That’s it—I’m leaving: ministerial departures 1901–2017

12 July 2017

PDF version [687KB]

Janet Wilson and Margaret Healy
Politics and Public Administration Section

Contents

Abbreviations

Introduction

Ministerial responsibility

Barton Ministry (Protectionist) 1.1.1901 – 24.9.1903

2nd Deakin Ministry (Protectionist) 5.7.1905 – 13.11.1908

3rd Fisher Ministry (ALP) 17.9.1914 – 27.10.1915

1st Hughes Ministry (ALP) 27.10.1915 – 14.11.1916

3rd Hughes Ministry (Nationalist) 17.2.1917 – 10.1.1918

4th Hughes Ministry (Nationalist) 10.1.1918 – 9.2.1923

Bruce–Page Ministry (Nationalist–CP Coalition) 9.2.1923 – 22.10.1929

Scullin Ministry (ALP) 22.10.1929 – 6.1.1932

1st Lyons Ministry (UAP) 6.1.1932 – 9.11.1934; (UAP–CP Coalition)
9.11.1934 – 7.11.1938

2nd Lyons Ministry (UAP–CP Coalition) 7.11.1938 – 7.4.1939

Page Ministry (CP–UAP Coalition) 7.4.1939 – 26.4.1939

1st Menzies Ministry (UAP) 26.4.1939 – 14.3.1940

3rd Menzies Ministry (UAP) 28.10.1940 – 29.8.1941

Fadden Ministry (CP–UAP Coalition) 29.8.1941 – 7.10.1941

Forde Ministry (ALP) 6.7.1945 – 13.7.1945

1st Chifley Ministry (ALP) 13.7.1945 – 1.11.1946

2nd Chifley Ministry (ALP) 1.11.1946 – 19.12.1949

4th Menzies Ministry (Lib) 19.12.1949 – 11.5.1951

5th Menzies Ministry (Lib) 11.5.1951 – 11.1.1956

6th Menzies Ministry (Lib) 11.11.1956 – 18.12.1963

7th Menzies Ministry (Lib) 18.12.1963 – 26.1.1966

McEwen Ministry (Lib–CP Coalition) 9.12.1967 – 10.1.1968

2nd Gorton Ministry (Lib–CP Coalition) 28.2.1968 – 12.11.1969

3rd Gorton Ministry (Lib–CP Coalition) 12.11.1969 – 10.3.1971

McMahon Ministry (Lib–CP Coalition) 10.3.1971 – 5.12.1972

3rd Whitlam Ministry (ALP) 12.6.1974 – 11.11.1975

2nd Fraser Ministry (Lib–CP Coalition) 22.12.1975 – 20.12.1977

3rd Fraser Ministry (Lib–CP Coalition) 20.12.1977 – 3.11.1980

4th Fraser Ministry (Lib–CP then Lib–NP Coalition)
3.11.1980 – 11.3.1983

1st Hawke Ministry (ALP) 11.3.1983 – 13.12.1984

2nd Hawke Ministry (ALP) 13.12.1984 – 24.7.1987

3rd Hawke Ministry (ALP) 24.7.1987 – 4.4.1990

4th Hawke Ministry (ALP) 4.4.1990 – 20.12.1991

1st Keating Ministry (ALP) 20.12.1991 – 24.3.1993

2nd Keating Ministry (ALP) 24.3.1993 – 11.3.1996

1st Howard Ministry (Lib-NP Coalition) 11.3.1996 – 21.10.1998

2nd Howard Ministry (Lib–NP Coalition) 21.10.1998 – 26.11.2001

3rd Howard Ministry (Lib–NP Coalition) 26.11.1998 – 26.10.2004

4th Howard Ministry (Lib–NP Coalition) 26.10.2004 – 3.12.2007

1st Rudd Ministry (ALP) 3.12.2007 – 24.6.2010

1st Gillard Ministry (ALP) 24.6.2010 – 14.9.2010

2nd Gillard Ministry (ALP) 14.9.2010 – 27.6.2013

2nd Rudd Ministry (ALP) 27.6.2013 – 18.9.2013

Abbott Ministry (Lib–The Nationals Coalition) 18.9.2013 – 15.9.2013

1st Turnbull Ministry (Lib–The Nationals Coalition)
15.9.2015 – 19.7.2016

2nd Turnbull Ministry (Lib–The Nationals Coalition) 19.7.2016 –

Table 1: Ministerial resignations due to political appointments,
1901–2015

Bibliography

 

First published as That’s It—I’m Leaving: Ministerial Resignations and Dismissals 1901–1988 by the Department of the Parliamentary Library, February 1989 (compiled by Margaret Healy).

Revised edition, April 1989 (compiled by Margaret Healy).

New edition That’s It – I’m Leaving, and Other Kirribilli Tales: Ministerial Resignations and Dismissals 1901–1991. Supplement 1991–92 (compiled by Margaret Healy).

Abbreviations

ALP   Australian Labor Party

CLP   Country Liberal Party (Northern Territory)

CP   Australian Country Party

FLP   Federal Labor Party

Lib   Liberal Party of Australia

NP[1]  National Party of Australia

NAT   Nationalist Party

UAP   United Australia Party

*   A senator’s or member’s term beginning as a casual vacancy or at a by-election.

In the case of coalition ministries, the name of the senior coalition party appears first.

Introduction

This new edition of That’s it—I’m Leaving brings the coverage of ministerial departures up to early-2017, encompassing the last 25 years of departures since the last edition was published in 1992.

The resignation dates are those listed officially in the Governor-General’s notices, published generally as Special Gazettes in the Commonwealth of Australia Gazette. In a number of cases, announcement of a resignation precedes the official date by a number of days. In recent years Special Gazettes have not always included a list of appointments terminated, nor even published a prime minister’s resignation. In cases where such announcements have not been published, the resignation date used in this chronology is the date the new minister was sworn in. The question of whether resignations are received was discussed in Senate Public Finance and Administration Committee Estimates hearings early in 2016.[2]

Entries are arranged chronologically and by the ministry in office. The name of the minister is followed first by the name of the electorate or state represented; second by the term in Parliament; and third by party membership.

The titles, decorations and awards of each minister are given as they were at the time of the relevant parliamentary term. Knighthoods or peerages, awards or decorations awarded after retirement from politics are not included. However, in the three cases of ministers who were subsequently appointed as Governor-General, full details are included.

From 1901 to 1989, the period covered by the first two editions of this chronology, the list of ministerial resignations does not include resignations for reasons such as health or retirement, but rather covers resignations due to political controversies and disagreements, dismissals, and cases where Ministers have resigned in order to take up a government appointment.

From 1990 onwards, the chronology lists all departures from the ministry, including those of parliamentary secretaries, for whatever cause. Departures resulting from resignations may arise from decisions not to recontest the ministry for health or personal reasons; loss of factional support; controversies; policy disagreements; or retirement from the Parliament. Dismissals usually arise from political controversy or embarrassment due to incompetence or alleged misconduct.

In the three cases where ministers are described as having been dismissed (Cairns in 1975, Withers in 1978 and Crean in 2013), the Gazette record or the Prime Minister’s press release make it clear that the appointment was terminated by the Governor-General on the request of the Prime Minister. In many other cases, however, the minister was allowed to resign rather than be dismissed.

Changes to ministries resulting from reshuffles or from portfolio changes are not included in this publication, nor are the resignations of presiding officers.

Since the thirteenth edition of the Parliamentary Handbook of the Commonwealth of Australia (1959), each edition has included a complete record of all ministries since 1901.

The major sources used for this new edition are the 33rd edition of the Parliamentary Handbook of the Commonwealth of Australia (published by the Parliamentary Library), Commonwealth of Australia Gazette, Commonwealth Parliamentary Debates, ministerial press releases and the Library’s press clippings collection. (Earlier editions of this publication were compiled using the same sources, but using earlier editions of the Parliamentary Handbook.)

Ministerial responsibility

Ministerial responsibility is one of the major tenets of the Westminster system of government and its permutations in other countries. It is based both on pragmatic and ethical foundations. The doctrine, or convention, consists of two principles. The first is that there must be collective responsibility of the Cabinet or ministry for the decisions of government. If a minister cannot agree with a particular decision, and wishes to be dissociated from it, then that minister should resign.

According to the Cabinet Handbook:

21. Collective responsibility is a long standing and integral part of the Cabinet system. It requires that whatever the range of private views put forward by ministers in Cabinet, once decisions are arrived at and announced they are supported by all ministers. It ensures that the Government is collectively accountable and responsible to the Parliament and to the people of Australia.

22. In practice, a decision of the Cabinet is binding on all members of the Government regardless of whether they were present when the decision was taken. Issues may, and should, be debated vigorously within the confidential setting of Cabinet meetings. The aim is to reach some form of consensus so that the Prime Minister, as chair of the Cabinet, can summarise what the collective decision is for recording in the Cabinet minute.[3]

All ministers are expected to give their support in public debate to decisions of the Government. According to the Cabinet Handbook:

Members of the Cabinet must publicly support all Government decisions made in the Cabinet, even if they do not agree with them. Cabinet ministers cannot dissociate themselves from, or repudiate the decisions of their Cabinet colleagues unless they resign from the Cabinet. It is the Prime Minister’s role as Chair of the Cabinet, where necessary, to enforce Cabinet solidarity.[4]

The second part of the doctrine concerns the individual responsibility of ministers. Ultimately ministers are individually responsible for the administration of their portfolios and, in cases of maladministration or personal faults, the minister may be required to resign. In the latter case, the political penalty signals a proper response by government where the faults are sufficiently grave. Ministers may be required to resign when it has transpired they have lied, misled the Parliament, or have been ‘economical’ with the truth. Personal corruption, such as financial impropriety (if discovered), may precipitate a resignation.

Another cause of resignation implicit in the convention is that of political rivalry, or personal hostility. Andrew Peacock’s resignation from the Fraser Ministry fell into this category, whereas the resignations of Paul Keating (1991) and Kevin Rudd (2012) resulted from failed attempts to gain the leadership of the party.

Other causes of resignations may be a minister’s appointment to a political office outside Parliament, a routine reshuffle of the ministry by the Prime Minister, personal reasons, or ill-health.

Generally, resignations due to individual ministerial responsibility have aroused considerable political controversy.

The House of Representatives Practice notes that there has been a change in the perceptions of both ministers and informed commentators as to what is required by the convention of individual ministerial responsibility—the practical limitations on the doctrine are now acknowledged. It notes:

In a practical sense, a Minister may resign, not as an admission of culpability, but rather to remove pressure from the Government while serious criticisms of his or her capacity or integrity are properly and dispassionately assessed. Alternatively, a Minister may be given leave of absence from ministerial duties for the same purpose.

When responsibility for a serious matter can be clearly attached to a particular Minister personally, it is of fundamental importance to the effective operation of responsible government that he or she adhere to the convention of individual responsibility. However the prime consideration in determining whether a Minister should resign or be dismissed has sometimes been the assessment of the likely political repercussions on the government.[5]

A minister’s resignation may effectively defuse a political crisis. In other cases it is possible to ‘tough out’ the situation, by not responding to or ignoring the clamours of the press and the Opposition. There have been various instances when a minister has been the subject of substantial criticism but has not been required to resign. This has sometimes occurred after a government has been beset by a number of resignations, of varying degrees of embarrassment. In such cases the government may have decided that enough political damage has been done by past resignations, and that overall damage can be limited by the effluxion of time, and by keeping the tally of resignations down.

It is beyond the scope of this paper to categorise the reasons for each and every ministerial departure, although it has been done elsewhere. One academic classified calls for and causes of resignations into three categories:[6]

  • an act of the minister’s department
  • an act or policy of the minister acting in her/his ministerial capacity and
  • an act of the minister in a private capacity.

Keith Dowding, Chris Lewis and Adam Packer discuss ministerial departures in the following groupings:[7]

  • personal errors
  • financial scandals
  • policy disputes
  • performance
  • sex scandals and
  • policy.

It may be that another category—that of loyalty to a previous leader—needs to be added to account for the many changes in the ministry during the Rudd–Gillard–Rudd period, and the period following the change of Prime Minister from Mr Abbott to Mr Turnbull.

It is possible that standards of ministerial conduct were taken more seriously in the past. With the growth of government responsibilities and the sheer size of ministerial workloads, it is obviously impossible for a minister to know all details of administration and management within the portfolio. It has frequently been argued that a minister need not resign for ignorance of a matter, and that resignation is required only when there has been a personal failure by the minister when dealing with a particular situation.

After 1987 the ministerial structure was substantially changed. Instead of the previous numerous departments, ‘mega-departments’ were created, and overall responsibility was given to a Cabinet minister. Within this structure there were also junior ministers, who were allocated specific functions and responsibilities within the overall portfolio. Parliamentary secretaries were added to this structure, and since 2000 they have been ministers appointed by the Governor-General rather than by the Prime Minister—as was previously the case. These changes were made for a number of reasons, the most significant being the more effective co-ordination of policy and administration, and the diminution of dispersed responsibilities and ministerial and departmental rivalries. The ‘mega-ministry’ structure has been used by both Australian Labor Party (ALP) and Liberal–National Coalition governments, and, presumably, is thought to work effectively. Obviously, when several ministers and parliamentary secretaries are responsible for each portfolio, the workload is significantly divided.

For the Commonwealth Ministry, the requirements of ministerial responsibility are set out both in the Cabinet Handbook (current edition, 2016) and in the Statement of Ministerial Standards issued by Prime Minister Turnbull in September 2015.

Ministerial codes of conduct were first issued in 1996 by Prime Minister Howard as A guide on key elements of ministerial responsibility, which was revised in 1998. It was followed by Prime Minister Rudd’s Standards of Ministerial Ethics in 2007 and Prime Minister Gillard’s Standards of Ministerial Ethics in September 2010. In 2013, after the change of government, Prime Minister Abbott issued a Statement of Ministerial Standards in December 2013, and Prime Minister Turnbull issued the current Statement in September 2015.

Milestones

Details

Barton Ministry (Protectionist) 1.1.1901 – 24.9.1903

1903

Kingston, The Rt Hon. Charles Cameron, MP
Member for Adelaide, SA, 30.3.1901 – 11.5.1908 (died)
Protectionist

Mr Kingston resigned as Minister for Trade and Customs on 24.7.1903 over disagreement in Cabinet about whether the proposed Conciliation and Arbitration Bill should cover seamen on all ships engaged in Australian coastal trade.

1903

Barton, The Rt Hon. Sir Edmund, GCMG, KC, MP
Member for Hunter, NSW, 29.3.1901 – 30.9.1903 (resigned)
Protectionist

Sir Edmund Barton resigned as Prime Minister and Minister for External Affairs on 24.9.1903 on appointment as one of the first Justices of the recently created High Court of Australia.

1903

O’Connor, Senator The Hon. Richard Edward
Senator for NSW, 29.3.1901 – 27.9.1903 (resigned)
Protectionist

Senator O’Connor resigned as Vice-President of the Executive Council on 24.9.1903 on appointment as one of the first Justices of the recently created High Court of Australia.

1st Deakin Ministry (Protectionist) 24.9.1903 – 27.4.1904

Watson Ministry (ALP) 27.4.1904 – 17.8.1904

Reid–McLaren Ministry (Free Trade-Protectionist)18.8.1904 – 5.7.1905

2nd Deakin Ministry (Protectionist) 5.7.1905 – 13.11.1908

1907

Forrest, The Rt Hon. Sir John, MP
Member for Swan, WA, 30.3.1901 – 2.9.1918 (died)
Protectionist
Western Australia Party from 1906
Liberal from 1910
Nationalist from 1917

Sir John Forrest resigned as Minister for Trade and Customs on 30.7.1907 because of his dislike of the close relationship between the ministry and the Australian Labor Party. Sir John was appointed Treasurer on 17.2.1911 in the 3rd Hughes Ministry.

1st Fisher Ministry (ALP) 13.11.1908 – 2.6.1909

2nd Fisher Ministry (ALP) 29.4.1910 – 24.6.1913

Cook Ministry (Liberal) 24.6.1913 – 17.9.1914

3rd Fisher Ministry (ALP) 17.9.1914 – 27.10.1915

1915

Fisher, The Rt Hon. Andrew, MP
Member for Wide Bay, Qld 30.3.1901 – 26.10.1915 (resigned)
ALP

Mr Fisher resigned as Prime Minister and Treasurer on 27.10.1915 to take up the position of Australian High Commissioner to the United Kingdom.

1st Hughes Ministry (ALP) 27.10.1915 – 14.11.1916

1916

Tudor, The Hon. Frank Gwynne, MP
Member for Yarra, Vic., 29.3.1901 – 10.1.1922 (died)
ALP

Mr Tudor resigned as Minister for Trade and Customs on 14.9.1916 in protest against Prime Minister Hughes’s introduction of the Military Services Referendum Bill on 13.9.1916.

1916

Higgs, The Hon. William Guy, MP
Member for Capricornia, Qld, 13.4.1910 – 16.12.1922 (defeated)
ALP
Independent in 1920, then Nationalist from 1920

Mr Higgs resigned as Treasurer on 27.10.1916 because of the manner in which Prime Minister Hughes had conducted the Executive Council meeting of 27.10.1916. At this meeting, the Prime Minister had succeeded in gaining agreement to a contentious regulation. This would have authorised the returning officers at the plebiscite on conscription to be held on 28.10.1916 to ask questions of voters concerning their compliance with the home service call-up which had been proclaimed on 29.9.1916. The ballot papers of voters with unsatisfactory replies could be put aside for later consideration. The regulation had in fact been rejected at the previous meeting of the Executive Council on 25.10.1916. Prime Minister Hughes had then held another meeting on 27.10.1916, but with a different membership. Moreover, he had not informed the Governor-General of the previous rejection of the regulation. Mr Higgs, Senator Gardiner and Senator Russell resigned immediately in protest. The regulation was withdrawn. The ALP split over the conscription issue, and Prime Minister Hughes formed a National Labour Ministry on 14.11.1916.

1916

Gardiner, Senator The Hon. Albert
Senator for NSW, 1.7.1910 – 30.6.1926, 5.6.1928 – 16.11.1928 (retired)
ALP
Progressive Labor 5.6.1928 – 16.11.1928

Senator Gardiner resigned, along with Mr Higgs and Senator Russell, as Vice-President of the Executive Council on 27.10.1916 over the conscription referendum regulation. (See Higgs above.)

1916

Russell, Senator The Hon. Edward John
Senator for Victoria, 1.1.1907 – 18.7.1925 (died)
ALP
Nationalist from 1917

       Senator Russell resigned, along with Mr Higgs and Senator Gardiner, as Assistant Minister on 27.10.1916 over the conscription plebiscite regulation. (See Higgs above.) Senator Russell, however, rejoined the Hughes Ministry after the conscription split on 14.11.1916.

2nd Hughes Ministry (Liberal)14.11.1916 – 17.2.1917

3rd Hughes Ministry (Nationalist) 17.2.1917 – 10.1.1918

1918

Hughes, The Rt Hon. William Morris, MP
Member for West Sydney, NSW, 29.3.1901 – 5.5.1917
Member for Bendigo, Vic., 5.5.1917 – 16.12.1922
Member for North Sydney, NSW, 16.12.1922 – 10.12.1949
Member for Bradfield, NSW, 10.12.1949 – 28.10.1952 (died)
ALP 29.3.1901 – 14.11.1916
National Labour 14.11.1916 – 5.5.1917
Nationalist 5.5.1917 to 1929
Independent Nationalist from 1929
UAP from 1931
Liberal from 1944

Mr Hughes resigned as Prime Minister on 8.1.1918 following the defeat of the second plebiscite on conscription on 20.12.1917. During the plebiscite campaign he had several times pledged to resign from office should it be defeated. After the plebiscite the pledge was discussed extensively by Cabinet and by the Nationalist Party. The Governor-General, Sir Ronald Munro-Ferguson, held discussions with Mr Hughes, the ALP Leader Mr Tudor and a number of Nationalist members to investigate whether an alternative government could be formed. Mr Hughes and his previous ministry were recommissioned on 10.1.1918.

4th Hughes Ministry (Nationalist) 10.1.1918 – 9.2.1923

1918

Forrest, The Rt Hon. Sir John, MP
Member for Swan, WA, 30.3.1901 – 2.9.1918 (died)
Protectionist
Western Australia Party from 1906
Liberal from 1910
Nationalist from 1917

Sir John Forrest resigned as Treasurer on 27.3.1918, partly due to illness, partly due to political dissatisfaction and partly due to his having been recommended for a barony in February 1918. Sir John left Australia in July, hoping to take his seat in the House of Lords, but died at sea during the voyage without having received the official confirmation of his peerage.

1918

Jensen, The Hon. Jens August, MP
Member for Bass, Tas., 13.4.1910 – 13.12.1919 (defeated)
ALP
Nationalist from 1917

Mr Jensen was dismissed as Minister for Trade and Customs on 13.12.1918. After he had been unfavourably mentioned in the Report of the Royal Commission on Navy and Defence Administration in December 1918, Mr Jensen was asked to resign. He refused and was dismissed.

1920

Watt, The Rt Hon. William Alexander, MP
Member for Balaclava, Vic., 5.9.1914 – 5.7.1929 (resigned)
Liberal, Nationalist from 1917
Liberal from 1922
Nationalist from 1925

Mr Watt resigned as Treasurer on 15.6.1920 while overseas on several financial missions, including representing Australia in the Empire delegation to an international economic conference in Brussels. He had a number of disputes with Prime Minister Hughes over the management of the mission, and over the financial negotiations with the British government about purchases of Australian wool. Mr Watt resigned, claiming interference and lack of support from the Prime Minister.

1921

Cook, The Rt Hon. Sir Joseph, GCMG, MP
Member for Parramatta, NSW, 29.3.1901 – 11.11.1921 (resigned)
Free Trade, Anti-Socialist from 1906
Liberal from 1910
Nationalist from 1917

Sir Joseph Cook resigned as Treasurer on 11.11.1921 on appointment as Australian High Commissioner to the United Kingdom.

1923

Hughes, The Rt Hon. William Morris, KC, MPMember for West Sydney, NSW, 29.3.1901 – 5.5.1917
Member for Bendigo, Vic., 5.5.1917 – 16.12.1922
Member for North Sydney, NSW, 16.12.1922 – 10.12.1949
Member for Bradfield, NSW, 10.12.1949 – 28.10.1952 (died)
ALP 29.3.1901 – 14.11.1916
National Labour 14.11.1916 – 5.5.1917
Nationalist 5.5.1917 to 1929
Independent Nationalist from 1929
UAP from 1931
Liberal from 1944

Mr Hughes resigned as Prime Minister on 9.2.1923 following the election of 16.12.1922, when no party gained a majority of seats.[8] The Country Party held the balance of power, but would not support a Nationalist government led by Mr Hughes. Mr Hughes thus resigned, and Mr Bruce became the Nationalist Party Leader and Prime Minister in a Nationalist – Country Party coalition.

Bruce–Page Ministry (Nationalist–CP Coalition) 9.2.1923 – 22.10.1929

1924

Chapman, The Hon. Austin, MP
Member for Eden-Monaro, NSW, 29.3.1901 – 12.1.1926 (died)
Protectionist
Liberal from 1910
Nationalist from 1917

Mr Chapman resigned as Minister for Trade and Customs and Minister for Health on 26.5.1924 because of ill health, but possibly influenced by criticism of the operations of the Tariff Board.

1924

Stewart, The Hon. Percy Gerald, MP
Member for Wimmera, Vic., 13.12.1919 – 14.1.1931 (died)
Victorian Farmers’ Union, Country Party from 1920
Country Progressive Party from 1926

Mr Stewart resigned as Minister for Works and Railways on 5.8.1924 and resigned from the Country Party in July 1925 in protest at the electoral pact between the Nationalists and the Country Party at the 1925 election. The parties agreed to exchange preferences and not to oppose each other in marginal seats.

1925

Groom, The Hon. Sir Littleton Ernest, KCMG, KC, MP
Member for Darling Downs, Qld, 14.9.1901 – 12.10.1929, 19.12.31 – 6.11.1936 (died)
Protectionist
Liberal from 1910
Nationalist from 1917

Sir Littleton Groom resigned as Attorney-General on 18.12.1925. This followed an unsuccessful attempt under the recently passed Immigration Act 1925 to deport the overseas-born leaders of the Australian Seamen’s Union, Tom Walsh and Jacob Johnson. Sir Littleton was elected Speaker of the House of Representatives on 13.1.1926.

Scullin Ministry (ALP) 22.10.1929 – 6.1.1932

1930

Theodore, The Hon. Edward Granville, MP
Member for Dalley, NSW, 26.2.1927 – 19.12.1931 (defeated)
ALP

During Mr Theodore’s time as Queensland Premier, silver-lead mines at Mungana and Chillagoe had been sold to the State Government at allegedly inflated prices, and it was further claimed that Mr Theodore held shares in the mines. Mr Theodore resigned as Treasurer on 9.7.1930 after a Queensland Royal Commission found him guilty of fraud and dishonesty in relation to the Mungana affair. Mr Scullin reinstated Mr Theodore as Treasurer on 29.1.1931, before the Mungana allegations had been resolved. This led to further resignations from the Ministry (see entries for Lyons and Fenton). A civil case in Queensland later exonerated Mr Theodore.

1931

Lyons, The Hon. Joseph Aloysius, MP
Member for Wilmot, Tas., 12.10.1929 – 7.4.1939 (died)
ALP
UAP from 1931

Mr Lyons resigned as Minister for Works and Railways and as Postmaster-General on 4.2.1931 in protest against Mr Theodore’s reinstatement in the Ministry, partly because of the unresolved Mungana allegations and partly because of disagreement with Mr Theodore’s economic policies.

1931

Fenton, The Hon. James Edward, MP
Member for Maribyrnong, Vic., 13.4.1910 – 15.9.1934 (defeated)
ALP
UAP from 1931

Resigned as Minister for Trade and Customs on 4.2.1931 in protest against Mr Theodore’s reinstatement in the Ministry.

1931

Holloway, The Hon. Edward James, MP
Member for Flinders, Vic., 12.10.1929 – 19.12.1931
Melbourne Ports, Vic., 19.12.1931 – 19.3.1951 (retired)
ALP

Mr Holloway resigned as Assistant Minister for Industry on 12.6.1931 in opposition to Caucus’s acceptance of the Premiers’ Plan. This reduced government expenditure and pensions and increased taxes. Mr Holloway and Mr Culley regarded this as contrary to ALP policy (see Culley below).

1931

Culley, The Hon. Charles Ernest, MP
Member for Denison, Tas., 17.11.1928 – 19.12.1931 (defeated)
ALP

Mr Culley resigned as Assistant Minister for Transport and War Service Homes on 24.6.1931, like Mr Holloway, in opposition to the acceptance of the Premiers’ Plan.

1st Lyons Ministry (UAP) 6.1.1932 – 9.11.1934; (UAP–CP Coalition) 9.11.1934 – 7.11.1938

1932

Hawker, The Hon. Charles Allan Seymour, MP
Member for Wakefield, SA, 10.10.1929 – 25.10.1938 (died)
Nationalist
UAP from 1931

Mr Hawker resigned as Minister for Commerce on 23.9.1932 in order to vote for Mr Gabb’s motion to amend the Financial Emergency Bill 1932. The amendment, if carried, would have reduced parliamentary salaries.

1932

Fenton, The Hon. James Edward, MP
Member for Maribyrnong, Vic., 13.4.1910 – 15.9.1934 (defeated)
ALP
UAP from 1931

Mr Fenton resigned as Postmaster-General on 13.10.1932 in protest against Cabinet’s acceptance of the Ottawa Agreement, which he believed threatened Australia’s high protectionist policy. He voted against the United Kingdom and Australia Trade Agreement Bill on 16.11.1932.

1933

Bruce, The Rt Hon. Stanley Melbourne, MC, MP
Member for Flinders, Vic., 11.5.1918 – 12.10.1929, 19.12.1931 – 6.10.1933 (resigned)
UAP

Mr Bruce resigned as Minister without Portfolio, London, on 6.10.1933 on appointment as Australian High Commissioner to the United Kingdom. Shortly before, there had been a disagreement between Mr Bruce and Mr Latham over whether the Commonwealth was responsible for the States’ debts, during which Mr Bruce had threatened to resign.

1934

Latham, The Rt Hon. John Greig, KC, MP
Member for Kooyong, Vic., 16.12.1922 – 7.8.1934 (retired)
Liberal Nationalist from 1925
UAP from 1931

Mr Latham retired from politics when Parliament was dissolved on 7.8.1934, prior to the election of 15.9.1934, in the expectation of being appointed Chief Justice of the High Court on the retirement of Sir Frank Gavan Duffy. However, he remained Attorney-General and Minister for External Affairs until 12.10.1934, when former Victorian Attorney-General Mr Robert Menzies, who succeeded Mr Latham as Member for Kooyong, was sworn in as Attorney-General. Mr Latham returned to legal practice at the Bar until his appointment as Chief Justice of the High Court on 11.10.1935.

1935

Hughes, The Rt Hon. William Morris, KC, MP
Member for West Sydney, NSW, 29.3.1901 – 5.5.1917
Member for Bendigo, Vic., 5.5.1917 – 16.12.1922
Member for North Sydney, NSW, 16.12.1922 – 10.12.1949
Member for Bradfield, NSW, 10.12.1949 – 28.10.1952 (died)
ALP 29.3.1901 – 14.11.1916
National Labour 14.11.1916 – 5.5.1917
Nationalist 5.5.1917 to 1929
Independent Nationalist from 1929
UAP from 1931
Liberal from 1944

Mr Hughes resigned as Minister for Health and Minister for Repatriation on 6.11.1935. Mr Hughes’s book Australia and War Today was published on 31.10.1935. This was critical of the effectiveness of the League of Nations, in particular its sanctions power. The Government was on the eve of introducing the second reading of the Sanctions Bill 1935 in the House of Representatives. Mr Lyons regarded Mr Hughes’s views as contrary to government policy, and required Mr Hughes to submit his resignation.

1937

Gullett, The Hon. Sir Henry Gower, KCMG, MP
Member for Henty, Vic., 14.11.1925 – 13.8.1940 (died)
Nationalist
UAP from 1931

Resigned as Minister without Portfolio, Directing Negotiations for Trade Treaties, on 11.3.1937 over the proposed trade treaty with Canada, and because he believed his views did not receive adequate Cabinet support.

1938

McLachlan, Senator the Hon. Alexander John
Senator for SA, 24.2.1926 – 30.6.1944 (retired)
Nationalist

Senator McLachlan resigned as Postmaster-General on 7.11.1938 because of a conflict of interest between his position as Postmaster-General and his directorship of the Hume Pipe Company. This company had been awarded increasingly substantial contracts with the Postmaster-General’s Department. The Opposition had placed a question on notice concerning this apparent conflict of interest, and this led to Senator McLachlan’s resignation, which was announced by Mr Lyons to the House of Representatives on 3.11.1938.[9]

2nd Lyons Ministry (UAP–CP Coalition) 7.11.1938 – 7.4.1939

1938

White, The Hon. Thomas Walton
Member for Balaclava, Vic., 3.8.1929 – 20.6.1951 (resigned)
Nationalist
UAP from 1931
Liberal from 1944

Mr White resigned as Minister for Trade and Customs on 8.11.1938. Immediately following Prime Minister Lyons’s announcement to the House of Representatives of his re-formed Ministry on 8.11.1938, Mr White informed the House of his letter of resignation which he had sent earlier in the day to the Prime Minister.[10] Mr White resigned because of Mr Lyons’s decision to form an inner policy group of Cabinet—from which Mr White was omitted—and because of disagreement over defence policy. Responding, Mr Lyons reproduced his letter in reply to Mr White,[11] and accused Mr White of pique over the order of precedence within the Cabinet.

1939

Menzies, The Rt Hon. Robert Gordon, KC, MP
Member for Kooyong, Vic., 15.9.1934 – 17.2.1966 (resigned)
UAP
Liberal from 1944

Mr Menzies resigned as Attorney-General, Minister for Industry and Deputy Leader of the UAP on 20.3.1939 in protest against the Government’s decision not to proceed with its proposed national insurance scheme. Mr Menzies’s resignation was seen not only as a matter of principle, but also as a means whereby, divested of Cabinet and party responsibilities, he could raise the issue of Party leadership.

Page Ministry (CP–UAP Coalition) 7.4.1939 – 26.4.1939

1939

Page, The Rt Hon. Sir Earle Christmas Grafton, GCMG, MP
Member for Cowper, NSW, 13.12.1919 – 9.12.1961 (defeated)
CP

Following the death of Prime Minister Lyons on 7.4.1939, the Leader of the Country Party (CP), Sir Earle Page, was sworn in as Prime Minister. He was committed to resigning when the United Australia Party (UAP) chose its new leader. Sir Earle tried to engineer the return of Mr Bruce to the UAP. The CP resolved not to enter into a coalition or to give any undertaking of support to a government led by Mr Menzies. When Mr Menzies was elected leader of the UAP on 18.4.1939, Sir Earle resigned as Prime Minister (effective on 26.4.1939). His resignation speech to the House of Representatives on 20.4.1939 contained an extraordinary and vituperative political and personal attack on Mr Menzies. As a result of the attack, the CP split and it was excluded from the Menzies Ministry until 14.3.1940. Sir Earle resigned as leader and was replaced by Mr Cameron on 13.9.1939.

1st Menzies Ministry (UAP) 26.4.1939 – 14.3.1940

1940

Casey, The Rt Hon. Richard Gardiner, PC, DSO, MC, MP
Member for Corio, Vic., 19.12.1931 – 30.1.1940
Member for La Trobe, Vic., 10.12.1949 – 10.2.1960 (resigned)
UAP to 1940
Liberal from 1949

Mr Casey resigned on 26.1.1940 as Minister for Supply and Development to become Australian Ambassador to the United States of America. Mr Casey was a potential threat to Mr Menzies’s leadership, and the appointment was a means of removing that threat.

1940

Lawson, The Hon. John Norman, MP
Member for Macquarie, NSW, 19.12.1931 – 21.9.1940 (defeated)
UAP

Mr Lawson resigned on 23.2.1940 as Minister for Trade and Customs after it became known that he had leased a racehorse from Mr WJ Smith, the managing director of Australian Consolidated Industries, with whom Mr Lawson was negotiating the Motor Vehicles Agreement. The Motor Vehicles Agreement Bill 1940 was intended to establish a motor vehicle industry by conferring a monopoly on ACI Ltd. Eventually the monopoly provision was omitted. Because of this omission, and because of wartime difficulties, the agreement never came into effect.

2nd Menzies Ministry (UAP–CP Coalition) 14.3.1940 – 28.10.1940

3rd Menzies Ministry (UAP) 28.10.1940 – 29.8.1941

1941

Menzies, The Rt Hon. Robert Gordon, KC, MP
Member for Kooyong, Vic., 15.9.1934 – 17.2.1966 (resigned)
UAP
Liberal from 1944

Mr Menzies resigned as Prime Minister on 29.8.1941 after dissatisfaction with his leadership had led to months of instability within the UAP. Following his return from Great Britain for war discussions, it became apparent that he could no longer command support in Parliament. The ALP rejected his offer to join in a national government. Mr Menzies informed the Parliamentary UAP of his intention to resign as Prime Minister on the night of 28.8.1941, and a joint UAP–CP meeting chose the Leader of the Country Party, Mr Fadden, as Prime Minister-elect.

Fadden Ministry (CP–UAP Coalition) 29.8.1941 – 7.10.1941

1941

Fadden, The Hon. Arthur William, MP
Member for Darling Downs, Qld, 19.12.1936 – 10.12.1949
Member for McPherson, Qld, 10.12.1949 – 14.10.1958 (retired)
CP

Mr Fadden resigned as Prime Minister after being defeated on the floor of the House of Representatives on 3.10.1941. This defeat occurred after the two Independents—Mr Arthur Coles (Henty, Vic.) and Mr Alexander Wilson (Wimmera, Vic.)—voted against the Government on Mr Curtin’s amendment to Mr Fadden’s Budget. Mr Fadden’s resignation took effect on 7.10.1941, when the Curtin Government was sworn in.

Forde Ministry (ALP) 6.7.1945 – 13.7.1945

1945

Forde, The Rt Hon. Francis Michael, MP
Member for Capricornia, Qld, 16.12.1922 – 28.9.1946 (defeated)
ALP
FLP from 1931
ALP from 1936

On the death of Prime Minister Curtin on 5.7.1945, Mr Frank Forde, the Deputy Leader and the Minister for the Army—who had only three days earlier returned from an overseas mission—was sworn in as Prime Minister. During Mr Forde’s absence at the United Nations Conference on International Organization in San Francisco, the Treasurer, Mr Chifley, had been Acting Prime Minister. The ALP Caucus met to elect its new Leader on 12.7.1945. The candidates were Mr Forde, Mr Chifley, Mr Makin and Dr Evatt. Mr Chifley won the first ballot easily. Mr Forde resigned as Prime Minister on 13.7.1945 and Mr Chifley was sworn in on the same day.

1st Chifley Ministry (ALP) 13.7.1945 – 1.11.1946

2nd Chifley Ministry (ALP) 1.11.1946 – 19.12.1949

1946

Beasley, The Hon. John Albert, MP
Member for West Sydney, NSW, 17.11.1928 – 14.8.1946 (resigned)
ALP
Lang Labor from 1931
ALP from 1936
ALP (Anti-Communist) from 1940
ALP from 1943

Mr Beasley resigned on 14.8.1948 as Minister for Defence to become Australian High Commissioner to the United Kingdom.

1946

Makin, The Hon. Norman John Oswald, MP
Member for Hindmarsh, SA, 13.12.1919 – 14.8.1946
Member for Sturt, SA, 29.5.1954 – 10.12.1955
Member for Bonython, SA, 10.12.1955 – 1.11.1963 (retired)
ALP
FLP from 1931
ALP from 1936.

Mr Makin resigned as Minister for the Navy, Minister for Munitions and Minister for Aircraft Production on 15.8.1946 to become Australian Ambassador to the United States of America.

4th Menzies Ministry (Lib) 19.12.1949 – 11.5.1951

1951

Spender, The Hon. Percy Claude, KC, MP
Member for Warringah, NSW, 23.10.1937 – 19.3.1951 (retired)
Independent UAP
UAP from 1940
Liberal from 1944

Mr Spender resigned as Minister for External Affairs on 26.4.1951, was appointed Australian Ambassador to the United States of America on 13.3.1951, and resigned from the House of Representatives on 19.3.1951. Mr Casey replaced him as Minister for External Affairs on 26.4.1951.

5th Menzies Ministry (Lib) 11.5.1951 – 11.1.1956

6th Menzies Ministry (Lib) 11.11.1956 – 18.12.1963

1956

Harrison, The Rt Hon. Sir Eric John, KCVO, MP
Member for Wentworth, NSW, 19.12.1931 – 17.10.1956 (resigned)
UAP
Liberal from 1944

Sir Eric Harrison resigned as Vice-President of the Executive Council and Minister for Defence Production on 24.10.1956 to become Australian High Commissioner to the United Kingdom.

1958

Beale, The Hon. Oliver Howard, QC, MP
Member for Parramatta, NSW, 28.9. 1945 – 10.2.1958 (resigned)
Liberal

Mr Beale resigned as Minister for Defence Production on 10.2.1958 on appointment as Australia’s Ambassador to the United States of America.

1960

Casey, The Rt Hon. Richard Gardiner, PC, DSO, MC, MP
Member for Corio, Vic., 19.12.1931 – 30.1.1940
Member for La Trobe, Vic., 10.12.1949 – 10.2.1960 (resigned)
UAP
Liberal from 1949

Lord Casey resigned as Minister for External Affairs 4.2.1960 on having been created a life peer. He resigned from Parliament several days later. Lord Casey was Governor-General from 22.9.1965 to 30.4.1969.

1962

Bury, The Hon. Leslie Harry Ernest, MP
Member for Wentworth, NSW, 18.12.1956 – 11.4.1974 (retired)
Liberal

Mr Bury resigned as Minister for Air on 27.7.1962 after differing publicly with the known views of the Prime Minister and the Minister for Trade on the impact on Australia of British membership of the European Economic Community.

7th Menzies Ministry (Lib) 18.12.1963 – 26.1.1966

1964

Barwick, The Rt Hon. Sir Garfield Edward John, QC, MP
Member for Parramatta, NSW, 8.3.1958 – 24.4.1964 (resigned)
Liberal

Sir Garfield Barwick resigned as Minister for External Affairs on 24.4.1964 on appointment as Chief Justice of the High Court of Australia.

1965

Roberton, The Hon. Hugh Stevenson, MP
Member for Riverina, NSW, 10.12.1949 – 21.1.1965 (resigned)
CP

Mr Roberton resigned as Minister for Social Services on 21.1.1965 to become Australian Ambassador to the Republic of Eire.

1966

Menzies, The Rt Hon. Robert Gordon, KT, CH, QC, MP
Member for Kooyong, Vic., 15.9.1934 – 17.2.1966 (resigned)
UAP
Liberal from 1944

Sir Robert Menzies, Australia’s longest-serving Prime Minister, resigned on 26.1.1966, having served in that position since 19.12.1949—a period of 16 years 1 month and 8 days. (He had an earlier period as Prime Minister from 26.4.1939 to 29.8.1941; another 2 years 4 months and 4 days.) Sir Robert was succeeded by his party’s Deputy Leader and Treasurer, Mr Holt, as the unanimous choice of the Parliamentary Liberal Party. (Mr Holt was Prime Minister until his disappearance on 17.12.1967.)

1st Holt Ministry (Lib–CP Coalition) 26.1.1966 – 14.12.1966

2nd Holt Ministry (Lib–CP Coalition) 14.12.1966 – 19.12.1967

McEwen Ministry (Lib–CP Coalition) 9.12.1967 – 10.1.1968

1968

McEwen, The Rt Hon. John, MP
Member for Echuca, Vic., 15.9.1934 – 23.10.1937
Member for Indi, Vic., 23.10.1937 – 10.12.1949
Member for Murray, Vic., 10.12.1949 – 1.2.1971 (resigned)
CP
LCL from 1940
CP from 1943

Mr McEwen, the Leader of the Country Party, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Trade and Industry in the Holt Government, was sworn in as caretaker Prime Minister on 19.12.1967, two days after the disappearance of Prime Minister Holt off Cheviot Beach, Victoria. Though there were suggestions that Mr McEwen—a politician of lengthy experience and formidable repute—should remain Prime Minister, he undertook, when appointed, to resign when the Liberal Party elected its new Leader. He caused a political furore by making it known that the Country Party would withdraw from the Coalition should the Treasurer, Mr McMahon, be elected as the Leader of the Liberal Party. There had been considerable antagonism between the two for some time over economic and tariffs policy, which had placed strains on the Coalition. In the face of this veto, Mr McMahon withdrew from the leadership contest. The Liberal Party elected the Victorian Senator John Gorton as Leader. Mr McEwen resigned, and Senator Gorton was sworn in as Prime Minister on 10.1.1968. Senator Gorton resigned from the Senate on 1.2.1968 and was elected to the House of Representatives in the by-election for Mr Holt’s seat of Higgins. Mr McEwen retired from Parliament on 1.2.1971. When, shortly afterwards, Mr Gorton resigned as Prime Minister after a political crisis over his leadership (see below), the Country Party abandoned its veto on Mr McMahon, who then became the new Prime Minister.

1st Gorton Ministry (Lib–CP Coalition) 10.1.1968 – 28.2.1968

2nd Gorton Ministry (Lib–CP Coalition) 28.2.1968 – 12.11.1969

1969

Hasluck, The Rt Hon. Paul Meernaa Caedwalla, MP
Member for Curtin, WA, 10.12.1949 – 10.2.1969 (resigned)
Liberal

Prime Minister Gorton announced Mr Hasluck’s appointment as Governor-General of Australia on 10.2.1969. Mr Hasluck resigned as Minister for External Affairs on 11.2.1969 and was sworn in as Governor-General on 30.4.1959, serving until 11.7.1974.

1969

Fairbairn, The Hon. David Eric, MP
Member for Farrer, NSW, 10.12.1949 – 11.11.1975 (retired)
Liberal

Mr Fairbairn resigned as Minister for National Development on 12.11.1969. After the election for the House of Representatives 25.10.1969, when the Gorton Government was returned with a greatly reduced majority, Mr Fairbairn announced on 30.10.1969 that he would not serve in a Gorton Ministry. He was critical of Mr Gorton’s leadership, and instanced the Prime Minister’s management of Commonwealth–State financial relations and the way in which Mr Gorton had antagonised the Democratic Labor Party (on whose preferences the Liberal Party relied). Mr Fairbairn contested the leadership of the Liberal Party on 7.11.1969. Mr Gorton was re-elected leader, and Mr Fairbairn then resigned from the Ministry. After Mr Gorton’s resignation as Prime Minister on 10.3.1971, Mr Fairbairn returned to the ministry as Minister for Education and Science on 22.3.1971, and on 13.8.1971 succeeded Mr Gorton as Minister for Defence.

3rd Gorton Ministry (Lib–CP Coalition) 12.11.1969 – 10.3.1971

1971

Fraser, The Hon. John Malcolm, MP
Member for Wannon, Vic., 10.12.1955 – 31.3.1983 (resigned)
Liberal

Mr Fraser resigned as Minister for Defence on 8.3.1971 because of a conflict between himself and the Army, in which the Prime Minister became involved. In a statement to the House of Representatives the following day, Mr Fraser accused Prime Minister Gorton of significant disloyalty to a senior minister. Mr Fraser’s resignation precipitated the political crisis leading to Prime Minister Gorton’s subsequent resignation.

1971

Gorton, The Rt Hon. John Grey, MP
Member for Higgins, Vic., 24.2.1968 – 11.11.1975 (retired)
Senator for Victoria, 22.2.1950 – 1.2.1968 (resigned)
Liberal

Mr Gorton resigned as Prime Minister after an extensive period of dissatisfaction within the Liberal Party with his leadership, culminating in the resignation of Mr Fraser (above). Following Mr Fraser’s resignation, at a meeting of the parliamentary Liberal Party on 10.3.1971, a motion of confidence in Mr Gorton’s leadership was tied at 33:33. Mr Gorton then used his casting vote against the motion. Mr McMahon was then elected Leader and Mr Gorton was elected Deputy Leader, becoming Minister for Defence in the McMahon Ministry.

McMahon Ministry (Lib–CP Coalition) 10.3.1971 – 5.12.1972

1971

Rankin, Senator The Hon. Dame Annabelle Jane Mary, DBE
Senator for Queensland, 1.7.1947 – 24.5.1971 (resigned)
Liberal

Senator Dame Annabelle Rankin resigned as Minister for Housing on 22.3.1971 to become Australian High Commissioner to New Zealand.

1971

Bury, The Hon. Leslie Harry Ernest, MP
Member for Wentworth, NSW, 18.12.1956 – 11.4.1974 (retired)
Liberal

Mr Bury resigned as Minister for Foreign Affairs on 2.8.1971 after public disagreements with the Prime Minister on foreign policy, particularly over Australia’s relations with China.

1971

Gorton, The Rt Hon. John Grey, MP
Member for Higgins, Vic., 24.2.1968 – 11.11.1975 (retired)
Senator for Victoria, 22.2.1950 – 1.2.1968 (resigned)
Liberal

Mr Gorton resigned as Minister for Defence on 13.8.1971. In August 1971 The Australian had published several newspaper articles by Mr Gorton defending his prime ministership. Prime Minister McMahon believed that the articles breached the principle of Cabinet solidarity and unity, and required Mr Gorton to resign.

1st Whitlam Ministry (ALP) 5.12.1972 – 19.12.1972

2nd Whitlam Ministry (ALP) 19.12.1972 – 12.6.1974

3rd Whitlam Ministry (ALP) 12.6.1974 – 11.11.1975

1975

Murphy, Senator The Hon. Lionel Keith, QC
Senator for NSW, 1.7.1962 – 9.2.1975 (resigned)
ALP

Senator Murphy resigned on 10.2.1975 as Attorney-General and Minister for Customs and Excise to take up appointment as a Justice of the High Court of Australia.

1975

Barnard, The Hon. Lance Herbert, MP
Member for Bass, Tas., 29.5.1954 – 2.6.1975 (resigned)
ALP

Mr Barnard resigned on 6.6.1975 as Minister for Defence to become Australian Ambassador to Sweden, Norway and Finland. His appointment to the diplomatic post was announced on 23.6.1975.

1975

Cameron, The Hon. Clyde Robert, MP
Member for Hindmarsh, SA, 10.12.1949 – 19.9.1980 (retired)
ALP

When Prime Minister Whitlam reshuffled his Cabinet in June 1975, Mr Cameron refused to relinquish his Ministry. Upon the request of the Prime Minister, Mr Cameron’s commission as Minister for Labour and Immigration was terminated by the Governor-General on 6.6.1975. He was then appointed Minister for Science and Consumer Affairs on 7.6.1976, replacing Mr Morrison (who occupied the position for one day).

1975

Cairns, The Hon. Dr James Ford, MP
Member for Yarra, Vic., 10.12.1955 – 25.10.1969
Member for Lalor, Vic., 25.10.1969 – 10.11.1977 (retired)
ALP

Dr Cairns was removed from the Treasury portfolio on 6.6.1975, because of alleged irregularities in his attempts to obtain overseas loans. Dr Cairns had authorised Mr George Harris, a Melbourne businessman, to make loans enquiries. When the Prime Minister became aware of these loan-raising activities, he moved Dr Cairns from the Treasury portfolio and appointed him as Minister for the Environment. The Opposition continued to investigate the Loans Affair. In response to a question from the Opposition on 4.6.1975, Dr Cairns denied offering any commission. However, a letter from Dr Cairns to Mr Harris on 7.3.1975—appearing to commit the Government to payment of a commission—was subsequently published. The Prime Minister did not regard Dr Cairns’s explanations of his conflicting statements as satisfactory. Dr Cairns refused to resign, and was dismissed as Minister for the Environment and Deputy Prime Minister on 2.7.1975 for misleading Parliament.

1975

Connor, The Hon. Reginald Francis Xavier, MP
Member for Cunningham, NSW, 30.11.1963 – 22.8.1977 (died)
ALP

Mr Connor resigned as Minister for Minerals and Energy on 14.10.1975, after it was shown he had misled Parliament about the Loans Affair. An Executive Council meeting of 13.12.1974 had authorised Mr Connor to borrow up to US$4 billion (reduced in January 1975 to US$2 billion). Following parliamentary questions by the Opposition, extensive leaks and immense publicity, the authority was revoked on 20.5.1975. A special meeting of the House of Representatives was held on 9.7.1975 to discuss the overseas loans negotiations, during which the Government tabled the relevant documents. Mr Connor resigned after it was shown that, contrary to his assurances to the Prime Minister that all overseas loans discussions had been terminated and that all communications of substance between Mr Connor and Mr Tirath Khemlani had been tabled on 9.7.1975, there had been communications at least until 23.5.1975—three days after Mr Connor’s authority to negotiate the loan had been revoked.

1975

Whitlam, The Hon. Edward Gough, QC, MP
Member for Werriwa, NSW, 29.11.1952 – 31.7.1978 (resigned)
ALP

On 11.11.1975 the Governor-General, Sir John Kerr, terminated Mr Whitlam’s commission as Prime Minister. The dismissal of the Whitlam Ministry occurred because of the deadlock over Supply between the House of Representatives and Senate. The Opposition in the Senate had refused to pass the Budget until the Prime Minister agreed to call an election. This Mr Whitlam refused to do, but called on the Governor-General on 11.11.1975 to advise that an election for half the Senate be held. The Governor-General then dismissed the Prime Minister and appointed the Leader of the Opposition, Mr Fraser, as caretaker Prime Minister. Mr Fraser then obtained a simultaneous dissolution of Parliament. The conditions for a simultaneous dissolution had been satisfied because the Opposition in the Senate had twice rejected or failed to pass 21 government Bills. The election of 13.12.1975 resulted in the election of the Fraser Government.

1st Fraser Ministry (Lib–CP Coalition) 11.11.1975 – 22.12.1975

2nd Fraser Ministry (Lib–CP Coalition) 22.12.1975 – 20.12.1977

1976

Garland, The Hon. Ransley Victor, MP
Member for Curtin, WA, 19.4.1969 – 22.1.1981 (resigned)
Liberal

Mr Garland resigned as Minister for Post and Telecommunications on 6.2.1976 because of allegations that he had committed bribery offences under the Commonwealth Electoral Act 1918. The matter was brought before a magistrate. The Chief Magistrate of the ACT, Charles Kilduff, dismissed the case on 8.3.1976 , saying that a properly directed jury would fail to convict Mr Garland.

1977

Ellicott, The Hon. Robert James QC, MP
Member for Wentworth, NSW, 18.5.1974 – 17.2.1981 (resigned)
Liberal

Mr Ellicott resigned as Attorney-General on 6.9.1977 in protest against Cabinet’s decision that the Sankey case should be taken over by the Government, and that proceedings should be terminated. The Sankey case was an action brought in 1976 by Sydney solicitor Mr Danny Sankey against former Prime Minister Whitlam and former ministers Justice Murphy, Dr Cairns and Mr Connor. They were charged with conspiring to deceive the Governor-General and with conspiring to effect an unlawful purpose, in contravention of the Financial Agreement, through the decision of the Executive Council in December 1974 to authorise negotiation of a US$4 billion loan for temporary purposes. Mr Sankey’s lawyers requested the Government to take over the proceedings. Mr Ellicott regarded Cabinet’s decision that he should terminate the proceedings as interference in the exercise of his duties as First Law Officer of the Crown, and resigned. On 16.2.1979, Mr Leo, SM, in the Queanbeyan Court of Petty Sessions, dismissed the charges.

1977

Lynch, The Rt Hon. Phillip Reginald, MP
Member for Flinders, Vic., 26.11.1966 – 22.10.1982 (resigned)
Liberal

Mr Lynch resigned as Treasurer on 19.11.1977, during the 1977 election campaign, after evidence at a judicial inquiry in Victoria by Sir Gregory Gowans had linked him to land speculation in Victoria.[12] Following the elections, a legal opinion by Mr Stephen Charles, QC, found that Mr Lynch had done nothing illegal. Though an independent report, commissioned by Mr Fraser of Mr Richard Searby, QC, expressed reservations about the propriety of Mr Lynch’s deals, Mr Lynch was reinstated in Cabinet after the election, becoming Minister for Industry and Commerce on 20.12.1977.

1977

Cotton, Senator The Hon. Robert Carrington
Senator for NSW, 4.8.1965 – 13.7.1978 (resigned)
Liberal

Senator Cotton resigned as Minister for Industry and Commerce on 20.12.1977 to become Consul-General in New York.

3rd Fraser Ministry (Lib–CP Coalition) 20.12.1977 – 3.11.1980

1977

Sheil, Senator Glenister
Senator for Queensland, 18.5.1974[13] – 6.2.1981 (resigned), 1.12.1984 – 30.6.1990 (defeated)
CP, NP

Named as a Minister on 20.12.1977, Senator Sheil was dismissed before being sworn in as Minister for Veterans’ Affairs, after making pro-apartheid statements that were contrary to government policy. He had been sworn in as a member of the Executive Council that morning, but his ministerial appointment was to be delayed until Parliament amended the Ministers of State Act to allow for one more minister. The Prime Minister announced on 21.12.1977 that he did not intend to proceed with Senator Sheil’s appointment.

1978

Withers, Senator The Rt Hon. Reginald Greive
Senator for WA, 17.2.1966 – 25.11.1966, 1.7.1968 – 5.6.1987 (retired)
Liberal

Senator Withers was dismissed as Minister for Administrative Services on 7.8.1978, after the McGregor Royal Commission inquiry into the electoral redistribution in Queensland found that Senator Withers had acted with impropriety in telephoning the Chief Electoral Officer with suggestions about the names of electorates.

1979

Robinson, The Hon. Eric Laidlaw, MP
Member for McPherson, Qld, 2.12.1972 – 7.1.1981 (died)
Liberal

Mr Robinson resigned as Minister for Finance on 23.2.1979 because of his inability to give Prime Minister Fraser his unqualified support. He reconsidered his position and rejoined the Ministry on 27.2.1979. The precise nature of the disagreement was not divulged officially.

1979

Sinclair, The Rt Hon. Ian McCahon, MP
Member for New England, NSW, 30.11.1963 – 31.8.1998 (retired)
CP, NP  
Mr Sinclair resigned as Minister for Primary Industry and Deputy Leader of the National Country Party on 27.9.1979, following a report into the Sinclair family companies by the NSW Corporate Affairs Commission and pending the outcome of changes arising from the findings of the report. The Finnane report found that Mr Sinclair had committed forgery and other offences. Criminal charges were brought against him. He was acquitted of all charges in August 1980 and immediately reinstated in Cabinet, becoming Minister for Special Trade Representations on 19.8.1980. After the election of 18.10.1980 he became Minister for Communications on 3.11.1980.

1979

Webster, Senator The Hon. James Joseph
Senator for Victoria, 9.12.1964 – 28.1.1980 (resigned)
CP

Senator Webster resigned as Minister for Science and the Environment on 8.12.1979 to become Australian High Commissioner to New Zealand.

4th Fraser Ministry (Lib–CP then Lib–NP Coalition) 3.11.1980 – 11.3.1983

1980

Garland, The Hon. Ransley Victor, MP
Member for Curtin, WA, 19.4.1969 – 22.1.1981 (resigned)
Liberal

Mr Garland, the Minister for Business and Consumer Affairs, contested the election of 18.10.1980, but shortly afterwards indicated his interest in serving in another capacity. He resigned on 3.11.1980 and was appointed Australian High Commissioner to the United Kingdom.

1980

McLeay, The Hon. John Elden, MP
Member for Boothby, SA, 26.11.1966 – 22.1.1981 (resigned)
Liberal

Mr McLeay, the Minister for Administrative Services, contested the election of 18.10.1980, but asked not to be considered in the new Ministry and indicated his willingness to serve in other capacities. He resigned from the Ministry on 3.11.1980, and was appointed Consul-General in Los Angeles on 11.12.1980.

1981

Ellicott, The Hon. Robert James, QC, MP
Member for Wentworth, NSW, 18.5.1974 – 17.2.1981 (resigned)
Liberal

Mr Ellicott resigned as Minister for Home Affairs and Environment on 17.2.1981, to become a judge of the Federal Court of Australia.

1981

Peacock, The Hon. Andrew Sharp, MP
Member for Kooyong, Vic., 2.4.1966 – 17.9.1994 (resigned)
Liberal

Mr Peacock resigned as Minister for Industrial Relations on 16.4.1981 because of alleged disloyalty to him and undermining of his ministerial authority by the Prime Minister; he made a statement in the House of Representatives on 28.4.1981. Mr Peacock later announced that he would stand against Mr Fraser in the event of a leadership contest, but no contest occurred until 9.4.1982, when Mr Fraser defeated Mr Peacock 54:27. Mr Peacock returned to Cabinet as Minister for Industry and Commerce on 11.10.1982, and resigned from Parliament on 17.9.1994.

1982

MacKellar, The Hon. Michael John Randal, MP
Member for Warringah, NSW, 25.10.1969 – 18.2.1994 (resigned)
Liberal

Mr MacKellar resigned as Minister for Health on 20.4.1982 over his non-payment of duty on a colour TV set he imported and the submission in his name of an incorrect Customs declaration form.

1982

Moore, The Hon. John Colinton, MP
Member for Ryan, Qld, 13.12.1975 – 5.2.2001 (resigned)
Liberal

Mr Moore resigned as Minister for Business and Consumer Affairs on 20.4.1982 over deficiencies in his handling of the payment of duty on the colour TV set imported by the Minister for Health, Mr Michael MacKellar.

1st Hawke Ministry (ALP) 11.3.1983 – 13.12.1984

1983

Young, The Hon. Michael Jerome, MP
Member for Port Adelaide, SA, 18.5.1975 – 12.2.1988 (resigned)
ALP

Mr Young resigned as Special Minister of State and Vice-President of the Executive Council on 14.7.1983, following the revelation that Mr Young had disclosed to businessman Mr Rod Cameron and lobbyist Mr Eric Walsh that the Government was about to expel a Soviet diplomat, Mr Valeriy Ivanov. Mr Young had thus committed a breach of national security. The Government appointed a Royal Commission headed by Justice Hope to investigate the security implications of the Combe–Ivanov affair. The Report of the Royal Commission in December 1983 found that Mr Young had acted improperly. Despite this, Mr Young was reinstated in the Ministry on 21.1.1984, after being elected unopposed by Caucus to the vacancy created by his resignation.

1984

On 26.7.1984 Mr Young was asked by Prime Minister Hawke to stand aside to enable an inquiry to be held into his failure to make a correct Customs declaration for unaccompanied baggage he had sent back to Australia from London.[14] The inquiry was conducted by Mr M Black, QC. On 17.8.1984, Mr Black concluded that Mr Young was not guilty of impropriety. Mr Young resumed his ministerial duties on 17.8.1984.

2nd Hawke Ministry (ALP) 13.12.1984 – 24.7.1987

1987

Grimes, Senator The Hon. Donald James
Senator for Tasmania, 18.5.1974 – 2.4.1987 (resigned)
ALP

Senator Grimes resigned as Minister for Community Services on 16.2.1987. His appointment as Australia’s Ambassador to the Netherlands was announced on 28.5.1987.

3rd Hawke Ministry (ALP) 24.7.1987 – 4.4.1990

1987

Hurford, The Hon. Christopher John, MP
Member for Adelaide, SA, 25.10.1969 – 31.12.1987 (resigned)
ALP

Mr Hurford announced his resignation as Minister for Community Services and Minister assisting the Treasurer on 21.7.1987, to take effect on 24.7.1987. Between the election of 11.7.1987, and the Ministerial restructuring and reshuffle of 24.7.1987, Mr Hurford agreed to withdraw from the Ministry in order to accommodate the Prime Minister’s wish to change the membership and structure of the Ministry. Mr Hurford resigned from the House of Representatives on 31.12.1987, on the announcement of his appointment as Australia’s Consul-General in New York.

1987

Brown, The Hon. John Joseph, MP
Member for Parramatta, NSW, 10.12.1977 – 19.2.1990 (retired)
ALP

Mr Brown resigned as Minister for the Arts, Sport, the Environment, Tourism and Territories on 18.12.1987, when it was shown he had misled Parliament about the Expo tendering process.

1988

Ryan, Senator The Hon. Susan Maree
Senator for the ACT, 13.12.1975 – 29.1.1988 (resigned)
ALP

Senator Ryan resigned as Special Minister of State and Minister assisting the Prime Minister for the Status of Women on 19.1.1988, and resigned from the Senate on 29.1.1988. Senator Ryan had been Minister for Education and Youth Affairs from 11.3.1983 to 13.12.1984, and Minister for Education from 13.12.1984 until 24.7.1987. Senator Ryan was a member of the Cabinet for the entire period. In the reshuffle following the 1987 double dissolution, Prime Minister Hawke created a different ministerial structure, in which departments were amalgamated into ‘mega-departments’ under the control of Cabinet ministers. In this new structure, junior ministers were allocated specific responsibilities within the enlarged ministerial portfolios. Senator Ryan lost her portfolio, but not her Cabinet status, and was given the relatively minor position of Special Minister of State within the Prime Minister’s portfolio. Her resignation from the ministry was announced on 16.12.1987. The change in responsibilities and loss of influence led to her retirement from politics within six months.

1988

Young, The Hon. Michael Jerome, MP
Member for Port Adelaide, SA, 18.5.1975 – 12.2.1988 (resigned)
ALP

Mr Young resigned from the House of Representatives on 8.2.1988, and as Minister for Immigration, Local Government and Ethnic Affairs on 12.2.1988, after it was revealed that an election donation made to the ALP by Harris-Daishowa Pty Ltd was put into the party’s administration account instead of being used for the specified purpose of election campaign funds. This diversion of funds avoided the required disclosure of election donations. Initially the NSW ALP Secretary, Mr Stephen Loosley, said that Mr Young had directed that the donation be placed in the administration account. A subsequent check of ALP files exonerated Mr Young, and Mr Loosley accepted all responsibility.[15] However, Mr Young, upset by media coverage of the incident, decided to retire from politics.

1988

Hayden, The Hon. William George, MP
Member for Oxley, Qld, 9.12.1961 – 17.8.1988 (resigned)
ALP

Mr Hayden resigned as Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade, and from Parliament on 17.8.1988, on the announcement that he was to succeed Sir Ninian Stephen as Governor-General. Mr Hayden was sworn in as Governor-General on 16.2.1989 and served until 16.2.1996.

1989

Punch, The Hon. Gary Francis, MP
Member for Barton, NSW, 5.3.1983 – 21.1.1996 (retired)
ALP

Mr Punch resigned as Minister for Telecommunications and Aviation Support on 28.3.1989 because of his opposition to the decision made by Cabinet on 22.3.1989 to construct a third runway at Sydney Airport. After the Cabinet decision had been announced, Mr Punch considered the Prime Minister’s offer to transfer him to the Defence Science and Personnel portfolio but decided to resign from the Ministry.

4th Hawke Ministry (ALP) 4.4.1990 – 20.12.1991

1990

Bowen, The Hon. Lionel Frost, MP
Member for Kingsford-Smith, NSW, 18.10.1969 – 19.2.1990 (retired)
ALP

Mr Bowen retired from the House of Representatives on its dissolution for the 1990 election, and resigned as Deputy Prime Minister, Attorney-General and Minister assisting the Prime Minister for Commonwealth–State Relations when the new ministry was sworn in on 4.4.1990. Mr Bowen was the second-last member of the Hawke Ministry who had been a minister in the Whitlam Government.

1990

Holding, The Hon. Allan Clyde, MP
Member for Melbourne Ports, Vic., 10.12.1977 – 31.8.1998 (retired)
ALP

Despite earlier pressure to stand down from the ministry in 1987, Mr Holding stayed on, but agreed not to recontest the ministry at the next post-election ballot. He resigned as Minister for Arts, Tourism and Territories, and Minister assisting the Minister for Immigration, Local Government and Ethnic Affairs on 4.4.1990 when the new ministry was sworn in.

1990

Reynolds, Senator The Hon. Margaret
Senator for Queensland, 5.3.1983 – 30.6.1999 (retired)
ALP

Senator Reynolds had decided before the 1990 election not to recontest the ministry if the Hawke Government was re-elected. Her decision was based on the philosophy that government processes benefited from the sharing of power, and that it was an appropriate time to give another member of Caucus the opportunity to become a minister. She had been elected to the ministry in 1983 because of the Prime Minister’s insistence that it should have female representation (with each faction being required to nominate at least one female candidate), and that it should have representation from Queensland. Senator Reynolds hoped that this policy of gender and geographic representation would be continued in the new ministry. She resigned as Minister for Local Government and Minister assisting the Prime Minister on the Status of Women on 4.4.1990, when the new Ministry was sworn in. Ms Wendy Fatin, the member for Brand, WA, replaced Senator Reynolds as the female nominee of the Left faction.

1990

Walsh, Senator The Hon. Peter Alexander
Senator for WA, 18.5.1974 – 30.6.1993 (retired)
ALP

Senator Walsh eventually decided not to recontest the ministry after the 1990 election, after a period of poor health during 1990, coupled with increasing dissatisfaction with government economic policy and management, and with the leadership of Prime Minister Hawke. Senator Walsh had made several threats to resign earlier, but had been dissuaded. After the 1990 election, he contemplated relinquishing the Finance portfolio and undertaking a new portfolio, but his preferences were not available. After a long discussion with Prime Minister Hawke, which confirmed his view that the direction of economic policy would not change, the Senator decided to resign. He did this on the basis that his replacement would be Mr Gordon Bilney. Senator Walsh resigned as Minister for Finance on 4.4.1990, when the new ministry was sworn in.

1990

Duncan, The Hon. Peter, MP
Member for Makin, SA, 1.12.1984 – 2.3.1996 (defeated)
ALP

Having lost the factional backing of the Left, Mr Duncan did not recontest the ballot for the ministry, and resigned as Minister for Employment and Education Services on 4.4.1990 when the new ministry was sworn in.

1990

Jones, The Hon. Barry Owen, MP
Member for Lalor, Vic., 10.12.1977 – 31.8.1998 (retired)
ALP

Having lost the factional backing of the Centre-Left, Mr Jones did not recontest the ballot for the ministry, and resigned as Minister for Science, Customs and Small Business and Minister assisting the Prime Minister for Science and Technology on 4.4.1990, when the new ministry was sworn in.

1990

Morris, The Hon. Peter Frederick, MP
Member for Shortland, NSW, 2.12.1972 – 31.8.1998 (retired)
ALP

Mr Morris, who was non-aligned, lost factional backing and did not recontest the ballot for the ministry. He resigned as Minister for Industrial Relations, and Minister assisting the Prime Minister for Public Service Matters on 4.4.1990, when the new ministry was sworn in.

1990

West, The Hon. Stewart John, MP
Member for Cunningham, NSW, 15.10.1977 – 8.2.1993 (retired)
ALP

Having lost the factional backing of the Left, Mr West did not recontest the ballot for the ministry, and resigned as Minister for Administrative Services on 4.4.1990, when the new Ministry was sworn in.

1991

Keating, The Hon. Paul John, MP
Member for Blaxland, NSW, 25.10.1969 – 23.4.1996 (resigned)
ALP

Mr Keating—who as Minister for Northern Australia from 21.10.1975 to 11.11.1975 had been the last appointed and the shortest serving minister of the Whitlam Government—was Treasurer from 11.3.1983 until his resignation on 4.6.1991. Mr Keating candidly acknowledged his leadership ambitions, and was widely regarded as the obvious contender and natural successor to the leadership of the ALP on Prime Minister Hawke’s retirement.
By the end of May 1991, Mr Keating decided to challenge Prime Minister Hawke for the leadership, to whom he conveyed his intention. At the same time, it was revealed by journalist Mr Laurie Oakes that the Prime Minister and Mr Keating had made an agreement (at Kirribilli) on 25.11.1988 for Prime Minister Hawke to retire halfway through the next term, so as to allow Mr Keating a chance to become leader. But Prime Minister Hawke had decided in December 1990 not to adhere to this agreement. After Mr Keating’s challenge was announced, the Prime Minister called a caucus meeting for 31.5.1991, at which no moves to resolve the leadership matter were made. A second meeting was then held on 3.6.1991, at which Mr Keating made his challenge. Mr Keating was defeated 66:44 and immediately resigned as Treasurer and Deputy Prime Minister. He made an undertaking not to make another challenge to Mr Hawke’s leadership, and reiterated this commitment on 8.11.1991.
The replacement of Mr John Kerin as Treasurer by Mr Willis on 6.12.1991 further destabilised Prime Minister Hawke’s position as Leader, with an increasing number of the ALP Caucus preparing to shift support from the Prime Minister to Mr Keating. The ALP’s Left faction voted to allow a free vote in a leadership ballot. On 19.12.1991, the Prime Minister announced that he was convening a caucus meeting at 6.30 pm that evening, at which he would resign as Leader to allow a vote to be taken on the leadership, which he would recontest. Mr Keating won the ballot 56:51 and was sworn in as Australia’s twenty-fourth Prime Minister on 20.12.1991.

1991

Hawke, The Hon. Robert James Lee, AC, MP
Member for Wills, Vic., 18.10.1980 – 20.2.1992 (resigned)
ALP

Australia’s twenty-third Prime Minister—and longest serving Labor Prime Minister—submitted his resignation on 19.12.1991 after losing the ALP caucus ballot for party leadership. The result of the ballot was 56:51 in favour of Mr Keating. The resignation took effect on 20.12.1991, when Mr Keating was sworn in as Prime Minister—the same date Mr Hawke resigned from Parliament.[16]
Mr Hawke served a total of 3,206 days as Prime Minister; and 3,242 days as Leader of the Australian Labor Party. Having replaced Mr Hayden as Leader on 3.2.1983, the day on which Prime Minister Fraser announced the 1983 double dissolution, Mr Hawke led the ALP to victory in the elections of 5.3.1983, 1.12.1984, 11.7.1987 and 24.3.1990—a record four terms for the ALP.

1st Keating Ministry (ALP) 20.12.1991 – 24.3.1993

1992

Richardson, Senator The Hon. Graham Frederick
Senator for NSW, 5.3.1983[17] – 25.3.1994 (resigned)
ALP

Senator Richardson announced his resignation as Minister for Transport and Communications on 18.5.1992. The resignation took effect on 19.5.1992. Journalists labelled the circumstances leading to Senator Richardson’s resignation as the ‘Marshall Islands affair’. At issue was Senator Richardson’s involvement with the affairs of Mr Gregory Symons, a friend of long standing and a relative by marriage. Mr Symons had been arrested in the Marshall Islands and charged with 11 counts of forgery relating to a business migration scheme he had been trying to set up there. The Opposition avidly pursued the extent of Senator Richardson’s knowledge of Mr Symons’s business affairs, the question of whether the Senator had misled the Senate about his knowledge and his failure to declare his directorship of a radio station. On 7.5.1992, the Senate passed a censure motion of Senator Richardson for misleading the Senate. Following the publication of further information about Mr Symons’s business history, on 13.5.1992 the Prime Minister required Senator Richardson to provide him with a comprehensive report on the matter by 18.5.1992. Senator Richardson presented his report to Prime Minister Keating that day, but announced his resignation before submitting the report. Senator Richardson said he had never seen an incriminating document made public on 16.5.1992 but, because it was impossible to prove lack of knowledge, he decided to resign. He returned to the ministry on 24.3.1993 as Minister for Health. (See also his departure from that portfolio in 1994.)

2nd Keating Ministry (ALP) 24.3.1993 – 11.3.1996

1993

Button, Senator The Hon. John Norman
Senator for Victoria, 18.5.1974 – 31.3.1993 (resigned)
ALP

Senator Button—who had served in industry-related portfolios for the entire period of the ALP Government—planned to retire when his Senate term expired on 30.6.1993, but resigned from the Senate on 31.3.1993. He resigned as Minister for Industry on 24.3.1993 when the new ministry was appointed following the general election on 13.3.1993.

1993

Duffy, The Hon. Michael John, MP
Member for Holt, Vic., 18.10.1980 – 29.1.1996 (retired)
ALP

Mr Duffy announced before the election that he would retire from the ministry. Mr Duffy resigned as Attorney-General on 24.3.1993 when the new ministry was appointed.

1993

Kerin, The Hon. John Charles, MP
Member for Macarthur, NSW, 2.12.1972 – 13.12.1975 (defeated)
Member for Werriwa, NSW, 23.9.1978 – 22.12.1993 (resigned)
ALP

Mr Kerin did not stand for the ministry but said that this decision was not voluntary. Mr Kerin—along with Mr Humphreys and Mr Simmons—had lost the support of the Right faction. He resigned as Minister for Trade and Overseas Development on 24.3.1993 when the new ministry was appointed.

1993

Blewett, The Hon. Dr Neal, MP
Member for Bonython, SA, 10.12.1977 – 11.2.1994 (resigned)
ALP

Dr Blewett announced on 18.3.1993 that he would not stand for the ministry, although he had been offered a choice of portfolios. He resigned as Minister for Social Security when the new ministry was appointed on 24.3.1993 and resigned from the House of Representatives on 11.2.1994. The by-election for the seat of Bonython was held on 19.3.1994 and the seat was retained by the ALP candidate Martyn Evans. The appointment of Dr Blewett as High Commissioner to the United Kingdom was announced on 13.3.1994.

1993

Hand, The Hon. Gerard Leslie, MP
Member for Melbourne, Vic., 5.3.1983 – 8.2.1993 (retired)
ALP

Mr Hand resigned as Minister for Immigration, Local Government and Ethnic Affairs on 24.3.1993, having retired from Parliament when the House was dissolved for the 1993 election.

1993

Staples, The Hon. Peter Richard, MP
Member for Diamond Valley, Vic., 5.3.1983 – 1.12.1984
Member for Jagajaga, Vic., 1.12.1984 – 29.1.1996 (retired)
ALP

Mr Staples—who retained the backing of the Left faction—contested the caucus ballot in protest against the Prime Minister’s selection of Mr Walker from that faction. Mr Staples lost to Mr Walker 61:56 and resigned as Minister for Aged, Family and Health Services on 24.3.1993 when the new ministry was sworn in. (Mr Walker was suspended from the Left faction as a disciplinary measure.)

1993

Humphreys, The Hon. Benjamin Charles, MP
Member for Griffith, Qld, 10.12.1977 – 29.1.1996 (retired)
ALP

Mr Humphreys did not stand for the ministry, having lost the support of the Right faction. He resigned as Minister for Veterans’ Affairs on 24.3.1993 when the new ministry was appointed.

1993

Tate, Senator The Hon. Michael Carter
Senator for Tasmania, 1.7.1978 – 5.7.1993 (resigned)
ALP

Senator Tate announced on 18.3.1993 that he would not stand for the ministry and, in a press conference the following day, said that he was reluctant to stand down but accepted the need to make way for younger talent. Senator Tate resigned as Minister for Justice on 24.3.1993. He resigned from the Senate on 5.7.1993, and was appointed Ambassador to the Netherlands and the Holy See on 6.8.1993.

1993

Brown, The Hon. Robert James, MP
Member for Hunter, NSW, 18.10.1980 – 1.12.1984
Member for Charlton, NSW, 1.12.1984 – 31.8.1998 (retired)
ALP

Mr Brown announced that he would not contest the ministry and would serve on the backbench until his retirement. It appeared that he would not have retained factional support. Mr Brown resigned as Minister for Land Transport on 24.3.1993 when the new ministry was appointed.

1993

Simmons, The Hon. David William, MP
Member for Calare, NSW, 5.3.1983 – 29.1.1996 (retired)
ALP

Mr Simmons did not contest the ministry, having lost the support of the Right faction. He resigned as Minister for Local Government and Minister for Family Support on 24.3.1993 when the new ministry was appointed.

1993

Fatin, The Hon. Wendy Frances, MP
Member for Canning, WA, 5.3.1983 – 1.12.1984
Member for Brand, WA, 1.12.1984 – 29.1.1996 (retired)
ALP

Ms Fatin had decided prior to the election to retire from the ministry, saying she wanted to spend more time in Perth. She resigned as Minister for Arts and Territories on 24.3.1993 when the new ministry was appointed.

1993

Kerr, The Hon. Duncan James Colquhoun, MP
Member for Denison, Tas., 11.7.1987 – 19.7.2010 (retired)
ALP

The position of Attorney-General in the new ministry was unusual in that it was filled temporarily by the Minister of Justice, Mr Kerr. A supplementary poll had to be held for the electorate of Dickson, due to the death of a candidate after the close of nominations. Mr Lavarch—the ALP candidate for Dickson—was elected by Caucus to the new ministry and allocated the portfolio of Attorney-General, but he was not appointed until after his election on 17.4.1993. Mr Kerr resigned as Attorney-General on 27.4.1993 when Mr Lavarch was appointed.

1993

Price, The Hon. Leo Roger Spurway, MP
Member for Chifley, NSW, 1.12.1984 – 19.7.2010 (retired)
ALP

Mr Price resigned as Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Defence on 24.3.1993, having not been selected as a Parliamentary Secretary by the Prime Minister. Unlike the ministerial positions at that time, parliamentary secretaries were not elected by the Caucus.

1993

Dawkins, The Hon. John Sydney, MP
Member for Tangney, WA, 18.5.1974 – 13.12.1975 (defeated)
Member for Fremantle, WA, 10.12.1977 – 4.2.1994 (resigned)
ALP

On 17.12.1993, the Treasurer, Mr Dawkins, announced his resignation from the ministry in order to devote more time to his family. Mr Dawkins’s resignation took effect from 23.12.1993. He resigned from the Parliament on 4.2.1994.

1994

Griffiths, The Hon. Alan Gordon, MP
Member for Maribyrnong, Vic., 5.3.1983 – 29.1.1996 (retired)
ALP

On 22.1.1994 the Prime Minister announced the resignation of Mr Griffiths as Minister for Industry, Technology and Regional Development. The resignation took effect on 23.1.1994. Mr Griffiths resigned because of possible misuse of funds he had received for party-political purposes, possible misuse of electorate office facilities and irregularities in documentation relating to electoral fund raising. Funds had been transferred to his business (a sandwich shop) and payments made to his business partner had been paid to her as electorate office assistant when she had not in fact been employed in the electorate office. An Australian Federal Police inquiry was conducted that cleared Mr Griffiths of any criminal involvement.

1994

Kelly, The Hon. Roslyn Joan, MP, Canberra
Member for Canberra, ACT, 18.10.1980 – 30.1.1995 (resigned)
ALP

Mrs Kelly came under fire over grants made to sporting bodies during the election campaign, and allegations that grants were made primarily to marginal ALP electorates. The Auditor-General’s Audit Report No. 9 Efficiency AuditCommunity Cultural, Recreational and Sporting Facilities Program was tabled in Parliament on 16 November 1993. The report was critical of the administration of the program and said that the granting of funds appeared to favour marginal ALP electorates, and that the procedures (the use of whiteboards to summarise and assess applications) left the program open to fraud. The Prime Minister was strong in his defence of Mrs Kelly on the basis that there was no ministerial wrongdoing. However, as there appeared to be no easing up of Opposition or media focus on the matter, Mrs Kelly resigned as Minister for Environment, Sport and Territories on 28.2.1994 with effect from 1.3.1994.

1994

Richardson, Senator The Hon. Graham Frederick
Senator for NSW, 5.3.1983 – 25.3.1994 (resigned)
ALP

       Senator Richardson announced his resignation as Minister for Health on 24.3.1994. He had said a number of times that he did not intend to remain in political life after the age of 44. He resigned from the Senate on 25.3.1994.

1st Howard Ministry (Lib-NP Coalition) 11.3.1996 – 21.10.1998

1996

Short, Senator The Hon. James Robert
Senator for Victoria 1.12.1984 – 12.5.1997 (resigned)
Liberal

Senator Short resigned on 14.10.1996 as Assistant Treasurer over his shareholdings in the ANZ Bank. The Senator had approved a banking licence for an ANZ subsidiary while still an ANZ shareholder. This contravened the Prime Minister’s Guide to key elements of ministerial responsibility. He resigned from the Senate on 12.3.1997 and was appointed Alternative Executive Director of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development. The appointment was announced by the Treasurer, Mr Costello, on 18.3.1997.

1996

Gibson, Senator The Hon. Brian Francis
Senator for Tasmania, 1.7.1993 – 22.2.2002 (resigned)
Liberal

Prime Minister Howard announced to the House of Representatives that Senator Gibson had resigned as Parliamentary Secretary to the Treasurer on 15.10.1996 over a conflict of interest due to his shareholdings in Boral Ltd.

1997

Woods, Senator The Hon. Robert Leslie
Member for Lowe, NSW, 11.7.1987 – 13.3.1993 (defeated)
Senator for NSW, 8.3.1994 – 7.3.1997 (resigned)
Liberal

Senator Woods resigned as Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Health and Family Services on 3.2.1997, and resigned from the Senate on 7.3.1997. The Senator cited family reasons, but other reasons quickly became apparent. He was under police investigation for fraud relating to travel claims, including having claimed his lover was his wife for official travel purposes. In 1999, Mr Woods pleaded guilty to charges of fraud and imposing on the Commonwealth. He was given a suspended sentence of 18 months, a two-year good behaviour bond, a fine of $5,000 and was ordered to repay $10,708.

1997

Prosser, The Hon. Geoffrey Daniel, MP
Member for Forrest, WA, 11.7.1987 – 17.10.2007 (retired)
Liberal

Mr Prosser resigned as Minister for Small Business and Consumer Affairs on 11.8.1997, to take effect on 18.7.1997, over a conflict of interest between the role and duties of a minister and holdings in a small business. Mr Prosser was a major retail landlord and had kept an active role in the management of his company. This was in contravention with the provisions of the Guide to key elements of ministerial responsibility issued by Prime Minister Howard in 1996. His portfolio responsibilities included retail tenancies and retail franchising laws. He came under attack for perceived conflict of interest following a report by the House of Representatives Standing Committee on Industry, Science and Technology entitled Finding a balancetowards fair trading in Australia in May 1997. Although responsibility for retail tenancies was transferred to the Minister for Industry, Mr Moore, Mr Prosser retained responsibility for retail franchising. The issue was resolved by his resignation as Minister.

1997

Jull, The Hon. David Francis, MP
Member for Bowman, Qld, 13.12.1975 – 5.3.1983 (defeated)
Member for Fadden, Qld, 1.12.1984 – 17.10.2007 (retired)
Liberal

The Prime Minister announced on 25.9.1997 the resignation of Mr Jull as Minister for Administrative Services over administration of MPs’ travel claims and repayments of false or inaccurate claims. John Sharp (see below) had made erroneous claims and Mr Jull had allowed secret repayments to be made. Mr Jull had tabled a report on MPs’ travel allowance claims which was not accurate or internally consistent. His office was found by the audit report requested by the Prime Minister (see below) not to have exercised due care in the preparation of the report.

1997

Sharp, The Hon. John Randall, MP
Member for Gilmore, NSW, 1.12.1984 – 13.3.1993
Member for Hume, NSW, 13.3.1993 – 31.8.1998 (retired)
NP

       Mr Sharp’s resignation as Minister for Transport over false or inaccurate travel claims, and repayment procedures was announced by the Prime Minister on 25.9.1997. Mr Sharp repaid $8,740. The Prime Minister requested the Auditor-General to investigate Mr Sharp’s travel claims, the procedures for processing claims and whether the Minister for Administrative Services and Mr Sharp and their offices had acted to ensure due process was followed in processing the travel claims. The audit was extended to cover consideration of a statement by Mr Jull’s senior adviser. The report, Ministerial travel claims, Performance Audit Report No. 23 1997–1998, December 1997, PP3/1998, found serious deficiencies inconsistent with sound management in making and processing the claims, and a significant error rate in the claims made by Mr Sharp.

1997

McGauran, The Hon. Peter John, MP
Member for Gippsland, Vic., 5.3.1983 – 9.4.2008 (resigned)
NP

The Prime Minister announced that Mr McGauran had resigned as Minister for Science and Technology on 26.09.1997 over false or inaccurate travel claims and repayment. The resignation took effect on 9.10.1997. He was reappointed to the ministry and served as Minister for the Arts and the Centenary of Federation from 21.10.1998 in the second Howard Ministry.

2nd Howard Ministry (Lib–NP Coalition) 21.10.1998 – 26.11.2001

1998

Smith, The Hon. Warwick Leslie, MP
Member for Bass, Tas., 1.12.1984 – 13.3.1993 (defeated); 2.3.1996 – 3.10.1998 (defeated)
Liberal

Mr Smith resigned as Minister for Family Services on 21.10.1998, having been defeated at the 1998 election.

1998

McLachlan, The Hon. Ian Murray, MP
Member for Barker, SA, 24.3.1990 – 31.8.1998 (retired)
Liberal

Mr McLachlan resigned as Minister for Defence on 21.10.1998, having retired from Parliament at the 1998 election.

1998

Parer, Senator The Hon. Warwick Raymond
Senator for Queensland, 22.11.1984 – 11.2.2000 (resigned)
Liberal

After weathering controversy over share portfolio holdings and alleged conflict of interest, Senator Parer decided not to stand for the ministry after the election.

1998

Thomson, The Hon. Andrew Peter, MP
Wentworth, NSW, 8.4.1995 – 8.10.2001 (retired)
Liberal

Mr Thomson resigned as Minister for Sport and Tourism and as Minister Assisting the Prime Minister for the Sydney 2000 Games, having been dropped from the ministry.

1998

Somlyay, The Hon. Alexander Michael, MP
Member for Fairfax, Qld, 24.3.1990 – 5.8.2013 (retired)
Liberal

Mr Somlyay resigned as Minister for Regional Development, Territories and Local Development on 21.10.1998, having been dropped from the ministry.

1998

Moylan, The Hon. Judith Eleanor, MP
Member for Pearce, WA, 13.3.1993 – 5.8.2013 (retired)
Liberal

Mrs Moylan resigned as Minister for the Status of Women on 21.10.1998, having been dropped from the ministry. The Opposition had mounted a sustained campaign of criticism of the Government’s 1997 user-pays reforms to nursing home arrangements.

1998

Cadman, The Hon. Alan Glyndwr, MP
Member for Mitchell, NSW, 18.5.1974 – 17.10.2007 (retired)
Liberal

Mr Cadman resigned as Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Workplace Relations and Small Business on 21.10.1998, having been dropped from the ministry.

1998

Miles, The Hon. Christopher Gordon, MP
Member for Braddon, Tas., 18.10.1984 – 3.10.1998 (defeated)
Liberal

Mr Miles resigned as Parliamentary Secretary (Cabinet) to the Prime Minister on 21.10.98, having been defeated at the 1998 election.

1998

Ronaldson, The Hon. Michael John Clyde, MP
Member for Ballarat, Vic., 24.3.1990 – 8.10.2001 (retired)
Senator for Victoria, 1.7.2005 – 28.2.2016 (resigned)
Liberal

       Mr Ronaldson resigned as Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Transport and Regional Development on 21.10.1998, having been dropped from the ministry.

1998

Brownhill, Senator the Hon. David Gordon Cadell
Senator for NSW, 1.12.1984 – 14.4.2000 (resigned)
NP

Senator Brownhill resigned as Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Trade on 21.10.1998, having announced on 8.10.1998 that he did not want to be considered for the ministry.

1999

Fischer, The Hon. Timothy Andrew, MP
Member for Farrer, NSW, 1.12.1984 – 8.10.2001 (retired)
NP

Mr Fischer resigned as Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Trade on 20.7.1999 for family reasons. He also resigned as Leader of the National Party on 1.7.1999. He announced his decision in the House of Representatives on 30.6.1999.
Mr Fischer was succeeded as National Party Leader on 1.7.1999 by Mr Anderson, who became Deputy Prime Minister on 20.7.1999.

2000

Sullivan, The Hon. Kathryn Jean Martin, MP
Senator for Queensland, Vic., 18.5.1974 – 5.11.1984 (resigned)
Member for Moncrieff, Qld, 1.12.1984 – 8.10.2001 (retired)
Liberal

Mrs Sullivan resigned as Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Foreign Affairs on 16.2.2000, having announced on 23.5.1999 her intention to retire from Parliament at the next election.

2001

Moore, The Hon. John Colinton, MP
Member for Ryan, Qld, 13.12.1975 – 5.2.2001 (resigned)
Liberal

Mr Moore resigned as Minister for Defence on 30.1.2001, having announced on 19.12.2000 his intention to retire from Parliament in the New Year. Press comment at the time suggested he was troubled by the East Timor crisis and reflected on the acrimonious dismissal of the Secretary of the Department of Defence, Mr Paul Barratt, at Mr Moore’s instigation in August 1999. Mr Moore resigned from the House of Representatives on 5.2.2001.

2001

Newman, The Hon. Jocelyn Margaret
Senator for Tasmania, 13.3.1986 – 1.2.2002 (resigned)
Liberal

Senator Newman resigned as Minister for Family and Community Services on 30.1.2001, having announced on 19.12.2000 her intention to retire from Parliament. She remained in the Senate for another year before resigning on 1.2.2002.  Senator Newman was said to be unhappy at the Prime Minister’s handling of an important discussion paper on welfare reform, which led to her being censured in the Senate on 13 October 1999.

2001

Herron, Senator The Hon. John Joseph
Senator for Queensland 1.7.1990 – 5.9.2002 (resigned)
Liberal

Senator Herron resigned as Minister for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Affairs on 30.1.2001, having not been reappointed to the ministry in the reshuffle announced by the Prime Minister on 19.12.2000. The Senator had been widely criticised for his response to the stolen generations inquiry and there had been speculation since mid-2000 that he would leave the ministry. Senator Herron remained in the Senate until resigning from Parliament on 5.9.2002 to take up the appointment as Ambassador to Ireland with concurrent accreditation to the Holy See.

2001

Brough, The Hon. Malcolm Thomas, MP
Member for Longman, Qld, 2.3.1996 – 24.11.2007 (defeated)
Member for Fisher, Qld, 7.9.2013 – 9.5.2016 (retired)
Liberal

Mr Brough resigned as Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Employment, Workplace Relations and Small Business on 30.1.2001. The Prime Minister had announced on 19.12.2000 that in a new ministry, to be sworn in on 30.1.2001, Mr Brough would be promoted to Minister for Employment Services. However, on the morning of the swearing in ceremony, the Sydney Morning Herald reported that federal police were investigating admissions of false electoral enrolment by former members of Mr Brough’s staff. On 11.2.2001 the Prime Minister said ‘that the [federal] police have given him a clean bill of health’ and Mr Brough was sworn in on 14.2.2001.

3rd Howard Ministry (Lib–NP Coalition) 26.11.1998 – 26.10.2004

2001

Reith, The Hon. Peter Keaston, MP
Member for Flinders, Vic., 14.12.1982* – 5.3.1983 (defeated)
Member for Flinders, Vic., 1.12.1984 – 8.10.2001 (retired)
Liberal

Mr Reith resigned as Minister for Defence on 26.11.2001, having announced on 29.6.2001 that he would not contest the next general election for lifestyle and family reasons. He had gained national prominence in the Patricks Stevedoring affair late in 1997; and in October of the same year when he repaid $50,000 owing on his government-issued Telecard. A Solicitor-General’s inquiry found that he had passed the card’s ID to his son and that his son, in turn, had passed those details on to others who misused the card.

2001

Wooldridge, The Hon. Michael Richard Lewis, MP
Member for Chisholm, Vic.,11.7.1987 – 3.10.1998
Member for Casey, Vic., 3.10.1998 – 8.10.2001 (retired)
Liberal

Mr Wooldridge resigned as Minister for Health on 26.11.2001, having announced on 7.9.2001 that he would not contest the general election. He was a controversial figure in 2001 when a budget measure to provide Medicare rebates for new MRI machines was allegedly leaked, leading to an unprecedented rush of orders for the scanners.

2001

Fahey, The Hon. John Joseph, MP
Member for Macarthur, NSW, 2.3.1996 – 8.10.2001 (retired)
Liberal

Mr Fahey resigned as Minister for Finance and Administration 26.11.2001, having announced on 15.5.2001 that he would not contest the next general election (due to be held later in the year), having had surgery for lung cancer in February 2001.

2001

Scott, The Hon. Bruce Craig, MP
Member for Maranoa, Qld, 24.3.1990 – 9.5.2016 (retired)
NP

Mr Scott resigned as Minister for Veterans’ Affairs and Minister Assisting the Minister for Defence on 26.11.2001. He was not reappointed to the ministry following the 2001 election, despite strong support from the veterans’ community. At the 2001 election, the National Party of Australia lost three seats thus changing the ratio of MPs to ministers amongst the Coalition partners.

On 2.8.2015 Mr Scott announced that he would not contest the next election, having served as Deputy Speaker since 2013 and for four years during the Rudd and Gillard governments.

2001

Bishop, The Hon. Bronwyn Kathleen, MP
Senator for NSW, 11.7.1987 – 24.2.1994 (resigned)
Member for Mackellar, NSW, 26.3.1994* – 9.5.2016 (retired)
Liberal

Mrs Bishop resigned as Minister for Aged Care for on 26.11.2001. She was not reappointed to the ministry following the 2001 election. The Aged Care portfolio was a difficult one, with funding having been cut in the 1996 Budget, and two previous ministers (Moylan and Smith) having resigned or lost their seats. The problems for Mrs Bishop culminated with the closure of a nursing home in Melbourne after it was revealed that residents were bathed in a kerosene solution.

On 16.4.2016 Mrs Bishop lost the preselection ballot for Mackellar, and retired at the 2016 election.

2001

 

Kelly, The Hon. Jacqueline Marie, MP
Member for Lindsay, NSW, 2.3.1996 – 11.9.1996; 19.10.1996* – 17.10.2007 (retired)
Liberal

Ms Kelly resigned as Minister for Sport and Tourism on 26.11.2001. Ms Kelly was expecting her second child in March 2002 and had indicated to the Prime Minister her desire to leave the ministry for that reason. She did, however, accept the position of Parliamentary Secretary to the Prime Minister.

2001

Tambling, Senator The Hon. Grant Ernest John
Senator for the Northern Territory, 11.7.1987 – 9.11.2001 (retired)
Country Liberal Party

Senator Tambling resigned as Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Health and Aged Care on 26.11.2001. He did not contest the 2001 election, having been disendorsed by the CLP as its candidate at the CLP annual conference on 14.9.2001 following his support for the Government’s legislation to ban internet gambling, despite the CLP having instructed him to cross the floor to oppose it. He took up the appointment of Administrator of Norfolk Island on 1.11.2003.

2002

Heffernan, Senator The Hon. William Daniel, MP
Senator for NSW, 18.9.1996* – 9.5.2016 (retired)
Liberal

Senator Heffernan resigned, at the Prime Minister’s request, as Parliamentary Secretary to Cabinet on 18.3.2002. On 12.3.2002 in the Senate, under privilege, Senator Heffernan accused High Court Judge, Justice Michael Kirby, of sexual impropriety based on Comcar records which were later found to be false. The Senator stood aside from his Parliamentary Secretary position on 13.3.2002 pending a police investigation into his alleged evidence.[18] He apologised to Justice Kirby in a speech to the Senate on 19.3.2002.
Senator Heffernan remained on the backbench after his resignation and, on 20.2.2016, announced his intention to retire from the Senate at the next election.

2003

Alston, The Hon. Richard Kenneth Robert
Senator for Victoria, 7.5.1986* – 10.2.2004 (resigned)
Liberal

Mr Alston resigned as the Minister for Communications, Information Technology and the Arts on 7.10.2003, having earlier indicated to the Prime Minister that he was aware the Prime Minister was considering a reshuffle and that he would be happy to stand down. Strong rumours of a diplomatic posting had been circulating since January 2000. Mr Alston was appointed as High Commissioner to the United Kingdom on 17.12.2004.

2003

Tuckey, The Hon. Charles William, MP
Member for O’Connor, WA, 18.10.1980 – 21.8.2010 (defeated)
Liberal

Mr Tuckey resigned as Minister for Regional Services, Territories and Local Government on 7.10.2003, having not been reappointed to the ministry at the reshuffle announced on 29.9.2003. On 19.8.2003 during Question Time, the Opposition asked Mr Tuckey about letters he had written on his ministerial letterhead asking that the South Australian Minister for Police intervene to have a traffic charge against a constituent (later revealed to be his son) dropped. The Prime Minister described these actions as ‘foolish’, but also said it had been Mr Tuckey who had decided that he should not be ‘re-included in the ministry’.

2003

Boswell, The Hon. Ronald Leslie Doyle
Senator for Queensland, 5.3.1983 – 30.6.2014 (retired)
NP

Senator Boswell resigned as Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Transport and Regional Services on 7.10.2003 having not been reappointed to the ministry at the reshuffle on that day. The Senator said his departure from the frontbench was a reluctant one, but that he understood the need for a female NP colleague from Queensland to replace him.

2004

Kemp, The Hon. David Alistair, MP
Member for Goldstein, Vic., 24.3.1990 – 31.8.2004 (retired)
Liberal

Mr Kemp resigned as Minister for the Environment and Heritage on 18.7.2004 having informed the Prime Minister on 12.7.2004 of his intention to retire at the next general election for family reasons. As Minister for Education, Training and Youth Affairs he had a difficult time in 1999 when Cabinet rejected his proposal over fees for tertiary students. Closer to the time of his resignation, Mr Kemp was under pressure to defend the Government’s continued refusal to sign the Kyoto Protocol.

2004

Williams, The Hon. Daryl Robert, MP
Member for Tangney, WA, 13.3.1993 – 31.8.2004 (retired)
Liberal

Mr Williams resigned as Minister for Communications, Information Technology and the Arts on 18.7.2004 having announced on 5.4.2004 his intention to retire at the next general election for family reasons, citing the regular Perth to Canberra airline commute and his limited time with his family as an important factor.

2004

Gallus, The Hon. Christine Ann, MP
Member for Hawker, SA, 24.3.1990 – 13.3.1993
Member for Hindmarsh, 13.3.1993 – 31.8.2004 (retired)
Liberal

Mrs Gallus resigned as Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Foreign Affairs on 18.7.2004, having informed the Prime Minister of her intention to not to stand at the next general election.

4th Howard Ministry (Lib–NP Coalition) 26.10.2004 – 3.12.2007

2004

Vale, The Hon. Danna Sue, MP
Member for Hughes, NSW, 2.3.1996 – 19.7.2010 (resigned)
Liberal

Mrs Vale resigned as Minister for Veterans’ Affairs on 26.10.2004 having not been reappointed following the election on 9.10.2004. She attracted criticism in April 2004 for supporting talkback radio host Alan Jones during the ‘cash for comment’ affair. Early in 2005 it was revealed that roadworks at Anzac Cove which had damaged some significant sites had been authorised by Mrs Vale in her time as Minister.

2004

Anthony, The Hon. Lawrence James, MP
Member for Richmond, NSW, 2.3.1996 – 9.10.2004 (defeated)
NP

Mr Anthony resigned as Minister for Children and Youth Affairs on 26.10.2004, having been defeated at the election on 9.10.2004.

2004

Kelly, The Hon. Jacqueline Marie, MP
Member for Lindsay, NSW, 2.3.1996 – 11.9.1996; 19.10.1996* – 17.10.2007 (retired)
Liberal

Ms Kelly resigned as Parliamentary Secretary to the Prime Minister on 26.10.2004, having indicated to the Prime Minister that she did not wish to be considered for appointment to the ministry at this time.

2004

Cameron, The Hon. Ross Alexander, MP
Member for Parramatta, NSW, 2.3.1996 – 9.10.2004 (defeated)
Liberal

Mr Cameron resigned as Parliamentary Secretary to the Treasurer on 26.10.2004 having been defeated at the election on 9.10.2004.

2004

Slipper, The Hon. Peter Neil, MP
Member for Fisher, Qld, 1.12,1984 – 11.7.1987 (NP; defeated)
Member for Fisher, Qld, 13.3.1993 – 7.9.2013 (defeated)
NP, Liberal, Independent

Mr Slipper resigned as Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Finance and Administration on 26.10.2004, having not been reappointed following the election on 9.10.2004.

2004

Worth, The Hon. Patricia Mary, MP
Member for Adelaide, SA, 13.3.1993 – 9.10.2004 (defeated)
Liberal

Ms Worth resigned as Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Health and Ageing on 26.10.2004, having been defeated at the election on 9.10.2004.

2004

Troeth, Senator The Hon. Judith Mary
Senator for Victoria, 1.7.1993 – 30.6.2011 (retired)
Liberal

Senator Troeth resigned as Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry, having not been reappointed to the ministry following the election on 9.10.2004.

2005

Anderson, The Hon. John Duncan, MP
Member for Gwydir, NSW, 15.4.1989* – 17.10.2007 (retired)
NP

Mr Anderson resigned as Minister for Transport and Regional Services on 6.7.2005 for personal, health, and family reasons—and particularly to avoid as much air travel as possible. He announced his decision to retire on 23.6.2005.

2006

Hill, Senator The Hon. Robert Murray
Senator for SA, 1.7,1981 – 15.3.2006 (resigned)
Liberal

Senator Hill announced his resignation as Minister for Defence on 20.1.2006 for personal reasons, to take effect on 27.1.2006. It was widely believed the Senator would move to a position at the United Nations; he was, in fact, appointed Australian Ambassador to the United Nations on 17.3.2006.

2006

Patterson, Senator The Hon. Kay Christine Lesley
Senator for Victoria, 11.7.1987 – 30.6.2008 (retired)
Liberal

Senator Patterson resigned as Minister for Family and Community Services on 27.1.2006, having informed the Prime Minister on 21.1.2006 that she would retire from Parliament at the next election. The Senator had been demoted—though remained in Cabinet—at the reshuffle in October 2003; it was widely reported that she was forced out in January 2006.

2006

Macdonald, Senator The Hon. Ian Douglas
Senator for Queensland, 1.7.1990 –
Liberal

Senator Macdonald resigned as Minister for Fisheries, Forestry and Conservation on 27.1.2006, having been told by the Prime Minister that he would not be reappointed in the reshuffle. The West Australian was critical of his performance over illegal fishing operations.

2006

Entsch, The Hon. Warren George, MP
Member for Leichhardt, Qld, 2.3.1996 – 17.10.2007 (retired)
Member for Leichhardt, Qld, 21.8.2010 –
Liberal

Mr Entsch resigned as Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Industry, Tourism and Resources on 27.1.2006 at the reshuffle that day as he intended to retire from Parliament at the next election. He came out of retirement to contest the following election in 2010 and was returned for the division of Leichhardt.

2007

Vanstone, Senator The Hon. Amanda Eloise
Senator for SA, 1.12,1984 – 26.4.2007 (resigned)
Liberal

Senator Vanstone resigned as Minister for Immigration and Multicultural Affairs on 30.1.2007, having been told on 22.1.2007 by the Prime Minister that she would not be reappointed at the reshuffle. There were difficulties in the Immigration portfolio and during 2006 a number of decisions were made by the Prime Minister apparently without consulting her. She had been a prominent moderate in the Opposition and in the early Howard Government years. At the time of her resignation there was speculation that she would accept an ambassadorial post and on 26.4.2007 she was appointed Australian Ambassador to Italy.

2007

Kemp, Senator The Hon. Charles Roderick 
Senator for Victoria, 1.7.1990 – 30.6.2006 (retired)
Liberal

Senator Kemp resigned as Minister for the Arts and Sport on 30.1.2007 having announced on 12.5.2006 his intention to retire from Parliament at the next election.

2007

Cobb, The Hon. John Kenneth, MP
Member for Parkes, NSW, 11.10.2001 – 9.5.2016 (retired)
The Nationals

At the reshuffle announced on 23.1.2007, Mr Cobb was demoted from Minister for Community Services to a Parliamentary Secretary position as Assistant Minister for the Environment and Water Resources, so he resigned as a minister on 30.1.2007. His demotion was partly to redress the Liberal–National Party numbers in the ministry, but he had attracted some unfavourable publicity in October 2006 with some comments about disabled children.

2007

Hardgrave, The Hon. Gary Douglas, MP
Member for Moreton, Qld, 2.3.1996 – 24.11.2007 (defeated)
Liberal

Mr Hardgrave resigned as Minister for Vocational and Technical Education on 30.1.2007, having not been reappointed at the reshuffle that day. The Government’s plans to reform the TAFE sector and to introduce tradesmen’s training colleges had lagged during his time as Minister.

2007

Macdonald, Senator The Hon. John Alexander Lindsay
Senator for NSW, 1.7,1993 – 30.6.1999 NPA (defeated)
Senator for NSW, 4.5.2000 – 30.6.2008 (retired)
The Nationals

Senator Macdonald resigned as Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Defence on 30.1.2007, having announced his intention in October 2006 to retire at the next election. The National Party Central Council, in a ballot on 5.10.2006, dropped Senator Macdonald to the unwinnable fourth position on the Coalition ticket for the next election.

2007

Campbell, Senator The Hon. Ian Gordon
Senator for WA, 16.5.1990* – 31.5.2007 (resigned)
Liberal

The Prime Minister accepted his resignation as Minister for Human Services on 3.3.2007 after Senator Campbell revealed that he had met former (and disgraced) WA Premier Brian Burke in 2006, when he was Minister for the Environment to discuss a planning matter involving development of race courses on the Swan River. In the House of Representatives in the days leading up to the Senator’s resignation, the Government had been extremely critical of Opposition Leader Rudd’s connections with Mr Burke—the Treasurer claiming on 1.3.2007 that ‘anyone who deals with Mr Brian Burke is morally and politically compromised’. It was felt that Senator Campbell’s meeting weakened the attack. He resigned from the Senate two months later.

2007

Santoro, Senator The Hon. Santo
Senator for Queensland, 29.10.2002* – 11.4.2007 (resigned)
Liberal

Senator Santoro resigned as Minister for Ageing on 16.3.2007 after it was revealed that he had failed to disclose shareholdings in companies, some of which touched on his portfolio. Initially it appeared the shareholdings were in CBio only and the Prime Minister—while acknowledging that Senator Santoro had made an error and corrected it—said that no impropriety had occurred. However, on 18.3.2007 a newspaper published details of at least three additional shareholdings which could be seen as constituting a conflict of interest. Senator Santoro resigned from the Senate three weeks later on 11.4.2007.

1st Rudd Ministry[19] (ALP) 3.12.2007 – 24.6.2010

2009

Murphy, The Hon. John Paul, MP
Member for Lowe, NSW, 3.10.1998 – 21.8.2010
Member for Reid, NSW, 21.8.2010 – 7.9.2013 (defeated)
ALP

Mr Murphy resigned as Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Trade on 25.2.2009 for family reasons, having informed the Prime Minister on 18.2.2009 that he would resign. In September the previous year, Mr Murphy attracted criticism for raising with the Speaker in the House of Representatives the question of portion size of meals in the Parliament House staff cafeteria.

2009

Fitzgibbon, The Hon. Joel Andrew, MP
Member for Hunter, NSW, 2.3.1996 –
ALP

Mr Fitzgibbon resigned as Minister for Defence on 4.6.2009, to take effect on 9.6.2009. At a Foreign Affairs, Trade and Defence Legislation Committee Estimates hearing on 3.6.2009 it was revealed that Mr Fitzgibbon’s office or his staff had been involved in arranging top-level discussions on health insurance between his brother, (the CEO of NiB), a US health insurance fund (Humana) and Department of Defence officials, thereby constituting a breach of the ministerial code of conduct. Mr Fitzgibbon had previously denied any involvement. His resignation followed some months of errors being detected in his declarations of pecuniary interests, including a failure to declare two trips to China paid for by a Chinese businesswoman, Ms Helen Liu.

2009

Debus, The Hon. Robert John, MP
Member for Macquarie, NSW, 24.11.2007 – 19.7.2010 (retired)
ALP

Mr Debus resigned as Minister for Home Affairs at the reshuffle on 9.6.2009, having recently decided to retire from Parliament at the next election. His decision was triggered by the resignation of Mr Fitzgibbon and the consequent need to reshape the ministry.

2009

McLucas, Senator The Hon. Jan Elizabeth
Senator for Queensland, 1.7.1999 – 9.5.2016 (retired)
ALP

Senator McLucas resigned as Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Health and Ageing at the reshuffle on 9.6.2009, having told the Prime Minister that she wanted to spend more time focusing on the challenges faced by regional, rural and provincial Queensland during the global recession. In May 2009 the press had raised questions about whether her principal place of residence was in Cairns or in Canberra, with consequent implications for her travel allowance claims which were investigated by the Department of Finance. In April 2016 she lost her faction’s support for preselection and retired from the Senate at the 2016 election.

2009

Kerr, The Hon. Duncan James Colquhoun, MP
Member for Denison, Tas., 11.7.1987 – 19.7.2010 (retired)
ALP

Mr Kerr resigned as Parliamentary Secretary for Pacific Island Affairs on 14.12.2009, having announced on 10.9.2009 his intention to retire from Parliament at the next election.

2010

Rudd, The Hon. Kevin Michael, MP
Member for Griffith, Qld, 2.3.1996 – 22.11.2013 (resigned)
ALP

Prime Minister Rudd resigned on 24.6.2010 following the surprise announcement on the evening of 23.6.2010 that Ms Gillard, his Deputy Prime Minister and Deputy Leader of the Parliamentary Labor Party, would challenge his leadership the next morning at a caucus meeting. The challenge came following a collapse in opinion poll figures, but the impetus was a report in the Sydney Morning Herald on 23.6.2010 that members of the Prime Minister’s staff were talking to caucus members to sound out support for him. In the event, there was no ballot for the leadership and Mr Rudd resigned after the caucus meeting.

1st Gillard Ministry (ALP) 24.6.2010 – 14.9.2010

2010

Tanner, The Hon. Lindsay James, MP
Member for Melbourne, Vic., 13.3.1993 – 19.7.2010 (retired)
ALP

Mr Tanner resigned as Minister for Finance and Deregulation on 3.9.2010, having not contested his seat at the election on 21.8.2010. At the beginning of Question Time on 24.6.2010, Prime Minister Gillard announced the new ministerial arrangements (that she had replaced Mr Rudd). Immediately after Question Time Mr Tanner announced his decision to retire at the next election for personal reasons.

2nd Gillard Ministry (ALP) 14.9.2010 – 27.6.2013

2010

Faulkner, Senator The Hon. John Philip
Senator for NSW, 4.4.1989* – 6.2.2015 (resigned)
ALP

Senator Faulkner resigned as Minister for Defence on 14.9.2010. On 7.7.2010 Senator Faulkner told a press conference that he would move to the backbench after the election and that he was announcing his decision during the campaign so there could be no doubt about his future after the election.

2010

Griffin, The Hon. Alan Peter, MP
Member for Corinella, Vic., 13.3.1993 – 2.3.1996
Member for Bruce, Vic., 2.3.1996 – 9.5.2016 (retired)
ALP

Mr Griffin resigned as Minister for Veterans’ Affairs and Defence Personnel on 14.9.2010, having informed the Prime Minister on 7.9.2010 that he wished to move to the backbench. Mr Griffin was described as Mr Rudd’s numbers man in coverage of the next leadership challenge in February 2012. In February 2015, he informed his local party organisation that he would retire from the House of Representatives at the next election.

2010

Elliot, The Hon. Maria Justine, MP
Member for Richmond, NSW, 9.10.2004 –
ALP

Mrs Elliot resigned on 14.9.2010 as Minister for Ageing. She was demoted to Parliamentary Secretary for Trade. The Prime Minister said the move had been at Mrs Elliot’s request, for family and other reasons.

2010

Ferguson, The Hon. Laurie Donald Thomas, MP
Member for Reid, NSW, 24.3.1990 – 21.8.2010
Member for Werriwa, NSW, 21.8.2010 – 9.5.2016 (retired)
ALP

Mr Ferguson resigned as Parliamentary Secretary for Multicultural Affairs and Settlement Services on 14.9.2010 having not been reappointed to the ministry after the election on 21.8.2010. In January 2016, Mr Ferguson announced that he would not contest the next election.

2010

Stephens, Senator The Hon. Ursula Mary
Senator for NSW, 1.7.2002 – 30.6.2014 (defeated)
ALP

Senator Stephens resigned as Parliamentary Secretary for the Voluntary Sector and Social Inclusion on 14.9.2010 having not been reappointed to the ministry after the election on 21.8.2010.

2010

McMullan, The Hon. Robert Francis, MP
Senator for the ACT, 16.2.1988 – 6.2.1996
Member for Canberra, ACT, 3.10.1998 – 19.7.2010 (retired)
ALP

Mr McMullan resigned as Parliamentary Secretary for International Development Assistance on 14.9.2010 having not contested his seat at the election on 14.9.2010. Mr McMullan had announced his intention to resign from Parliament on 19.1.2010, six months before the election. He became the Executive Director to the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, based in London, having been nominated by the Treasurer on 12.5.2011.

2010

Byrne, The Hon. Anthony Michael, MP
Member for Holt, Vic., 6.11.1999* –
ALP

Mr Byrne resigned as Parliamentary Secretary for Trade on 14.9.2010 having not been reappointed to the ministry after the election on 21.8.2010.

2011

Sherry, Senator The Hon. Nicholas John
Senator for Tasmania, 1.7.1990 – 1.6.2012 (resigned)
ALP

Senator Sherry announced his resignation as Minister Assisting on Deregulation and Public Sector Superannuation on 12.12.2011 for family reasons, to take effect on 14.12.2011. He resigned from the Senate six months later.

2012

Rudd, The Hon. Kevin Michael, MP
Member for Griffith, Qld, 3.10.1998 – 22.11.2013 (resigned)
ALP

Mr Rudd resigned as Minister for Foreign Affairs on 26.2.2012, having announced on 22.2.2012, while in Washington DC, that he would challenge Prime Minister Gillard for the leadership of the parliamentary Labor Party. The ballot was held on 27.2.2012 and was won by Prime Minister Gillard 71:31. In his statement to the Caucus after the ballot, Mr Rudd said he would under no circumstances mount a challenge against the Prime Minister’s leadership and emphasised his strong support for her.

2012

Arbib, Senator The Hon. Mark Victor
Senator for NSW, 1.7.2008 – 5.3.2012 (resigned)
ALP

Senator Arbib resigned as Minister for Small Business and Minister for Sports on 27.2.2012, immediately after the caucus ballot for the leadership of the Parliamentary Labor Party (see Rudd entry above). In his resignation statement Senator Arbib hoped the caucus and the Party would ‘see this decision as a gesture to help unite and heal’. He was seen as one of the key figures in the leadership change from Rudd to Gillard in 2010. He resigned from the Senate a week later, on 5.3.2012.

2012

McClelland, The Hon. Robert Bruce, MP
Member for Barton, NSW, 2.3.1996 – 5.8.2013 (retired)
ALP

Mr McClelland resigned as Minister for Housing and Homelessness and Minister for Emergency Management on 5.3.2012. He was one of the four ministers who had declared publicly that he would support Mr Rudd in the February leadership challenge. Mr McClelland’s position was seen as untenable, having said in an ABC TV interview on 23.2.2012: ‘I don’t think we have a realistic prospect of being re-elected under Julia Gillard’. The other three ministers (Mr Bowen, Senator Kim Carr and Mr Martin Ferguson) had not gone to the extent of writing off the Prime Minister’s electoral chances. Mr McClelland retired from Parliament before the 2013 general election.

2013

Evans, Senator The Hon. Christopher Vaughan
Senator for WA, 1.7.1993 – 12.4.2013 (resigned)
ALP

Senator Evans resigned as Minister for Tertiary Education, Science, Skills and Research on 4.2.2013, having announced on 2.2.2013 his intention to do so, and to leave the Parliament within a couple of months. The Senator’s decision was made shortly after the Prime Minister announced in a National Press Club Address on 30.1.2013 that the election would be held on 14.9.2013. Senator Evans resigned from the Senate on 12.4.2013.

2013

Roxon, The Hon. Nicola Louise, MP
Member for Gellibrand, Vic., 3.10.1998 – 5.8.2013 (retired)
ALP

Ms Roxon resigned as Attorney-General on 4.2.2013, having announced, on 2.2.2013, her intention to do so, and to leave the Parliament at the next election. Like Senator Evans (above), Ms Roxon had flagged with the Prime Minister a year earlier her wish to leave Parliament at the appropriate time.

2013

Elliot, The Hon. Maria Justine, MP
Member for Richmond, NSW, 9.10.2004 –
ALP

Mrs Elliot resigned as Parliamentary Secretary for Trade on 4.2.2013, having not been reappointed to the ministry at the reshuffle on that day. The Prime Minister said Mrs Elliot had asked to relinquish her position and saw a possible conflict of interest by wishing to be able to devote more time to campaigning against coal seam gas exploration and mining in her electorate, but an earlier press report suggested she was likely to be dropped.

2013

Crean, The Hon. Simon Findlay, MP
Member for Hotham, Vic., 24.3.1990 – 5.8.2013 (retired)
ALP

Mr Crean’s appointment as Minister for Regional Australia, Regional Development and Local Government and Minister for the Arts was revoked on 21.3.2013. He was the first minister in 35 years to have their appointment revoked by the Governor-General on the instructions of the Prime Minister.
In the evening of 20.3.2013 and in the morning of 21.3.2013, Mr Crean met the Prime Minister to urge her to call a spill of the leadership positions of the Federal Parliamentary Labor Party; told her that he would support Mr Rudd in such a spill and that he would run as Deputy Leader himself. In the early afternoon of 21.3.2013 Mr Crean publicly called for a spill. The Prime Minister arranged for a caucus meeting for that evening but the likely challenger, Mr Rudd, did not follow up with a challenge.
Mr Crean was only the second person to be appointed to the ministry immediately after being elected to Parliament. The first was Senator Spooner, who was elected to the Senate at the 1949 election with his term commencing on 22.5.1950. (Senator Spooner was appointed Minister for Social Services in the fourth Menzies Ministry on 19.12.1949.)[20]

2013

 

Marles, The Hon. Richard Donald, MP
Member for Corio, Vic., 24.11.2007 –
ALP

Mr Marles resigned as Parliamentary Secretary for Foreign Affairs and Parliamentary Secretary for Pacific Island Affairs on 21.3.2013, saying it was ‘the appropriate course’ having intended to support Mr Rudd had a leadership ballot taken place that day. His appointment was revoked on 22.3.2013.

2013

 

Bowen, The Hon. Christopher Eyles, MP
Member for Prospect, 9.10.2004 – 21.8.2010
Member for McMahon, NSW, 21.8.2010 –
ALP

Mr Bowen resigned as Minister for Tertiary Education, Skills, Science and Research and Minister for Small Business on 22.3.2013. As one of the ministers who would have voted for Mr Rudd had there been a leadership ballot the previous day, Mr Bowen said he felt his resignation was ‘the appropriate and honourable decision for me’. Mr Bowen’s appointment was revoked on 25.3.2013.

2013

 

Ferguson, The Hon. Martin John, MP
Member for Batman, Vic., 2.3.1996 – 5.8.2013 (retired)
ALP

Mr Ferguson resigned as Minister for Resources and Energy and Minister for Tourism on 22.3.2013. As one of the ministers who would have voted for Mr Rudd had a leadership ballot been held the previous day, he said resigning was ‘the only honourable thing to do’. Mr Ferguson’s appointment was revoked on 25.3.2013.

2013

 

Carr, Senator The Hon. Kim John
Senator for Victoria, 28.4.1993* –
ALP

Senator Carr resigned as Minister for Human Services on 22.3.2013. Having been one of the ministers who would have voted for Mr Rudd had a leadership ballot been held the previous day, Senator Carr said he ‘thought the principled course of action to take was to offer the Prime Minister my resignation and she has accepted it’. The Senator had been demoted from Cabinet at the reshuffle of the ministry in December 2011. Senator Carr’s appointment was revoked on 25.3.2013.

2013

Gillard, The Hon. Julia Eileen, MP
Member for Lalor, Vic., 3.10.1998 – 5.8.2013 (retired)
ALP

Ms Gillard resigned as Prime Minister on 27.6.2013, having been defeated by Mr Rudd in the caucus ballot for the leadership of the Federal Parliamentary Labor Party the previous evening. Speculation about the leadership had continued from March onwards, culminating in rumours that morning of Mr Rudd’s supporters circulating a petition calling for a caucus meeting to decide the matter. During the afternoon, Prime Minister Gillard announced that there would be a meeting at 7pm that evening, saying that the matter must be settled that night and that any challenger should put themselves forward, on condition that the loser retire from politics. The votes were 57:45. Ms Gillard did not contest the next election.

2013

 

Swan, The Hon. Wayne Maxwell, MP
Member for Lilley, Qld, 13.3.1993 – 2.3.1996 (defeated)
Member for Lilley, Qld, 3.10.1998 –
ALP

 Mr Swan resigned as Treasurer on 27.6.2013, following the caucus ballot for the leadership of the Federal Parliamentary Labor Party in which Mr Rudd defeated Ms Gillard.

2nd Rudd Ministry (ALP) 27.6.2013 – 18.9.2013

2013

 

Conroy, Senator The Hon. Stephen Michael
Senator for Victoria, 30.4.1996* – 30.9.2016 (resigned)
ALP

Senator Conroy resigned as Minister for Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy on 1.7.2013. The Senator was a supporter of the former Prime Minister, Ms Gillard, and said that he would remain in the interim ministry following the changeover to Mr Rudd, but that he would not serve in the new ministry.

2013

 

Emerson, The Hon. Craig Anthony, MP
Member for Rankin, Qld, 3.10.1998 – 5.8.2013 (retired)
ALP

Mr Emerson resigned as Minister for Trade and Competitiveness on 1.7.2013. Mr Emerson was a supporter of the former Prime Minister, Ms Gillard, and announced on 26.6.2013 that he would resign and would not contest the next election.

2013

 

Garrett, The Hon. Peter Robert, MP
Member for Kingsford Smith, NSW, 9.10.2004 – 5.8.2013 (retired)
ALP

Mr Garrett resigned as Minister for School Education, Early Childhood and Youth on 1.7.2013. Mr Garrett was a supporter of the former Prime Minister, Ms Gillard, and said that he would remain in the interim ministry following the changeover to Mr Rudd, but that he would not serve in the new ministry.

2013

 

Ludwig, Senator The Hon. Joseph William
Senator for Queensland, 1.7.1999 – 9.5.2016 (retired)
ALP

Senator Ludwig resigned as Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry on 1.7.2013. The Senator was a supporter of the former Prime Minister, Ms Gillard, and announced on 26.6.2013 that he had ‘decided not to serve as a Minister under Mr Rudd’s leadership’. On 9.3.2015, Senator Ludwig informed the Leader of the Opposition that he had decided not to contest the next election.

2013

 

Combet, The Hon. Gregory Ivan, MP
Member for Charlton, NSW, 24.11.2007 – 5.8.2013 (retired)
ALP

Mr Combet resigned as Minister for Climate Change, Industry and Innovation on 1.7.2013. Mr Combet was a supporter of the former Prime Minister, Ms Gillard, and announced on 26.6.2013, as a supporter of Ms Gillard, ‘I believe it is appropriate that I resign from my position’.

2013

Leigh, The Hon. Dr Andrew Keith, MP
Member for Fraser, ACT, 21.8.2010 –
ALP

Dr Leigh resigned as Parliamentary Secretary to the Prime Minister on 1.7.2013 having not been reappointed to the second Rudd Ministry.

Abbott Ministry (Lib–The Nationals Coalition) 18.9.2013 – 15.9.2013

2014

Sinodinos, Senator The Hon. Arthur, AO
Senator for NSW, 13.10.1998 –
Liberal

On 19.12.2014 the Prime Minister announced that Senator Sinodinos had resigned as Assistant Treasurer. He had previously stood aside from his ministerial position on 19.3.2014—at that stage until a NSW Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC) investigation into Australian Water Holdings (AWH) was concluded.[21] On 19.12.2014 Senator Sinodinos issued a statement saying that the ICAC reports into the Credo and Spicer affairs—involving AWH and Liberal Party donations and where he had been called as a witness only—would be delayed, but he was confident he would not be subject to any finding of corrupt conduct or illegality when the reports were released. The Senator expressed disappointment that the news of his resignation had been released earlier than planned. He was reappointed to the ministry as Cabinet Secretary (with Cabinet rank) when Mr Turnbull became Prime Minister on 15.9.2015.

2014

Johnston, Senator The Hon. David Albert Lloyd
Senator for WA, 1.7.2002 – 2.7.2016 (defeated)
Liberal

Senator Johnston resigned as Minister for Defence on 23.12.2014 having not been reappointed to the ministry at the reshuffle on that day. In the Senate on 25.11.2014, when the Government was considering its options for the contract for the construction of new submarines, Senator Johnston was critical of the Australian Submarine Corporation’s shipbuilding performance.

2014

Mason, Senator The Hon. Brett John
Senator for Queensland, 1.7.1999 – 15.4.2015 (resigned)
Liberal

Senator Mason resigned as Parliamentary Secretary for Foreign Affairs on 23.12.2014, having not been reappointed to the ministry at the reshuffle on that day. He resigned from the Senate on 15.4.2015 and was appointed Ambassador to the Netherlands on 21.4.2015.

2015

Turnbull, The Hon. Malcolm Bligh, MP
Member for Wentworth, NSW, 9.10.2004 –
Liberal

Mr Turnbull resigned as Minister for Communications on 14.9.2015, when he announced during the afternoon that he would challenge the Prime Minister for the leadership at a meeting of the Liberal Party that evening. Prime Minister Abbott agreed to hold a meeting and said he would be a candidate, but it was not until after 8.30pm that the time of the meeting (for 9.15pm) was announced. Mr Turnbull was successful in that challenge, becoming Prime Minister, but there is no evidence of his resignation as Minister taking effect until the swearing in of the new ministry on 21.9.2015.

2015

Abbott, The Hon. Anthony John, MP
Member for Warringah, NSW, 26.3.1994* –
Liberal

Mr Abbott resigned as Prime Minister on 15.9.2015, having been defeated in a ballot for the leadership of the Liberal Party by Malcolm Turnbull on the evening of 14.9.2015. The votes were 54:44.

1st Turnbull Ministry (Lib–The Nationals Coalition) 15.9.2015 – 19.7.2016

2015

Abetz, Senator The Hon. Eric
Senator for Tasmania, 22.2.1994* –
Liberal

Senator Abetz resigned as Minister for Employment on 21.9.2015 having not been reappointed to the ministry when Mr Turnbull became Prime Minister on 15.9.2015. The question of whether his resignation was actually received was discussed in Senate Estimates in February 2016.[22]

2015

Hockey, The Hon. Joseph Benedict, MP
Member for North Sydney, NSW, 2.3.1996 – 23.10.2015 (resigned)
Liberal

Mr Hockey resigned as Treasurer on 21.9.2015 having not been reappointed to the ministry when Mr Turnbull became Prime Minister on 15.9.2015. He resigned from Parliament on 23.10.2015 and was appointed Australian Ambassador to the United States of America on 8.12.2015.

2015

Billson, the Hon. Bruce Fredrick, MP
Member for Dunkley, Vic., 2.3.1996 – 9.5.2016 (retired)
Liberal

Mr Billson resigned as Minister for Small Business on 21.9.2015 having not been reappointed to the ministry when Mr Turnbull became Prime Minister on 15.9.2015. In his press statement Mr Turnbull said Mr Billson had chosen not to take up an offer to serve outside Cabinet. On 24.11.2015 Mr Billson announced that he would not contest the next election.

2015

Macfarlane, The Hon. Ian Elgin, MP
Member for Groom, Qld, 3.10.1998 – 9.5.2016 (retired)
Liberal

Mr Macfarlane resigned as Minister for Industry on 21.9.2015, having not been reappointed to the ministry when Mr Turnbull became Prime Minister on 15.9.2015. Mr Macfarlane subsequently tried to move from the Liberal Party to The Nationals, but the Liberal–National Party Executive in Brisbane, at a meeting on 14.12.2015, did not endorse the move. On 15.2.2016 Mr Macfarlane announced that he would not contest the next election.

2015

Andrews, The Hon. Kevin James, MP
Member for Menzies, Vic., 11.5.1991* –
Liberal

Mr Andrews resigned as Minister for Defence on 21.9.2015, having not been reappointed to the ministry when Mr Turnbull became Prime Minister on 15.9.2015. The question of whether his resignation was actually received was discussed in Senate Estimates in February 2016.[23]

2015

Ronaldson, Senator The Hon. Michael John Clyde
Member for Ballarat, Vic., 24.3.1990 – 8.10.2001 (retired)
Senator for Victoria, 1.7.2005 – 28.2.2016 (resigned)
Liberal

Senator Ronaldson resigned as Minister for Veterans’ Affairs, Special Minister of State, and Minister Assisting the Prime Minister for the Centenary of Anzac on 21.9.2015, having not been reappointed to the ministry when Mr Turnbull became Prime Minister on 15.9.2015. The Senator announced, on 18.12.2015, his intention to leave the Senate before the next election; and resigned on 28.2.2016.

2015

Baldwin, The Hon. Robert Charles, MP
Member for Paterson, 2.3.1996 – 3.10.1998 (defeated)
Member for Paterson, NSW, 10.11.2001 – 9.5.2016 (retired)
Liberal

Mr Baldwin resigned as Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Industry on 21.9.2015, having not been reappointed to the ministry when Mr Turnbull became Prime Minister on 15.9.2015. Mr Baldwin announced on 16.4.2016 that he would not contest the next election.

2015

Brough, The Hon. Malcolm Thomas, MP
Member for Longman, Qld, 2.3.1996 – 23.11.2007 (defeated)
Member for Fisher, Qld, 7.9.2013 – 9.5.2016 (retired)
Liberal

The Prime Minister announced on 29.12.2015 that he and Mr Brough ‘have agreed that he will stand aside as Special Minister of State and Minister for Defence Materiel and Science, pending the completion of enquiries by the police’.[24] Mr Brough was involved in a case in which James Ashby, a former political aide to the former Speaker, Mr Peter Slipper, brought a sexual harassment case against Mr Slipper. In a 60 Minutes interview on 7.9.2014, Mr Brough said he had asked Mr Ashby to obtain copies of Mr Slipper’s private diaries, but contradicted that statement in the House of Representatives on 1, 2 and 3 December 2015. Mr Brough’s house was raided by the Australian Federal Police in November 2015 in connection with the investigation into the question of obtaining copies of the diaries. (See also the entry below concerning Mr Brough’s resignation in February 2016.)

2015

Briggs, The Hon. Jamie Edward, MP
Member for Mayo, SA, 6.9.2008* – 2.7.2016 (defeated)
Liberal

Mr Briggs announced his resignation as Minister for Cities and the Built Environment on 29.12.2015, saying it was to take effect immediately. During an Estimates hearing on 8.2.2016 it transpired that the Governor-General revoked his commission on 30.12.2015[25]—although it was not gazetted until 22.3.2016. A Cabinet sub-committee considered a report from the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) concerning Mr Briggs’s behaviour towards a female DFAT staffer during a November 2015 official visit to Hong Kong. In his statement, Prime Minister Turnbull said ‘Ministers are expected to uphold high standards of behaviour as set out in the Ministerial Standards.[26] On this occasion [Mr Briggs’s] conduct fell short of that standard. After being invited to reflect on his position, he offered his resignation which I have accepted’.

2016

Truss, The Hon. Warren Errol, MP
Member for Wide Bay, Qld, 24.3.1990 – 9.5.2016 (retired)
The Nationals

Mr Truss resigned as Minister for Infrastructure and Regional Development on 18.2.2016, having announced on 11.2.2016 his intention to retire from Parliament at the next election. His successor as Leader of The Nationals, Mr Joyce, was chosen at a party meeting on 11.2.2016 and took over as Leader the following day. Although his portfolio did not change, Mr Joyce was sworn in as ‘Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources’ on 18.2.2016, an unprecedented event in that this was the first time the position of Deputy Prime Minister had been coupled with a portfolio name at a swearing in.

2016

Robb, The Hon. Andrew John, AO, MP
Member for Goldstein, Vic., 9.10.2004 – 9.5.2016 (retired)
Liberal

Mr Robb resigned as Minister for Trade and Investment on 18.2.2016, having confirmed in a statement on 10.2.2016 his intention to retire from Parliament at the next election. While a shadow minister, Mr Robb stood aside from his responsibilities for three months from September 2009 when diagnosed with a depressive disorder. The Prime Minister announced on 13.2.2016 that he was appointing Mr Robb as Special Envoy for Trade until the next election.

2016

Brough, The Hon. Malcolm Thomas, MP
Member for Longman, Qld, 2.3.1996 – 23.11.2007 (defeated)
Member for Fisher, Qld, 7.9.2013 – 9.5.2016 (retired)
Liberal

Mr Brough resigned as Special Minister of State and Minister for Defence Materiel and Science on 18.2.2016 . The Prime Minister said on 13.2.2016 that Mr Brough ‘did not wish to be considered for a position ... given the fact that the police investigations are continuing and will continue at least for some months’. On 26.2.2016 Mr Brough announced that he would not contest the next election. (See also previous entry concerning Mr Brough standing aside in December 2015.)

2016

Robert, The Hon. Stuart Rowland, MP
Member for Fadden, Qld, 24.11.2007 –
Liberal

Mr Robert resigned as Minister for Veterans’ Affairs and Special Minister of State on 18.2.2016 following an investigation conducted by the Secretary of the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet (PM&C) into Mr Robert’s visit to China in 2014 with a friend whose company, Nimrod Resources, was engaged in a joint project with the Chinese Government. Mr Robert said it was a private visit, undertaken while on leave. The PM&C inquiry found that Mr Robert held shares in a company associated with Nimrod Resources and concluded that he had acted inconsistently with the Statement of Ministerial Standards. The Prime Minister said on 12.2.2016 that Mr Robert had ‘asked me not to consider him in the pending reshuffle of the ministry’.

2016

Hartsuyker, The Hon. Luke, MP
Member for Cowper, NSW, 10.11.2001 –
The Nationals

Mr Hartsuyker resigned as Minister for Vocational Education and Skills on 18.2.2016, having not been reappointed to the ministry at the reshuffle that day. Although the Nationals increased their representation in Cabinet by one position at the reshuffle, their total representation in the ministry did not increase and Mr Hartsuyker was replaced in the Outer Ministry by Senator Matthew Canavan, a Queensland Liberal–National Party member who attends Nationals party meetings. Mr Hartsuyker returned to the ministry on 19.7.2016  in a parliamentary secretary position as Assistant Minister to the Deputy Prime Minister.

2016

Colbeck, Senator The Hon. Richard Mansell
Senator for Tasmania, 1.7.200 2 – 2.7.2016
Liberal

Senator Colbeck resigned as Minister for Tourism and International Education on 19.7.2016 having been defeated in the double dissolution election on 2.7.2016.

2016

Hendy, The Hon. Dr Peter William, MP
Member for Eden-Monaro, NSW, 7.9.2013 – 2.7.2016
Liberal

Dr Hendy resigned as Assistant Minister for Finance and Assistant Cabinet Secretary (Parliamentary Secretary positions) on 19.7.2016 having been defeated in the double dissolution election on 2.7.2016.

2nd Turnbull Ministry (Lib–The Nationals Coalition) 19.7.2016 –

2017

Ley, The Hon. Sussan Penelope, MP
Farrer, NSW, 10.11.2001 –
Liberal

Ms Ley resigned as Minister for Health, Aged Care and Minister for Sport on 24.1.2017. From early January the press had been raising concerns about Ms Ley’s travel claims, particularly about visits to the Gold Coast. On 9.1.2017 Prime Minister Turnbull announced that the Secretary of the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet would investigate Ms Ley’s travel claims, and that Ms Ley had agreed to stand aside without ministerial pay until the investigation was completed. On 13.1.2017, after submitting the final part of her report to the inquiry, Ms Ley announced her resignation.


Table 1: Ministerial resignations due to political appointments, 1901–2015[27]

Year

Minister

Government

Reason

1903

Barton

PROT

Appointment to High Court of Australia

1915

Fisher

ALP

Diplomatic appointment

1921

Cook

NAT

Diplomatic appointment

1933

Bruce

UAP

Diplomatic appointment

1934

Latham

UAP

Anticipation of judicial appointment

1940

Casey

UAP–CP

Diplomatic appointment

1946

Beasley

ALP

Diplomatic appointment

1946

Makin

ALP

Diplomatic appointment

1951

Spender

Lib–CP

Diplomatic appointment

1956

Harrison

Lib–CP

Diplomatic appointment

1958

Beale

Lib–CP

Diplomatic appointment

1960

Casey

Lib–CP

Appointment to British life peerage

1964

Barwick

Lib–CP

Appointment to High Court of Australia

1965

Roberton

Lib–CP

Diplomatic appointment

1969

Hasluck

Lib–CP

Appointment as Governor-General

1971

Rankin

Lib–CP

Diplomatic appointment

1975

Murphy

ALP

Appointment to High Court of Australia

1975

Barnard

ALP

Diplomatic appointment

1977

Cotton

Lib/NP

Diplomatic appointment

1979

Webster

Lib/NP

Diplomatic appointment

1980

Garland

Lib/NP

Diplomatic appointment

1980

McLeay

Lib/NP

Diplomatic appointment

1981

Ellicott

Lib/NP

Appointment to Federal Court of Australia

1987

Grimes

ALP

Diplomatic appointment

1987

Hurford

ALP

Diplomatic appointment

1988

Hayden

ALP

Appointment as Governor-General

1993

Tate

ALP

Diplomatic appointment

2006

Hill

Lib–The Nationals

Diplomatic appointment

2007

Vanstone

Lib–The Nationals

Diplomatic appointment

2015

Mason

Lib–The Nationals

Diplomatic appointment

2015

Hockey

Lib-The Nationals

Diplomatic appointment


Bibliography

  • Nolan, M. ed., Australian Dictionary of Biography, online resource maintained by the National Centre of Biography, Australian National University.
  • Ayres P, Malcolm Fraser: a biography, William Heinemann Australia, Richmond, 1987.
  • Commonwealth of Australia. Commonwealth Special Gazettes and Historical Gazettes (various)
  • Department of the Parliamentary Library, Press Files.
  • Dowding K and C Lewis, eds,. Ministerial careers and accountability in the Australian Commonwealth Government, ANU E Press, Canberra, 2012.
  • Fitzhardinge LF, The little digger: 1914–52, William Morris Hughes: a political biography, vol. 2, Angus and Robertson, London, 1979.
  • Wright BC, ed., House of Representatives Practice, 6th edn, Department of the House of Representatives, 2012.
  • Commonwealth of Australia, Parliamentary Handbook of the Commonwealth of Australia, 33rd edn, Department of Parliamentary Services, Canberra, 2014 (and earlier editions).
  • Martin AW, Robert Menzies: a life, vol. 2: 1944–1978, Melbourne University Press, Carlton, 1999.
  • McKeown D, Codes of conduct in Australian and selected overseas parliaments, Background note, Parliamentary Library, Canberra, 18 September 2012.
  • McMullin R, The light on the hill: The Australian Labor Party, 1891–1911, Oxford University Press, South Melbourne, 1991.
  • Richardson A, ‘Ministerial resignations from Australian Federal Governments’, BEcon thesis, Australian National University, 1969.
  • Sawer G, Australian federal politics and law, vol. 1: 1901–1929 and vol. 2: 1929–1949, Melbourne University Press, Carlton, 1956–63.
  • Souter G, Acts of Parliament: a narrative history of the Senate and House of Representatives, Melbourne University Press, Carlton, 1988.  
                                                     

[1].     CP is used for the period between 1920 and 1982 for the Australian Country Party and its later name the National Country Party of Australia. From 1982—when the party changed its name to the National Party of Australia—to 2006, NP is used. The party changed its name again in 2006 to The Nationals.

[2].     Senate Finance and Public Administration Legislation Committee, Official Committee Hansard, 8 February 2016, pp. 118–24.

[3].     Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet (DPMC), Cabinet Handbook, 9th edn, DPMC, Canberra, March 2016, p. 9. All websites accessed between 1 November and 20 December 2016.

[4].     Ibid.

[5].     BC Wright, ed., House of Representatives practice, 6th edn, Department of the House of Representatives, Canberra, 2012, p. 51.

[6].     B Page, ‘Ministerial resignation and individual ministerial responsibility in Australia 1976–1989’, Journal of Commonwealth and comparative studies, 28(2), July 1990, pp. 141–161.

[7].     K Dowding and C Lewis, eds, Ministerial careers and accountability in the Australian Commonwealth Government, ANU EPress, Canberra, 2012, pp. 121–27.

[8].          The state of the parties in the House of Representatives after the election was ALP 30, Nat 26, CP 14, Lib. 5, Other 1.

[9].     AJ Lyons, ‘Adjournment: Resignation of .Postmaster-General’, House of Representatives, Debates, 3 November 1938, pp. 1251–2; AJ Lyons, ‘Answer to Question on notice’, [Questioner: G Lawson], House of Representatives, Debates, 3 November 1938, p. 1322.

[10].    TW White, ‘Lyons administration’, House of Representatives, Debates, 8 November 1938, pp. 1324–5.

[11].    Ibid., p. 1325.

[12].    In the correspondence between the Prime Minister and Mr Lynch, the term ‘stand aside’ is used by both parties, but it is clear from the Gazette notice (S258, 19 November 1977) that Mr Lynch resigned.

[13].    Term deemed to have begun 1 July 1973.

[14].       There have been six other instances of ministers being given leave of absence or stood aside from their ministerial duties: the Hon. EJ Ward, Minister for Labour and National Services, 24.6.43 – 21.9.43, over the Brisbane Line files; the Hon. EJ Ward, Minister for Transport and Minister for External Territories, 1.1.49 – 24.6.49, over allegations of corruption concerning Papua New Guinea timber leases; the Hon. EL Robinson, Minister for Finance, 24.4.78 – 8.8.78, over allegations concerning the 1977 electoral redistribution in Queensland. (See BC Wright, ed., House of Representatives Practice, op.cit., p. 69.) The other three cases involving the Hon WD Heffernan, the Hon A Sinodinos and the Hon MT Brough are described in this paper.

[15].       Mr Loosley was elected to the Senate at the 1990 election.

[16].       The ALP lost the ensuing by-election for the seat of Wills on 11 April 1992 to an Independent candidate, Mr Phil Cleary. This by-election was declared void by the High Court in its decision Sykes v Cleary (1992) 176 CLR 77, [1992] HCA 60. The Court held that Mr Cleary had been ineligible for election under section 44(iv) of the Constitution because he held an office of profit under the Crown. Two other candidates were also declared incapable of being chosen under section 44(i) because of their dual citizenship. Mr Cleary won the seat at the 1993 election, but was defeated by the ALP in 1996.

[17].       Term deemed to have begun on 1 July 1982.

[18].    See footnote 14 p. 26 above for other instances of ministers being given a leave of absence or stood aside from their ministerial duties.

[19].    In a break with Labor Party tradition, Mr Rudd selected his own ministry. Previously, the parliamentary Labor Party held a ballot to determine the composition of the ministry and the party leader allocated the portfolios. Prime Minister Gillard continued Mr Rudd’s practice, as did Mr Shorten as Opposition Leader following the 2013 election.

[20].    Six others—but with previous ministerial experience in state parliaments—were appointed to ministries immediately after their election to the Commonwealth Parliament: JA Lyons (1929); RG Menzies (1934); C Lawrence (1994); J Fahey (1996); R Debus (2007); and R Carr (2012). Five members elected for the first time at the 2007 elections went straight into parliamentary secretary positions: GI Combet; G Gray; MJ Kelly; MM McKew; and WR Shorten.

[21].    See footnote 14 p. 26 above for other instances of ministers being given a leave of absence or stood aside from their ministerial duties.

[22].    Senate Finance and Public Administration Legislation Committee, Official Committee Hansard, 8 February 2016, pp. 118–20.

[23].    Ibid.

[24].    See footnote 15 p. 25 above for other instances of ministers being given a leave of absence or stood aside from their ministerial duties.

[25].    Senate Finance and Public Administration Legislation Committee, Official Committee Hansard, 8 February 2016, pp. 120–3.

[26].  Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet (DPMC), Statement of Ministerial Standards,DPMC, Canberra, 20 November 2015.

[27]. Includes only those appointments that were announced within six months of a resignation from the ministry.

 

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