Party. He resigned to enter federal politics, sitting in the House of Representatives for the federal Labor Party from 1919 until his premature death less than two years later.

Ryan was born in Port Fairy, Victoria, to Irish immigrant parents. He studied arts and law at the University of Melbourne, and for several years worked as a schoolteacher at various private schools around Australia. He eventually settled in Queensland and entered the legal profession, working as a barrister in Brisbane. Ryan was elected to the Queensland Legislative Assembly in 1909, and became leader of the Labor Party in 1912. He led the party to victory at the 1915 state election, the first time it had secured majority government in Queensland.

As premier, Ryan led a reforming government that implemented many of the planks in the Labor platform, including the expansion of workers' rights, the implementation of price controls, and the establishment of new state-owned enterprises. After the Labor Party split of 1916, Queensland had the only remaining Labor government in Australia, giving him a national profile. The government was re-elected at the 1918 state election, but the following year Ryan resigned to enter federal politics, winning the Division of West Sydney in New South Wales at the 1919 federal election. He was widely seen as the heir apparent to the Labor Party's federal leader, Frank Tudor, who was in poor health. His sudden death from pneumonia at the age of 45 was seen as a major blow for the labour movement.

Thomas Joseph Byrnes

Thomas Joseph Byrnes (11 November 1860 – 27 September 1898) was Premier of Queensland from April 1898 until his death in October of the same year, having previously served in several ministerial positions in his parliamentary career. He was the first Roman Catholic Premier of Queensland and the first to die in office.

Vince Gair

Vincent Clair Gair (25 February 1901 – 11 November 1980) was an Australian politician. He served as Premier of Queensland from 1952 until 1957, when his stormy relations with the trade union movement saw him expelled from the Labor Party. He was elected to the Australian Senate and led the Democratic Labor Party from 1965 to 1973. In 1974 he was appointed Australian Ambassador to Ireland by the Whitlam government, which caused his expulsion from the DLP.

William Gillies (Australian politician)

William Neal Gillies (27 October 1868 – 9 February 1928) was Labor Premier of Queensland from 26 February 1925 to 22 October 1925.

William Kidston

William Kidston (17 August 1849 – 25 October 1919) was an Australian politician and Premier of Queensland, from January 1906 to November 1907 and again from February 1908 to February 1911.

William McCormack

William McCormack (27 April 1879 – 21 November 1947) was Premier of Queensland, Australia, from 1925 to 1929.

Premiers of Queensland
Current Premiers and Chief Ministers of the States and internal territories of Australia

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