Court Ministry

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This article is about the Ministry led by Sir Charles Court. For the Ministry led by his son Richard Court, see Court–Cowan Ministry.

The Court Ministry was the 27th Ministry of the Government of Western Australia, led by Liberal Premier Sir Charles Court and deputy Des O'Neil (Ray O'Connor replaced O'Neil following his retirement in 1980). It commenced on 5 June 1975, following the Court–McPharlin Ministry, 15 months after the Coalition's electoral defeat of the Tonkin Labor government. It was followed by the O'Connor Ministry upon Court's retirement as Premier on 25 January 1982.

Overview[edit]

On 20 May 1975, the National Country Party (NCP), led by Ray McPharlin, withdrew from the Coalition. At the time, three Ministers had been members of the NCP. In the ensuing negotiations which included visits from Federal Country Party leader Doug Anthony and Queensland Premier Joh Bjelke-Petersen, Dick Old replaced McPharlin as state party leader. The Coalition recommenced on 31 May. Court felt that Old had insufficient experience to become Deputy Premier, so while the Government was based on a Liberal-NCP coalition until its defeat by Labor in 1983, both the Premier and Deputy positions were held by members of the parliamentary Liberal Party.[1]

The Ministry was reconstituted three times - first on 10 March 1977, following the 1977 election; on 25 August 1978 after a portfolio reshuffle; and finally on 5 March 1980 following the 1980 election.

The 1977 election, which expanded the Legislative Assembly from 51 to 55 members, saw the Liberal Party gain four seats and come within one seat of being able to govern in their own right. The NCP made the abolition of probate on estates passing to a spouse a condition of forming a coalition with the Liberals. This change in government policy was announced by the Premier after the election. However, due to a reduction in the numbers of NCP members in the Parliament, the NCP's allocation of Ministerial positions in the 13-member Ministry, went from 3 to 2, with the loss of Norm Baxter. Neil McNeill retired from the Ministry, allowing Ian Medcalf to be appointed Attorney-General.[2]

On 24 July 1978, Bill Grayden resigned from the Ministry after pleading guilty to two charges of unlawful assault on police officers, and one of unlawful damage to a police car. Ray O'Connor was appointed as Acting Minister covering all three of Grayden's portfolios and was formally sworn in by the Governor on 7 August 1978. Ray Young was promoted to the Ministry. A number of significant portfolio changes occurred on 25 August 1978, resulting from a split within the NCP leading to half of its MP's, along with its state president, forming a breakaway National Party. Both of the NCP Ministers stayed with the original party.[3]

The 1980 election, which saw little parliamentary change other than the defeat of Housing Minister Alan Ridge in his Kimberley seat and the retirement of Deputy Premier Des O'Neil from politics, preceded another reconstitution of the Ministry. Ray O'Connor, who had been a member of parliament since 1959, was promoted to the Deputy Premiership whilst two new Ministers were appointed and two Honorary Ministers were appointed. The Government failed to enact legislation which would have amended the Constitution to allow an expansion of the Ministry to 15, on account of maverick Liberal MLA Dr Tom Dadour and the National Party opposing the measure.[4]

On 18 December 1981, Sir Charles Court, then 70 years of age, announced his decision that he would step down as Premier on 25 January 1982.[5] The ministry ended on that date and was succeeded by the O'Connor Ministry.

Ministry[edit]

First Ministry[edit]

On 5 June 1975, the Governor, Air Commodore Sir Hughie Edwards, designated 12 principal executive offices of the Government under section 43(2) of the Constitution Acts Amendment Act 1899. The following ministers were then appointed to the positions, and served until the reconstitution of the Ministry on 10 March 1977.[6] An honorary minister was appointed two weeks later; following the assent of the Constitution Acts Amendment Act (No.4) 1975 (No.86 of 1975) on 20 November 1975, the Ministry grew to 13 members and Ian Medcalf was formally appointed on 22 December.

The list below is ordered by decreasing seniority within the Cabinet, as indicated by the Government Gazette and the Hansard index. Blue entries indicate members of the Liberal Party, whilst green entries indicate members of the National Country Party. The members of the Ministry were:

Office Minister

Premier and Treasurer
Minister Co-ordinating Economic and Social Development
Minister for Federal Affairs (until 22 December 1975)

Sir Charles Court, OBE, Dip.Acctg.,
FCA, FICS, FASA, MLA

Deputy Premier
Minister for Works
Minister for Water Supplies
Minister for the North-West

Des O'Neil, DipEd, MLA

Chief Secretary
Minister for Justice
Leader of the Government in the Legislative Council

Neil McNeill, BSc (Agric), MLC

Minister for Agriculture

Dick Old, MLA

Minister for Transport
Minister for Police
Minister for Traffic

Ray O'Connor, MLA

Minister for Education
Minister for Cultural Affairs
Minister for Recreation

Graham MacKinnon, ED, JP, MLC

Minister for Labour and Industry
Minister for Consumer Affairs
Minister for Immigration

Bill Grayden, MLA

Minister for Industrial Development
Minister for Mines
Minister for Fuel and Energy

Andrew Mensaros, MLA

Minister for Local Government
Minister for Urban Development and Town Planning

Cyril Rushton, MLA

Minister for Lands
Minister for Forests
Minister for Tourism

Alan Ridge, MLA

Minister for Health
Minister for Community Welfare

Norm Baxter, MLC

Minister for Housing
Minister for Conservation and Environment
Minister for Fisheries and Wildlife

Peter Jones, MLA

Honorary Minister (19 June 1975 – 22 December 1975)
Minister for Federal Affairs (from 22 December 1975)

Ian Medcalf, ED, QC, LL.B., MLC

Second Ministry[edit]

On 10 March 1977, the Governor, Air Chief Marshal Sir Wallace Kyle, designated 13 principal executive offices of the Government under section 43(2) of the Constitution Acts Amendment Act 1899 and appointed the ministers to the positions.[7]

On 24 July 1978, Bill Grayden resigned from the Ministry. Ray O'Connor was appointed the Acting Minister for all three portfolios, and was sworn into them on 7 August 1978. Ray Young was also promoted to the Ministry at this time. These arrangements stayed in place until the 25 August reshuffle.[8]

Office Minister

Premier and Treasurer
Minister Co-ordinating Economic and Social Development

Sir Charles Court, OBE, Dip.Acctg.,
FCA, FICS, FASA, MLA

Deputy Premier
Chief Secretary
Minister for Police and Traffic
Minister for Regional Administration
Minister for the North-West

Des O'Neil, DipEd, MLA

Minister for Agriculture

Dick Old, MLA

Minister for Fisheries and Wildlife
Minister for Tourism
Minister for Conservation and Environment
Leader of the Government in the Legislative Council

Graham MacKinnon, ED, JP, MLC

Minister for Works
Minister for Water Supplies
Minister for Housing

(from 7 August 1978, acting from 24 July:)

Minister for Labour and Industry
Minister for Consumer Affairs
Minister for Immigration
Ray O'Connor, MLA

Minister for Labour and Industry
Minister for Consumer Affairs
Minister for Immigration

Bill Grayden, MLA
(until 24 July 1978)

Attorney-General
Minister for Federal Affairs

Ian Medcalf, ED, QC, LL.B., MLC

Minister for Education
Minister for Cultural Affairs
Minister for Recreation

Peter Jones, MLA

Minister for Industrial Development
Minister for Mines
Minister for Fuel and Energy

Andrew Mensaros, MLA

Minister for Local Government
Minister for Urban Development and Town Planning

Cyril Rushton, MLA

Minister for Health
Minister for Community Welfare

Alan Ridge, MLA

Minister for Transport

David Wordsworth, MLC

Minister for Lands and Forests

June Craig, MLA

Minister without portfolio

Ray Young, MLA
(from 7 August 1978)

Third Ministry[edit]

On 25 August 1978, the Governor, Air Chief Marshal Sir Wallace Kyle, designated 13 principal executive offices of the Government under section 43(2) of the Constitution Acts Amendment Act 1899. The following ministers were then appointed to the positions, and served until the reconstitution of the Ministry on 5 March 1980 following the 1980 state election.[9]

Office Minister

Premier and Treasurer
Minister Co-ordinating Economic and Social Development

Sir Charles Court, OBE, Dip.Acctg.,
FCA, FICS, FASA, MLA

Deputy Premier
Chief Secretary
Minister for Police and Traffic
Minister for Regional Administration
Minister for the North-West

Des O'Neil, DipEd, MLA

Minister for Agriculture

Dick Old, MLA

Minister for Works
Minister for Water Supplies
Minister for Tourism
Leader of the Government in the Legislative Council

Graham MacKinnon, ED, JP, MLC

Minister for Labour and Industry
Minister for Consumer Affairs
Minister for Immigration
Minister for Fisheries and Wildlife
Minister for Conservation and Environment

Ray O'Connor, MLA

Attorney-General
Minister for Federal Affairs

Ian Medcalf, ED, QC, LL.B., MLC

Minister for Education
Minister for Cultural Affairs
Minister for Recreation

Peter Jones, MLA

Minister for Industrial Development
Minister for Mines
Minister for Fuel and Energy

Andrew Mensaros, MLA

Minister for Transport

Cyril Rushton, MLA

Minister for Housing

Alan Ridge, MLA

Minister for Lands and Forests

David Wordsworth, MLC

Minister for Local Government
Minister for Urban Development and Town Planning

June Craig, MLA

Minister for Health
Minister for Community Welfare

Ray Young, MLA

Fourth Ministry[edit]

On 5 March 1980, the Governor, Air Chief Marshal Sir Wallace Kyle, designated 13 principal executive offices of the Government under section 43(2) of the Constitution Acts Amendment Act 1899. The following ministers were then appointed to the positions, and served until the end of the Ministry on 25 January 1982, when the O'Connor Ministry was formed by Deputy Premier Ray O'Connor upon the Premier's retirement.[10]

Office Minister

Premier and Treasurer
Minister Co-ordinating Economic and Social Development

Sir Charles Court, OBE, Dip.Acctg.,
FCA, FICS, FASA, MLA

Deputy Premier
Minister for Labour and Industry
Minister for Consumer Affairs
Minister for Immigration

(until 12 February 1981:)

Minister for Regional Administration
Minister for the North-West
Minister for Tourism
Ray O'Connor, MLA

Minister for Agriculture

Dick Old, MLA

Attorney-General
Minister for Federal Affairs
Leader of the Government in the Legislative Council

Ian Medcalf, ED, QC, LL.B., MLC

Minister for Works
Minister for Water Resources
Minister assisting the Minister Co-ordinating
    Economic and Social Development
Minister for Housing (until 12 February 1981)

Andrew Mensaros, MLA

Minister for Resources Development
Minister for Mines
Minister for Fuel and Energy
Minister for Industrial Development and Commerce

(from 12 February 1981:)

Minister for Housing
Minister for Regional Administration
Minister for the North-West
Minister for Tourism
Peter Jones, MLA

Minister for Transport

Cyril Rushton, MLA

Minister for Health

Ray Young, MLA

Minister for Education
Minister for Cultural Affairs
Minister for Recreation

Bill Grayden, MLA

Minister for Lands and Forests

David Wordsworth, MLC

Minister for Local Government
Minister for Urban Development and Town Planning

June Craig, MLA

Chief Secretary
Minister for Police and Traffic
Minister for Community Welfare

Bill Hassell, LL.B., MA, MLA

Minister for Fisheries and Wildlife
Minister for Conservation and Environment

Gordon Masters, MLC

Honorary Minister assisting the Ministers for Housing,
    Regional Administration, North West and Tourism

Ian Laurance, Dip.Teach, BA, FAIM, MLA

Honorary Minister assisting the Minister
    for Industrial Development and Commerce

Barry MacKinnon, BEc, Dip.Acctg, FASA, MLA

Listed by name and portfolio[edit]

Minister Office Appointed Ended
Baxter, Norm (MLC) Minister for Health 5 June 1975 10 March 1977
Baxter, Norm (MLC) Minister for Community Welfare 5 June 1975 10 March 1977
Court, Charles (MLA) Premier and Treasurer 5 June 1975 25 January 1982
Court, Charles (MLA) Minister Co-ordinating Economic and Social Development 5 June 1975 25 January 1982
Court, Charles (MLA) Minister for Federal Affairs 5 June 1975 22 December 1975
Craig, June (MLA) Minister for Lands and Forests 10 March 1977 25 August 1978
Craig, June (MLA) Minister for Local Government 25 August 1978 25 January 1982
Craig, June (MLA) Minister for Urban Development and Town Planning 25 August 1978 25 January 1982
Grayden, Bill (MLA) Minister for Labour and Industry 5 June 1975 24 July 1978
Grayden, Bill (MLA) Minister for Consumer Affairs 5 June 1975 24 July 1978
Grayden, Bill (MLA) Minister for Immigration 5 June 1975 24 July 1978
Grayden, Bill (MLA) Minister for Education 5 March 1980 25 January 1982
Grayden, Bill (MLA) Minister for Cultural Affairs 5 March 1980 25 January 1982
Grayden, Bill (MLA) Minister for Recreation 5 March 1980 25 January 1982
Hassell, Bill (MLA) Chief Secretary 5 March 1980 25 January 1982
Hassell, Bill (MLA) Minister for Police and Traffic 5 March 1980 25 January 1982
Hassell, Bill (MLA) Minister for Community Welfare 5 March 1980 25 January 1982
Jones, Peter (MLA) Minister for Housing 5 June 1975 10 March 1977
Jones, Peter (MLA) Minister for Conservation and Environment 5 June 1975 10 March 1977
Jones, Peter (MLA) Minister for Fisheries and Wildlife 5 June 1975 10 March 1977
Jones, Peter (MLA) Minister for Education 10 March 1977 5 March 1980
Jones, Peter (MLA) Minister for Cultural Affairs 10 March 1977 5 March 1980
Jones, Peter (MLA) Minister for Recreation 10 March 1977 5 March 1980
Jones, Peter (MLA) Minister for Regional Administration 12 February 1981 25 January 1982
Jones, Peter (MLA) Minister for the North-West 12 February 1981 25 January 1982
Jones, Peter (MLA) Minister for Tourism 12 February 1981 25 January 1982
Jones, Peter (MLA) Minister for Resources Development 5 March 1980 25 January 1982
Jones, Peter (MLA) Minister for Mines 5 March 1980 25 January 1982
Jones, Peter (MLA) Minister for Fuel and Energy 5 March 1980 25 January 1982
Jones, Peter (MLA) Minister for Industrial Development and Commerce 5 March 1980 25 January 1982
Jones, Peter (MLA) Minister for Housing 12 February 1981 25 January 1982
Laurance, Ian (MLA) Honorary Minister 5 March 1980 25 January 1982
MacKinnon, Barry (MLA) Honorary Minister 5 March 1980 25 January 1982
MacKinnon, Graham (MLC) Minister for Education 5 June 1975 10 March 1977
MacKinnon, Graham (MLC) Minister for Cultural Affairs 5 June 1975 10 March 1977
MacKinnon, Graham (MLC) Minister for Recreation 5 June 1975 10 March 1977
MacKinnon, Graham (MLC) Leader of the Government in the Legislative Council 10 March 1977 5 March 1980
MacKinnon, Graham (MLC) Minister for Fisheries and Wildlife 10 March 1977 25 August 1978
MacKinnon, Graham (MLC) Minister for Conservation and Environment 10 March 1977 25 August 1978
MacKinnon, Graham (MLC) Minister for Works 10 March 1977 5 March 1980
MacKinnon, Graham (MLC) Minister for Water Supplies 25 August 1978 5 March 1980
MacKinnon, Graham (MLC) Minister for Tourism 25 August 1978 5 March 1980
McNeill, Neil (MLC) Chief Secretary 5 June 1975 10 March 1977
McNeill, Neil (MLC) Minister for Justice 5 June 1975 10 March 1977
McNeill, Neil (MLC) Leader of the Government in the Legislative Council 5 June 1975 10 March 1977
Masters, Gordon Minister for Fisheries and Wildlife 5 March 1980 25 January 1982
Masters, Gordon (MLC) Minister for Conservation and Environment 5 March 1980 25 January 1982
Medcalf, Ian (MLC) Honorary Minister 19 June 1975 22 December 1975
Medcalf, Ian (MLC) Attorney-General 10 March 1977 25 January 1982
Medcalf, Ian (MLC) Minister for Federal Affairs 22 December 1975 25 January 1982
Medcalf, Ian (MLC) Leader of the Government in the Legislative Council 5 March 1980 25 January 1982
Mensaros, Andrew (MLA) Minister for Industrial Development 5 June 1975 5 March 1980
Mensaros, Andrew (MLA) Minister for Mines 5 June 1975 5 March 1980
Mensaros, Andrew (MLA) Minister for Fuel and Energy 5 June 1975 5 March 1980
Mensaros, Andrew (MLA) Minister for Works 5 March 1980 25 January 1982
Mensaros, Andrew (MLA) Minister for Water Supplies 5 March 1980 25 January 1982
Mensaros, Andrew (MLA) Minister assisting the Minister
Co-ordinating Economic and Social Development
5 March 1980 25 January 1982
Mensaros, Andrew (MLA) Minister for Housing 5 March 1980 12 February 1981
O'Connor, Ray (MLA) Deputy Premier 5 March 1980 25 January 1982
O'Connor, Ray (MLA) Minister for Transport 5 June 1975 10 March 1977
O'Connor, Ray (MLA) Minister for Police 5 June 1975 10 March 1977
O'Connor, Ray (MLA) Minister for Traffic 5 June 1975 10 March 1977
O'Connor, Ray (MLA) Minister for Works 10 March 1977 25 August 1978
O'Connor, Ray (MLA) Minister for Water Supplies 10 March 1977 25 August 1978
O'Connor, Ray (MLA) Minister for Housing 10 March 1977 25 August 1978
O'Connor, Ray (MLA) Minister for Labour and Industry 7 August 1978 25 January 1982
O'Connor, Ray (MLA) Minister for Consumer Affairs 7 August 1978 25 January 1982
O'Connor, Ray (MLA) Minister for Immigration 7 August 1978 25 January 1982
O'Connor, Ray (MLA) Minister for Fisheries and Wildlife 25 August 1978 5 March 1980
O'Connor, Ray (MLA) Minister for Conservation and Environment 25 August 1978 5 March 1980
O'Connor, Ray (MLA) Minister for Regional Administration 5 March 1980 12 February 1981
O'Connor, Ray (MLA) Minister for the North-West 5 March 1980 12 February 1981
O'Connor, Ray (MLA) Minister for Tourism 5 March 1980 12 February 1981
O'Neil, Des (MLA) Deputy Premier 5 June 1975 5 March 1980
Old, Dick (MLA) Minister for Agriculture 5 June 1975 25 January 1982
O'Neil, Des (MLA) Chief Secretary 10 March 1977 5 March 1980
O'Neil, Des (MLA) Minister for Police and Traffic 10 March 1977 5 March 1980
O'Neil, Des (MLA) Minister for Regional Administration 10 March 1977 5 March 1980
O'Neil, Des (MLA) Minister for Water Supplies 5 June 1975 10 March 1977
O'Neil, Des (MLA) Minister for Works 5 June 1975 10 March 1977
O'Neil, Des (MLA) Minister for the North-West 5 June 1975 5 March 1980
Ridge, Alan (MLA) Minister for Lands 5 June 1975 10 March 1977
Ridge, Alan (MLA) Minister for Forests 5 June 1975 10 March 1977
Ridge, Alan (MLA) Minister for Tourism 5 June 1975 10 March 1977
Ridge, Alan (MLA) Minister for Health 10 March 1977 25 August 1978
Ridge, Alan (MLA) Minister for Community Welfare 10 March 1977 25 August 1978
Ridge, Alan (MLA) Minister for Housing 25 August 1978 5 March 1980
Rushton, Cyril (MLA) Minister for Local Government 5 June 1975 25 August 1978
Rushton, Cyril (MLA) Minister for Urban Development and Town Planning 5 June 1975 25 August 1978
Rushton, Cyril (MLA) Minister for Transport 25 August 1978 25 January 1982
Wordsworth, David (MLC) Minister for Transport 10 March 1977 25 August 1978
Wordsworth, David (MLC) Minister for Lands and Forests 25 August 1978 25 January 1982
Young, Ray (MLA) Minister without portfolio 7 August 1978 25 August 1978
Young, Ray (MLA) Minister for Health 25 August 1978 25 January 1982
Young, Ray (MLA) Minister for Community Welfare 25 August 1978 5 March 1980

References[edit]

  1. ^ Hamilton, Barbara (December 1975). "Australian Political Chronicle: January–June 1975". Australian Journal of Politics and History 21 (3): 122–123. ISSN 0004-9522. 
  2. ^ "Australian Political Chronicle: January–June 1977". Australian Journal of Politics and History 23 (3): 450. December 1977. doi:10.1111/j.1467-8497.1977.tb01253.x. ISSN 0004-9522. 
  3. ^ Watt, E.D. (April 1979). "Australian Political Chronicle: July–December 1978". Australian Journal of Politics and History 25 (1): 104–105. ISSN 0004-9522. 
  4. ^ Penrose, Sandra (April 1981). "Australian Political Chronicle: July–December 1980". Australian Journal of Politics and History 27 (1): 93. ISSN 0004-9522. 
  5. ^ Black, David (April 1982). "Australian Political Chronicle: July–December 1981". Australian Journal of Politics and History 28 (1): 111, 121. ISSN 0004-9522. 
  6. ^ "No.34 (Special)". Western Australia Government Gazette. 5 June 1975. p. 1975:1765. 
    * Hansard Indexes for 1975-1977, "Legislature of Western Australia"
  7. ^ "No.15 (Special)". Western Australia Government Gazette. 10 March 1977. p. 1977:747–748. 
  8. ^ "Premier's Department". Western Australia Government Gazette. 24 July 1978. p. 1978:2701. 
    * "No.55 (Special)". Western Australia Government Gazette. 7 August 1978. p. 1978:2857. 
  9. ^ "No.60 (Special)". Western Australia Government Gazette. 25 August 1978. p. 1978:3183–3184. 
  10. ^ "No.18 (Special)". Western Australia Government Gazette. 5 March 1980. p. 1980:779–780. 
Preceded by
Court–McPharlin Ministry
Court Ministry
1975-1982
Succeeded by
O'Connor Ministry