Deputy Prime Minister of Australia

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Deputy Prime Minister of Australia
Australian Coat of Arms.png
Warren Truss at a National Party candidate campaign launch.jpg
Incumbent
Warren Truss

since 18 September 2013
Style The Honourable
Appointer Governor-General of Australia on the recommendation of the Prime Minister
Term length At Her Majesty's pleasure
Inaugural holder John McEwen
Formation 10 January 1968
Coat of arms of Australia.svg
This article is part of a series on the
politics and government of
Australia

The Deputy Prime Minister of Australia is the second-most senior officer in the Government of Australia. The office of Deputy Prime Minister was created as a ministerial portfolio in 1968. The Deputy Prime Minister is appointed by the Governor-General on the advice of the Prime Minister.

The current Deputy Prime Minister is National Party politician Warren Truss.

History[edit]

The sworn office of Deputy Prime Minister was created in January 1968, as an honour[citation needed] for John McEwen, the long-serving leader of the Country Party (later renamed the National Party) and the immediately preceding caretaker Prime Minister. Prior to that time the term was used unofficially for the second-highest ranking minister in the government.

In Labor governments, the Deputy Prime Minister is the party's deputy leader. In Liberal-National Coalition governments, the position has been held by the Leader of the National Party or its predecessors.

In November 2007, the Australian Labor Party won government and Julia Gillard became Australia's first female, and first foreign-born, Deputy Prime Minister.

Since the formalisation of the office only two Deputy Prime Ministers have gone on to become Prime Minister: Paul Keating and Julia Gillard. In both cases, they succeeded incumbent Prime Ministers who lost the support of the Labor Party caucus mid-term. Prior to 1968, Alfred Deakin, Joseph Cook, Earle Page, Frank Forde and Arthur Fadden all became Prime Minister after having previously been unofficial deputies (though Page, Fadden and Forde only served as caretakers).

John McEwen had served as Prime Minister prior to being appointed Deputy Prime Minister, as had the unofficial deputies Joseph Cook, Billy Hughes, and Arthur Fadden.

Duties[edit]

The duties of the Deputy Prime Minister are to act on behalf of the Prime Minister in his or her absence overseas or on leave. The Deputy Prime Minister has always been a member of the Cabinet, and has always held at least one substantive portfolio. (It would be technically possible for a minister to hold only the portfolio of Deputy Prime Minister, but this has never happened.)

If the Prime Minister were to die, become incapacitated or resign, the Governor-General would normally appoint the Deputy Prime Minister as Prime Minister on an interim basis until the governing party elects a new leader. This has not occurred since the title has been created as a portfolio, however the previous unofficial deputies Arthur Fadden and Frank Forde both briefly served as Prime Minister on this basis (following Robert Menzies' resignation and John Curtin's death, respectively). In the case of both Gillard and Keating their election as party leader preceded their predecessor's resignations and their subsequent appointments as Prime Minister.

Living former Deputy Prime Ministers[edit]

Ten former Deputy Prime Ministers of Australia are living:

List of Deputy Prime Ministers of Australia[edit]

The following individuals have been officially appointed as Deputy Prime Minister of Australia:[1][2]

Order Deputy Prime Minister Party affiliation
and position
Ministerial title Term start Term end Term in office Prime Minister
1 John McEwen Nla.pic-an23474705-v.jpg   Country
Leader 1958-71
Deputy Prime Minister
Minister for Trade and Industry
10 January 1968 (1968-01-10) 5 February 1971 (1971-02-05) 3 years, 26 days   John Gorton
2 Doug Anthony John Douglas Anthony.jpg   Country
Leader 1971–84
Deputy Prime Minister
Minister for Trade and Industry
5 February 1971 (1971-02-05) 10 March 1971 (1971-03-10) 33 days  
  10 March 1971 (1971-03-10) 5 December 1972 (1972-12-05)   William McMahon
3 Lance Barnard Lance Barnard.jpg   Labor
Deputy Leader 1967-74
Deputy Prime Minister
Minister for Defence
5 December 1972 (1972-12-05) 12 June 1974 (1974-06-12) 1 year, 189 days   Gough Whitlam
4 Jim Cairns Dr. Jim Cairnes lecture at the Nambassa 3 day Music & Alternatives festival, New Zealand 1981. Photographer Michael Bennetts.jpg   Labor
Deputy Leader 1974-75
Deputy Prime Minister
Treasurer
12 June 1974 (1974-06-12) 2 July 1975 (1975-07-02) 1 year, 20 days  
5 Frank Crean   Labor
Deputy Leader 1975
Deputy Prime Minister
Minister for Overseas Trade
2 July 1975 (1975-07-02) 11 November 1975 (1975-11-11) 132 days  
(2) Doug Anthony John Douglas Anthony.jpg   Country
National
Leader 1971–84
Deputy Prime Minister
Minister for Trade and Industry
12 November 1975 (1975-11-12) 11 March 1983 (1983-03-11) 7 years, 119 days   Malcolm Fraser
6 Lionel Bowen Lionel Bowen.jpg   Labor
Deputy Leader 1977-90
Deputy Prime Minister
Minister for Trade
Vice-President of the Executive Council
Attorney-General
11 March 1983 (1983-03-11) 4 April 1990 (1990-04-04) 7 years, 24 days   Bob Hawke
7 Paul Keating Paul Keating - 2007-crop.jpg   Labor
Deputy Leader 1990-91
Deputy Prime Minister
Treasurer
4 April 1990 (1990-04-04) 3 June 1991 (1991-06-03) 1 year, 60 days  
8 Brian Howe   Labor
Deputy Leader 1991-95
Deputy Prime Minister
Minister for Health
Minister for Housing
Minister for Community Services
Minister for Local Government
Minister for Regional Affairs
3 June 1991 (1991-06-03) 20 June 1995 (1995-06-20) 4 years, 17 days   Paul Keating
9 Kim Beazley Ac.kimbeazleynew.jpg   Labor
Deputy Leader 1995-96
Deputy Prime Minister
Minister for Finance
20 June 1995 (1995-06-20) 11 March 1996 (1996-03-11) 265 days  
10 Tim Fischer Tim Fischer, AC, at the Reserve Forces Day commemorative service in Wagga Wagga.jpg   National
Leader 1990-99
Deputy Prime Minister
Minister for Trade
11 March 1996 (1996-03-11) 20 July 1999 (1999-07-20) 3 years, 131 days   John Howard
11 John Anderson   National
Leader 1999-2005
Deputy Prime Minister
Minister for Transport and Regional Development
20 July 1999 (1999-07-20) 6 July 2005 (2005-07-06) 5 years, 351 days  
12 Mark Vaile Mark Vaile (TM).jpg   National
Leader 2005-2007
Deputy Prime Minister
Minister for Trade
Minister for Transport and Regional Services
6 July 2005 (2005-07-06) 3 December 2007 (2007-12-03) 2 years, 150 days  
13 Julia Gillard Julia Gillard 2010.jpg   Labor
Deputy Leader 2006-2010
Deputy Prime Minister
Minister for Employment and Workplace Relations
Minister for Education
Minister for Social Inclusion
3 December 2007 (2007-12-03) 24 June 2010 (2010-06-24) 2 years, 203 days   Kevin Rudd
14 Wayne Swan WayneSwan.jpg   Labor
Deputy Leader 2010-2013
Deputy Prime Minister
Treasurer
24 June 2010 (2010-06-24) 27 June 2013 (2013-06-27) 3 years, 3 days   Julia Gillard
15 Anthony Albanese Anthony Albanese.jpg   Labor
Deputy Leader 2013–13
Deputy Prime Minister
Minister for Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy
Minister for Infrastructure and Transport
27 June 2013 (2013-06-27) 18 September 2013 (2013-09-18) 295 days   Kevin Rudd
16 Warren Truss Warren Truss at a National Party candidate campaign launch.jpg   National
Leader 2007–present
Deputy Prime Minister
Minister for Infrastructure and Regional Development
18 September 2013 (2013-09-18) incumbent 212 days   Tony Abbott

Informal Deputy Prime Ministers[edit]

The office of Deputy Prime Minister was created in January 1968 but prior to that time the term was used unofficially for the second-highest ranking minister in the government.

Name Picture Term of Office Political party and position Ministerial Offices Prime Minister
Alfred Deakin AlfredDeakin.jpeg 1901 1903 Protectionist Party
Deputy Leader 1901-03
Attorney-General
Acting Prime Minister 1902
Edmund Barton
William Lyne Williamlyne.jpg 1903 1904 Protectionist Party
Deputy Leader 1901-09
Minister for Trade and Customs Alfred Deakin
Gregor McGregor Gregor McGregor1.jpg 1904 1904 Australian Labor Party
Deputy Leader 1901-14
Vice-President of the Executive Council Chris Watson
Joseph Cook JosephCookPEO.jpg 1904 1905 Free Trade Party
Deputy Leader 1903-08
No Portfolio George Reid
William Lyne Williamlyne.jpg 1905 1908 Protectionist Party
Deputy Leader 1901-09
Minister for Trade and Customs
Treasurer
Alfred Deakin
John Forrest John Forrest 1898.jpg 1907 1907 Protectionist Party
Temporary Leader 1907
acting Prime Minister three months 1907 Alfred Deakin
Gregor McGregor Gregor McGregor1.jpg 1908 1909 Australian Labor Party
Deputy Leader 1901-14
Vice-President of the Executive Council Andrew Fisher
Joseph Cook JosephCookPEO.jpg 1909 1910 Commonwealth Liberal Party
Deputy Leader 1909-13
Minister for Defence Alfred Deakin
Gregor McGregor Gregor McGregor1.jpg 1910 1913 Australian Labor Party
Deputy Leader 1901-14
Vice-President of the Executive Council Andrew Fisher
John Forrest John Forrest 1898.jpg 1913 1914 Commonwealth Liberal Party
Deputy Leader 1913-16
Treasurer Joseph Cook
Billy Hughes Nla.ms-ms1538-10-582-e.jpg 1914 1915 Australian Labor Party
Deputy Leader 1914-15
Attorney-General
Acting Prime Minister 1915
Andrew Fisher
George Pearce Sir George Pearce.jpg 1915 1916 Australian Labor Party
Deputy Leader 1915-16
Minister for Defence
Acting Prime Minister 1916
Billy Hughes
1916 1917 National Labor Party
Deputy Leader 1916-17
William Watt 24Williamwatt.jpg 1918 1920 Nationalist
Deputy Leader 1918-20
Treasurer
Acting Prime Minister 1918-19
Joseph Cook JosephCookPEO.jpg 1917 1921 Nationalist
Deputy Leader 1920-21
Minister for the Navy
Treasurer
acting Prime Minister May–September 1921
Earle Page EarlePage.jpg 1923 1929 Country Party
Leader 1921-39
Treasurer Stanley Bruce
Ted Theodore Ted Theodore.jpg 1929 1932 Australian Labor Party
Deputy Leader 1929-32
Treasurer James Scullin
James Fenton James Fenton.jpg 1930 1931 Australian Labor Party
Temporary Leader 1929-32
Acting Prime Minister 1930-31 James Scullin
John Latham Johnlatham.jpg 1932 1934 United Australia Party
Deputy Leader 1932-34
Attorney-General
Minister for External Affairs
Minister for Industry
Joseph Lyons
George Pearce Sir George Pearce.jpg 1934 1934 United Australia Party
Deputy Leader 1934
Minister for External Affairs
Minister in Charge of Territories
Earle Page EarlePage.jpg 1934 1939 Country Party
Leader 1921-39
Minister for Commerce
Minister for Health
Archie Cameron Archiecameron.jpg 1939 1940 Country Party
Leader 1939-40
Postmaster-General
Minister for Commerce
Minister for the Navy
Robert Menzies
Arthur Fadden FaddenPEO.jpg 1940 1941 Country Party
Leader 1940-58
Minister for the Air
Minister for Civil Aviation
Treasurer
Acting Prime Minister 1940
Billy Hughes Nla.ms-ms1538-10-582-e.jpg 1941 1941 United Australia Party
Leader 1941-43
Minister for the Navy
Attorney-General
Arthur Fadden
Frank Forde Frankforde.jpg 1941 1946 Australian Labor Party
Deputy Leader 1932-46
Minister for the Army
Minister for Defence
Acting Prime Minister April–July 1944, November 1944-January 1945, Prime Minister for one week in 1945
John Curtin
Ben Chifley
H. V. Evatt EvattALP.jpg 1946 1949 Australian Labor Party
Deputy Leader 1946-51
Minister for External Affairs
Attorney-General
Arthur Fadden FaddenPEO.jpg 1949 1958 Country Party
Leader 1940-58
Treasurer Robert Menzies
John McEwen Nla.pic-an23474705-v.jpg 1958 1967 Country Party
Leader 1958-71
Minister for Trade and Industry
Acting Prime Minister June–July 1965
Harold Holt

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Ministries and Cabinets". 43rd Parliamentary Handbook: Historical information on the Australian Parliament. Parliament of Australia. 2010. Retrieved 9 July 2013. 
  2. ^ "Deputy Prime Ministers of Australia" (PDF). Museum of Australian Democracy. Retrieved 27 July 2013. 

External links[edit]