HOME

TheInfoList




In Australian federal politics, the Leader of the Opposition is the elected
member of parliament A member of parliament (MP) is the representative of the people who live in their constituency An electoral district, also known as an election district, legislative district, voting district, constituency, riding, ward, division, (election) ...
(MP) in the
House of Representatives House of Representatives is the name of legislative bodies A legislature is a deliberative assembly A deliberative assembly is a gathering of members (of any kind of collective) who use parliamentary procedure Parliamentary procedure is ...

House of Representatives
who leads the
opposition Opposition may refer to: Arts and media * Opposition (Altars EP), ''Opposition'' (Altars EP), 2011 EP by Christian metalcore band Altars * The Opposition (band), a London post-punk band * ''The Opposition with Jordan Klepper'', a late-night tele ...
. The
Leader of the Opposition The leader of the opposition is a title traditionally held by the leader of the Opposition (parliamentary), largest party not in government in a parliamentary democracy. The leader of the opposition is seen as the alternative prime minister, premi ...
is, by
convention Convention may refer to: * Convention (norm), a custom or tradition, a standard of presentation or conduct ** Treaty, an agreement in international law * Convention (meeting), meeting of a (usually large) group of individuals and/or companies in a ...
, the leader of the largest
political party A political party is an organization that coordinates candidates to compete in a particular country's elections. It is common for the members of a party to hold similar ideas about politics, and parties may promote specific political ideology ...
in the House of Representatives that is not in
government A government is the system or group of people governing an organized community, generally a state State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literature * ''State Magazine'', a monthly magazine published by the U.S. Departmen ...
. When in
parliament In modern politics and history, a parliament is a legislative A legislature is an assembly Assembly may refer to: Organisations and meetings * Deliberative assembly A deliberative assembly is a gathering of members (of any kind of ...

parliament
, the Leader of the Opposition sits on the left-hand side of the centre table, in front of the Opposition and opposite the
Prime Minister A prime minister or a premier is the head of the cabinet Cabinet or The Cabinet may refer to: Furniture * Cabinetry, a box-shaped piece of furniture with doors and/or drawers * Display cabinet, a piece of furniture with one or more transpa ...
. The Opposition Leader is elected by his or her party according to its rules. A new Opposition Leader may be elected when the incumbent dies, resigns, or is challenged for the leadership. The Commonwealth of Australia is a
constitutional monarchy A constitutional monarchy, parliamentary monarchy, or democratic monarchy is a form of monarchy in which the monarch exercises his authority in accordance with a constitution and is not alone in deciding. Constitutional monarchies differ from ...
with a
parliamentary system A parliamentary system or parliamentary democracy is a system of democratic Democrat, Democrats, or Democratic may refer to: *A proponent of democracy Democracy ( gr, δημοκρατία, ''dēmokratiā'', from ''dēmos'' 'people' an ...
and is based on the
Westminster model The Westminster system or Westminster model is a type of parliamentary system, parliamentary government that incorporates a series of Parliamentary procedure, procedures for operating a legislature. This concept was first developed in England. ...
. The term
Opposition Opposition may refer to: Arts and media * Opposition (Altars EP), ''Opposition'' (Altars EP), 2011 EP by Christian metalcore band Altars * The Opposition (band), a London post-punk band * ''The Opposition with Jordan Klepper'', a late-night tele ...
has a specific meaning in the parliamentary sense. It is an important component of the Westminster system, with the Opposition directing criticism at the Government and attempts to defeat and replace the Government. The Opposition is therefore known as the "Government in waiting" and it is a formal part of the parliamentary system. It is in opposition to the Government, but not to
the Crown The Crown is the state State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literature * ''State Magazine'', a monthly magazine published by the U.S. Department of State * The State (newspaper), ''The State'' (newspaper), a daily newspaper i ...

the Crown
; hence the term "Her Majesty's Loyal Opposition". To date there have been 34 Opposition Leaders, 18 of whom have served terms as Prime Minister. The current Leader of the Opposition is
Anthony Albanese Anthony Norman Albanese ( or ; born 2 March 1963) is an Australian politician serving as Leader of the Opposition The Leader of the Opposition is a title traditionally held by the leader of the largest party not in government in a parliament ...

Anthony Albanese
of the
Australian Labor Party The Australian Labor Party (ALP), also simply known as Labor and historically spelt Labour, is the major centre-left Centre-left politics (British English British English (BrE) is the standard dialect of the English language ...
, following an election of the new Parliamentary Labor Leader by caucus and ALP members on 30 May 2019. The current Deputy Leader of the Opposition is
Richard Marles Richard Donald Marles (born 13 July 1967) is an Australian politician who has been deputy leader of the Australian Labor Party The Australian Labor Party (ALP), also simply known as Labor and historically spelt Labour, is the major centre- ...

Richard Marles
, who was elected deputy leader of the ALP on the same date.


Role

The opposition leader is the opposition's counterpart to the
prime minister A prime minister or a premier is the head of the cabinet Cabinet or The Cabinet may refer to: Furniture * Cabinetry, a box-shaped piece of furniture with doors and/or drawers * Display cabinet, a piece of furniture with one or more transpa ...
. He or she is expected to be ready to form a new government if the incumbent government is unable to continue in office. This typically occurs when the opposition wins a
federal election An election is a formal group decision-making process by which a population chooses an individual or multiple individuals to hold Public administration, public office.most recently in 1941) or that of the governor-general ( most recently in 1975). The opposition leader is the head of the shadow ministry, allocating portfolios and, in the case of the
Coalition The term "coalition" is the denotation for a group formed when two or more people, factions, states, political parties, militaries etc. agree to work together temporarily in a partnership to achieve a common goal. The word coalition connotes a co ...
, determining its membership. He or she is assisted by a deputy leader of the opposition, who is also recognised in the standing orders and entitled to an additional salary. Both the opposition leader and deputy opposition leader are entitled to a degree of special preference from the
Speaker of the House File:Marshal's chair Sejm Plenary Hall.JPG, 250px, Marshal's chair in the Sejm of the Republic of Poland, Sejm, lower chamber of the Polish Parliament The speaker of a deliberative assembly, especially a Legislature, legislative body, is its chai ...
. The position of opposition leader has no but exists as a matter of convention in the
Westminster system The Westminster system or Westminster model is a type of parliamentary A parliamentary system or parliamentary democracy is a system of democratic Democrat, Democrats, or Democratic may refer to: *A proponent of democracy Democracy ...
. A 1960 inquiry into parliamentary salaries and allowances observed:
The Leader of the Opposition has to make himself master of all the business which comes before the House (not merely that of one or two departments); he has to do this at times at short notice and under constant pressure; and he gets no help from permanent officials. At all times he is the spokesman for those who are critical of or opposed to the Government, and he must be unceasingly vigilant and active. He and the Prime Minister should be the most powerful agents in guiding and forming public opinion on issues of policy.


History

George Reid Sir George Houston Reid, (25 February 1845 – 12 September 1918) was an Australian politician who led the Reid Government as the fourth Prime Minister of Australia from 1904 to 1905, having previously been Premier of New South Wales from ...

George Reid
became the ''de facto'' leader of the opposition in the lead-up to the inaugural 1901 federal election, following the appointment of
Edmund Barton Sir Edmund "Toby" Barton, (18 January 18497 January 1920) was an Australian politician and judge who served as the first prime minister of Australia The prime minister of Australia is the head of government The head of government is ...

Edmund Barton
to lead a
caretaker government A caretaker government is a temporary ''ad hoc Ad hoc is a Latin phrase __NOTOC__ This is a list of Wikipedia articles of Latin phrases and their translation into English. To view all phrases on a single, lengthy document, see: * List of Lati ...
as Australia's first prime minister. His status was confirmed when the
House of Representatives House of Representatives is the name of legislative bodies A legislature is a deliberative assembly A deliberative assembly is a gathering of members (of any kind of collective) who use parliamentary procedure Parliamentary procedure is ...

House of Representatives
met for the first time after the election. The opposition leader was initially not entitled to any salary or entitlements beyond those of an ordinary member of parliament. As a result, Reid had to maintain his legal practice in Sydney to support himself and was able to attend just over one-third of the sitting days in the first session of parliament. Although the role was firmly established, the House did not formally recognise the position of opposition leader in its records until 1920. It was recognised by statute for the first time with the passage of the ''Parliamentary Allowances Act 1920'', which granted its holder an additional allowance. Prime Minister
Andrew Fisher Andrew Fisher (29 August 186222 October 1928) was an Australian politician who served three separate terms as Prime Minister of Australia – from 1908 to 1909, from 1910 to 1913, and from 1914 to 1915. He was the leader of the Australian Labo ...

Andrew Fisher
had previously offered Opposition Leader
Alfred Deakin Alfred Deakin (3 August 18567 October 1919) was an Australian politician who served as the second Prime Minister of Australia. He was a leader of the movement for Federation of Australia, Federation, which occurred in 1901. During his three ter ...

Alfred Deakin
an allowance in 1910. Deakin declined, but did accept a paid secretary. In 1931, the office was incorporated into the House's standing orders for the first time, with the opposition leader granted the right to exceed the time limit for speeches in certain instances.


Salary

The opposition leader's salary is determined by the Remuneration Tribunal, an independent statutory body. As of 1 July 2019, the incumbent is entitled to a parliamentarian's base salary of A$211,250 plus an additional 85% loading, equating to a salary of around $390,000.


List of Leaders of the Opposition


List of Deputy Leaders of the Opposition


See also

*
Prime Minister of Australia The prime minister of Australia is the head of government The head of government is either the highest or second-highest official in the Executive (government), executive branch of a sovereign state, a federated state, or a self-governing ...
* List of prime ministers of Australia *
Politics of Australia The politics of Australia take place within the framework of a federal Federal or foederal (archaic) may refer to: Politics General *Federal monarchy, a federation of monarchies *Federation, or ''Federal state'' (federal system), a type of ...


Notes


References

{{featured list *
Australia Australia, officially the Commonwealth of Australia, is a Sovereign state, sovereign country comprising the mainland of the Australia (continent), Australian continent, the island of Tasmania, and numerous List of islands of Australia, sma ...
Lists of Australian politicians Lists of political office-holders in Australia Opposition leaders