Location: Queensland, Australia
Surnames/tags: Queensland Australia government
On 10th December 1859 Letters Patent issued by Queen Victoria were read to an elated audience, proclaiming Queensland to be a new colony, separate from New South Wales. From that day forward, Queenslanders were in charge of their own affairs. Queen Victoria assented to the creation of a new and separate colony to be called Queen’s Land on 6th June 1859, a day that continues to be celebrated as Queensland Day.
Under the conventions of the Westminster system followed in Queensland, the premier's authority is derived from two sources: 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, the Governor makes these appointments under the advice (read, 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 is resworn, with adjustments to the Cabinet as determined by the premier.
Profiles have been developed for Premiers of Queensland, for reasons of privacy other than those still living.
|No.||Photo||Name||Birth-place||Party||Years as Premier||No. years||Notes|
|1||Robert Herbert||England||Squatter Conserv.||1859-1866; 1866||6yrs 3mths||oversaw development of railways, telegraph and harbours; still youngest premier of any State|
|2||Arthur Macalister CMG||Scotland||Squatter Conserv.||1866; 1866-67; 1874-76||2yrs 11mths||introduced Education Act 1875 with free but compulsory education for 6-12yo.|
|3||Robert MacKenzie||Scotland||Squatter Conserv.||1867-1868||15mths||-|
|4||Charles Lilley||Qld||Liberal||1868-1870||18mths||wrote Education Act with Samuel Griffiths|
|5||Arthur Palmer||Ireland||Squatter Conserv.||1870-1874||3yrs 8mths||being 7th premiership in 4 years, brought stability; moved to Legislative Council as President for 17 years|
|7||John Douglas||England||Liberal||1877-1879||1yr 10mths||-|
|8||Sir Thomas McIlwraith KCMG||Scotland||Conserv.; Minist.||1879-1883; 1888; 1893||5yrs 10mths||inadvertently created first step to unite the colonies in federation movement|
|9||Sir Samuel Griffith GCMG KC||Wales||Liberal; Minist.||1883-1888; 1890-1893||7yrs 2mths||took a keen interest in external affairs, including the newly annexed Territory of Papua and establishing the Queensland Maritime Defence Force; later the inaugural Chief Justice of Australia|
|10||Boyd Dunlop Morehead||NSW||Liberal||1888-1890||1yr 9mths||-|
|11||Sir Hugh Nelson||Scotland||Minist.||1893-1898||4yrs 6mths||best remembered for valuable work as treasurer during the depression following the 1893 financial crisis; became president of Legislative Council|
|12||Thomas Byrnes||Qld||Minist.||1898||6mths||died in office aged 37 years|
|13||James Dickson||England||Minist.||1898-1899||14mths||responsible for winning a 'yes' vote in Qld for federation|
|14||Anderson Dawson||Qld||Labour||1899||6days||first socialist gov't in the world|
|15||Robert Philp||Scotland||Minist.||1899-1903; 1907-1908||4yrs||transitioned to federation|
|16||Arthur Morgan||Qld||Liberal||1903-1906||2yrs 4mths||-|
|17||William Kidston||Scotland||Labour; Liberal||1906-1907; 1908-1911||4yrs 10mths||last person to come back as Premier of Qld after losing position|
|18||Digby Denham||England||Liberal||1911-1915||3yrs 4mths||early war years; ensured any German threat neutralised|
|19||Thomas Joseph 'TJ' Ryan||Victoria||Labour||1915-1919||3yrs 4mths||arguably Labor's most-capable leader|
|20||Edward Theodore||Sth Aust||Labour||1919-1925||5yrs 4mths||abolished the Legislative Council so as to increase power of Legislative Assembly|
|21||William Gillies||Sth Aust||Labour||1925||8mths||established Main Roads Board (now Department of Transport and Main Roads)|
|22||William McCormack||Qld||Labour||1925-1929||3yrs 7mths||oversaw the development of Mount Isa|
|23||Edward Moore||NZ||CPNP||1929-1932||3yrs 7mths||reduced Legislative Assembly from 72 to 62 seats|
|24||William Forgan Smith||Scotland||Labour||1932-1942||10yrs 3mths||major public works initiated were the Story Bridge, Somerset Dam, Mackay Outer Harbour, Hornibrook Hwy and re-siting the uni to St Lucia; saw start of WW2; quit politics over federal income tax act; then longest-serving premier|
|25||Frank Cooper||NSW||Labour||1942-1946||3yrs 6mths||elected premier at 70yo during WW2, when Qld was anticipating invasion|
|26||Edward 'Ned' Hanlon||Qld||Labour||1946-1952||5yrs 10mths||had served in WW1|
|27||Vincent Gair||Qld||Labour||1952-1957||5yrs 7mths||formed Qld Labour Party (later become the DLP) and was later a Senator|
|28||George Francis 'Frank' Nicklin MM||NSW||Country||1957-1968||10yrs 5mths||decorated WW1 veteran; then longest-serving premier|
|29||Jack Pizzey||Qld||Country||1968||7mths||died in office|
|30||Gordon Chalk||Qld||Liberal||1968||7days||'caretaker' premier whilst Country Party elected new party leader following Pizzey's sudden death|
|31||Sir Johannes Bjelke-Petersen||NZ of Tas parents||Country-National||1968-1987||19yrs 4mths||longest-serving premier|
|32||Michael Ahern||Qld - living||National||1987-1989||15mths||-|
|33||Russell Cooper||Qld - living||National||1989||3mths||-|
|34||Wayne Goss||Qld||Labor||1989-1996||6yrs 2mths||presided over implementation of reforms of the Fitzgerald Inquiry into police corruption|
|35||Robert Borbidge||Victoria - living||National||1996-1998||16mths||-|
|36||Peter Beattie||NSW - living||Labor||1998-2007||9yrs 3mths||key agenda was to transform Queensland into Australia’s "Smart State" by restructuring the economy, reforming the education system, skilling the workforce and encouraging innovation, research and development|
|37||Anna Bligh||Qld - living||Labor||2007-2012||4yrs 6mths||-|
|38||Campbell Newman||ACT - living||LNP||2012-2015||2yrs 11mths||-|
|39||Annastacia Palaszczuk||Qld - living||Labor||2015-current||-||-|
Queensland's premiers have been drawn from the following political parties:
- no party: initially, from 1859, political parties did not exist in Queensland. A majority of the early ten premiers were of a conservative persuasion with specific interests, be it squatters, agriculture or industry. Samuel Griffith was seen to be a close ally of the labour movement and introduced a bill to legalise trade unions, declaring that 'the great problem of this age is not how to accumulate wealth but how to secure its more equitable distribution'. However, he later formed an alliance with Thomas McIlwraith, clearly conservative, the so-called "Griffilwraith".
- Continuous Ministry was an informal designation used to describe the grouping in the Queensland parliament that existed from 1890 to 1903, and provided six colonial-era premiers of Queensland. The Ministry was formed from a merging of Samuel Griffith's Liberal faction with Sir Thomas McIlwraith's Conservatives, forming the humorously-titled Griffilwraith.
- Australian Labor Party was formally established in 1892, although a labour member sat in parliament since 1888. Anderson Dawson took the party to power in Queensland in 1899, for six days. Labour governments led Queensland from 1915-1929 and 1932-1956. After 32 years on the 'back-benches', the ALP has governed in Queensland in 1989-1998, 2001-2012 and since 2015. Labour has provided twelve of Queensland's 39 premiers.
- Australian Country Party from 1920 to 1975; Country National Party to 1982; and thence National Party. Whilst the minor of the conservative coalition parties federally and in other States, the National Party was always the dominant of the partners in Queensland, due mostly to Queensland's excellent decentralisation. Six premiers have come from the Country Party and its successors, providing 25 years of government.
- Queensland Labor Party was formed in 1957 as a breakaway group from the governing Labor Party after the expulsion of Premier Vince Gair. Gair was defeated at the 1960 election. In 1962 the party became the Queensland section of the Democratic Labor Party (DLP). The party continued to hold seats in the Queensland state parliament until 1972, then suffered a collapse in its vote and wound itself up in 1978.
- Country and Progressive National Party was a short-lived conservative political in Queensland, formed in 1925 to combine the state's conservative forces into a single party. It held office between 1929 and 1932 under the leadership of Arthur Edward Moore. Following repeated election defeat it split into separate rural and urban wings in 1936.
- Liberal Party whilst liberal partied around the world range from liberal conservatism on the right to social liberalism on the left, in Australia they have been aligned with conservatism. The Liberal Party of Australia was founded in 1944 as the successor to the United Australia Party (UAP). It has provided one premier to Queensland, Gordon Chalk who, as party leader and deputy premier assumed office upon the death of premier Jack Pizzey in 1968. Seven days later he returned to deputy premier when the County Party appointed Joh Bjelke-Petersen as replacement party leader and, therefore, premier.
- Liberal National Party was formed in 2008 through the merger, in Queensland alone, of the Liberal and National parties. To date, its sole premier has been Campbell Newman for a month short of three years.