Leader of the House (Australia)

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Leader of the House
Incumbent
Tony Burke
since 1 June 2022 (2022-06-01)
Australian Government
House of Representatives
StyleThe Honourable
AppointerThe Prime Minister of Australia
Inaugural holderSir Eric Harrison
Formation11 May 1951

In the Parliament of Australia, the Leader of the House is the government minister responsible for the management of government business in the House of Representatives, including the order in which the Government's agenda is to be dealt with, tactical matters in reaction to impediments to such management, negotiation with the Opposition's counterpart (the Manager of Opposition Business in the House) about the order in which bills are to be debated, and the time allotted for debates.[1] The position is currently held by Tony Burke since June 2022.

As the Australian Parliament is bicameral, the Leader of the House must also be aware of developments in the Senate, for example, in order to anticipate whether a bill may be returned to the House with amendments.

The office was created in 1951 by the Prime Minister at the time, Robert Menzies. The Leader of the House and the Deputy Leader are appointed by the Prime Minister. The duties of the Deputy Leader of the House are largely contingent, coming into play only when the Leader of the House is absent from the House or is on leave, when they are referred to as Acting Leader of the House.

On 31 May 2022, Prime Minister Anthony Albanese announced a new ministry which saw Tony Burke become the Leader of the House and Mark Butler become the Deputy Leader of the House. Before their appointments, Burke and Butler were the Manager of Opposition Business and Deputy Manager respectively.

List of Leaders of the House[edit]

The following individuals have been appointed as Leader of the Australian House of Representatives:

Order Minister Party Prime Minister Portfolio Term start Term end Time in office
1 Sir Eric Harrison[2]   Liberal Menzies Vice-President of the Executive Council
Minister for Defence Production
Minister for Army
Minister for the Navy
11 May 1951 September 1956 5 years, 4 months
2 Harold Holt[3] Treasurer
Minister for Labour and National Service
September 1956 26 January 1966 9 years, 4 months
3 Sir David Fairbairn[3] Holt Minister for National Development 26 January 1966 October 1966 9 months
4 Billy Snedden[3]   Minister for Immigration February 1967 November 1968 1 year, 9 months
  McEwen
  Gorton
5 Dudley Erwin[3]   Minister for the Air February 1969 September 1969 7 months
(4) Billy Snedden[3] Minister for Labour and National Service November 1969 10 March 1971 1 year, 4 months
6 Reginald Swartz[3] McMahon Minister for National Development 10 March 1971 August 1972 1 year, 5 months
7 Don Chipp[4] Minister for Customs and Excise 15 August 1972 5 December 1972 112 days
8 Fred Daly[3] Labor Whitlam Minister for Services and Property
Minister for Administrative Services
5 December 1972 22 December 1975 3 years, 17 days
9 Ian Sinclair[5] National Country Fraser Minister for Primary Industry 22 December 1975 27 September 1979 3 years, 279 days
10 Ian Viner[6] Liberal Minister for Employment and Youth Affairs 27 September 1979 19 August 1980 327 days
(9) Ian Sinclair[5] National Country Minister for Special Trade Representations
Minister for Communications
19 August 1980 7 May 1982 1 year, 261 days
11 James Killen[3] Liberal Vice-President of the Executive Council 7 May 1982 11 March 1983 308 days
12 Mick Young[7] Labor Hawke Special Minister of State
Vice-President of the Executive Council
11 March 1983 14 July 1983 125 days
13 Lionel Bowen[8] Deputy Prime Minister
Vice-President of the Executive Council
14 July 1983 21 January 1984 191 days
(12) Mick Young[7] Special Minister of State
Minister for Immigration and Ethnic Affairs
Minister for Immigration, Local Government and Ethnic Affairs
Vice-President of the Executive Council
Minister Assisting the Prime Minister for Multicultural Affairs
21 January 1984 12 February 1988 4 years, 22 days
14 Kim Beazley[9] Vice-President of the Executive Council
Minister for Defence
Minister for Transport and Communications
Minister for Employment, Education and Training
Minister for Finance
Deputy Prime Minister
15 February 1988 11 March 1996 8 years, 25 days

Keating
 
15 Peter Reith[10] Liberal Howard Minister for Industrial Relations
Minister for Workplace Relations and Small Business
Minister for Employment, Workplace Relations and Small Business
Minister Assisting the Prime Minister for the Public Service
Minister for Defence
11 March 1996 8 October 2001 5 years, 211 days
16 Tony Abbott[11] Minister for Employment, Workplace Relations and Small Business
Minister for Employment and Workplace Relations
Minister Assisting the Prime Minister for the Public Service
Minister for Health and Ageing
12 February 2002 17 October 2007 5 years, 247 days
17 Anthony Albanese[12] Labor Rudd Minister for Infrastructure and Transport
Minister for Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy
Minister for Regional Development and Local Government
Deputy Prime Minister
12 February 2008 5 August 2013 5 years, 174 days
Gillard
Rudd
18 Christopher Pyne[13] Liberal Abbott Minister for Education / Minister for Education and Training
Minister for Industry, Innovation and Science
Minister for Defence Industry
Minister for Defence
12 November 2013 11 April 2019 5 years, 150 days
Turnbull
Morrison
19 Christian Porter[14] Attorney-General
Minister for Industrial Relations
29 May 2019 30 March 2021 1 year, 305 days
20 Peter Dutton[15] Minister for Defence 30 March 2021 23 May 2022 1 year, 54 days
21 Tony Burke Labor Albanese Minister for Employment and Workplace relations
Minister for the Arts
1 June 2022 Incumbent 1 year, 274 days

Note: For terms during the period 1951 to 1972, exact dates are taken from changes in Prime Minister. Other dates coincide with sitting periods of the House as an approximation of when terms began and ended.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Chapter 2: House, Government and Opposition, Leader of the House". House of Representatives Practice. May 2018. pp. 63–64. Retrieved 7 November 2021.
  2. ^ Macintyre, Stuart (1996). "Harrison, Sir Eric John". Australian Dictionary of Biography. National Centre of Biography, Australian National University. ISSN 1833-7538. Retrieved 7 November 2021.
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h "Appendix 8: Leaders of the House" (PDF). House of Representatives Practice. May 2018. pp. 810–811. Retrieved 7 November 2021.
  4. ^ "Don Chipp". Parliament of Australia. Retrieved 2 June 2019.
  5. ^ a b "Ian Sinclair". Parliament of Australia. Retrieved 2 June 2019.
  6. ^ "Ian Viner". Parliament of Australia. Retrieved 2 June 2019.
  7. ^ a b "Mick Young". Parliament of Australia. Retrieved 2 June 2019.
  8. ^ "Lionel Bowen". Parliament of Australia. Retrieved 2 June 2019.
  9. ^ "Hon Kim Beazley MP". Senators and Members of the Parliament of Australia. Retrieved 6 November 2021.
  10. ^ "Hon Peter Reith MP". Senators and Members of the Parliament of Australia. Retrieved 6 November 2021.
  11. ^ "Hon Tony Abbott MP". Senators and Members of the Parliament of Australia. Retrieved 6 November 2021.
  12. ^ "Hon Anthony Albanese MP". Senators and Members of the Parliament of Australia. Retrieved 6 November 2021.
  13. ^ "Hon Christopher Pyne MP". Senators and Members of the Parliament of Australia. Retrieved 6 November 2021.
  14. ^ "Hon Christopher Porter MP". Senators and Members of the Parliament of Australia. Retrieved 6 November 2021.
  15. ^ "Hon Peter Dutton MP". Senators and Members of the Parliament of Australia. Retrieved 6 November 2021.