Leader of the Government in the Senate (Australia)

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In Australian parliamentary practice, the Leader of the Government in the Senate, also known (especially before the 1940s) as Leader of the Senate, is a party office held by the most senior minister in the Australian Senate, elected by the government party to lead the party (or parties) in the body.[1] Though the leader in the Senate does not have the power of the office of prime minister, there are some parallels between the latter's status in the House of Representatives and the former's in the Senate.[1] In addition to his or her own ministerial portfolio, the leader has overarching responsibility for all policy areas and acts as the government's principal spokesperson in the upper house. The leader, like the prime minister, is entitled to sit at the table of the Senate,[1] and has priority in gaining recognition from the President of the Senate to speak in debate. Another similarity is that the leader typically announces changes to government officeholders in the Senate, including ministers, leadership and whips.[2] The leader also has some responsibility for appointing government senators to committees, a role filled by the Leader of the House and whips in the lower house. The current leader is George Brandis. The leader is assisted by a Deputy Leader of the Government in the Senate, currently Mathias Cormann.

Leaders of the Government[edit]

Leader Term began Term ended Portfolio[3] Party Prime Minister Term start Term end Term in office
  Richard O'Connor Federation[4][5] 24 September 1903 Vice-President of the Executive Council Protectionist Edmund Barton 29 May 1901 (1901-05-29) 13 August 1903 (1903-08-13) 2 years, 76 days
Tom Playford 24 September 1903[6] 27 April 1904 Vice-President of the Executive Council Protectionist Alfred Deakin 24 September 1903 (1903-09-24) 27 April 1904 (1904-04-27) 216 days
Gregor McGregor 27 April 1904[7] 18 August 1904 Vice-President of the Executive Council Labor Chris Watson 27 April 1904 (1904-04-27) 18 August 1904 (1904-08-18) 113 days
Josiah Symon 18 August 1904[8] 5 July 1905 Attorney-General Free Trade George Reid 18 August 1904 (1904-08-18) 5 July 1905 (1905-07-05) 321 days
Tom Playford 5 July 1905[9][10] 31 December 1906[n 1] Defence Protectionist Alfred Deakin 5 July 1905 (1905-07-05) 31 December 1906 (1906-12-31) 1 year, 179 days
Robert Best 20 February 1907[3][12] 13 November 1908 Vice-President of the Executive Council Protectionist Alfred Deakin 20 February 1907 (1907-02-20) 13 November 1908 (1908-11-13) 1 year, 267 days
Gregor McGregor 13 November 1908[13][14] 2 June 1909 Vice-President of the Executive Council Labor Andrew Fisher 13 November 1908 (1908-11-13) 2 June 1909 (1909-06-02) 201 days
Edward Millen 2 June 1909[15] 29 April 1910 Vice-President of the Executive Council Commonwealth
Liberal
Alfred Deakin 2 June 1909 (1909-06-02) 29 April 1910 (1910-04-29) 331 days
Gregor McGregor 29 April 1910[16][17] 24 June 1913 Vice-President of the Executive Council Labor Andrew Fisher 29 April 1910 (1910-04-29) 24 June 1913 (1913-06-24) 3 years, 56 days
Edward Millen 24 June 1913[18] 17 September 1914 Defence Commonwealth
Liberal
Joseph Cook 24 June 1913 (1913-06-24) 17 September 1914 (1914-09-17) 1 year, 85 days
George Pearce 17 September 1914[19][20] 17 February 1917 Defence Labor Andrew Fisher 17 September 1914 (1914-09-17) 17 February 1917 (1917-02-17) 2 years, 153 days
Billy Hughes
National Labor
Edward Millen 17 February 1917[21] 9 February 1923 Commonwealth
Liberal
17 February 1917 (1917-02-17) 9 February 1923 (1923-02-09) 5 years, 357 days
Nationalist
George Pearce 9 February 1923[22][23] 19 October 1929 Nationalist Stanley Bruce 9 February 1923 (1923-02-09) 19 October 1929 (1929-10-19) 6 years, 252 days
John Daly 22 October 1929[24] 3 March 1931 Labor James Scullin 22 October 1929 (1929-10-22) 3 March 1931 (1931-03-03) 1 year, 132 days
John Barnes 3 March 1931[25] 6 January 1932 Vice-President of the Executive Council Labor 3 March 1931 (1931-03-03) 6 January 1932 (1932-01-06) 309 days
George Pearce 6 January 1932[26] 29 November 1937
United
Australia
Joseph Lyons 6 January 1932 (1932-01-06) 29 November 1937 (1937-11-29) 5 years, 327 days
Alexander McLachlan 29 November 1937[27] 7 November 1938 Postmaster-General United
Australia
29 November 1937 (1937-11-29) 7 November 1938 (1938-11-07) 343 days
George McLeay 8 November 1938[28] 7 October 1941
United
Australia
8 November 1938 (1938-11-08) 7 October 1941 (1941-10-07) 2 years, 333 days
Earle Page
Robert Menzies
Arthur Fadden
  Joe Collings 7 October 1941[29][30] 20 September 1943 the Interior Labor John Curtin 7 October 1941 (1941-10-07) 20 September 1943 (1943-09-20) 1 year, 348 days
Richard Keane 20 September 1943[31] 26 April 1946 Trade and Customs Labor 20 September 1943 (1943-09-20) 26 April 1946 (1946-04-26) 2 years, 218 days
Frank Forde
Ben Chifley
Bill Ashley 17 June 1946[32] 19 December 1949 Labor 17 June 1946 (1946-06-17) 19 December 1949 (1949-12-19) 3 years, 185 days
Neil O'Sullivan 21 February 1950[33] 8 December 1958
Liberal Robert Menzies 21 February 1950 (1950-02-21) 8 December 1958 (1958-12-08) 8 years, 290 days
Bill Spooner 8 December 1958[34] 2 June 1964[35] Liberal 8 December 1958 (1958-12-08) 3 June 1964 (1964-06-03) 5 years, 178 days
Shane Paltridge 10 June 1964[36] 19 January 1966[37] Defence Liberal 3 June 1964 (1964-06-03) 19 January 1966 (1966-01-19) 1 year, 230 days
Denham Henty 26 January 1966[38] 10 January 1968 Supply Liberal Harold Holt 26 January 1966 (1966-01-26) 10 January 1968 (1968-01-10) 1 year, 349 days
John McEwen
John Gorton 10 January 1968[39] 1 February 1968 Liberal Himself 10 January 1968 (1968-01-10) 1 February 1968 (1968-02-01) 22 days
Ken Anderson 28 February 1968[n 2] 5 December 1972
Liberal John Gorton 28 February 1968 (1968-02-28) 5 December 1972 (1972-12-05) 4 years, 281 days
William McMahon
Lionel Murphy 19 December 1972[41] 9 February 1975 Labor Gough Whitlam 19 December 1972 (1972-12-19) 9 February 1975 (1975-02-09) 2 years, 52 days
Ken Wriedt 10 February 1975[42] 11 November 1975
Labor 10 February 1975 (1975-02-10) 11 November 1975 (1975-11-11) 274 days
Reg Withers 12 November 1975[43] 7 August 1978[44] Liberal Malcolm Fraser 12 November 1975 (1975-11-12) 7 August 1978 (1978-08-07) 2 years, 268 days
John Carrick 7 August 1978[45] 11 March 1983 Liberal 7 August 1978 (1978-08-07) 11 March 1983 (1983-03-11) 4 years, 216 days
John Button 11 March 1983[46] 24 March 1993 Industry, Technology and Commerce[n 4] Labor Bob Hawke
Paul Keating 11 March 1983 (1983-03-11) 24 March 1993 (1993-03-24) 10 years, 13 days
Gareth Evans 24 March 1993[47] 6 February 1996[n 5] Foreign Affairs Labor 24 March 1993 (1993-03-24) 6 February 1996 (1996-02-06) 2 years, 319 days
Robert Hill 11 March 1996[48] 20 January 2006 Liberal John Howard 11 March 1996 (1996-03-11) 20 January 2006 (2006-01-20) 9 years, 315 days
Nick Minchin 27 January 2006[49] 3 December 2007 Liberal 27 January 2006 (2006-01-27) 3 December 2007 (2007-12-03) 1 year, 310 days
Chris Evans 12 December 2007[50][51] 4 February 2013 Labor Kevin Rudd 12 December 2007 (2007-12-12) 4 February 2013 (2013-02-04) 5 years, 54 days
Julia Gillard
Stephen Conroy 4 February 2013[52][53] 26 June 2013 Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy Labor 4 February 2013 (2013-02-04) 26 June 2013 (2013-06-26) 142 days
Penny Wong 26 June 2013[54][55] 18 September 2013 Finance and Deregulation Labor Kevin Rudd 26 June 2013 (2013-06-26) 18 September 2013 (2013-09-18) 84 days
Eric Abetz 18 September 2013[56][57] 20 September 2015 Employment Liberal Tony Abbott 18 September 2013 (2013-09-18) 20 September 2013 (2013-09-20) 2 years, 3 days
Malcolm Turnbull
George Brandis 21 September 2015 Incumbent Attorney-General
Vice-President of the Executive Council
Liberal Malcolm Turnbull 21 September 2015 (2015-09-21) Incumbent 1 year, 229 days

See also[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Playford lost his seat at the federal election on 12 December. The year 1906 was the last in which terms ended in on the last day of December rather than June.[11]
  2. ^ Anderson was appointed Leader of the Government before the second session of the 26th Parliament,[40] and Gorton made his appointments on 28 February 1968.[3]
  3. ^ Withers was appointed Vice-President of the Executive Council the day after the Dismissal as part of Fraser's Caretaker Cabinet, but he continued in that office for his entire tenure as Leader of the Government. On the same date, he was appointed caretaker the Capital Territory, Special Minister of State, Minister for the Media, and Tourism and Recreation. He served in those offices until 22 December, when Fraser's first full Cabinet was sworn in. The Senate did not meet during the period 12 November to 22 December 1975 (indeed it was dissolved for most of that time). Withers gained the Administrative Services portfolio as part of 22 December reshuffle.
  4. ^ Minister for Industry and Commerce 1983–1984.
  5. ^ Resigned to contest (successfully) the lower house seat of Holt.
  6. ^ Minister for Environment 1996–98.
  7. ^ Tertiary Education, Skills, Science and Research 2011–13.

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c "Leadership in Parliament". Fact Sheets. Parliamentary Education Office. Retrieved 24 August 2013. 
  2. ^ "6. Senators: Parties and party leaders". Odger's Australian Senate Practice (13th ed.). Retrieved 23 August 2013. 
  3. ^ a b c Australian Parliamentary Library. "Ministries and Cabinets". Parliamentary Handbook (32nd ed.). Retrieved 6 September 2013. 
  4. ^ "The Commonwealth". The Register. Adelaide. 29 May 1901. p. 6. Retrieved 6 September 2013. 
  5. ^ Richard O'Connor, Leader of the Senate (13 August 1903). http://parlinfo.aph.gov.au/parlInfo/search/display/display.w3p;adv=yes;db=HANSARD80;id=hansard80%2Fhansards80%2F1903-08-13%2F0022;orderBy=_fragment_number,doc_date-rev;query=Dataset%3Ahansards,hansards80%20Decade%3A%221900s%22%20Year%3A%221903%22%20Month%3A%2208%22%20Day%3A%2213%22;rec=0;resCount=Default |chapter-url= missing title (help). Parliamentary Debates (Hansard). Commonwealth of Australia: Senate. p. 3512. 
  6. ^ "Political Notes". Western Star and Roma Advertiser. Toowoomba, Qld. 2 September 1903. p. 3. Retrieved 6 September 2013. 
  7. ^ "Federal Politics: Mr. Watson Forms a Cabinet". The West Australian. 27 April 1904. p. 7. Retrieved 6 September 2013. 
  8. ^ "Latest Messages—Federal Parliament: The New Ministry". Western Star and Roma Advertiser. Toowoomba, Qld. 20 August 1904. p. 2. Retrieved 6 September 2013. 
  9. ^ Henry Dobson (7 July 1905). http://parlinfo.aph.gov.au/parlInfo/search/display/display.w3p;adv=yes;db=HANSARD80;id=hansard80%2Fhansards80%2F1905-07-07%2F0001;orderBy=_fragment_number,doc_date-rev;query=Dataset%3Ahansards,hansards80%20Decade%3A%221900s%22%20Year%3A%221905%22%20Month%3A%2207%22%20Day%3A%2207%22;rec=0;resCount=Default |chapter-url= missing title (help). Parliamentary Debates (Hansard). Commonwealth of Australia: Senate. p. 142. 
  10. ^ "Senator Keating and Other Ministers". Examiner. Launceston, Tas. 11 July 1905. p. 5. Retrieved 6 September 2013. 
  11. ^ Constitution Alteration (Senate Elections Act) 1906.
  12. ^ "The Commonwealth Parliament: First Day's Proceedings". The Register. Adelaide. 21 February 1907. p. 6. Retrieved 6 September 2013. 
  13. ^ "Members of New Cabinet: Representation of States". Kalgoorlie Miner. Kalgoorlie, WA. 13 November 1908. p. 5. Retrieved 6 September 2013. 
  14. ^ "Federal Labor Ministry Sworn in Today". The Daily News. Perth. 13 November 1908. p. 3. Retrieved 6 September 2013. 
  15. ^ "Formation of the Cabinet: The New Ministers". Kalgoorlie Western Argus. Kalgoorlie, WA. 8 June 1909. p. 36. Retrieved 6 September 2013. 
  16. ^ "New Labor Ministry: Mr Fisher's Team Sworn In". The North Western Advocate and the Emu Bay Times. Devonport and Burnie, Tas. 30 April 1910. p. 5. Retrieved 6 September 2013. 
  17. ^ "Federal Land Tax: The Property Owners". Daily Herald. Adelaide. 17 October 1910. p. 6. Retrieved 6 September 2013. 
  18. ^ "The Cook Cabinet: Personnel of the New Team". Forbes Advocate. Forbes, NSW. 18 September 1913. p. 3. Retrieved 6 September 2013. 
  19. ^ "The New Ministry: Result of the Ballot". Examiner. Launceston, Tas. 18 September 1914. p. 6. Retrieved 6 September 2013. 
  20. ^ "Fourth Commonwealth Labour Government". Worker. Brisbane. 24 September 1914. p. 6. Retrieved 6 September 2013. 
  21. ^ ""Win-the-War" Ministry: Portfolios Allotted". The Argus. Melbourne. 19 February 1917. p. 6. Retrieved 6 September 2013. 
  22. ^ "Federal Ministry Sworn In". The Register. Adelaide. 10 February 1923. p. 9. Retrieved 6 September 2013. 
  23. ^ "The Federal Government". The West Australian. 12 February 1923. p. 6. Retrieved 6 September 2013. 
  24. ^ "The Federal Ministry: Members Sworn In". Advertiser. Hurstbridge, Vic. 25 October 1929. p. 2. Retrieved 6 September 2013. 
  25. ^ "Allocation of Federal Portfolios". Advocate. Burnie, Tas. 4 May 1931. p. 7. Retrieved 6 September 2013. 
  26. ^ "The Federal Sphere: New Ministry Sworn In". The Longreach Leader. Longreach, Qld. 8 January 1932. p. 16. Retrieved 6 September 2013. 
  27. ^ "Federal Cabinet: The New Ministers—Surprise Changes". The West Australian. 30 November 1937. p. 17. Retrieved 6 September 2013. 
  28. ^ "Health Portfolio—Senator Foll". The Mercury. Hobart. 8 November 1938. p. 7. Retrieved 6 September 2013. 
  29. ^ "Election of Cabinet: Labor Party to Assemble in Canberra Today". The Mercury. Hobart. 6 October 1941. p. 2. Retrieved 6 September 2013. 
  30. ^ "New Ministers Sworn In, Canberra Ceremony". The Sydney Morning Herald. 8 October 1941. p. 8. Retrieved 6 September 2013. 
  31. ^ "Ballot for Labor Cabinet: Fourteen Ministers Elected in First Count". The Advertiser. Adelaide. 21 September 1943. p. 3. Retrieved 6 September 2013. 
  32. ^ "Sen. McKenna Appointed to Fedl. Cabinet". The Courier-Mail. 18 June 1946. p. 1. Retrieved 6 September 2013. 
  33. ^ "Dr. Evatt Survives a Challenge, Mr. E. J. Ward Beaten For Labour Party Post". The West Australian. Perth. 22 February 1950. p. 2. Retrieved 6 September 2014. 
  34. ^ "5 New Men in Federal Ministry, Dr. Allen Fairhall Omitted". The Canberra Times. 9 December 1958. p. 1. Retrieved 6 September 2013. 
  35. ^ "Spooner Resigns from Cabinet: Government Solves One Problem, Finds Another". The Canberra Times. 3 June 1964. p. 1. Retrieved 6 September 2013. 
  36. ^ "P.M. Fills Vacancies in Cabinet Reshuffle: Anderson and Howson New Ministers". The Canberra Times. 11 June 1964. p. 1. Retrieved 1 August 2013. 
  37. ^ "Paltridge Resigns Defence Portfoliio". The Canberra Times. 20 January 1966. p. 1. Retrieved 6 September 2013. 
  38. ^ "Bury in Cabinet: Holt chooses woman Minister in reshuffle". The Canberra Times. 26 January 1966. p. 1. Retrieved 6 September 2013. 
  39. ^ "Person Details: The Rt Hon Sir John Grey Gorton GCMG, AC, CH, PC". National Archives of Australia. Retrieved 6 September 2013. 
  40. ^ Ken Anderson, Leader of the Government in the Senate (12 March 1968). http://parlinfo.aph.gov.au/parlInfo/search/display/display.w3p;adv=yes;db=HANSARD80;id=hansard80%2Fhansards80%2F1968-03-12%2F0007;orderBy=_fragment_number,doc_date-rev;query=Dataset%3Ahansards,hansards80%20Decade%3A%221960s%22%20Year%3A%221968%22%20Month%3A%2203%22%20Day%3A%2212%22;rec=0;resCount=Default |chapter-url= missing title (help). Parliamentary Debates (Hansard). Commonwealth of Australia: Senate. p. 12. 
  41. ^ "Full Labor Ministry sworn in". The Canberra Times. 20 December 1972. p. 1. Retrieved 6 September 2013. 
  42. ^ "Mr Enderby Made Attorney-General". The Canberra Times. 11 February 1975. p. 1. Retrieved 6 September 2013. 
  43. ^ "Fraser Caretaker Cabinet". The Canberra Times. 13 November 1975. p. 1. Retrieved 6 September 2013. 
  44. ^ "PM sacks Withers, Durack gets post". The Canberra Times. 8 August 1978. p. 1. Retrieved 6 September 2013. 
  45. ^ "Person Details: Hon Sir John Leslie Carrick KCMG, AC". National Archives of Australia. Retrieved 4 September 2013. 
  46. ^ Australian Parliamentary Library. "Button, John (1933–2008)". Trove. National Library of Australia. Retrieved 6 September 2013. 
  47. ^ Australian Parliamentary Library. "Evans, Gareth (1944–)". Trove. National Library of Australia. Retrieved 6 September 2013. 
  48. ^ Australian Parliamentary Library. "Hill, Robert (1946–)". Trove. National Library of Australia. Retrieved 6 September 2013. 
  49. ^ Australian Parliamentary Library. "Minchin, Nick (1953–)". Trove. National Library of Australia. Retrieved 6 September 2013. 
  50. ^ Australian Parliamentary Library. "Evans, Chris, (Christopher Vaughan) (1958–)". Trove. National Library of Australia. Retrieved 6 September 2013. 
  51. ^ "Biography for Evans, the Hon. Christopher Vaughan". Australian Parliamentary Library. Retrieved 6 September 2013. 
  52. ^ Australian Parliamentary Library. "Conroy, Stephen Michael, (the Hon) (1963–)". Trove. National Library of Australia. Retrieved 6 September 2013. 
  53. ^ "Biography for Conroy, the Hon. Stephen Michael". Australian Parliamentary Library. Retrieved 6 September 2013. 
  54. ^ Australian Parliamentary Library. "Wong, Penelope Ying-Yen". Trove. National Library of Australia. Retrieved 6 September 2013. 
  55. ^ "Biography for Wong, the Hon. Penelope (Penny) Ying Yen". Australian Parliamentary Library. Retrieved 6 September 2013. 
  56. ^ Australian Parliamentary Library. "Abetz, Eric". Trove. National Library of Australia. Retrieved 8 September 2013. 
  57. ^ "Biography for Abetz, the Hon. Eric". Australian Parliamentary Library. Retrieved 8 September 2013.