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 Apr 17, 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
Mike Baird
Liberal
17-04-14
John Robertson
ALP
31-03-11
Victoria
Daniel Andrews
ALP
04-12-14
Matthew Guy
Liberal
04-12-14
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
Andrew Barr
ALP
11-12-14
Jeremy Hanson
Liberal
11-02-13
Northern Territory
Adam Giles
Country Liberal
14-03-13
Delia Lawrie
ALP
28-08-12

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Chronology

2014

December 11, 2014: Andrew Barr was elected Chief Minister of the ACT, following the resignation of Katy Gallagher. The Legislative Assembly voted 9-8 to elect Barr, defeating the Liberal leader, Jeremy Hanson.

December 05, 2014: ACT Chief Minister Katy Gallagher announced that she would resign on December 10. Gallagher said she would seek endorsement for the Senate seat currently held by the ALP’s Kate Lundy, who confirmed she would retire on March 31, 2015. The ACT Labor Party opened preselections with a ballot to be held, if needed, around January 31.

December 04, 2014: Daniels Andrews was sworn in as Premier of Victoria, along with his ministry. Matthew Guy became Leader of the Opposition, following his defeat of Michael O’Brien in the election for leader of the Liberal Party.

November 29, 2014: Victoria’s Coalition government led by Denis Napthine was defeated at the state election. Napthine announced that he would resign the Liberal Party leadership.

September 1, 2014: Northern Territory Chief Minister Adam Giles threw open his leadership at a CLP party-room meeting. He was re-elected unopposed. Peter Chandler was elected deputy leader to replace Dave Tollner, who resigned after making homophobic comments.

April 16, 2014: NSW Premier Barry O’Farrell announced that he would resign, as a consequence of 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. The parliamentary Liberal Party met on April 17 and elected Mike Baird unopposed as leader and Gladys Berejiklian unopposed as deputy leader. Baird was sworn in as Premier at 6.17pm.

March 15, 2014: Tasmania’s Labor government was defeated at the state elections. 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.

March 15, 2014: The South Australian election 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.

*

2013

October 13, 2013: Bill Shorten became the federal Leader of the Opposition, 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.

September 7, 2013: 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.

June 26, 2013: Kevin Rudd defeated Prime Minister Julia Gillard by 57 votes to 45 in a caucus ballot for the ALP leadership. 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.

March 13, 2013: Whilst Northern Territory Chief Minister Terry Mills was travelling on official business in Japan, 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.

March 6, 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.

February 5, 2013: Zed Seselja announced his resignation as Liberal leader in the ACT Legislative Assembly. 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.

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

*

2012

August 25, 2012: 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.

March 28, 2012: Annastacia Palaszczuk was elected leader of the ALP and Queensland Opposition Leader. The seven-member caucus elected Tim Mulherin as deputy leader.

March 25, 2012: Queensland Premier Anna Bligh tendered her resignation to the Governor at 12.30pm, 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.

January 18, 2012: Eric Ripper announced his resignation as Leader of the Opposition in Western Australia. The ALP caucus unanimously elected Mark McGowan leader on January 23, 2012.

*

2011

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.

May 9, 2011: Jon Stanhope announced his resignation as ACT Chief Minister. 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.

April 4, 2011: Campbell Newman was chosen as leader of the Queensland Liberal National Party. Since Newman did not represent a seat in the Legislative Assembly, Jeff Seeney continued as the official parliamentary Leader of the Opposition.

March 31, 2011: John Robertson was elected unopposed as leader of the NSW Labor Party and Leader of the Opposition.

March 26, 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.

March 22, 2011: The Lord Mayor of Brisbane, Campbell Newman, announced his intention to seek Liberal-National Party preselection for the Queensland state seat of Ashgrove. 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.

January 23, 2011: David Bartlett announced his resignation as Premier of Tasmania on. 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.

*

2010

December 2, 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.

November 29, 2010: Victorian Labor Premier John Brumby 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.

June 23, 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.

*

2009

December 3, 2009: Kristina Keneally defeated NSW Premier Nathan Rees by 47 votes to 21 in an ALP caucus ballot. She was sworn in as Premier on December 4.

December 1, 2009: Tony Abbott was elected leader of the Liberal Party and Leader of the Opposition, 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.

July 4, 2009: Martin Hamilton-Smith was re-elected leader of the South Australian Liberal Party, 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.

March 21, 2009: Following his defeat at the Queensland election, 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.

*

2008

September 23, 2008: Colin Barnett was sworn in as Premier of Western Australia. Eric Ripper was elected leader of the Western Australian ALP on September 16, 2008.

September 16, 2008: Brendan Nelson called a spill of the Liberal Party leadership. Malcolm Turnbull was elected Leader of the Opposition, defeating Nelson 45 votes to 41.

September 6, 2008: 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.

September 5, 2008: Morris Iemma resigned as NSW Premier. Nathan Rees was elected leader of the ALP on the same day.

August 4, 2008: Troy Buswell announced his resignation as Western Australian Opposition Leader. Colin Barnett was unanimously re-elected leader of the Liberal Party on August 6, 2008.

May 26, 2008: Paul Lennon resigned as Premier of Tasmania. David Bartlett was elected ALP leader on the same day and sworn in as Premier.

January 29, 2008: Terry Mills returned to the leadership of the Northern Territory Country-Liberal Party, following a challenge to Jodeen Carney. The party-room-ballot was tied 2-all but Carney chose to resign.

Janury 21, 2008: Jeff Seeney called a Queensland National Party meeting to resolve leadership tensions. He was replaced as leader by his predecessor, Lawrence Springborg.

January 17, 2008: 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.

*

2007

December 12, 2007: Bill Stefaniak advised his party room of his intention to resign as ACT Opposition Leader. Zed Seselja was elected unopposed as Liberal Party leader on December 13, 2007.

November 29, 2007: Following its defeat at the federal election of November 24, 2007, the Liberal Party elected Brendan Nelson as its leader and Opposition Leader.

November 24, 2007: John Howard’s coalition government was defeated at the federal elections. Kevin Rudd and his Labor ministry was sworn into office on December 3, 2007.

November 26, 2007: Clare Martin announced her intention to resign as Chief Minister of the Northern Territory. Paul Henderson was elected unanimously to replace her on the same day.

September 10, 2007: Peter Beattie announced his retirement as Queensland Premier. Anna Bligh was elected unopposed as Labor leader on September 12, 2007 and became Premier on September 13, 2007.

July 27, 2007: Steve Bracks announced his retirement as Premier of Victoria. John Brumby was elected unopposed as Labor leader on July 30.

April 11, 2007: Martin Hamilton-Smith was elected South Australian Liberal Party leader by 13 votes to 10, after mounting a challenge to Iain Evans.

April 4, 2007: Barry O’Farrell was elected unopposed to replace Peter Debnam as NSW Liberal Party leader. Debnam was defeated at the election of March 24 and withdrew from the leadership contest on April 2.

*

2006

December 4, 2006: Kevin Rudd became Federal Leader of the Australian Labor Party in a Caucus ballot, defeating Kim Beazley by 49 votes to 39.

September 14, 2006: Lawrence Springborg announced his resignation as Queensland National Party leader, 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.

May 16, 2006: Bill Stefaniak replaced Brendan Smyth as A.C.T. Leader of the Opposition, following a party-room challenge. Stefaniak defeated Smyth by 4 votes to 3.

May 4, 2006: Robert Doyle announced his resignation as Victorian Liberal Party leader. Ted Baillieu was elected unopposed as Leader of the Opposition on May 8, 2006.

March 18, 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.

March 18, 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.

March 24, 2006: Paul Omodei replaced Matt Birney as Western Australian Leader of the Opposition, following a party-room-challenge.

January 16, 2006: Geoff Gallop announced his resignation as Western Australian Premier. Alan Carpenter was chosen as ALP leader and Premier on January 24, 2006.

*

2005

August 29, 2005: John Brogden announced his resignation as NSW Leader of the Opposition. Peter Debnam was elected Leader of the Opposition on September 1, 2005.

July 27, 2005: Bob Carr announced his resignation as NSW Premier. Morris Iemma became Premier on August 3, 2005.

June 18, 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.

February 27, 2005: Colin Barnett announced his resignation as Western Australian Opposition Leader, following his defeat in the State election. Matt Birney was elected unopposed to the leadership of the Liberal Party on March 9, 2005.

February 4, 2005: Terry Mills announced his resignation as Northern Territory Opposition Leader. Denis Burke was re-elected to the position on February 7, 2005.

January 18, 2005: Mark Latham announced his resignation as Federal Opposition Leader. Kim Beazley was re-elected ALP leader on January 28, 2005.

*

2004

February 23, 2004: Jim Bacon announced his retirement as Premier of Tasmania on. Paul Lennon acted as Premier until he was elected by the ALP caucus and sworn in as Premier on March 21, 2004.

*

2003

November 28, 2003: Simon Crean announced his resignation as Federal Opposition Leader. Mark Latham was elected to the position on December 2, 2003.

November 14, 2003: Terry Mills replaced Denis Burke as Northern Territory Opposition Leader.

February 4, 2003: Lawrence Springborg replaced Mike Horan as Queensland Opposition Leader.

*

2002

November 25, 2002: Brendan Smyth replaced Gary Humphries as ACT Opposition Leader.

August 20, 2002: Robert Doyle replaced Denis Napthine as Victorian Opposition Leader.

August 6, 2002: Rene Hidding replaced Bob Cheek as Tasmanian Opposition Leader.

March 28, 2002: John Brogden replaced Kerry Chikarovski as NSW Opposition Leader.

 

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