List of whips in the Australian Senate

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Whips have managed business and maintained party discipline for Australia's federal political parties in the Senate since Federation. Though the Remuneration Tribunal and parliamentary website refer to the senior Labor and Liberal whips as "chief" whips and their junior whips as "deputy whips", the parties tend to refer to the senior whips as "whips" when announcing their officeholders to the Senate.[1][2] A number of Senate whips have gone on to serve as ministers, and several as Leader of the Government or Leader of the Opposition in the Senate.

Australian Labor Party[edit]

James Stewart, Labor's first Senate whip (1901–03)
Anne McEwen, the current Labor whip

In addition to those below, Kay Denman served as a deputy whip from 18 September to 31 December 1995, a period when one of Labor's two whips was on leave of absence while conducting parliamentary business overseas.[3][4][5]

Whip Date Leader
James Stewart 21 May 1901[6][7] Chris Watson
David O'Keefe 29 April 1904[8]
Hugh de Largie 20 February 1907[9]
Andrew Fisher
Rudolph Ready 18 September 1914[10]
Billy Hughes
Frank Tudor
Ted Needham 8 May 1917[11]
Vacant[a 1] 1 July 1920
Matthew Charlton
Ted Needham 6 July 1923[12]
Charles McHugh 9 July 1926[13]
Charles Graham 28 September 1927[14]
James Scullin
James Dunn 14 August 1929[15]
Bert Hoare 18 March 1931[16]
John V. MacDonald 1 July 1935[a 2]
John Curtin
Bill Ashley 20 September 1938[18]
Robert Clothier 6 October 1941[19]
Ben Chifley
Jack Critchley 13 June 1950[20][21]
H. V. Evatt
Sid O'Flaherty 4 September 1957
Arthur Calwell


Whip Date Deputy Whip Date Deputy Whip Date Leader
Justin O'Byrne[a 3] 20 February 1962[22] Bob Poke 20 February 1962[22] Arthur Calwell
Gough Whitlam
George Poyser 18 December 1972[23]
George Poyser 10 June 1974[a 4] Don Devitt 10 June 1974[a 4]
George Georges 27 January 1976[26] Gordon McIntosh 27 January 1976[27]
Bill Hayden
Ted Robertson 24 November 1980[28] Kerry Sibraa[a 3] 24 November 1980[29]
Gordon McIntosh 10 March 1983[27] Bob Hawke
Gerry Jones 22 August 1985[30]
Gerry Jones 14 September 1987[30][31] Graham Maguire 14 September 1987[31] Jim McKiernan 14 September 1987[31][32]
Dominic Foreman 4 November 1988[33]
John Faulkner 12 February 1991[34]
Paul Keating
Bryant Burns 4 May 1993[35]
Chris Evans 20 March 1996[36] Stephen Conroy 30 April 1996[37] Kim Beazley
Kay Denman 24 September 1997[3]
Kerry O'Brien 19 October 1998[38] John Quirke 19 October 1998[39]
Joe Ludwig 17 August 2000[40]
Susan Mackay 22 November 2001[41] Trish Crossin 22 November 2001[42] Geoff Buckland 22 November 2001[43] Simon Crean
Mark Latham
George Campbell 22 October 2004[44] Ruth Webber 22 October 2004[45]
Kim Beazley
Linda Kirk 1 July 2005[46]
Kevin Rudd
Kerry O'Brien 3 December 2007[38] Dana Wortley 3 December 2007[47]
Anne McKewn 1 July 2008[48][49] Don Farrell 1 July 2008[50]
Julia Gillard
Anne McEwen 27 September 2010[48][49] Carol Brown 27 September 2010[51][52] Helen Polley 27 September 2010[53][54]
Kevin Rudd
Catryna Bilyk 18 October 2013[55] Anne Urquhart 18 October 2013[56] Bill Shorten
Notes
  1. ^ Albert Gardiner was the only Labor senator from 1 July 1920 to December 1922.
  2. ^ On 1 July 1935, the composition of the Senate changed such that there were three Labor senators. MacDonald was the whip, the others being leader and deputy leader of the party in the Senate.[17] MacDonald died on 17 August 1935, and his replacement, Ben Courtice, was appointed in September. Courtice had to defend the seat at the federal election in October 1937, and he succeeded. In addition, two other Labor candidates won elections for casual Senate vacancies at that election, raising Labor's Senate caucus to five members. It is unclear if any of the five was elected whip for the 22 sitting days between November 1937 and the end of June 1938.
  3. ^ a b Later served as President of the Australian Senate.
  4. ^ a b Poyser and Devitt were the Labor whips in the 29th Parliament.[24] The pre-sessional caucus was held on 10 June 1974.[25]

Coalition[edit]

Liberal Party of Australia[edit]

Annabelle Rankin was the Liberal's longest-serving whip and the Senate's first female whip

Senate leaders are elected by Senate Liberals while in opposition from 1972 to 1975.[57] Fraser unilaterally reversed the policy, though the change remained a source of controversy for several years thereafter.[58] When the party returned to opposition in 1983, Andrew Peakcock promised to follow the wishes of Liberal senators if elected leader,[59] and the practice was restored.[60] Currently, they are elected in government[61][62] and in opposition.[2]

Whip Date Deputy Whip Date Leader
Unclear[l 1] 21 February 1945[l 2] Robert Menzies
Annabelle Rankin 1 July 1947[65]
Reg Wright 21 February 1950[l 3]
Annabelle Rankin 11 June 1951[68]
Malcolm Scott 8 March 1966[70] Harold Holt
Bob Cotton 12 March 1968[71] John Gorton
Reg Withers 25 November 1969[72] William McMahon
Harold Young[l 4] 16 August 1971[73]
Billy Snedden
Fred Chaney 20 November 1974[74]
Fred Chaney 8 April 1975[74] Kathy Martin 8 April 1975[75] Malcolm Fraser
Peter Baume 11 October 1977[76]
Peter Baume 28 February 1978[76] John Knight 1 March 1978[77]
John Knight 25 November 1980[78] Allan Rocher 25 November 1980[79]
Bernie Kilgariff 24 February 1981[80]
Bernie Kilgariff 24 March 1981[81] Andrew Thomas 24 March 1981[81]
Margaret Reid[l 4] 18 November 1982[82]
Andrew Peacock
John Howard
Margaret Reid[l 4] 14 September 1987[82] Susan Knowles 14 September 1987[83]
Andrew Peacock
John Hewson
John Panizza 4 May 1993[84]
Alexander Downer
John Howard
John Panizza 9 May 1995[84] Paul Calvert[l 4] 9 May 1995[85]
Paul Calvert[l 4] 11 February 1997[85] Bill Heffernan 11 February 1997[86]
Helen Coonan 10 November 1998[87]
Jeannie Ferris 23 November 2001[88]
Jeannie Ferris 22 August 2002[88] Alan Eggleston 22 August 2002[89]
Stephen Parry 11 September 2006[90][91]
Stephen Parry 12 April 2007[90][91] Julian McGauran 8 May 2007[92][93]
Judith Adams 3 December 2007[94][95] Brendan Nelson
Malcolm Turnbull
Whip Date Deputy Whip Date Deputy Whip Date Leader
Stephen Parry 12 April 2007[90][91] Judith Adams 3 December 2007[94][95] David Bushby 4 February 2009[96][97] Malcolm Turnbull
Tony Abbott
Helen Kroger 4 July 2011[98][99]
Chris Back 8 May 2012[100][101]
David Bushby 1 July 2014[62] Anne Ruston 1 July 2014[62] David Fawcett 1 July 2014[102]
Notes
  1. ^ Allan MacDonald was elected the United Australia Party's Senate whip in October 1941.[63] In parts of 1943, Oliver Uppill was acting whip due to MacDonald's illness. From July 1944, James McLachlan took over the duties associated with a whip, acting as a teller in divisions and requesting leave of absence for his party's senators. Except for periods when McLachlan was himself on leave and Burford Sampson performed those duties, McLachlan continued to act in the role of whip, suggesting he was elected to replace MacDonald in July 1944 (when senators elected at the 1943 election took their seats) and continued until June 1947, when he and all but one other Liberal were forced to vacate their seats following the party's electoral annihilation at the 1946.
  2. ^ Dated from the announcement in the Senate of George McLeay that "[M]embers of the party which I have the honour to lead in this chamber, wish from henceforth to be regarded as members of the Liberal party of Australia."[64]
  3. ^ Wright was the whip during the 19 Parliament.[66][67][68] In the early 1950s, Liberal Senate whips were elected,[68] and party elections for the 19th Parliament were held on 21 February 1950.[69]
  4. ^ a b c d e Later served as President of the Australian Senate.

National Country Party/National Party of Australia[edit]

Former Nationals' whip in the Senate John Williams
Whip Date Leader
Ron Maunsell 27 February 1973[103] Doug Anthony
Glen Sheil 21 February 1980[104]
Stan Collard by 24 March 1981[105]
Ian Sinclair
Glen Sheil 21 February 1985[104]
Grant Tambling 14 September 1987[106]
Charles Blunt
Tim Fischer
David Brownhill 1 July 1990[107]
Flo Bjelke-Petersen 23 March 1993[108]
Bill O'Chee 1 July 1993[109]
Julian McGauran 1 July 1999[110] John Anderson
Mark Vaile
Nigel Scullion 7 February 2006[111]
Fiona Nash 6 February 2007[112][113]
Warren Truss
John Williams 22 September 2008[114][115]
Bridget McKenzie 13 September 2013[116]
Barry O'Sullivan 1 July 2014[117]

Australian Greens[edit]

Western Australian Greens[edit]

In May 1996, following the 1996 election, the two members of the Western Australian Greens in the Senate announced they were to be whip and deputy whip of their party. The deputy whip, Christabel Chamarette, had lost her seat at the election, and left the Senate just over a month after the announcement. The party lost its other seat (and its whip) at the 1998 election, with her leaving office in June 1999. The party only merged with the Australian Greens in 2003, after it lost its senators.

Whip Date Deputy Whip Date
Dee Margetts 20 May 1996[118] Christabel Chamarette 20 May 1996[119]
None 1 July 1996
None 1 July 1999

Australian Greens[edit]

Rachel Siewert has been the Greens' whip since 2005.

The Australian Greens appointed their first whip in the Senate when the party increased from two to four members in 2005. She became entitled to a salary when the party increased to five members in 2008.

Whip Date Leader
Rachel Siewert 9 August 2005[120] Bob Brown
Christine Milne

Australian Democrats[edit]

The Australian Democrats first elected a whip in 1981, reflecting an increase from two to five of the party's Senate membership. The party lost all its seats at the 2007 election, and its senators duly left their seats the following June.

Whip Date Leader
Michael Macklin by 19 November 1981[121] Don Chipp
Janine Haines
Paul McLean by 31 October 1989[122]
Janet Powell
Vicki Bourne 3 September 1991[123] John Coulter
Cheryl Kernot
Meg Lees
Natasha Stott Despoja
Lyn Allison 1 July 2002[124] Andrew Bartlett
Andrew Bartlett 13 December 2004[125] Lyn Allison
None 1 July 2008

Democratic Labour Party[edit]

The Democratic Labour Party (until 2013 the Democratic Labor Party) elected its first whip in 1968, when its membership increased from two to four. The party continued to do so until 1974, when the party lost all its seats at the 1974 double dissolutionn election. The party re-entered the Senate following the 2010 election, but does not have a whip as it only has one senator.

Whip Date Leader
Condon Byrne 13 August 1968[126] Vince Gair
Jack Little 10 October 1973[127] Frank McManus
None 10 May 1974

Palmer United Party[edit]

The Palmer United Party won three Senate seats at the 2013 election, the new senators taking their seats on 1 July 2014.

Whip Date Leader
Zhenya Wang 1 July 2014[128][129] Glenn Lazarus

Defunct[edit]

Free Trade/Anti-Socialist Party (1901–09)[edit]

John Clemons was the Free Trade Party whip from Federation until 1907.
Hugh de Largie was the Senate whip for three parties: Labor, National Labor, and the Nationalists.
Whip Date Leader
John Clemons 1901[130] George Reid
Henry Dobson 21 November 1907[131]
Thomas Chataway 26 November 1908[132] Joseph Cook

Protectionist Party (1901–09)[edit]

Whip Date Leader
None 1901[133][134] Edmund Barton
John Keating by 30 April 1902[d 1]
None by 5 July 1905[140] Alfred Deakin

Commonwealth Liberal Party (1909–17)[edit]

Whip Date Leader
Thomas Chataway 21 June 1909[141] Alfred Deakin
Joseph Cook
Unclear[d 2] 1 July 1913

National Labor (1909–16)[edit]

Whip Date Leader
Hugh de Largie 14 November 1916[142] Billy Hughes

Nationalist Party of Australia (1917–31)[edit]

Whip Date Leader
Hugh de Largie 13 June 1917[d 3] Billy Hughes
Edmund
Drake-Brockman
10 February 1923[147] Stanley Bruce
Harry Foll 1 July 1926[148]
John Latham

United Australia Party (1931–45)[edit]

Whip Date Leader
Harry Foll 7 May 1931[149] Joseph Lyons
George McLeay 29 November 1937[d 4]
Dick Dein 7 November 1938[152]
Robert Menzies
Allan MacDonald 8 October 1941[63] Billy Hughes
Robert Menzies
James McLachlan July 1944?[d 5]
Notes
  1. ^ Keating was initially appointed to act for the ministry, not the party, solely during the pendency of the tariff bill.[135] However, he seems to have acted as a more traditional whip by the press during that session.[136] Keating continued as whip into the following session,[137][138] though it is not clear whether the arrangement persisted when the Protectionists went into opposition in 1904. At the latest, Keating ceased to be whip upon becoming a minister in July 1905.[139] No Government whip was appointed.[140]
  2. ^ Chataway's term as a senator ended on 30 June 1913. In June 1913, immediately before the formation of the Cook Ministry, there was speculation Senator Keating would become whip, but this does not appear to have eventuated. The Liberals may have chosen not to appoint a whip because they had only seven (of 36) senators, three of whom were in the ministry. This proposition receives some support from a mocking question asked by Senator Ready, the Labor whip: "I should like the Honorary Minister to inform the Senate who is the Whip of the large party sitting opposite?" The only answer came from a fellow Labor senator, James Long, who said, "They are all crackers. I do not know who is Whip." Various Liberals acted as teller during the Cook Government, and while Thomas Bakhap and Charles Oakes did so the most, there is no evidence from Hansard that either was the whip. Following the 1914 double dissolution, the Liberals' numbers in the Senate fell to five.
  3. ^ Senator de Largie was the National Labor whip, continued as Senate whip[143] after the formation of the National Labor and Liberal coalition in February 1917,[144] and remained whip[145] after the parties merged on 13 June 1917.[146]
  4. ^ McLeay was in post by 4 December 1937,[150] and caucus elections were held and portfolios assigned on 29 November.[151]
  5. ^ From July 1944, James McLachlan took over the duties associated with a whip, acting as a teller in divisions and requesting leave of absence for his party's senators. Except for periods when McLachlan was himself on leave and Burford Sampson performed those duties, McLachlan continued to act in the role of whip, suggesting he was elected to replace MacDonald in July 1944 (when senators elected at the 1943 election took their seats) and continued until June 1947, when he and all sitting Liberal were forced to vacate their seats following the party's electoral annihilation at the 1946.

References[edit]

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