Premier of Tasmania

The Premier of Tasmania is the head of the executive government in the Australian state of Tasmania. By convention, the leader of the party or political grouping which has majority support in the House of Assembly is invited by the Governor of Tasmania to be Premier and principal adviser.[1]

Since the 2014 election, the Premier of Tasmania has been Will Hodgman, leader of the Liberal Party. Hodgman won a second term at the 2018 election, and now holds 13 of the 25 seats in the House of Assembly.

Premier of Tasmania
Coat of arms of Tasmania
Will Hodgman apples cropped
Will Hodgman

since 31 March 2014
StyleThe Honourable
AppointerGovernor of Tasmania
Term lengthAt the Governor's pleasure
Inaugural holderWilliam Champ
Formation1 November 1856

List of Premiers of Tasmania

Before the 1890s, there was no formal party system in Tasmania. Party labels before that time indicate a general tendency only. The current convention of appointing the Premier from the House of Assembly was not generally applied prior to 1920, with Premiers often appointed from the Legislative Council.[1]

No. Premier Portrait Party Term of office Time in office
1 William Champ WTN Champ 1 November 1856 26 February 1857 117 days
2 Thomas Gregson Thomas Gregson 26 February 1857 25 April 1857 58 days
3 William Weston William Weston Premier 25 April 1857 12 May 1857 17 days
4 Francis Smith Sir Francis Smith 12 May 1857 1 November 1860 3 years, 173 days
William Weston William Weston Premier 1 November 1860 2 August 1861 274 days
5 Thomas Chapman Thomas Chapman 2 August 1861 20 January 1863 1 year, 171 days
6 James Whyte James Whyte 20 January 1863 24 November 1866 3 years, 308 days
7 Sir Richard Dry Sir Richard Dry 24 November 1866 4 August 1869 2 years, 253 days
8 James Wilson James Milne Wilson 4 August 1869 4 November 1872 3 years, 92 days
9 Frederick Innes Frederick Innes 4 November 1872 4 August 1873 273 days
10 Alfred Kennerley Alfred Kennerley 4 August 1873 20 July 1876 2 years, 351 days
11 Thomas Reibey Thomas Reiby 20 July 1876 9 August 1877 1 year, 20 days
12 Philip Fysh Unidentified participant at the Australasian Federal Convention, 4 9 August 1877 5 March 1878 208 days
13 William Giblin WRGiblinsmall 5 March 1878 20 December 1878 290 days
14 William Crowther William Crowther 20 December 1878 30 October 1879 314 days
William Giblin WRGiblinsmall 30 October 1879 15 August 1884 4 years, 290 days
15 Adye Douglas AdyeDouglas 15 August 1884 8 March 1886 1 year, 205 days
16 James Agnew James Agnew 8 March 1886 29 March 1887 1 year, 21 days
Philip Fysh Unidentified participant at the Australasian Federal Convention, 4 Protectionist 29 March 1887 17 August 1892 5 years, 141 days
17 Henry Dobson Henry Dobson (1898) Free Trade 17 August 1892 14 April 1894 1 year, 240 days
18 Sir Edward Braddon Edwardbraddon Free Trade 14 April 1894 12 October 1899 5 years, 181 days
19 Elliott Lewis N.E. Lewis (1898) Free Trade 12 October 1899 9 April 1903 3 years, 179 days
20 William Propsting William Propsting Protectionist 9 April 1903 12 July 1904 1 year, 94 days
21 John Evans Sir John William Evans Anti-Socialist 12 July 1904 19 June 1909 4 years, 342 days
Sir Elliott Lewis N.E. Lewis (1898) Liberal League 19 June 1909 20 October 1909 123 days
22 John Earle John Earle (Australian politician) Labor 20 October 1909 27 October 1909 7 days
Sir Elliott Lewis N.E. Lewis (1898) Liberal League 27 October 1909 14 June 1912 2 years, 231 days
23 Albert Solomon Albert Edgar Solomon 14 June 1912 6 April 1914 1 year, 296 days
John Earle John Earle (Australian politician) Labor 6 April 1914 15 April 1916 2 years, 9 days
24 Walter Lee Sir Walter Lee Liberal League 15 April 1916 12 August 1922 2 years, 9 days
25 John Hayes John Blyth Hayes Nationalist 12 August 1922 14 August 1923 1 year, 2 days
Sir Walter Lee Sir Walter Lee 14 August 1923 25 October 1923 72 days
26 Joseph Lyons Joseph Lyons Labor 25 October 1923 15 June 1928 4 years, 234 days
27 John McPhee Sir John McPhee Nationalist 15 June 1928 15 March 1934 5 years, 273 days
Sir Walter Lee Sir Walter Lee 15 March 1934 22 June 1934 99 days
28 Albert Ogilvie Albert Ogilvie Labor 22 June 1934 10 June 1939 4 years, 354 days
29 Edmund Dwyer-Gray Edmund Dwyer Gray TasGovPhoto 11 June 1939 18 December 1939 190 days
30 Robert Cosgrove Cosgrove Sir Robert HA 355 18 December 1939 18 December 1947 8 years, 0 days
31 Edward Brooker Edward Brooker 18 December 1947 25 February 1948 69 days
Robert Cosgrove Cosgrove Sir Robert HA 355 25 February 1948 26 August 1958 10 years, 182 days
32 Eric Reece Eric Reece 26 August 1958 26 May 1969 10 years, 273 days
33 Angus Bethune Angus Bethune Liberal 26 May 1969 3 May 1972 2 years, 343 days
Eric Reece Eric Reece Labor 3 May 1972 31 March 1975 2 years, 332 days
34 Bill Neilson Bill Neilson 31 March 1975 1 December 1977 2 years, 245 days
35 Doug Lowe Doug Lowe premier 1 December 1977 11 November 1981 3 years, 345 days
36 Harry Holgate No image 11 November 1981 26 May 1982 196 days
37 Robin Gray No image Liberal 26 May 1982 29 June 1989 7 years, 34 days
38 Michael Field No image Labor 29 June 1989 17 February 1992 2 years, 233 days
39 Ray Groom No image Liberal 17 February 1992 18 March 1996 4 years, 30 days
40 Tony Rundle No image 18 March 1996 14 September 1998 2 years, 180 days
41 Jim Bacon No image Labor 14 September 1998 21 March 2004 5 years, 189 days
42 Paul Lennon No image 21 March 2004 26 May 2008 4 years, 66 days
43 David Bartlett DavidBartlettW1 26 May 2008 24 January 2011 2 years, 243 days
44 Lara Giddings Lara Giddings 24 January 2011 31 March 2014 3 years, 66 days
45 Will Hodgman Will Hodgman apples cropped Liberal 31 March 2014 present 5 years, 22 days

Living former premiers

As of 24 January 2011, eight former premiers are alive, the oldest being Tony Rundle (1996–98, born 1939). The most recent premier to die was Sir Angus Bethune (1969–72), on 27 August 2004. The most recently serving premier to die was Jim Bacon (1998–2004), on 20 June 2004.

Name Term as premier Date of birth
Doug Lowe 1977–1981 15 May 1942 (age 76)
Robin Gray 1982–1989 1 March 1940 (age 79)
Michael Field 1989–1992 28 May 1948 (age 70)
Ray Groom 1992–1996 3 September 1944 (age 74)
Tony Rundle 1996–1998 5 March 1939 (age 80)
Paul Lennon 2004–2008 8 October 1955 (age 63)
David Bartlett 2008–2011 19 January 1968 (age 51)
Lara Giddings 2011–2014 14 November 1972 (age 46)

See also


  1. ^ a b Premier and Leader of the Opposition, Tasmanian Parliamentary Library.

External links

1939 in Australia

The following lists events that happened during 2018 in Australia.

Angus Bethune (politician)

Sir Walter Angus Bethune (10 September 1908 – 22 August 2004) was an Australian politician and member of the Tasmanian House of Assembly. He was Premier of Tasmania from 26 May 1969 to 3 May 1972.

Bill Neilson

William Arthur Neilson AC (27 August 1925 – 9 November 1989) was Premier of Tasmania from 1975 to 1977.

Born in Hobart, and educated at Ogilvie High School, Neilson became a postman before entering politics. He married Jill Benjamin, daughter of Phyllis Benjamin, in Melbourne in 1948. They had one son Andrew and three daughters, Christine, Carol and Robin.

Neilson was elected to the Tasmanian House of Assembly on 23 November 1946 at the age of 21, representing the Labor Party (ALP). For many years he was not only the youngest MHA in Tasmania, but also the youngest person to be elected to any Australian parliament.He held various cabinet offices, including those of Minister for Tourism and Attorney-General. For over a decade (1958-1969), and again 1972-1974, he was Minister for Education. He was made Attorney-General again on 12 April 1974, and five days later was also made Deputy Premier, Police Minister and Environment Minister.When the Premier Eric Reece was required to retire due to his age, Neilson was elected Tasmanian Leader of the ALP and Premier of Tasmania, on 31 March 1975. The following year Neilson's government was re-elected, narrowly defeating (by just one seat) the Liberal Party led by Sir Max Bingham; but towards the end of his tenure, he suffered from nervous exhaustion. He resigned as Premier, and from Parliament, on 1 December 1977.

After his term as premier, Neilson accepted the position as Agent-General for Tasmania in London, but soon his successor in the premiership, Douglas Lowe, abolished the post on cost-cutting grounds. In the 1980s, Nielson wrote as a theatre critic for The Mercury newspaper in Hobart. He died of cancer in November 1989.

David Bartlett

David John Bartlett (born 19 January 1968) is an Australian former politician in the state of Tasmania, serving as the 43rd Premier of Tasmania from May 2008 until January 2011. He was a Labor Party member of the Tasmanian House of Assembly seat of Denison from 2004 to 2011 when he retired.

Deputy Premier of Tasmania

The Deputy Premier of Tasmania is a role in the Government of Tasmania assigned to a responsible Minister in the Australian state of Tasmania. It has second ranking behind the Premier of Tasmania 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. Due to the contingent role of the Deputy Premier, they almost without exception have additional ministerial portfolios. The current Deputy Premier is Jeremy Rockliff.

Edward Brooker

William Edward Brooker (4 January 1891 – 18 June 1948) was a Labor Party politician. He became the interim Premier of Tasmania on 19 December 1947 while Robert Cosgrove was facing corruption charges. He died on 18 June 1948, shortly after returning the premiership to Cosgrove on 24 February 1948.

Electoral district of Richmond (Tasmania)

The Electoral district of Richmond was a single-member electoral district of the Tasmanian House of Assembly. Its capital was the town of Richmond to the north of Hobart.

The seat was created ahead of the Assembly's first election held in 1856, and was abolished at the 1903 election. Its first member, Thomas Gregson, served as the second Premier of Tasmania for a few weeks in 1857.

Electoral district of Westbury

The Electoral district of Westbury was a single-member electoral district of the Tasmanian House of Assembly. It centred on the town of Westbury near Tasmania's second city of Launceston.

The seat was created ahead of the Assembly's first election held in 1856, and was abolished when the Tasmanian parliament adopted the Hare-Clark electoral model in 1909. By far its longest-serving member was Thomas Reibey, who served as Premier of Tasmania from 20 July 1876 until 9 August 1877 and Speaker of the House from 12 July 1887 to 30 April 1891.

Elliott Lewis

Sir Neil Elliott Lewis (27 October 1858 – 22 September 1935), Australian politician, was Premier of Tasmania on three occasions. He was also a member of the first Australian federal ministry, led by Edmund Barton.

Eric Reece

Eric Elliott Reece, AC (6 July 1909 – 23 October 1999) was Premier of Tasmania on two occasions: from 26 August 1958 to 26 May 1969, and from 3 May 1972 to 31 March 1975. His 13 years as premier remains the second longest in Tasmania's history, Only Robert Cosgrove has served for a longer period as premier. He was the first Premier of Tasmania to have been born in the 20th century.

Government of Tasmania

The Government of Tasmania, also referred to as the Tasmanian Government, is the executive authority of the state of Tasmania, Australia. The leader of the party or coalition with the confidence of the Tasmanian House of Assembly, the lower house of the Parliament of Tasmania, is invited by the Governor of Tasmania to form the Government of Tasmania. The head of the Government is the Premier of Tasmania.

Since the 2014 election, the Premier of Tasmania has been Will Hodgman, leader of the Liberal Party, who was re-elected at the 2018 election. Since that election, the current ministry of Tasmania is the Second Hodgman Ministry, formed on 21 March 2018 and comprising nine of the 14 Liberal members in both Houses of Parliament.

Harry Holgate

Harold Norman Holgate AO (5 December 1933 – 16 March 1997) was a Labor Party politician and Premier of Tasmania from 11 November 1981 to 26 May 1982.

Born in Maitland, New South Wales in 1933, Holgate was a television producer and journalist prior to entering politics, arriving in Tasmania to work for The Examiner newspaper in 1963. He first stood for election in 1972 but was unable to meet the required quota of 4,707 votes. From 1973 to 1974, he worked as a press secretary for Deputy Prime Minister Lance Barnard.In 1974, he was elected on a recount after the resignation of Allan Foster. He held his seat from 26 July 1974 until 1992, and was Speaker of the Tasmanian House of Assembly from May 1975 to December 1976. Holgate became Premier in 1981 after a motion of no confidence was raised against Doug Lowe, who subsequently resigned from the party. Holgate only stayed in office for seven months, before being defeated by Robin Gray's Liberals at the 1982 election—only the second time in 48 years that Labor had been consigned to opposition in Tasmania.He was the last defeated Premier who did not then serve as Leader of the Opposition until Lara Giddings in 2014.

Holgate died of cancer in Launceston on 16 March 1997.

Henry Dobson

Henry Dobson (24 December 1841 – 10 October 1918), was an Australian politician, who served as a member of the Tasmanian House of Assembly and later of the Australian Senate. He was the 17th Premier of Tasmania from 17 August 1892 to 14 April 1894.

James Milne Wilson

Sir James Milne Wilson, (29 February 1812 – 29 February 1880) served as Premier of Tasmania from 1869 to 1872.

John Earle (Australian politician)

John Earle (15 November 1865 – 6 February 1932) was an Australian politician and the first Labor Premier of Tasmania.

John Hayes (Australian politician)

John Blyth Hayes (21 April 1868 – 12 July 1956) was Premier of Tasmania from 12 August 1922 to 14 August 1923. Hayes was also the President of the Australian Senate from 1 July 1938 to 30 June 1941.

Hayes was born in Bridgewater, and died in Launceston.

Paul Lennon

Paul Anthony Lennon (born 8 October 1955) is a Labor Party politician. He was Premier of Tasmania from 21 March 2004 until his resignation on 26 May 2008. He was member of the Tasmanian House of Assembly for the seat of Franklin from 1990 until officially resigning on 27 May 2008. He left office abruptly after his preferred premier rating fell to 17%, largely as a result of perceptions of corruption in his government's fast-tracked approval of the Gunns Bell Bay Pulp Mill proposal, which had effectively bypassed normal planning procedure.

Robert Cosgrove

Sir Robert Cosgrove (28 December 1884 – 25 August 1969) was an Australian politician who was the 30th and longest-serving Premier of Tasmania. He held office for over 18 years, serving from 1939 to 1947 and from 1948 to 1958. His involvement in state politics spanned five decades, and he dominated the Tasmanian branch of the Australian Labor Party for a generation.

Walter Lee (Australian politician)

Sir Walter Henry Lee KCMG (27 April 1874 – 1 June 1963) was an Australian politician and member of the Tasmanian House of Assembly. He was Premier of Tasmania on three occasions: from 15 April 1916 to 12 August 1922; from 14 August 1923 to 25 October 1923; and from 15 March 1934 to 22 June 1934.

Lee was born in Longford in Tasmania's north-east, where he was educated to primary level at Longford State School. He joined his father's business, and later went into business with his brother as a wheelwright with Lee Bros.

Lee was elected to the Tasmanian House of Assembly at the 1909 election, representing the rural seat of Wilmot for the Anti-Socialist Party. In 1912, the party became the Commonwealth Liberal Party, and later became the Nationalist Party. In 1915, Lee became Leader of the Opposition, and after the Liberals won 15 out of 30 seats at the 1916 election, Lee was sworn in as Premier of Tasmania (also serving as Minister for Education; and Chief Secretary until 1922). In spite of World War I, the first term of Lee's government was relatively smooth, and as the Nationalist Party, they retained government in the 1919 election with a one-seat majority.At the 1922 election, the emergence of the Country Party split the anti-Labor vote. With the Country Party holding the balance of power, but openly antagonistic towards him, Lee resigned as Premier (after a record term) and handed over to John Hayes, who was unanimously elected premier in a coalition government, with Lee as Treasurer. Unable to resolve Tasmania's financial crisis, Hayes resigned after a year and Lee became premier again, but only for ten weeks, until he was defeated by a Labor no-confidence motion, and Labor's Joseph Lyons became Premier.Lee became Premier for a third time in 1934, when as Deputy Premier he took over for John McPhee, who retired due to ill-health. His term lasted for three months, when Labor won the 1934 election, although he remained as Leader of the Opposition until July 1936. He would be the last non-Labor premier of Tasmania until 1969. He lost his seat in the 1946 election, where he ran as an Independent Liberal after failing to secure endorsement from the new Liberal Party.He was knighted in the 1920 New Year Honours and appointed Knight Commander of the Order of St Michael and St George (KCMG) in the 1922 New Year Honours.

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

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