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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 colony, autonomous region, or other government who often presi ...
and chief minister of the crown of
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 ...

Australia
. The prime minister is the leader of the executive branch of the
federal government A federation (also known as a federal state) is a political entity A polity is an identifiable political entity—any group of people who have a collective identity, who are organized by some form of Institutionalisation, institutionalized ...
of Australia and is also accountable to
federal parliament The Parliament of Australia (officially the Federal Parliament, also called the Commonwealth Parliament) is the legislative branch A legislature is a deliberative assembly A deliberative assembly is a gathering of members (of any kind o ...

federal parliament
under the principles of
responsible government Responsible government is a conception of a system of government A government is the system or group of people governing an organized community, generally a State (polity), state. In the case of its broad associative definition, go ...
. The post is usually held by the leader of the majority party 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
. The incumbent prime minister is
Scott Morrison Scott John Morrison (; born 13 May 1968) is an Australian politician serving as the 30th and current . He assumed office in August 2018 upon his election as leader of the . Morrison was born in and studied at the . He worked as director o ...

Scott Morrison
, who took office in August 2018 as leader of the
Liberal Party The Liberal Party is any of many political parties 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, ...
. Formally appointed by the governor-general, the office of the prime minister is governed by
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 ...
convention as it is not described in the
Australian constitution The Constitution of Australia (or Australian Constitution) is a written constitution A constitution is an aggregate of fundamental principles A principle is a proposition or value that is a guide for behavior or evaluation. In law, it i ...

Australian constitution
. To become prime minister, a politician should be able to command the confidence of 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 ...
. As such, the prime minister is typically the leader of the majority
party A party is a gathering of people who have been invited by a host A host is a person responsible for guests at an event or for providing hospitality during it. Host may also refer to: Places *Host, Pennsylvania, a village in Berks Cou ...
or
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 ...
. Prime ministers do not have a set duration or number of terms, but an individual's term generally ends when their political party loses 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.Executive power The executive (short for executive branch or executive power) is the part of government A government is the system or group of people governing an organized community, generally a state State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, a ...
is formally vested in the
monarch A monarch is a head of state A head of state (or chief of state) is the public persona A persona (plural personae or personas), depending on the context, can refer to either the public image of one's personality, or the social role tha ...
and exercised by the governor-general on advice from government ministers, who are nominated by the prime minister and form the Federal Executive Council. The most senior ministers form the federal cabinet, which the prime minister chairs. The prime minister also heads the National Cabinet and the
National Security Committee A National Security Council (NSC) is usually an executive branch governmental body responsible for coordinating policy on national security issues and advising chief executives on matters related to national security. An NSC is often headed by a nat ...
. Administrative support is provided by the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet. The prime minister has two official residences: The Lodge in
Canberra Canberra ( ) is the capital city A capital or capital city is the holding primary status in a , , , , or other , usually as its seat of the government. A capital is typically a that physically encompasses the government's offices an ...

Canberra
and
Kirribilli House Kirribilli House is the secondary official residence An official residence is the House, residence at which a nation's head of state, head of government, governor, Clergy, religious leader, leaders of international organizations, or other ...

Kirribilli House
in
Sydney Sydney ( ; Dharug The Darug or Dharug people are an Aboriginal Australian people, who share strong ties of kinship and, in Colonial Australia, pre-colonial times, survived as skilled hunters in family groups or clans, scattered througho ...

Sydney
, as well as an office at
Parliament House
Parliament House
. Thirty people have served as prime minister, the first of whom was
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 from 1901 to 1903, holding office as the leader of the Protectionist Party. He resigned to bec ...

Edmund Barton
taking office on 1 January 1901 following
federation A federation (also known as a federal state) is a political entity A polity is an identifiable political entity—any group of people who have a collective identity, who are organized by some form of Institutionalisation, institutionalized ...
. The longest-serving prime minister was
Robert Menzies Sir Robert Gordon Menzies, (; 20 December 189415 May 1978), was an Australian politician who served as the 12th prime minister of Australia, in office from 1939 to 1941 and again from 1949 to 1966. He played a central role in the creation of ...
, who served over 18 years, and the shortest-serving was
Frank Forde Francis Michael Forde (18 July 189028 January 1983) was an Australian politician who served as prime minister of Australia from 6 to 13 July 1945. He was the deputy leader of the Australian Labor Party The Australian Labor Party (ALP), al ...

Frank Forde
, who served one week. There is no legislated
line of succession An order of succession or right of succession is the line of individuals entitled to hold a high office when it becomes vacated such as head of state A head of state (or chief of state) is the public persona A persona (plural personae ...
, however convention determines that the governor-general shall commission the deputy prime minister on a caretaker basis.


Constitutional basis and appointment

The prime minister of Australia is appointed by the governor-general of Australia under Section 64 of the
Australian Constitution The Constitution of Australia (or Australian Constitution) is a written constitution A constitution is an aggregate of fundamental principles A principle is a proposition or value that is a guide for behavior or evaluation. In law, it i ...

Australian Constitution
, which empowers the governor-general to appoint ministers of state (the office of prime minister is not mentioned) on the advice of the Federal Executive Council, and requires them to be members of the House of Representatives or the Senate, or become members within three months of the appointment. The prime minister and
treasurer In ''A new way to pay the National Debt'' (1786), King_George_III George_III_(George_William_Frederick;_4_June_173829_January_1820)_was__King_of_Great_Britain_and_Ireland Ireland_(;__ga,_Éire_;_Ulster_Scots_dialect,_Ulster-Scots:__)_i ...
are traditionally members of the House, but the Constitution does not have such a requirement. Before being sworn in as a
Minister of State Minister of State is a title borne by politician A politician is a person active in party politics A political party is an organization that coordinates candidate A candidate, or nominee, is the prospective recipient of an award or ...
, a person must first be sworn in as a member of the Federal Executive Council if they are not already a member. Membership of the Federal Executive Council entitles the member to the style of ''The Honourable'' (usually abbreviated to ''The Hon'') for life, barring exceptional circumstances. The senior members of the Executive Council constitute the
Cabinet of Australia The Cabinet of Australia is the executive Executive may refer to: Role, title, or function * Executive (government), branch of government that has authority and responsibility for the administration of state bureaucracy * Executive, a senior ma ...
. The prime minister is, like other ministers, normally sworn in by the governor-general and then presented with the commission (
letters patent Letters patent ( la, litterae patentes) ( always in the plural) are a type of legal instrument ''Legal instrument'' is a legal Law is a system A system is a group of Interaction, interacting or interrelated elements that act acco ...
) of office. When defeated in an election, or on resigning, the prime minister is said to "hand in the commission" and actually does so by returning it to the governor-general. In the event of a prime minister dying in office, or becoming incapacitated, or for other reasons, the governor-general can terminate the commission. Ministers hold office "during the pleasure of the governor-general" (s. 64 of the Constitution of Australia), so in practice, the governor-general can dismiss a minister at any time, by notifying them in writing of the termination of their commission; however, their power to do so except on the advice of the prime minister is heavily circumscribed by convention. According to convention, the prime minister is the leader of the majority party or largest party in a coalition of parties 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 ...
which holds the confidence of the House. The governor-general may also dismiss a prime minister who is unable to pass the government's supply bill through both houses of parliament, including the
Australian Senate The Senate is the of the bicameral , the being the . The compositioned and powers of the Senate are established in Chapter I of the . There are a total of 76 senators: 12 are elected from each of the six regardless of population and 2 from e ...
, where the government doesn't normally command the majority, as happened in the 1975 constitutional crisis. Other commentators argue that the governor-general acted improperly in 1975 as Whitlam still retained the confidence of the House of Representatives, and there are no generally accepted conventions to guide the use of the governor-general's reserve powers in this circumstance. However, there is no constitutional requirement that the prime minister sit in the House of Representatives, or even be a member of the federal parliament (subject to a constitutionally prescribed limit of three months), though by convention this is always the case. The only case where a member of the
Senate The Curia Julia in the Roman Forum ">Roman_Forum.html" ;"title="Curia Julia in the Roman Forum">Curia Julia in the Roman Forum A senate is a deliberative assembly, often the upper house or Debating chamber, chamber of a bicameral legislatu ...
was appointed prime minister was
John Gorton Sir John Grey Gorton (9 September 1911 – 19 May 2002) was the nineteenth 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 officia ...

John Gorton
, who subsequently resigned his Senate position and was elected as the member for Higgins in the House of Representatives. Despite the importance of the office of prime minister, the Constitution does not mention the office by name. The conventions of 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 ...
were thought to be sufficiently entrenched in Australia by the authors of the Constitution that it was deemed unnecessary to detail these. Indeed, prior to Federation in 1901 the terms "premier" and "prime minister" were used interchangeably for the head of government in a colony. If a government cannot get its appropriation (budget) legislation passed by the House of Representatives, or the House passes a vote of "no confidence" in the government, the prime minister is bound by convention to either resign or immediately advise the governor-general to dissolve the House of Representatives and hold a fresh election. Following a resignation in other circumstances or the death of a prime minister, the governor-general generally appoints the deputy prime minister as the new prime minister, until or if such time as the governing party or senior coalition party elects an alternative party leader. This has resulted in the party leaders from the Country Party (now named National Party) being appointed as prime minister, despite being the smaller party of their coalition. This occurred when
Earle Page Sir Earle Christmas Grafton Page, (8 August 188020 December 1961) was an Australian surgeon and politician who served as the 11th Prime Minister of Australia, holding office for 19 days after the death of Joseph Lyons in 1939. He was the leade ...

Earle Page
became caretaker prime minister following the death of
Joseph Lyons Joseph Aloysius Lyons (15 September 1879 – 7 April 1939) was an Australian politician who served as the List of prime ministers of Australia by time in office, 10th Prime Minister of Australia, in office from 1932 until his death in 1939. He ...

Joseph Lyons
in 1939, and when
John McEwen Sir John McEwen, (29 March 1900 – 20 November 1980) was an Australian politician who served as the 18th prime minister of Australia The prime minister of Australia is the head of government The head of government is either the highe ...
became caretaker prime minister following the
disappearance of Harold Holt On 17 December 1967, Harold Holt, the Prime Minister of Australia, disappeared while swimming in the sea near Portsea, Victoria. An enormous search operation was mounted in and around Cheviot Beach, but his body was never recovered. Holt was Pre ...
in 1967. However, in 1941,
Arthur Fadden Sir Arthur William Fadden, (13 April 189421 April 1973) was an Australian politician who served as Prime Minister of Australia from 29 August to 7 October 1941. He was the leader of the Country Party from 1940 to 1958. Fadden was born in Ing ...

Arthur Fadden
became the leader of the Coalition and subsequently prime minister by the agreement of both coalition parties, despite being the leader of the smaller party in coalition, following the resignation of UAP leader Robert Menzies. Excluding the brief transition periods during changes of government or leadership elections, there have only been a handful of cases where someone other than the leader of the majority party in the House of Representatives was prime minister: *
Federation A federation (also known as a federal state) is a political entity A polity is an identifiable political entity—any group of people who have a collective identity, who are organized by some form of Institutionalisation, institutionalized ...
occurred on 1 January 1901, but elections for the first parliament were not scheduled until late March. In the interim, an unelected
caretaker government A caretaker government is a temporary ' that performs some governmental duties and functions in a country until a regular government is elected or formed. Depending on specific practice, it usually consists of either randomly selected or approved ...
was necessary. In what is now known as the Hopetoun Blunder, the governor-general,
Lord Hopetoun John Adrian Louis Hope, 1st Marquess of Linlithgow, 7th Earl of Hopetoun, (25 September 1860 – 29 February 1908) was a British aristocrat and statesman who served as the first Governor-General of Australia The governor-general of Austr ...
, invited Sir
William Lyne Sir William John Lyne KCMG (6 April 1844 – 3 August 1913) was an Australian politician who served as Premier of New South Wales The Premier of New South Wales is the head of government in the state of New South Wales New South Wales (ab ...

William Lyne
, the
premier Premier is a title for 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 colony, aut ...
of the most populous state,
New South Wales New South Wales (abbreviated as NSW) is a 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'' (newspape ...
, to form a government. Lyne was unable to do so and returned his commission in favour 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 from 1901 to 1903, holding office as the leader of the Protectionist Party. He resigned to bec ...

Edmund Barton
, who became the first prime minister and led the inaugural government into and beyond the election. * During the second parliament, three parties (Free Trade, Protectionist and Labor) had roughly equal representation in the House of Representatives. The leaders of the three parties,
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
,
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
and
Chris Watson John Christian Watson (born Johan Cristian Tanck; 9 April 186718 November 1941), commonly known as Chris Watson, was an Australian politician who served as the third Prime Minister of Australia. He was the first Prime Minister from the Australian ...

Chris Watson
each served as prime minister before losing a vote of confidence. * As a result of the Labor Party's split over conscription,
Billy Hughes William Morris Hughes, (25 September 1862 – 28 October 1952), was an Australian politician who served as the List of prime ministers of Australia by time in office, 7th Prime Minister of Australia, in office from 1915 to 1923. He is best kn ...

Billy Hughes
and his supporters were expelled from the Labor Party in November 1916. He subsequently continued on as prime minister at the head of the new
National Labor Party The National Labor Party was formed by 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 Tasm ...
, which had only 14 members out of a total of 75 in the House of Representatives. The
Commonwealth Liberal Party The Commonwealth Liberal Party (CLP, also known as the Deakin–Cook Party, The Fusion, or the Deakinite Liberal Party) was a political movement active in Australia Australia, officially the Commonwealth of Australia, is a Sovereign sta ...
– despite still forming the official Opposition – provided confidence and supply until February 1917, when the two parties agreed to merge and formed the
Nationalist PartyNationalist Party may refer to: Current parties * Bangladesh Nationalist Party * Basque Nationalist Party * Cornish Nationalist Party * Nacionalista Party (Philippines) * Nationalist Movement Party (Turkey) * Nationalist Party of Canada * Nationalist ...
. * During the 1975 constitutional crisis, on 11 November 1975, the governor-general, Sir John Kerr, dismissed the Labor Party's
Gough Whitlam Edward Gough Whitlam (; 11 July 191621 October 2014) was the 21st 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 ex ...
as prime minister. Despite Labor holding a majority in the House of Representatives, Kerr appointed the Leader of the Opposition,
Liberal Liberal or liberalism may refer to: Politics *a supporter of liberalism, a political and moral philosophy **Liberalism by country *an adherent of a Liberal Party Arts, entertainment and media *''El Liberal'', a Spanish newspaper published betw ...
leader
Malcolm Fraser John Malcolm Fraser (; 21 May 1930 – 20 March 2015) was an Australian politician who served as the 22nd prime minister of Australia, in office from 1975 to 1983 as leader of the Liberal Party of Australia The Liberal Party of Austral ...

Malcolm Fraser
as caretaker prime minister, conditional on the passage of the Whitlam government's
Supply Supply may refer to: *The amount of a resource Resource refers to all the materials available in our environment which help us to satisfy our needs and wants. Resources can broadly be classified upon their availability — they are classified in ...
bills through the
Senate The Curia Julia in the Roman Forum ">Roman_Forum.html" ;"title="Curia Julia in the Roman Forum">Curia Julia in the Roman Forum A senate is a deliberative assembly, often the upper house or Debating chamber, chamber of a bicameral legislatu ...
and the calling of an election for both houses of parliament. Fraser accepted these terms and immediately advised a
double dissolution A double dissolution is a procedure permitted under the Australian Constitution The Constitution of Australia (or Australian Constitution) is a written constitution A constitution is an aggregate of fundamental principles A principl ...
. An election was called for 13 December, which the Liberal Party won in its own right (although the Liberals governed in a coalition with the Country Party).


Powers and role

Most of the prime minister's power derives from being 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 colony, autonomous region, or other government who often presi ...
. In practice, the Federal Executive Council acts to ratify all executive decisions made by the government and requires the support of the prime minister. The powers of the prime minister are to direct the governor-general through advice to grant Royal Assent to legislation, to dissolve and prorogue parliament, to call elections and to make government appointments, which the governor-general follows according to convention. The Constitution divides power between the federal government and the states, and the prime minister is constrained by this. The formal power to appoint the governor-general lies with the
Queen of Australia The monarchy of Australia refers to the institution in which a person serves as Australia Australia, officially the Commonwealth of Australia, is a Sovereign state, sovereign country comprising the mainland of the Australia (continent) ...
, on the advice of the prime minister, whereby convention holds that the queen is bound to follow the advice. The prime minister can also advise the monarch to dismiss the governor-general, though it remains unclear how quickly the monarch would act on such advice in a constitutional crisis. This uncertainty, and the possibility of a "race" between the governor-general and prime minister to dismiss the other, was a key question in the 1975 constitutional crisis. Prime ministers whose government loses a
vote of no-confidence A motion of no confidence, vote of no confidence, or no confidence motion, sometimes in the reverse as a motion of confidence or vote of confidence, is a statement or vote about whether a person in a position of responsibility (government, manager ...
in the House of Representatives, are expected to advise the governor-general to dissolve parliament and hold an election, if an alternative government cannot be formed. If they fail to do this, the governor-general may by convention dissolve parliament or appoint an alternative government. The prime minister is also the responsible minister for the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet, which is tasked with supporting the policy agendas of the prime minister and
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 transparent glass sheets or transparent polycarbonate sheets * Filing ...
through policy advice and the coordination of the implementation of key government programs, to manage
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Indigenous Australians are people with familial heritage to groups that lived in Australia before British colonisation. They include the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples of Australia. The term Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islande ...
policy and programs and to promote
reconciliation Reconciliation may refer to: Sociology and politics * Conflict resolution Conflict resolution is conceptualized as the methods and processes involved in facilitating the peaceful ending of conflict and retribution. Committed group members ...
, to provide leadership for the
Australian Public Service The Australian Public Service (APS) is the federal civil service of the Commonwealth of Australia responsible for the public administration, public policy, and public services of the Ministry (government department), departments and government ...
alongside the
Australian Public Service Commission The Australian Public Service Commission (APSC) is a statutory agency of the Government of Australia, Australian Government, within the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet (Australia), Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet, that ac ...
, to oversee the
honours Honour (British English British English (BrE) is the standard dialect of the English language English is a West Germanic languages, West Germanic language first spoken in History of Anglo-Saxon England, early medieval England, whi ...
and
symbols A symbol is a mark, sign, or word In linguistics Linguistics is the scientific study of language A language is a structured system of communication used by humans, including speech (spoken language), gestures (Signed languag ...
of the Commonwealth, to provide support to ceremonies and official visits, to set whole of government service delivery policy, and to coordinate national security, cyber,
counter-terrorism Counterterrorism (also spelled counter-terrorism), also known as anti-terrorism, incorporates the practice, military tactics, techniques, and strategy that government, military, law enforcement, business, and Intelligence agency, intelligen ...
, regulatory reform, cities, population, data, and women's policy. Since 1992, the prime minister also acts as the chair of the
Council of Australian Governments The Council of Australian Governments (COAG) was the primary intergovernmental forum in Australia from 1992 to 2020. Comprising the Government of Australia, federal government, the governments of the States and territories of Australia, six st ...
(COAG), an intergovernmental forum between the federal government and the state governments in which the prime minister, the state premiers and chief ministers, and a representative of local governments meet annually.


Privileges of office


Salary

As of 1 July 2019, Australia's prime minister is paid a total salary of $549,250. This is made up of the 'base salary' received by all Members of Parliament ($211,250) plus a 160 percent 'additional salary' for the role of prime minister. Increases in the base salary of MPs and senators are determined annually by the independent Remuneration Tribunal.


Residences and transport

While in office, the prime minister has two official residences. The primary official residence is The Lodge in
Canberra Canberra ( ) is the capital city A capital or capital city is the holding primary status in a , , , , or other , usually as its seat of the government. A capital is typically a that physically encompasses the government's offices an ...

Canberra
. Most prime ministers have chosen The Lodge as their primary residence because of its security facilities and close proximity to Parliament House. There have been some exceptions, however.
James Scullin James Henry Scullin (18 September 1876 – 28 January 1953) was an Australian Labor Party politician and the ninth Prime Minister of Australia. Scullin led Labor to government at the 1929 election. The Wall Street Crash of 1929 The Wa ...
preferred to live at the
Hotel Canberra The Hotel Canberra, also known as Hyatt Hotel Canberra, is a major hotel in the Australia Australia, officially the Commonwealth of Australia, is a Sovereign state, sovereign country comprising the mainland of the Australia (continent), ...

Hotel Canberra
(now the Hyatt Hotel) and
Ben Chifley Joseph Benedict Chifley (; 22 September 1885 – 13 June 1951) was an Australian politician who served as the 16th Prime Minister of Australia, in office from 1945 to 1949. He was leader of the Australian Labor Party, Labor Party from 1945 until ...
lived in the
Hotel Kurrajong The Hotel Kurrajong is a heritage-listed hotel located in the Canberra suburb of Barton, Australian Capital Territory, close to Parliament House, Canberra, Parliament House and national institutions within the Parliamentary Triangle, Canberra, P ...

Hotel Kurrajong
. More recently,
John Howard John Winston Howard (born 26 July 1939) is an Australian former politician who served as the 25th prime minister of Australia The prime minister of Australia is the head of government The head of government is either the highest or s ...

John Howard
used the
Sydney Sydney ( ; Dharug The Darug or Dharug people are an Aboriginal Australian people, who share strong ties of kinship and, in Colonial Australia, pre-colonial times, survived as skilled hunters in family groups or clans, scattered througho ...

Sydney
Prime Ministerial residence,
Kirribilli House Kirribilli House is the secondary official residence An official residence is the House, residence at which a nation's head of state, head of government, governor, Clergy, religious leader, leaders of international organizations, or other ...

Kirribilli House
, as his primary accommodation. On her appointment on 24 June 2010,
Julia Gillard Julia Eileen Gillard (born 29 September 1961) is an Australian former politician who served as the 27th prime minister of Australia The prime minister of Australia is the head of government The head of government is either the hig ...

Julia Gillard
said she would not be living in The Lodge until such time as she was returned to office by popular vote at the
next general election This is a list of the next general elections around the world in democratic polities. The general elections listed are for the government of each jurisdiction. These elections determine the Prime Minister and makeup of the legislature in a parlia ...
, as she became prime minister by replacing an incumbent during a parliamentary term.
Tony Abbott Anthony John Abbott (; born 4 November 1957) is an Australian former politician. He served as the 28th prime minister of Australia The prime minister of Australia is the head of government The head of government is either the high ...

Tony Abbott
was never able to occupy The Lodge during his term (2013–15) as it was undergoing extensive renovations, which continued into the early part of his successor
Malcolm Turnbull Malcolm Bligh Turnbull (born 24 October 1954) is an Australian politician who was the List of Prime Ministers of Australia, 29th Prime Minister of Australia from 2015 to 2018. He served twice as Liberal Party of Australia, Leader of the Liber ...

Malcolm Turnbull
's term. Instead, Abbott resided in dedicated rooms at the Australian Federal Police College when in Canberra. During his first term, Rudd had a staff at The Lodge consisting of a senior chef and an assistant chef, a child carer, one senior house attendant, and two junior house attendants. At
Kirribilli House Kirribilli House is the secondary official residence An official residence is the House, residence at which a nation's head of state, head of government, governor, Clergy, religious leader, leaders of international organizations, or other ...

Kirribilli House
in Sydney, there are a full-time chef and a full-time house attendant. The official residences are fully staffed and catered for both the prime minister and their family. In addition, both have extensive security facilities. These residences are regularly used for official entertaining, such as receptions for Australian of the Year finalists. The prime minister receives a number of transport amenities for official business. The Royal Australian Air Force's No. 34 Squadron RAAF, No. 34 Squadron transports the prime minister within Australia and overseas by specially converted Boeing Business Jets and smaller Challenger aircraft. The aircraft contain secure communications equipment as well as an office, conference room and sleeping compartments. The call-sign for the aircraft is "Envoy". For ground travel, the prime minister is transported in an armoured BMW 7 Series model. It is referred to as "C-1", or Commonwealth One, because of its number plate. It is escorted by police vehicles from state and federal authorities. File:The Lodge Canberra renovated.jpg, The Lodge File:(1)Kirribilli House Kirribilli.jpg,
Kirribilli House Kirribilli House is the secondary official residence An official residence is the House, residence at which a nation's head of state, head of government, governor, Clergy, religious leader, leaders of international organizations, or other ...

Kirribilli House
File:BMW 7er M-Sportpaket (F01) – Frontansicht, 7. Mai 2011, Düsseldorf.jpg, Prime Ministerial Limousine File:RAAF Boeing 737-7DT(BBJ) CBR Gilbert-1.jpg, No. 34 Squadron RAAF, Official aircraft


After office

Politicians, including prime ministers, are usually granted certain privileges after leaving office, such as office accommodation, staff assistance, and a Life Gold Pass, which entitles the holder to travel within Australia for "non-commercial" purposes at government expense. In 2017, Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull said the pass should be available only to former prime ministers, though he would not use it when he was no longer PM. Only one prime minister who had left the Federal Parliament ever returned. Stanley Bruce was defeated in his own seat in 1929 Australian federal election, 1929 while prime minister but was re-elected to parliament in 1931 Australian federal election, 1931. Other prime ministers were elected to parliaments other than the Australian federal parliament: George Reid, Sir George Reid was elected to the House of Commons of the United Kingdom, UK House of Commons (after his term as High Commissioner to the UK), and
Frank Forde Francis Michael Forde (18 July 189028 January 1983) was an Australian politician who served as prime minister of Australia from 6 to 13 July 1945. He was the deputy leader of the Australian Labor Party The Australian Labor Party (ALP), al ...

Frank Forde
was re-elected to the Queensland Parliament (after his term as High Commissioner to Canada, and a failed attempt to re-enter the Federal Parliament).


Acting prime ministers and succession

The Deputy Prime Minister of Australia, Deputy Prime Minister becomes Acting prime minister, Acting Prime Minister if the Prime Minister is unable to undertake their role for a short time, for example if they are ill, overseas or on leave (and if both are unavailable, then another senior minister takes on this role). The ''Acts Interpretation Act 1901'' confers upon acting ministers "the same power and authority with respect to the absent Minister's statutory responsibilities". If the Prime Minister were to die, then the Deputy Prime Minister would be appointed Prime Minister by the Governor-General, until the government votes for another member to be its leader. This happened when Disappearance of Harold Holt, Harold Holt disappeared in 1967, when
John McEwen Sir John McEwen, (29 March 1900 – 20 November 1980) was an Australian politician who served as the 18th prime minister of Australia The prime minister of Australia is the head of government The head of government is either the highe ...
was appointed Prime Minister. On the other two occasions that the Prime Minister has died in office, in Joseph Lyons, 1939 and John Curtin, 1945,
Earle Page Sir Earle Christmas Grafton Page, (8 August 188020 December 1961) was an Australian surgeon and politician who served as the 11th Prime Minister of Australia, holding office for 19 days after the death of Joseph Lyons in 1939. He was the leade ...

Earle Page
and
Frank Forde Francis Michael Forde (18 July 189028 January 1983) was an Australian politician who served as prime minister of Australia from 6 to 13 July 1945. He was the deputy leader of the Australian Labor Party The Australian Labor Party (ALP), al ...

Frank Forde
, respectively, were appointed Prime Minister. In the early 20th century, overseas travel generally required long journeys by ship. As a result, some held the position of acting prime minister for significant periods of time, including William Watt (Australian politician), William Watt (16 months, 1918–1919), George Pearce (7 months, 1916),
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
(6 months, 1902), Joseph Cook (5 months, 1921), James Fenton (Australian politician), James Fenton (19 weeks, 1930–1931), John Forrest (4 months, 1907), and
Arthur Fadden Sir Arthur William Fadden, (13 April 189421 April 1973) was an Australian politician who served as Prime Minister of Australia from 29 August to 7 October 1941. He was the leader of the Country Party from 1940 to 1958. Fadden was born in Ing ...

Arthur Fadden
(4 months, 1941). Fadden was acting prime minister for a cumulative total of 676 days (over 22 months) between 1941 and 1958.


Former prime ministers

As of , there are six living former Australian prime ministers. The greatest number of living former prime ministers at any one time was eight. This has occurred twice: * Between 7 October 1941 (when John Curtin succeeded
Arthur Fadden Sir Arthur William Fadden, (13 April 189421 April 1973) was an Australian politician who served as Prime Minister of Australia from 29 August to 7 October 1941. He was the leader of the Country Party from 1940 to 1958. Fadden was born in Ing ...

Arthur Fadden
) and 18 November 1941 (when
Chris Watson John Christian Watson (born Johan Cristian Tanck; 9 April 186718 November 1941), commonly known as Chris Watson, was an Australian politician who served as the third Prime Minister of Australia. He was the first Prime Minister from the Australian ...

Chris Watson
died), the eight living former prime ministers were Bruce, Cook, Fadden, Hughes, Menzies, Page, Scullin and Watson. * Between 13 July 1945 (when
Ben Chifley Joseph Benedict Chifley (; 22 September 1885 – 13 June 1951) was an Australian politician who served as the 16th Prime Minister of Australia, in office from 1945 to 1949. He was leader of the Australian Labor Party, Labor Party from 1945 until ...
succeeded
Frank Forde Francis Michael Forde (18 July 189028 January 1983) was an Australian politician who served as prime minister of Australia from 6 to 13 July 1945. He was the deputy leader of the Australian Labor Party The Australian Labor Party (ALP), al ...

Frank Forde
) and 30 July 1947 (when Sir Joseph Cook died), the eight living former prime ministers were Bruce, Cook, Fadden, Forde, Hughes, Menzies, Page and Scullin. All except Cook and Bruce, as former prime ministers served in Parliament at the same time between Chifley succeeding Forde on 13 July 1945 and Forde losing his seat at the 1946 election. This marks the greatest number (six) of former prime ministers serving in Parliament concurrently at any one time.
Ben Chifley Joseph Benedict Chifley (; 22 September 1885 – 13 June 1951) was an Australian politician who served as the 16th Prime Minister of Australia, in office from 1945 to 1949. He was leader of the Australian Labor Party, Labor Party from 1945 until ...
lived the least of all former prime ministers, as he died one year and six months after his term as prime minister. All other deceased former prime ministers have lived at least another 10 years, with the longest surviving former prime minister being
Gough Whitlam Edward Gough Whitlam (; 11 July 191621 October 2014) was the 21st 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 ex ...
, who lived 38 years and 11 months after office, surpassing Stanley Bruce's previous record of 37 years and 10 months.


Honours

Prime ministers have been granted numerous honours, typically after their period as prime minister has concluded, with a few exceptions. Nine former prime ministers were awarded knighthoods: Barton (Order of St Michael and St George, GCMG, 1902), Reid (GCMG, 1911), Cook (GCMG, 1918), Page (GCMG, 1938), Menzies (Order of the Thistle, KT, 1963), Fadden (KCMG, 1951), McEwen (GCMG, 1971), Gorton (GCMG, 1977), and McMahon (GCMG, 1977). Of those awarded, Barton and Menzies were knighted while still serving as prime minister, with Page awarded his before becoming prime minister, and the remainder awarded after leaving office. Reid (Order of the Bath, GCB, 1916), Menzies (Knight of the Order of Australia, AK, 1976) and Fadden (GCMG, 1958) were awarded a second knighthood after leaving office. Non-titular honours were also bestowed on former prime ministers, usually the Order of the Companions of Honour. This honour was awarded to Bruce (1927), Lyons (1936), Hughes (1941), Page (1942), Menzies (1951), Holt (1967), McEwen (1969), Gorton (1971), McMahon (1972), and Fraser (1977), mostly during office as prime minister. In almost all occasions these honours were only accepted by non-Labor/conservative prime ministers. However, appointment to the Privy Council of the United Kingdom was accepted by all prime ministers until 1983 (with the exception of Alfred Deakin, Chris Watson and Gough Whitlam), with Malcolm Fraser being the last prime ministerial appointee. Since its introduction in 1975, former prime ministers of Australia have been appointed to the Order of Australia and to its highest level – Companion: Whitlam (1978), Fraser (1988), Gorton (1988), Howard (2008), Gillard (2017), Rudd (2019), Abbott (2020), and Turnbull (2021). Keating refused appointment in the 1997 Australia Day Honours, saying that he had long believed honours should be reserved for those whose work in the community went unrecognised and that having been Prime Minister was sufficient public recognition. Bob Hawke was appointed a Companion in 1979, for service to trade unionism and industrial relations, before becoming prime minister in 1983. Menzies was appointed to the higher grade of Knight of the Order, which is no longer awarded, in 1976. John Howard was also appointed to the Order of Merit, whose appointments are within the personal gift of the Queen, in 2012. In addition to these honours, all deceased former prime ministers of Australia currently have federal electorates named after them, with the exception of Joseph Cook (a Division of Cook does exist, but it is named after explorer James Cook). The most recently created of these electorates is the Division of Hawke, named in honour of the recently deceased Bob Hawke in 2021.


List

The longest-serving prime minister was
Robert Menzies Sir Robert Gordon Menzies, (; 20 December 189415 May 1978), was an Australian politician who served as the 12th prime minister of Australia, in office from 1939 to 1941 and again from 1949 to 1966. He played a central role in the creation of ...
, who served in office twice: from 26 April 1939 to 28 August 1941, and again from 19 December 1949 to 26 January 1966. In total Robert Menzies spent 18 years, 5 months and 12 days in office. He served under the United Australia Party and the Liberal Party respectively. The shortest-serving prime minister was
Frank Forde Francis Michael Forde (18 July 189028 January 1983) was an Australian politician who served as prime minister of Australia from 6 to 13 July 1945. He was the deputy leader of the Australian Labor Party The Australian Labor Party (ALP), al ...

Frank Forde
, who was appointed to the position on 6 July 1945 after the death of John Curtin, and served until 13 July 1945 when
Ben Chifley Joseph Benedict Chifley (; 22 September 1885 – 13 June 1951) was an Australian politician who served as the 16th Prime Minister of Australia, in office from 1945 to 1949. He was leader of the Australian Labor Party, Labor Party from 1945 until ...
was elected leader of the Australian Labor Party. The last prime minister to serve out a full government term in the office was
John Howard John Winston Howard (born 26 July 1939) is an Australian former politician who served as the 25th prime minister of Australia The prime minister of Australia is the head of government The head of government is either the highest or s ...

John Howard
, who won the 2004 election and led his party to the 2007 election, but lost. Since then, the five subsequent prime ministers have been either voted out of the office mid-term by the caucuses of their own parties, assumed the office mid-term under such circumstances, or both.


See also

* Historical rankings of prime ministers of Australia * List of Commonwealth heads of government * List of prime ministers of Australia * List of prime ministers of Australia (graphical) * List of prime ministers of Australia by time in office * List of prime ministers of Elizabeth II * Prime Ministers Avenue in Horse Chestnut Avenue in the Ballarat Botanical Gardens contains a collection of bronze busts of former Australian prime ministers. * Prime Minister's XI * Spouse of the prime minister of Australia * Leader of the Opposition (Australia)


References


Further reading

* * * * * * *


External links


Official website of the prime minister of Australia

Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet

Australia's Prime Ministers
– National Archives of Australia reference site and research portal
Biographies of Australia's Prime Ministers
/ National Museum of Australia
Classroom resources on Australian Prime Ministers

Museum of Australian Democracy website about Australian prime ministers
{{DEFAULTSORT:Prime Minister of Australia Prime Minister of Australia, Lists of government ministers of Australia 1901 establishments in Australia