Current Heads of Government and Opposition Leaders

There are 9 parliaments in Australia. There is 1 Federal Parliament in Canberra, 6 State Parliaments (New South Wales, Victoria, Queensland, South Australia, Western Australia & Tasmania) and 2 Territory Parliaments (Northern Territory & Australian Capital Territory).

Each parliament has a lower house from which a government is formed. The Federal Government is led by the Prime Minister, State Governments have Premiers, and Territory Governments have Chief Ministers. There is an Opposition Leader in each Parliament.

Current Australian Heads of Government & Opposition Leaders – from Mar 31, 2014
Jurisdiction PM/Premier/
Chief Minister
Party Since Opposition Leader Party Since
AUSTRALIA
Tony Abbott
Liberal
18-09-13
Bill Shorten
ALP
13-10-13
New South Wales
Barry O’Farrell
Liberal
28-03-11
John Robertson
ALP
31-03-11
Victoria
Denis Napthine
Liberal
06-03-13
Daniel Andrews
ALP
03-12-10
Queensland
Campbell Newman
LNP
26-03-12
Annastacia Palaszczuk
ALP
28-03-12
Western Australia
Colin Barnett
Liberal
23-09-08
Mark McGowan
ALP
23-01-12
South Australia
Jay Weatherill
ALP
21-10-11
Steven Marshall
Liberal
04-02-13
Tasmania
Will Hodgman
Liberal
31-03-14
Bryan Green
ALP
31-03-14
Australian Capital Territory
Katy Gallagher
ALP
16-05-11
Jeremy Hanson
Liberal
11-02-13
Northern Territory
Adam Giles
Country Liberal
14-03-13
Delia Lawrie
ALP
28-08-12




Previous Tables

Previous tables will appear in a pop-up window.

Oct 13, 2014 – Mar 31, 2014
Sep 18, 2013 – Oct 13, 2013
Jun 27, 2013 – Sep 18, 2013
Mar 14, 2013 – Jun 27, 2013
Mar 06, 2013 – Mar 14, 2013
Feb 11, 2013 – Mar 06, 2013
Feb 04, 2013 – Feb 11, 2013
Aug 29, 2012 – Feb 04, 2013
Mar 28, 2012 – Aug 29, 2012
Mar 26, 2012 – Mar 28, 2012
Jan 23, 2012 – Mar 26, 2012
Oct 21, 2011 – Jan 23, 2012
May 16, 2011 – Oct 21, 2011
Mar 31, 2011 – May 16, 2011
Mar 28, 2011 – Mar 31, 2011
Mar 22, 2011 – Mar 28, 2011
Jan 24, 2011 – Mar 22, 2011
Dec 03, 2010 – Jan 24, 2011
Dec 02, 2010 – Dec 03, 2010
Jun 24, 2010 – Dec 02, 2010
Dec 04, 2009 – Jun 24, 2010
Dec 01, 2009 – Dec 04, 2009
Jul 08, 2009 – Dec 01, 2009
Apr 02, 2009 – Jul 08, 2009
Sep 23, 2008 – Apr 02, 2009
Sep 16, 2008 – Sep 23, 2008
Sep 05, 2008 – Sep 16, 2008
Aug 06, 2008 – Sep 05, 2008
May 26, 2008 – Aug 06, 2008
Jan 29, 2008 – May 26, 2008
Jan 21, 2008 – Jan 29, 2008
Jan 17, 2008 – Jan 21, 2008
Dec 13, 2007 – Jan 17, 2008
Dec 03, 2007 – Dec 13, 2007
Nov 26, 2007 – Dec 03, 2007
Sep 13, 2007 – Nov 26, 2007
Jul 30, 2007 – Sep 13, 2007
Apr 11, 2007 – Jul 30, 2007
Apr 04, 2007 – Apr 11, 2007
Dec 04, 2006 – Apr 04, 2007
Sep 18, 2006 – Dec 04, 2006


Chronology

  • On April 16, 2014, NSW Premier Barry O’Farrell announced that he would resign. The parliamentary Liberal Party will meet after Easter to elect a replacement. O’Farrell resigned after telling the Independent Commission Against Corruption that he could not recall receiving the gift of a $3000 bottle of wine from Nick Di Girolamo, the head of Australian Water Holdings, a company associated with Eddie Obeid. Di Girolamo tendered a thank-you note from O’Farrell to ICAC.

  • Tasmania’s Labor government was defeated at the elections of March 15, 2014. The Liberal Party won 15 seats, the ALP 7 and the Greens 3, a landslide result under the Hare-Clark proportional voting system. Will Hodgman was sworn in as Tasmania’s first Liberal premier in 16 years at 2.34pm on March 31. On the same day, the ALP unanimously elected Bryan Green as its leader, with Michelle O’Byrne as deputy leader

  • The South Australian election of March 15, 2014 resulted in a hung parliament. Jay Weatherill’s Labor government won 23 seats, whilst Steven Marshall’s Liberal opposition won 22 seats. Two independents, Bob Such and Geoff Brock, held the balance of power and entered into negotiations with Weatherill and Marshall to decide who would form a government. Such subsequently withdrew due to a serious illness. On March 23, Brock gave his support to the ALP and accepted a Cabinet position. The new government was sworn in on March 26.

  • Bill Shorten became the federal Leader of the Opposition on October 13, 2013, after defeating Anthony Albanese in a ballot for the ALP leadership. Shorten polled 55-31 votes (63.95%) in the Caucus and 12,196 (40.08%) rank-and-file votes to Albanese’s 18,230 votes (59.92%). After the Caucus and membership weights were weighted at 50% each, Shorten won with 52.02%. The 30,426 party members who voted represented about 74% of eligible voters.

  • The Liberal-Nationals Coalition defeated the Rudd Labor government at the elections of September 7, 2013. Prime Minister Kevin Rudd announced that night that he would stand down from the ALP leadership. On September 13, Chris Bowen was appointed interim leader of the ALP. Tony Abbott was sworn in as Prime Minister on September 18, 2013.

  • Kevin Rudd defeated Prime Minister Julia Gillard by 57 votes to 45 in a caucus ballot for the ALP leadership on Wednesday, June 26, 2013. Rudd was sworn in as Prime Minister at 9.51am on Thursday, June 27, 2013. At the same caucus meeting, Wayne Swan resigned as deputy leader. Anthony Albanese was elected deputy leader, defeating Simon Crean by 61 votes to 38, with 3 informals. Albanese was sworn in as Deputy Prime Minister to Rudd. Also at the same meeting, Senator Stephen Conroy resigned as ALP Senate leader. Senator Penny Wong was unanimously elected leader. Senator Jacinta Collins defeated Senator Kim Carr for the deputy’s position.

  • Whilst Northern Territory Chief Minister Terry Mills was travelling on official business in Japan on March 13, 2013, the Country-Liberal Party met and elected Adam Giles as their new leader by a vote of 11-6. Dave Tollner was elected deputy leader. Giles was sworn in as Chief Minister on March 14, 2013.

  • Ted Baillieu resigned his leadership of the Victorian Liberal Party at a party-room meeting at 7pm on Wednesday, March 6, 2013. Denis Napthine was elected leader of the Liberal Party. Baillieu tendered his resignation to the Governor around 10pm. Napthine was sworn in around 10.40pm.

  • Zed Seselja announced his resignation as Liberal leader in the ACT Legislative Assembly on February 5, 2013. Seselja is to challenge Senator Gary Humphries for Liberal Senate preselection. Jeremy Hanson was elected Liberal leader on February 11, 2013. Alistair Coe became the new deputy leader, replacing Brendan Smyth.

  • Isobel Redmond announced her resignation as South Australian Liberal Party leader on January 31, 2013, citing divisions over the leadership. Steven Marshall became Leader of the Opposition on February 4, 2013. Vickie Chapman was elected deputy leader.

  • The Northern Territory Labor government was defeated at the election of August 25, 2012. Chief Minister Paul Henderson announced on August 28 that he would stand down as ALP leader. The ALP caucus unanimously elected Delia Lawrie to replace Henderson and become Leader of the Opposition. Terry Mills was sworn as Chief Minister of the new CLP government on August 29, 2012.
  • Annastacia Palaszczuk was elected leader of the ALP and Queensland Opposition Leader on March 28, 2012. The seven-member caucus elected Tim Mulherin as deputy leader.
  • Queensland Premier Anna Bligh tendered her resignation to the Governor at 12.30pm on March 25, 2012, the day after her government was massively defeated in the general election. Bligh said she would resign as member for South Brisbane on March 30. Campbell Newman was sworn in as Liberal National Party Premier on March 26, 2012.
  • Eric Ripper announced his resignation as Leader of the Opposition in Western Australia on January 18, 2012. The ALP caucus unanimously elected Mark McGowan leader on January 23, 2012.
  • On August 8, 2011, Mike Rann announced he would retire as South Australian Premier on October 20. After months of speculation about his future, Rann said he would step aside in favour of Education Minister Jay Weatherill, the man endorsed by Labor Party factions as his successor. Rann tendered his resignation to the Governor on October 21 and Weatherill was sworn in as Premier on the same day.
  • Jon Stanhope announced his resignation as ACT Chief Minister on May 9, 2011. Katy Gallagher was elected unopposed as the new ALP leader on May 13, 2011. Andrew Barr was elected unopposed as deputy leader. Gallagher was appointed Chief Minister on May 16, 2011, following endorsement by the Legislative Assembly.
  • Campbell Newman was chosen as leader of the Queensland Liberal National Party on April 4, 2011. Since Newman did not represent a seat in the Legislative Assembly, Jeff Seeney continued as the official parliamentary Leader of the Opposition.
  • John Robertson was elected unopposed as leader of the NSW Labor Party and Leader of the Opposition on March 31, 2011.
  • The NSW Labor Party was defeated in the election held on March 26, 2011. Kristina Keneally announced her resignation as ALP leader. Barry O’Farrell was sworn in as Liberal Premier of NSW on March 28, 2011. Andrew Stoner, leader of the Nationals, was sworn in as Deputy Premier. The full ministry was sworn in on April 3, 2011.
  • The Lord Mayor of Brisbane, Campbell Newman, announced his intention to seek Liberal-National Party preselection for the Queensland state seat of Ashgrove on March 22, 2011. Shortly afterwards, John-Paul Langbroek announced his resignation as leader of the LNP . His deputy, Lawrence Springborg, also resigned. At a party-room meeting that evening, former leader Jeff Seeney was elected leader with Tim Nicholls as his deputy. The new Opposition Leader has committed himself to resigning in favour of Newman after the general election due in 2012.
  • David Bartlett announced his resignation as Premier of Tasmania on January 23, 2011. Lara Giddings and Bryan Green were elected unopposed as leader and deputy leader of the parliamentary Labor Party on January 24, 2011, taking office as Premier and Deputy Premier the same day.
  • Following John Brumby’s announcement that he would not contest the leadership following the government’s defeat at the November 27, 2010 election, Daniel Andrews was elected unopposed as leader of the Victorian ALP on December 3, 2010.
  • Following the Coalition’s victory on November 27, 2010 over John Brumby’s ALP government, Liberal leader Ted Baillieu was sworn in as Premier of Victoria on December 2, 2010.
  • Deputy Prime Minister Julia Gillard issued a challenge to Prime Minister Kevin Rudd’s leadership of the ALP at a meeting between 7-10pm on June 23, 2010. At the caucus meeting held at 9am on June 24, Rudd did not re-contest his position and Gillard was elected unopposed, as was Wayne Swan as her deputy. Gillard was sworn in as Prime Minister at 1pm on June 24, 2010.
  • Kristina Keneally defeated NSW Premier Nathan Rees by 47 votes to 21 in an ALP caucus ballot on December 3, 2009. She was sworn in as Premier on December 4.
  • Tony Abbott was elected leader of the Liberal Party on December 1, 2009, following a week of upheaval and challenges to the leadership of Malcolm Turnbull. On the first ballot, Abbott secured 35 votes, Turnbull 26 and Joe Hockey 23. On the second ballot, Abbott defeated Turnbull 42-41.
  • Martin Hamilton-Smith was re-elected leader of the South Australian Liberal Party on July 4, 2009, defeating Vickie Chapman by 11 votes to 10, with one abstention. Hamilton-Smith called a second ballot on July 8, 2009 at which he did not nominate. Isobel Redmond was elected Leader of the Opposition, defeating Vickie Chapman by 13 votes to 9.
  • Following his defeat at the Queensland election on March 21, 2009, Lawrence Springborg announced his resignation as Leader of the Opposition. John-Paul Langbroek was elected leader of the Liberal National Party on April 2, 2009.
  • Colin Barnett was sworn in as Premier of Western Australia on September 23, 2008. Eric Ripper was elected leader of the Western Australian ALP on September 16, 2008.
  • Brendan Nelson called a spill of the Liberal Party leadership on September 16, 2008. Malcolm Turnbull was elected Leader of the Opposition, defeating Nelson 45 votes to 41.
  • The Western Australian election was held on September 6, 2008. Following negotiations, the Nationals announced on September 14 that they would support a minority Liberal government. Alan Carpenter announced his resignation as ALP leader on the same day.
  • Morris Iemma resigned as NSW Premier on September 5, 2008. Nathan Rees was elected leader of the ALP on the same day.
  • Troy Buswell announced his resignation as Western Australian Opposition Leader on August 4, 2008. Colin Barnett was unanimously re-elected leader of the Liberal Party on August 6, 2008.
  • Paul Lennon resigned as Premier of Tasmania on May 26, 2008. David Bartlett was elected ALP leader on the same day and sworn in as Premier.
  • Terry Mills returned to the leadership of the Northern Territory Country-Liberal Party on January 29, 2008, following a challenge to Jodeen Carney. The party-room-ballot was tied 2-all but Carney chose to resign.
  • Jeff Seeney called a Queensland National Party meeting to resolve leadership tensions on January 21, 2008. He was replaced as leader by his predecessor, Lawrence Springborg.
  • Troy Buswell was elected leader of the Western Australian Liberal Party after Paul Omodei called a party-room meeting. Omodei did not contest the ballot.
  • Bill Stefaniak advised his party room of his intention to resign as ACT Opposition Leader on December 12, 2007. Zed Seselja was elected unopposed as Liberal Party leader on December 13, 2007.
  • John Howard’s coalition government was defeated at the election on November 24, 2007. Kevin Rudd and his Labor ministry was sworn into office on December 3, 2007.
  • Following its defeat at the federal election of November 24, 2007, the Liberal Party elected Brendan Nelson as its leader and Opposition Leader on November 29, 2007.
  • Clare Martin announced her intention to resign as Chief Minister of the Northern Territory on November 26, 2007. Paul Henderson was elected unanimously to replace her on the same day.
  • Peter Beattie announced his retirement as Queensland Premier on September 10, 2007. Anna Bligh was elected unopposed as Labor leader on September 12, 2007 and became Premier on September 13, 2007.
  • Steve Bracks announced his retirement as Premier of Victoria on July 27, 2007. John Brumby was elected unopposed as Labor leader on July 30.
  • Martin Hamilton-Smith was elected South Australian Liberal Party leader by 13 votes to 10 on April 11, 2007, after mounting a challenge to Iain Evans.
  • Barry O’Farrell was elected unopposed to replace Peter Debnam as NSW Liberal Party leader on April 4, 2007. Debnam was defeated at the election of March 24 and withdrew from the leadership contest on April 2.
  • Kevin Rudd became Federal Leader of the Australian Labor Party in a Caucus ballot on December 4, 2006, defeating Kim Beazley by 49 votes to 39.
  • Lawrence Springborg announced his resignation as Queensland National Party leader on September 14, 2006, following the coalition’s defeat at the election of September 9, 2006. Jeff Seeney was chosen as Leader of the Opposition on September 18, 2006.
  • Bill Stefaniak replaced Brendan Smyth as A.C.T. Leader of the Opposition on May 16, 2006, following a party-room challenge. Stefaniak defeated Smyth by 4 votes to 3.
  • Robert Doyle announced his resignation as Victorian Liberal Party leader on May 4, 2006. Ted Baillieu was elected unopposed as Leader of the Opposition on May 8, 2006.
  • Rene Hidding stood aside as Tasmanian Liberal Party Leader, following the election of March 18, 2006. Will Hodgman was elected unopposed as Leader of the Opposition on March 30, 2006.
  • Rob Kerin confirmed his resignation as South Australian Leader of the Opposition, following the election of March 18, 2006. Iain Evans was elected Leader of the Opposition on March 30, 2006.
  • Paul Omodei replaced Matt Birney as Western Australian Leader of the Opposition on March 24, 2006, following a party-room-challenge.
  • Geoff Gallop announced his resignation as Western Australian Premier on January 16, 2006. Alan Carpenter was chosen as ALP leader and Premier on January 24, 2006.
  • John Brogden announced his resignation as NSW Leader of the Opposition on August 29, 2005. Peter Debnam was elected Leader of the Opposition on September 1, 2005.
  • Bob Carr announced his resignation as NSW Premier on July 27, 2005. Morris Iemma became Premier on August 3, 2005.
  • Denis Burke lost re-election for his seat of Brennan at the Northern Territory elections on June 18, 2005. Ms Jodeen Carney was elected Leader of the Opposition.
  • Colin Barnett announced his resignation as Western Australian Opposition Leader on February 27, 2005, following his defeat in the State election. Matt Birney was elected unopposed to the leadership of the Liberal Party on March 9, 2005.
  • Terry Mills announced his resignation as Northern Territory Opposition Leader on February 4, 2005. Denis Burke was re-elected to the position on February 7, 2005.
  • Mark Latham announced his resignation as Federal Opposition Leader on January 18, 2005. Kim Beazley was re-elected ALP leader on January 28, 2005.
  • Jim Bacon announced his retirement as Premier of Tasmania on February 23, 2004. Paul Lennon acted as Premier until he was sworn in as Premier on March 21, 2004.
  • Simon Crean announced his resignation as Federal Opposition Leader on November 28, 2003. Mark Latham was elected to the position on December 2, 2003.
  • Terry Mills replaced Denis Burke as Northern Territory Opposition Leader on November 14, 2003.
  • Lawrence Springborg replaced Mike Horan as Queensland Opposition Leader on February 04, 2003.
  • Brendan Smyth replaced Gary Humphries as ACT Opposition Leader on November 25, 2002.
  • Robert Doyle replaced Denis Napthine as Victorian Opposition Leader on August 20, 2002.
  • Rene Hidding replaced Bob Cheek as Tasmanian Opposition Leader on August 06, 2002.
  • John Brogden replaced Kerry Chikarovski as NSW Opposition Leader on March 28, 2002.


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