Jim Fouras

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
The Hon
Jim Fouras
Speaker of the Queensland Parliament
In office
27 February 1990 – 2 April 1996
Preceded by Kev Lingard
Succeeded by Neil Turner
Member of the Queensland Parliament for South Brisbane
In office
12 November 1977 – 1 November 1986
Preceded by Colin Lamont
Succeeded by Anne Warner
Member of the Queensland Parliament for Ashgrove
In office
2 December 1989 – 9 September 2006
Preceded by Alan Sherlock
Succeeded by Kate Jones
Personal details
Born Demetrios Fouras
(1938-03-08) 8 March 1938 (age 79)
Kalavryta, Greece
Political party Australian Labor Party
Alma mater University of Queensland
Occupation Chemist

Demetrios "Jim" Fouras, AM (born 8 March 1938), is a former Australian politician. He was Speaker of the Legislative Assembly of Queensland.

Early life[edit]

Born in Manesi, Kalavryta, Greece, he migrated to Queensland at the age of ten with his brother. His knowledge of English was poor and he knew less than 100 words. He received his secondary education at The Southport School and was awarded the school's chemistry prize.[1] He attended the University of Queensland and graduated with a Bachelor of Science (1963) and a Bachelor of Economics {1972}.[2] Fouras was a research chemist and then a marketing economist with the Department of Primary Industries.[1]


In 1977, Fouras was elected to the Legislative Assembly of Queensland as the Labor member for South Brisbane. He held the seat until 1986, when he was defeated for preselection by Anne Warner. He returned to the Assembly in 1989, winning the seat of Ashgrove, which he held until his retirement in 2006. Fouras was Speaker of the Legislative Assembly from 1990 to 1996.[1]

Fouras' tenure as Speaker would have ended earlier in 1995 when he was not renominated by the ALP caucus as its candidate for Speaker, choosing instead Henry Palaszczuk. The party had just been re-elected to government at the 1995 Queensland state election with a one-seat majority.

The dumping of Fouras as Speaker by his ALP colleagues raised the prospect of him being re-elected with the support of the Coalition, as he would have had the numbers to beat Palaszczuk on the floor of Parliament.

Fearing that outcome, the ALP withdrew Palaszczuk's candidacy for Speaker and Fouras was re-elected with the support of his ALP colleagues. Upon his re-election as Speaker, the Coalition claimed that even if the ALP had not reversed its decision on Fouras, he would have been re-elected over Palaszczuk, not just with the support of the Coalition but also some ALP MPs. The claim that some ALP members would have broken the party line to support Fouras has been disputed by the ALP.

During this renewed tenure as Speaker, Independent Liz Cunningham mostly sided with the Coalition in parliamentary votes. With the government having a one-seat majority, on those occasions Fouras as Speaker had to use his casting vote in order for the government to win the division. Fouras' casting vote had not been required previously because before the 1995 election the Government had had a 19-seat majority.

In February 1996, the ALP lost its one-seat majority after the loss of the Mundingburra by-election and the Goss Government resigned its commission. Fouras likewise resigned as Speaker.


  1. ^ a b c "Former Members". Parliament of Queensland. 2015. Retrieved 4 February 2015. 
  2. ^ Cameron, Fiona (10 June 2014). "Queen's Birthday Honours recognise UQ alumni". University of Queensland. Retrieved 30 May 2015. 
Parliament of Queensland
Preceded by
Kev Lingard
Speaker of the Legislative Assembly
Succeeded by
Neil Turner
Preceded by
Colin Lamont
Member for South Brisbane
Succeeded by
Anne Warner
Preceded by
Alan Sherlock
Member for Ashgrove
Succeeded by
Kate Jones