18 June 2021
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Politics and Public Administration
This publication provides details the
parliamentarians in the following categories:
of the House of Representatives
Holders and ministers
A brief summary of
parliamentarian service is provided but further detail is available by the link
to their biographical information in the Parliamentary Handbook.
Longest serving members of the
House of Representatives
Hughes was elected as the member for West Sydney on 29 March
1901 and continued in the parliament until his death on 28 October 1952. Over
his career he also represented the New South Wales electorates of North Sydney
and Bradfield and the Victorian electorate of Bendigo. He held multiple
ministerial portfolios, including more than seven years as Prime Minister
(October 1915–February 1923), and represented the Australian Labor Party, Nationalist
Party, United Australia Party and Liberal Party.
New South Wales
As described above, Hughes spent the predominant part of his
parliamentary career representing the New South Wales electorates of West
Sydney, North Sydney and Bradfield.
Elected for the Labor Party at the by-election for the
Victorian electorate of Melbourne on 30 March 1904, Maloney remained its member
until his retirement on 27 August 1940. Accordingly, he holds the record for
the longest continuously serving member of an electorate.
Makin was first elected on 13 December 1919 as the Labor member
for Hindmarsh and continued in this role until he resigned on 14 August 1946 to
become Australia’s first Ambassador to the United States of America. As a
Cabinet Minister for much of the Second World War, he
for the Navy, Munitions and Aircraft Production. He returned to the federal
parliament on 29 May 1954 as the member for Sturt before a boundary
redistribution led him to become the member for Bonython, which he remained as
until his retirement on 1 November 1963.
Groom (32 years, 11 months, 16 days)
Following the death of his father William, the sitting
member for Darling Downs, Groom won the ensuing by-election held on 14
September 1901. Other than the period from 1929 to 1931 when he was defeated
but then re-elected, he remained in that position until he died on 6 November 1936.
Across this period he represented the Protectionist Party, Liberal
Nationalist Party and United Australia Party, and also sat as an Independent. A
government minister across multiple portfolios (including two periods as
Attorney-General), he also served as Speaker of the House of Representatives
from 1926 to 1929.
Elected for the Labor Party to represent Fremantle at the 18
August 1945 by-election, following the death of the sitting member Prime
Minister John Curtin, Beazley served this constituency until his retirement on
10 November 1977. A former schoolteacher, Beazley served as Opposition
Spokesperson for Education and later Minister for Education in the Whitlam
Government 1972 to 1975.
Snowdon (31 years, 4 months, 6 days – as at 17 June 2021)
Entering parliament on 11 July 1987 as the Labor member for
the Northern Territory, Snowdon was defeated in 1996 before being re-elected at
the 1998 election. Becoming the member for Lingiari following an electoral
redistribution in 2001, Snowdon has served as Minister for Defence Science and
Personnel, Veterans’ Affairs, Indigenous Health, Regional Health and Regional
Services Delivery. On 10 December 2020 Snowdon announced
that he would not recontest the next election.
Duthie (29 years, 2 months, 14 days)
Duthie was first elected on 28 September 1946 as the Labor
member for Wilmot and continued in this role until defeated at the 13 December
1975 election. He was a longstanding Opposition Whip in the House of
Representatives, spanning from 13 February 1956 to 19 December 1972.
Australian Capital Territory
Fraser (18 years, 11 months, 4 days)
Elected to represent the Australian Capital Territory on 28
April 1951, Fraser served as its Labor member until his death on 1 April 1970.
The federal electorate of Fraser (1974–2016) was subsequently named to
commemorate his service.
Longest serving senators
Australia (and Western Australia)
Pearce (37 years, 3 months, 3 days)
Elected as one of Australia’s first senators, Pearce
represented Western Australia until electoral defeat ended his service on 30 June
1938. Through his career Pearce represented the Labor Party, the Nationalist
Party and the United Australia Party.
A longstanding Minister across various portfolios and a government and
opposition leader in the Senate, Pearce also acted as Prime Minister during Billy
Hughes’ absence overseas in 1916.
Cooper (36 years, 8 months, 2 days)
After an initial single term following his election as a
Nationalist Senator for Queensland in 1928, Cooper returned to the Senate in 1935
representing the Country Party. He served as Minister for Repatriation for 11
years (from 1949 to 1960) before retiring from the Senate on 30 June 1968.
O’Byrne (33 years, 11 months, 23 days)
O’Byrne was elected as a Labor senator on 1 July 1947 and
continued in the Senate until he retired on 30 June 1981. He spent over a
decade as an Opposition Whip in the Senate, and briefer periods as Government
Whip and then President of the Senate from July 1974 to November 1975.
Carr (28 years, 1 month, 20 days – as at 17 June 2021)
Upon filling a casual vacancy on 28 April 1993 caused by
John Button’s resignation, Carr continues to represent the Labor Party in the
Senate. He held many ministerial portfolios throughout his career including
innovation, industry, science and research, manufacturing, defence materiel,
human services and higher education as well as various shadow ministerial
New South Wales
Entering the Senate on 1 July 1938, Amour was re-elected a further
five times before retiring on 30 June 1965. Amour represented the Labor Party
throughout his parliamentary career, except for a brief period during the
Second World War when he transitioned to the Labor Party (Non-Communist) group.
He was also a long-serving Temporary Chair of Committees, from 28 September
1938 to 19 March 1951.
Nicholls was elected to the Senate in 1943 and was sworn in
the following year on 1 July. Representing the Labor Party, Nicholls served
continuously until his retirement on 30 June 1968. His parliamentary career
included 15 years as Chairman and Temporary Chairman of Committees.
Australian Capital Territory
Reid (21 years, 9 months, 11 days)
Appointed on 5 May 1981 to fill the casual vacancy created
by the death of Liberal Senator John Knight, Reid remained in the Senate until
she resigned on 14 February 2003. She is the fifth longest serving female
senator, behind Dorothy Tangney, Marise Payne, Annabelle Rankin and Amanda
Vanstone. Reid served as a Government and then Opposition Whip in the Senate,
while later being appointed Deputy President of the Senate (1995 to 1996) and
President of the Senate (1996 to 2002).
Scullion (17 years, 7 months, 20 days)
Scullion was elected to the Senate on 10 November 2001,
representing the Country Liberal Party (Northern Territory) and retired on 18
May 2019. He served as Minister for Community Services in 2007 as well as
Minister for Indigenous Affairs from 2013 to 2019. He also held multiple
leadership positions with the Nationals, including Whip, Deputy Leader in the
Senate, Leader in the Senate and Deputy Party Leader.
Longest serving office holders and ministers
Minister – Robert
Menzies; 18 years, 5 months, 12 days (26.4.1939–29.8.1941;
Prime Minister – John
12 years, 11 months, 7 days (26.3.1958–5.3.1971)
Leader – Herbert
‘Doc’ Evatt, 8 years, 7 months, 20 days (20.6.1951–9.2.1960)
Opposition Leader – Francis
Forde; 9 years, 7 months, 21 days (16.2.1932–7.10.1941)
of the Senate – Henry
Givens; 12 years, 11 months, 21 days (9.7.1913 to 30.6.1926)
of the House of Representatives – John
McLeay; 10 years, 2 months, 2 days (28.8.1956–31.10.1966)
for Trade – John
McEwen; 15 years, 25 days (11.1.1956–5.2.1971)
for Defence – George
Pearce; 13 years, 8 months, 25 days (13.11.1908–2.6.1909;
29.4.1910–24.6.1913; 17.9.1914–21.12.1921; 6.1.1932–12.10.1934)
‘Billy’ Hughes; 13 years, 6 months, 6 days (13.11.1908–2.6.1909; 29.4.1910–24.6.1913;
Costello; 11 years, 8 months, 23 days (11.3.1996–3.12.2007)
for External/Foreign Affairs – Alexander
Downer; 11 years, 8 months, 23 days (11.3.1996–3.12.2007)
for Repatriation/Veterans’ Affairs – Walter
Cooper; 11 years, 10 days (19.12.1949–29.12.1960)
for Industry – John
Button; 10 years, 13 days (11.3.1983–24.3.1993)
for Labour/Employment – Harold
Holt; 9 years, 11 months, 1 day (28.10.1940–7.10.1941; 19.12.1949–10.12.1958)
for Communications – Alan
Hulme; 8 years, 11 months, 18 days (18.12.1963–5.12.1972)
for Social/Human/Community Services or Social Security – Hugh
Roberton; 8 years, 10 months, 24 days (28.2.1956–21.1.1965)
for Agriculture/Primary Industry – Charles
Adermann; 8 years, 10 months, 6 days (10.12.1958–16.10.1967)
for Immigration – Philip
Ruddock; 7 years, 6 months, 27 days (11.3.1996–7.10.2003)
for Resources – John
‘Doug’ Anthony; 7 years, 3 months, 29 days (12.11.1975–11.3.1983)
for Finance – Mathias
Cormann; 7 years, 1 month, 7 days (18.9.2013–23.8.2018;
for Health – Neal
Blewett; 7 years, 24 days (11.3.1983–4.4.1990)
for Science – Barry
Jones; 7 years, 24 days (11.3.1983–4.4.1990)
for Transport – John
Anderson; 6 years, 8 months, 30 days (25.9.1997–9.10.1997; 21.10.1998–6.7.2005)
for Aboriginal/Indigenous Affairs – Robert
Tickner; 5 years, 11 months, 7 days (4.4.1990–11.3.1996)
for Works/Construction/Infrastructure – Anthony
Albanese; 5 years, 9 months, 15 days (3.12.2007–18.9.2013)
for Education – David
Kemp; 5 years, 8 months, 15 days (11.3.1996–26.11.2001)
for the Environment – Robert
Hill; 5 years, 8 months, 15 days (11.3.1996–26.11.2001)
for Industrial/Workplace Relations – Ralph
Willis; 5 years, 5 months, 22 days (11.3.1983–2.9.1988)
for Housing – Annabelle
Rankin; 5 years, 1 month, 27 days (26.1.1966–22.3.1971)
for Women – Susan
Ryan; 4 years, 10 months, 8 days (11.3.1983–19.1.1988)
Longest serving incorporates total parliamentary service, not only
The Liberal (Commonwealth) Party is distinct and separate to the current
Liberal Party of Australia.
The current Victorian federal electorate of Fraser is named after former
Prime Minister Malcolm Fraser.
The United Australia Party (which formally dissolved in 1945) is separate
and distinct from Clive Palmer’s United Australia Party, which was registered
with the Australian Electoral Commission in 2018.
Although the position of Deputy Prime Minister was not formally established
as a ministerial portfolio until 1968, the role existed before this by informal
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