HOME
The Info List - Premier Of Western Australia


--- Advertisement ---



The Premier of Western Australia
Australia
is the head of the executive branch of government in the Australian state of Western Australia. The Premier has similar functions in Western Australia
Australia
to those performed by the Prime Minister of Australia
Australia
at the national level, subject to the different Constitutions. The incumbent Premier of Western Australia
Australia
is Mark McGowan
Mark McGowan
who won the 2017 state election and was sworn in on 17 March 2017 by Governor Kerry Sanderson
Kerry Sanderson
as the 30th Premier of Western Australia.[1]

Contents

1 Function 2 History 3 List of Premiers of Western Australia 4 Living former premiers 5 Graphical timeline 6 See also 7 Notes 8 References 9 Further reading

Function[edit] The premier must be a member of one of the two Houses of the Parliament of Western Australia; and by convention the premier is a member of the lower house, the Legislative Assembly.[a] He or she is appointed by the governor on the advice of the lower house, and must resign if he or she loses the support of the majority of that house. Consequently, the premier is almost always the leader of the political party or coalition of parties with the majority of seats in the lower house. History[edit]

Sir John Forrest, the first Premier of Western Australia, who served from 1890 to 1901.

The office of premier of Western Australia
Australia
was first formed in 1890, after Western Australia
Australia
was officially granted responsible government by Britain in 1889. The Constitution of Western Australia,[2] does not explicitly provide for a premier, and the office was not formally listed as one of the executive offices until the appointment of Ross McLarty in 1947. Nonetheless, John Forrest
John Forrest
immediately adopted the title on taking office as first premier of Western Australia
Australia
in 1890, and it has been used ever since. John Forrest
John Forrest
was the only premier of Western Australia
Australia
as a self-governing colony. Following the Federation of Australia
Australia
in 1901, Western Australia
Australia
became an Australian state and the responsibilities of the office of premier were diminished. Party politics began in Western Australia
Australia
with the rise of the Labor party in 1901. By 1904, the party system was entrenched in Western Australian politics. Since then the premiers have been associated with political parties. Western Australia's constitution contains nothing to preclude the premier being a member of the upper house, the Western Australian Legislative Council. Historically and by convention, however, the premier is a member of the Assembly. The only exception has been Hal Colebatch, a member of the Legislative Council who accepted the premiership in April 1919 on the understanding that an Assembly seat would be found for him, only to resign a month later when no seat could be found. During the economic boom of the 1980s, the Western Australian government became closely involved with a number of large businesses. A succession of deals were made between the government and businesses, and these ultimately caused great losses for the state. A subsequent royal commission found evidence of widespread corruption. Three former premiers were found to have acted improperly and two of them, Ray O'Connor and Brian Burke, were jailed. This scandal became popularly known as WA Inc. List of Premiers of Western Australia[edit]

№ Name (lifespan) Portrait Constituency Party Term of office Ministry Election(s) Ref

1 Sir John Forrest (1847–1918)

MLA for Bunbury 1890–1901 (resigned) none[b] (pro-Forrest) 29 December 1890 15 February 1901 Forrest Ministry 1890 1894 1897 [3]

Appointed by Governor William Robinson as the first premier of Western Australia. Began large-scale public works projects, including Fremantle Harbour
Fremantle Harbour
and the Goldfields Water Supply Scheme. Perth
Perth
Mint opened. Represented Western Australia
Australia
at Federation conferences. Resigned in February 1901 to run for the seat of Swan in the federal House of Representatives.

2 George Throssell (1840–1910)

MLA for Northam 1890–1904 (resigned) MLC for East Province 1907–1910 (died) none[b] (pro-Forrest) 15 February 1901 27 May 1901 Throssell Ministry 1901 [4]

Took over as Premier and Treasurer after Forrest's resignation in February 1901. Contested the 1901 election as Premier, but resigned after his faction failed to win a majority of seats.

3 George Leake
George Leake
(I) (1856–1902)

MLA for Roebourne 1890 (resigned) MLA for Albany 1894–1900 (resigned) MLA for West Perth 1901–1902 (died) none[b] (Opposition) 27 May 1901 21 November 1901 1st Leake Ministry – [5]

Became Premier as a compromise between the opposing factions of Frederick Illingworth
Frederick Illingworth
and George Throssell. Served for five months before his government was defeated on a no-confidence vote.

4 Alf Morgans (1850–1933)

MLA for Coolgardie 1897–1904 (resigned) none[b] (Ministerialist) 21 November 1901 23 December 1901 Morgans Ministry – [6]

Served as Premier for 32 days as a compromise after George Leake's government was defeated. Resigned after members of his Cabinet were defeated in a ministerial by-election.

– (3) George Leake
George Leake
(II) (1856–1902)

MLA for Roebourne 1890 (resigned) MLA for Albany 1894–1900 (resigned) MLA for West Perth 1901–1902 (died) none[b] (Opposition) 23 December 1901 1 July[c] 1902 2nd Leake Ministry – [5]

Again became Premier after the failure of Alf Morgans' government. Died in office on 24 June 1902.

5 Sir Walter James (1863–1943)

MLA for East Perth 1894–1904 (resigned) none[b] (Opposition) 1 July[c] 1902 10 August 1904 James Ministry 1904 [7]

Sworn in as Premier after Leake's death. Led a reforming government, which legalised trade unions and introduced workers' compensation and a stronger Arbitration
Arbitration
Act. Unsuccessfully attempted to reform the franchise. Defeated in a no-confidence motion after the 1904 election.

6 Henry Daglish (1866–1920)

MLA for Subiaco 1901–1911 (lost seat) Labor Party 10 August 1904 25 August 1905 Daglish Ministry – [8]

Western Australia's first Labor premier. John Drayon, a newspaper editor, imprisoned under parliamentary privilege. Defeated after twelve months over plans to buy out the Midland Railway Company for £1.5 million.

7 Sir Hector Rason (1858–1927)

MLC for Swan 1889–1890 (resigned) MLA for South Murchison 1897–1901 (resigned) MLA for Guildford 1901–1906 (resigned) Ministerialist 25 August 1905 7 May 1906 Morgans Ministry 1905 [9]

Became premier after Henry Daglish's government was defeated. Headed a Royal Commission on immigration. Resigned in 1906 after appointing himself Agent General.

8 Sir Newton Moore (1870–1936)

MLA for Bunbury 1904–1911 (resigned) Ministerialist 7 May 1906 16 September 1910 Moore Ministry 1908 [10]

Began as premier at age 36, with only two years of parliamentary experience, at the time the youngest ever premier. Placed emphasis on agriculture and rural development, establishing the Wheatbelt and implementing the Income and Land Tax. Resigned in September 1910 on grounds of ill health.

9 Frank Wilson (I) (1859–1918)

MLA for Canning 1895–1901 (seat abolished) MLA for Perth 1901 (lost seat) MLA for Sussex 1904–1917 (lost seat) Ministerialist 16 September 1910 7 October 1911 1st Wilson Ministry 1911 [11]

Pushed through legislation which established the University of Western Australia
Australia
and a number of electoral reform bills. Lost in a landslide to Labor at the 1911 election.

10 John Scaddan (1876–1934)

MLA for Ivanhoe 1904–1911 (seat abolished) MLA for Brown Hill-Ivanhoe 1911–1916 (resigned) 1916–1917 (lost seat) MLA for Albany 1919–1924 (did not contest) MLA for Maylands 1930–1933 (lost seat) Labor Party 7 October 1911 27 July 1916 Scaddan Ministry 1914 [12]

Passed a number of reform bills, established a state income tax, extended workers' compensation, reformed the education system, and set up a number of state-owned industries, including the State Shipping Service, abattoirs, sawmills, quarries, brickworks and farms. SS Koombana wrecked off the coast of Port Hedland. Government
Government
defeated July 1916, in part due to heavy debt and the Nevanas affair.

– (9) Frank Wilson (II) (1859–1918)

MLA for Canning 1895–1901 (seat abolished) MLA for Perth 1901 (lost seat) MLA for Sussex 1904–1917 (lost seat) Liberal Party 27 July 1916 28 June 1917 2nd Wilson Ministry – [11]

Returned as premier after Scaddan's Labor government lost a majority in the lower house. Replaced by Henry Lefroy
Henry Lefroy
as premier after a new Nationalist Party was formed, without Wilson and several of his ministers.

11 Henry Lefroy (1854–1930)

MLA for Moore 1892–1901 (did not contest) 1911–1921 (did not contest) Nationalist Party 28 June 1917 17 April 1919 Lefroy Ministry 1917 [13]

Elected leader by the newly formed majority Nationalist Party. Moore River Native Settlement established 1918. Resigned in 1919 after an unsuccessful leadership spill which forced Lefroy to cast the deciding vote on his premiership.

12 Hal Colebatch (1872–1953)

MLC for East Province 1912–1923 (resigned) Nationalist Party 17 April 1919 17 May 1919 Lefroy Ministry – [14]

After being elected leader of the Nationalist Party, Colebatch served as premier from the Legislative Council with the understanding that a lower house seat would be found for him. Resigned after a month when no seat could be found for him. Pelted with rocks during the Fremantle wharf crisis. The only person to serve as premier while a member of the upper house, and the short-serving premier.

13 Sir James Mitchell (I) (1866–1951)

MLA for Northam 1905–1933 (lost seat) Nationalist Party 17 May 1919 16 April 1924 1st Mitchell Ministry 1921 1924 [15]

Established a strong Western Australian dairy industry. Initiated the Group Settlement and Soldier Settlement Schemes in the South West. Race riots in Broome in 1920. Defeated by Labor at the 1924 election.

14 Philip Collier
Philip Collier
(I) (1873–1948)

MLA for Boulder 1905–1948 (died) Labor Party 16 April 1924 24 April 1930 1st Collier Ministry 1927 1930 [16]

Reduced taxation, allowing the first surplus in 16 years. Continued the previous government's rural development initiatives. Woods Royal Commission on the Forrest River massacre. Centenary of Western Australia
Australia
celebrated. Introduced a minimum wage and a 40-hour working week.

– (13) Sir James Mitchell (II) (1866–1951)

MLA for Northam 1905–1933 (lost seat) Nationalist Party 24 April 1930 24 April 1933 2nd Mitchell Ministry 1933 [15]

Returned after the 1930 election, governing in coalition with the Country Party. Secession referendum held in 1933 was passed with 66% of the vote, however, the Nationalist/Country coalition lost power at the 1933, and the returning Labor government did not act on the results. Moseley Royal Commission regarding the treatment of Aboriginals established.

– (14) Philip Collier
Philip Collier
(II) (1873–1948)

MLA for Boulder 1905–1948 (died) Labor Party 24 April 1933 19 August 1936 2nd Collier Ministry 1936 [16]

Led his party to victory at the 1936 election. Resigned August 1936. Over his two terms, served nine years and 126 days, the longest by a Labor premier.

15 John Willcock (1879–1956)

MLA for Geraldton 1917–1947 (died) Labor Party 20 August 1936 31 July 1945 Willcock Ministry 1939 1943 [17]

Introduced a range of small secondary industries. Considered a plan for a Jewish homeland
Jewish homeland
in the Kimberley. Japanese planes attack Broome and the MV Koolama. Represented Western Australia
Australia
at the coronation of King George V
King George V
in 1937. Resigned in 1945 due to ill health.

16 Frank Wise (1897–1986)

MLA for Gascoyne 1933–1951 (resigned) Labor Party 31 July 1945 1 April 1947 Wise Ministry 1947

Chosen to serve as premier after John Willcock's resignation. Introduced Air Beef Scheme in the Kimberley. Wise's government was defeated at the 1947 election.

17 Sir Ross McLarty (1891–1962)

MLA for Murray-Wellington 1930–1962 (resigned) Liberal Party 1 April 1947 23 February 1953 McLarty–Watts Ministry 1950 1953 [18]

Governed in coalition with the Country Party. Introduced post-war industrial development, including oil refineries at Kwinana. Established the State Housing Commission. Lost office at the 1953 election.

18 Albert Hawke (1900–1986)

MLA for Northam 1933–1968 (did not contest) Labor Party 23 February 1953 2 April 1959 Hawke Ministry 1956 1959 [19]

Improved public housing. Aboriginal Australians given citizenship rights in 1954. Passed heavily criticised anti-profiteering legislation. The first premier born in the 20th century.

19 Sir David Brand (1912–1979)

MLA for Greenough 1945–1975 (resigned) Liberal Party 2 April 1959 3 March 1971 Brand–Watts Ministry Brand–Nalder Ministry 1962 1965 1968 1971 [20]

First mining of iron ore in the Pilbara. Expanded mineral processing at Kwinana and in the South West. 1962 British Empire and Commonwealth Games held in Perth.Federal funding obtained for Ord River Scheme. Controversy over proposed demolition of the Barracks Arch. Mining Posiedon bubble burst. Conflict with the federal government over wheat quotas. Lost power at the 1971 election.

20 John Tonkin (1902–1995)

MLA for North-East Fremantle 1933–1950 (seat abolished) MLA for Melville 1950–1977 (did not contest) Labor Party 3 March 1971 8 April 1974 Tonkin Ministry 1974

Emphasis on education and further industrial development.

21 Sir Charles Court (1911–2007)

MLA for Nedlands 1953–1982 (resigned) Liberal Party 8 April 1974 25 January 1982 Court–McPharlin Ministry Court Ministry 1977 1980

Emphasised development of mining, oil and natural gas industries, precipitating a mining boom. Perth– Fremantle railway line
Fremantle railway line
closed September 1979. Murdoch University
Murdoch University
and Art Gallery of Western Australia
Australia
opened. 150th anniversary of European settlement celebrated. Retired January 1982.

22 Ray O'Connor (1926–2013)

MLA for North Perth 1959–1962 (seat abolished) MLA for Mount Lawley 1962–1984 (resigned) Liberal Party 25 January 1982 25 February 1983 O'Connor Ministry 1983

Continued Charles Court's policies of mining and industrial development. Perth Mint
Perth Mint
Swindle. Lost power at the 1983 election. In 1992, jailed for six months as part of the WA Inc
WA Inc
scandal.

23 Brian Burke (born 1947)

MLA for Balcatta 1973–1974 (seat abolished) 1977–1983 (did not contest) MLA for Balga 1974–1977 (seat abolished) 1983–1988 (did not contest) Labor Party 25 February 1983 25 February 1988 Burke Ministry 1986

Fremantle railway line
Fremantle railway line
re-opened. Capital punishment abolished 1984. Stock market crash. In 1992, jailed for seven months as part of the WA Inc scandal.

24 Peter Dowding (born 1943)

MLC for North Province 1979–1986 (resigned) MLA for Maylands 1986–1990 (resigned) Labor Party 25 February 1988 12 February 1990 Dowding Ministry 1989

Took over from Brian Burke as premier in 1988. Resigned in 1990 after being challenged for the ALP leadership after a slump in the polls.

25 Dr Carmen Lawrence (born 1948)

MLA for Subiaco 1986–1989 (seat abolished) MLA for Glendalough 1989–1994 (resigned) Labor Party 12 February 1990 16 February 1993 Lawrence Ministry 1993

Called a Royal Commission into WA Inc. Northern Suburbs Transit System begun. Perth
Perth
City Busport opened. Later charged with perjury over the Easton affair, but acquitted in 1999. First female premier of any Australian state. Defeated at the 1993 election.

26 Richard Court (born 1947)

MLA for Nedlands 1982–2001 (resigned) Liberal Party 16 February 1993 10 February 2001 Court–Cowan Ministry 1996 2001

Governed in coalition with the Nationals, led by Hendy Cowan. Scandals over the logging of old-growth forests and a finance-broking scheme. Graham Farmer Freeway
Graham Farmer Freeway
and final stage of the Kwinana Freeway completed. Defeated at the 2001 election.

27 Dr Geoff Gallop (born 1951)

MLA for Victoria Park 1986–2006 (resigned) Labor Party 10 February 2001 25 January 2006 Gallop Ministry 2005

Swan Valley Nyungah Community
Swan Valley Nyungah Community
closed after allegations of rape, substance abuse and child abuse, later the subject of the Gordon Inquiry. Resigned in 2006 to deal with depression.

28 Alan Carpenter (born 1957)

MLA for Willagee 1996–2009 (resigned) Labor Party 25 January 2006 23 September 2008 Carpenter Ministry 2008

Mandurah railway line opened. Removed three ministers after allegations of impropriety involving former premier Brian Burke by the Corruption and Crime Commission. Defeated at the 2008 election.

29 Colin Barnett (born 1950)

MLA for Cottesloe 1990–2018 (resigned) Liberal Party 23 September 2008 17 March 2017 Barnett Ministry 2013 2017

Minority government in first term in partnership with the National Party. Developed Perth's foreshore, began and completed construction of Elizabeth Quay, introduced plans for a new Perth
Perth
Stadium, completed Gateway WA
Gateway WA
Road project, began Perth
Perth
Freight Link and NorthLink WA Road projects, partially deregulated Perth's shopping hours, and sunk the railway line that divides Perth
Perth
and Northbridge. Lost the state's AAA credit rating and presided over a 6.5% unemployment rate.[21][22][23] Defeated at the 2017 election.

30 Mark McGowan (born 1967)

MLA for Rockingham 1996–present Labor Party 17 March 2017 Incumbent McGowan Ministry 2017

Won the 2017 state election.

Living former premiers[edit] As of 29 March 2018, seven former premiers are alive, the oldest being Peter Dowding (born 1943), who served from 1988 to 1990. The most recent premier to die was Ray O'Connor, on 25 February 2013, aged 86.

Name Term as premier Date of birth Current age

Brian Burke 1983–1988 25 February 1947 71 years, 32 days

Peter Dowding 1988–1990 6 October 1943 74 years, 174 days

Dr Carmen Lawrence 1990–1993 2 March 1948 70 years, 27 days

Richard Court 1993–2001 27 September 1947 70 years, 183 days

Dr Geoff Gallop 2001–2006 27 September 1951 66 years, 183 days

Alan Carpenter 2006–2008 4 January 1957 61 years, 84 days

Colin Barnett 2008–2017 15 July 1950 67 years, 257 days

Graphical timeline[edit]

See also[edit]

Wikimedia Commons has media related to Premiers of Western Australia.

List of Premiers of Western Australia
Australia
by time in office Leader of the Opposition (Western Australia) Speaker of the Western Australian Legislative Assembly

Notes[edit] a The only premier to serve in the upper house while premier was Sir Hal Colebatch, who was elected by the Nationalist Party to fill the vacancy presented by the resignation of Henry Lefroy, on the condition that a seat in the lower house would be found for him. He served as premier for a month before resigning after no seat could be found. b Prior to the 1904 election, no organised political parties existed, other than the Australian Labor Party. Parliamentary factions included the Ministerialist, or pro-Forrest, faction, and the Opposition, or pro-Leake, faction. c Leake died in office on 24 June 1902 from complications resulting from pneumonia, but the new Walter James-led ministry was not sworn in until 1 July 1902. Walter Kingsmill
Walter Kingsmill
served as Acting Premier during this time. References[edit]

^ " Mark McGowan
Mark McGowan
sworn in as WA's 30th Premier". ABC News. 17 March 2017.  ^ Constitution ACT 1889 (WA). ^ Crowley, F. K. "Forrest, Sir John (1847–1918)". Australian Dictionary of Biography. Australian National University. Retrieved 30 January 2012.  ^ Garden, Donald S. "Throssell, George (1840–1910)". Australian Dictionary of Biography. Australian National University. Retrieved 30 January 2012.  ^ a b De Garis, B. K. "Leake, George (1856–1902)". Australian Dictionary of Biography. Australian National University. Retrieved 30 January 2012.  ^ Bolton, G. C. "Morgans, Alfred Edward (1850–1933)". Australian Dictionary of Biography. Australian National University. Retrieved 30 January 2012.  ^ Hunt, Lyall. "James, Sir Walter Hartwell (1863–1943)". Australian Dictionary of Biography. Australian National University. Retrieved 30 January 2012.  ^ Gibbney, H. J. "Daglish, Henry (1866–1920)". Australian Dictionary of Biography. Australian National University. Retrieved 30 January 2012.  ^ Bolton, G. C. "Rason, Sir Cornthwaite Hector William James (1858–1927)". Australian Dictionary of Biography. Australian National University. Retrieved 30 January 2012.  ^ Adams, David. "Moore, Sir Newton James (1870–1936)". Australian Dictionary of Biography. Australian National University. Retrieved 30 January 2012.  ^ a b Black, David. "Wilson, Frank (1859–1918)". Australian Dictionary of Biography. Australian National University. Retrieved 30 January 2012.  ^ Robertson, J. R. "Scaddan, John (1876–1934)". Australian Dictionary of Biography. Australian National University. Retrieved 30 January 2012.  ^ Cameron, Catherine. "Lefroy, Sir Henry Bruce (1853–1930)". Australian Dictionary of Biography. Australian National University. Retrieved 30 January 2012.  ^ De Garis, B. K. "Colebatch, Sir Harry Pateshall (Hal) (1872–1953)". Australian Dictionary of Biography. Australian National University. Retrieved 30 January 2012.  ^ a b Bolton, G. C. "Mitchell, Sir James (1866–1951)". Australian Dictionary of Biography. Australian National University. Retrieved 30 January 2012.  ^ a b Black, David. "Collier, Philip (1873–1948)". Australian Dictionary of Biography. Australian National University. Retrieved 30 January 2012.  ^ Doohan, Noelene. "Willcock, John Collings (1879–1956)". Australian Dictionary of Biography. Australian National University. Retrieved 30 January 2012.  ^ Layman, Lenore. "McLarty, Sir Duncan Ross (1891–1962)". Australian Dictionary of Biography. Australian National University. Retrieved 30 January 2012.  ^ Pendal, Phillip. "Hawke, Albert Redvers George (Bert) (1900–1986)". Australian Dictionary of Biography. Australian National University. Retrieved 30 January 2012.  ^ Baclk, David. "Brand, Sir David (1912–1979)". Australian Dictionary of Biography. Australian National University. Retrieved 30 January 2012.  ^ "WA loses its AAA credit rating as revenue declines and debt blows out". Australian Broadcasting Corporation. 20 September 2013.  ^ "Moody's downgrades WA credit rating as commodities prices plunge; fears of debt blowout". Australian Broadcasting Corporation. 8 February 2016.  ^ "WA Liberals wield double-edged sword as they target Labor's election promise costings". Australian Broadcasting Corporation. 4 March 2017. 

Further reading[edit]

Reid, G. S. and M. R. Oliver (1982). The Premiers of Western Australia 1890–1982. University of Western Australia
Australia
Press. Nedlands, Western Australia. ISBN 0-85564-214-9. The Constitution Centre of Western Australia
Australia
(2002). Governors and Premiers of Western Australia. West Perth, Western Australia. ISBN 0-7307-3821-3.

v t e

Premiers of Western Australia

Forrest Throssell Leake Morgans Leake James Daglish Rason Moore Wilson Scaddan Wilson Lefroy Colebatch Mitchell Collier Mitchell Collier Willcock Wise McLarty Hawke Brand Tonkin C. Court O'Connor Burke Dowding Lawrence R. Court Gallop Carpenter Barnett McGowan

v t e

Government
Government
of Western Australia

Executive

Monarchy Governor Premier Deputy Premier Cabinet Entities Police

Legislative

Parliament Legislative Assembly MLAs Electoral districts Speaker of the Legislative Assembly Legislative Council MLCs Opposition Leader President of the Legislative Council

Judicial

Supreme Court District Court Children's Court Family Court Magistrates Court Other courts and tribunals

v t e

Current Premiers and Chief Ministers of the States and internal territories of Australia

NSW VIC QLD WA SA TAS ACT NT

Gladys Berejiklian
Gladys Berejiklian
(Lib)

Daniel Andrews
Daniel Andrews
(ALP)

Annastacia Palaszczuk
Annastacia Palaszczuk
(ALP)

Mark McGowan
Mark McGowan
(ALP)

Steven Marshall
Steven Marshall
(Lib)

Will Hodgman
Will Hodgman
(Lib)

Andrew Barr
Andrew Barr
(ALP)

Michael Gunner
Michael Gunner
(ALP)

v t e

Ministerial portfolios (45) of the government of Western Australia

Premier Deputy Premier Aboriginal Affairs Agriculture and Food Attorney-General Child Protection Citizenship and Multicultural Interests Commerce Corrective Services Culture and the Arts Community Services Disability Services Education Electoral Affairs Emergency Services Energy Environment Finance Fisheries Forestry Health Heritage Housing Lands Local Government Mental Health Mines and Petroleum Planning Police Racing and Gaming Regional Development Road Safety Science Seniors and Volunteering Small Business Sport and Recreation State Development Tourism Training and Workforce Development Transport Treasurer Veterans Water Women's Interests Youth

Curr

.