Deputy Prime Minister of Australia

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Deputy Prime Minister of Australia
Coat of Arms of Australia.svg
Michael McCormack Portrait 2010.jpg
Incumbent
Michael McCormack

since 26 February 2018
Style The Honourable
Appointer Governor-General of Australia on the recommendation of the Prime Minister
Term length At the Governor-General's pleasure
Inaugural holder John McEwen
Formation 10 January 1968 (first gazetted)
Salary AU$416,212 (since 2017)
Coat of Arms of Australia.svg
This article is part of a series on the
politics and government of
Australia

The Deputy Prime Minister of Australia is the second-most senior officer in the Government of Australia. The office of Deputy Prime Minister was officially created as a ministerial portfolio in 1968, although the title had been used informally for many years previously. The Deputy Prime Minister is appointed by the Governor-General on the advice of the Prime Minister. When Australia has a Labor Government, the deputy leader of the party holds the position of Deputy Prime Minister. When Australia has a Coalition Government (as it does now), the Coalition Agreement mandates that all Coalition members support the leader of the Liberal Party becoming Prime Minister and mandates that the leader of the National Party be selected as Deputy Prime Minister.[1]

The present office-holder, Michael McCormack, was elected Leader of the National Party on Monday 26 February 2018[2] at a meeting at which the resignations of his predecessor, Barnaby Joyce, became effective.[3][4][5] Joyce resigned following controversies over his actions[3] and returned to the back bench.[6] McCormack was sworn in as Deputy Prime Minister later the same day.[7]

The 2017 Australian constitutional crisis resulted in the position being made vacant for the first time since its official creation. Barnaby Joyce, the then-incumbent, was ruled ineligible to be a member of parliament by the High Court of Australia sitting as the Court of Disputed Returns on 27 October 2017, as he held New Zealand citizenship at the time of his election in contravention of Section 44 of the Constitution of Australia.[8][9] Joyce regained the position on 6 December 2017[10] after he won the by-election for the seat of New England several days earlier.[9]

History

Originally the position of deputy Prime Minister was an unofficial or honorary position. The unofficial position acquired more significance following the 1922 federal election, which saw the governing Nationalist Party lose its parliamentary majority. The Nationalists eventually reached a coalition agreement with the Country Party, which called for Country Party leader Earle Page to take the second rank in the Nationalist-led ministry of Stanley Bruce. While Page's only official title was Treasurer, he was considered as a deputy to Bruce.[11] Until 1968 the term was used unofficially for the second-highest ranking minister in the government, especially while the Coalition was in government. Under the Coalition agreement between the Liberals (and their predecessors) and Country Party, when in government, the position was held by the leader of the Country Party (subsequently the National Party). That continues to be case when the Coalition is in government.[1] In the case of Labor governments, the party's deputy leader was and continues to be the Deputy Prime Minister.

On 19 December 1967, John McEwen, the long-serving leader of the Country Party in the Coalition government, was sworn in as interim Prime Minister following the sudden death in office of Prime Minister Harold Holt. (There was discussion that deputy Liberal leader and Treasurer William McMahon should assume the office. McMahon had planned a party room meeting on 20 December to elect a new leader, intending to stand for the position himself. However, this was pre-empted by McEwen who publicly declared on the morning of 18 December that he would not serve in a McMahon government.) McEwen was sworn in as Prime Minister on the understanding that his commission would continue only so long as it took for the Liberals to elect a new leader. The Liberal leadership ballot was rescheduled for 9 January 1968. As it turned out, McMahon did not stand, and Senator John Gorton was elected, replacing McEwen as Prime Minister on 10 January 1968.[12] McEwen reverted to his previous status as the second-ranking member of the government, as per the Coalition agreement. He had unofficially been Deputy Prime Minister since becoming Country Party leader in 1958, and since 1966 had exercised an effective veto over government policy by virtue of being the longest-serving member of the government; he had been a member of the Coalition frontbench without interruption since 1937. To acknowledge McEwen's long service and his status as the second-ranking member of the government, Gorton formally created the post of Deputy Prime Minister, with McEwen as the first holder of the post.

Governor-General Lord Casey also accepted the view put to him by McEwen that to commission a Liberal temporarily as Prime Minister would give that person an unfair advantage in the forthcoming party room ballot for the permanent leader. McEwen's appointment was in keeping with the previous occasion when the main non-Labor party was without a leader; Earle Page of the Country Party was interim Prime Minister between 7 and 26 April 1939—the period between Joseph Lyons' sudden death and the United Australia Party naming Robert Menzies his successor.

Since 1968 only two Deputy Prime Ministers have gone on to become Prime Minister: Paul Keating and Julia Gillard. In both cases, they succeeded incumbent Prime Ministers who lost the support of their party caucus mid-term and their election as party leader preceded their predecessor's resignations and their subsequent appointments as Prime Minister. Frank Forde, who had been deputy Labor leader when John Curtin died, was interim Prime Minister between 6 and 13 July 1945, when a leadership ballot took place that elected Ben Chifley as Curtin's successor.

In November 2007, when the Australian Labor Party won government, Julia Gillard became Australia's first female, and first foreign-born, Deputy Prime Minister.

In 2017, the position became vacant for a period of 40 days, the only time in its history when it has been unoccupied. As part of the 2017–18 Australian parliamentary eligibility crisis, it emerged that the then-incumbent Barnaby Joyce was a citizen of New Zealand by descent (jus sanguinis – by right of blood) at the time of the 2016 federal election.[13] Joyce told the House of Representatives that he was advised of his citizenship status on 10 August 2017 by the New Zealand High Commission[14] and his renunciation of his dual citizenship became effective on 15 August 2017.[15] Nevertheless, he asked for his case to be referred to the High Court of Australia (sitting as the Court of Disputed Returns) for adjudication,[13] and they ruled that his election was invalid under section 44 of the Constitution of Australia.[8][9] The government immediately issued writs for a by-election for the seat of New England to be held on 2 December 2017, which Joyce won easily.[9] Governor-General Sir Peter Cosgrove re-appointed Joyce as Deputy Prime Minister on 6 December 2017.[10]

In practice, only National party leaders or Labor Party deputy leaders have held the position.

Duties

The duties of the Deputy Prime Minister are to act on behalf of the Prime Minister in his or her absence overseas or on leave. The Deputy Prime Minister has always been a member of the Cabinet, and has always held at least one substantive portfolio. (It would be technically possible for a minister to hold only the portfolio of Deputy Prime Minister, but this has never happened).

If the Prime Minister were to die, become incapacitated or resign, the Governor-General would normally appoint the Deputy Prime Minister as Prime Minister on an interim basis until the governing party elects a new leader, but is not obligated to do so. This has not occurred since the office was created as a portfolio in 1968.

Salary

Members of parliament receive a base salary of $203,030, which is set by the Remuneration Tribunal (an independent statutory authority). Government ministers receive an additional amount, which is determined by the government itself based on the recommendations of the Remuneration Tribunal.[16] The deputy prime minister receives an additional 105 percent of the base salary, making for a total salary of $416,212.[17] The holder of the office also receives various other allowances and entitlements.[16]

List of Deputy Prime Ministers of Australia

The following individuals have been officially appointed as Deputy Prime Minister of Australia since the office of Deputy Prime Minister was created as a ministerial portfolio in 1968:[18][19]

# Deputy Prime Minister Party affiliation
and position
Ministerial title Term start Term end Term in office Prime Minister
1 John McEwen Sir John McEwen.jpg   Country
Leader 1958–71
Deputy Prime Minister
Minister for Trade and Industry
10 January 1968 (1968-01-10) 5 February 1971 (1971-02-05) 3 years, 26 days   John Gorton
2 Doug Anthony Doug Anthony.jpg   Country
Leader 1971–84
Deputy Prime Minister
Minister for Trade and Industry
5 February 1971 (1971-02-05) 10 March 1971 (1971-03-10) 1 year, 304 days  
  10 March 1971 (1971-03-10) 5 December 1972 (1972-12-05)   William McMahon
3 Lance Barnard Lance Barnard.jpg   Labor
Deputy Leader 1967–74
Deputy Prime Minister
Minister for Defence
5 December 1972 (1972-12-05) 12 June 1974 (1974-06-12) 1 year, 189 days   Gough Whitlam
4 Jim Cairns Jim Cairns.jpg   Labor
Deputy Leader 1974–75
Deputy Prime Minister
Treasurer
12 June 1974 (1974-06-12) 2 July 1975 (1975-07-02) 1 year, 20 days  
5 Frank Crean Frank Crean.jpg   Labor
Deputy Leader 1975
Deputy Prime Minister
Minister for Overseas Trade
2 July 1975 (1975-07-02) 11 November 1975 (1975-11-11) 132 days  
Doug Anthony Doug Anthony.jpg   Country National
Leader 1971–84
Deputy Prime Minister
Minister for Trade and Industry
12 November 1975 (1975-11-12) 11 March 1983 (1983-03-11) 7 years, 119 days   Malcolm Fraser
6 Lionel Bowen Lionel Bowen.jpg   Labor
Deputy Leader 1977–90
Deputy Prime Minister
Minister for Trade
Vice-President of the Executive Council
Leader of the House
Attorney-General
11 March 1983 (1983-03-11) 4 April 1990 (1990-04-04) 7 years, 24 days   Bob Hawke
7 Paul Keating Paul Keating 2007 2.jpg   Labor
Deputy Leader 1990–91
Deputy Prime Minister
Treasurer
4 April 1990 (1990-04-04) 3 June 1991 (1991-06-03) 1 year, 60 days  
8 Brian Howe Second Keating Cabinet 1994 (cropped Howe).jpg   Labor
Deputy Leader 1991–95
Deputy Prime Minister
Minister for Health
Minister for Housing
Minister for Community Services
Minister for Local Government
Minister for Regional Affairs
3 June 1991 (1991-06-03) 20 December 1991 (1991-12-20) 4 years, 17 days  
  20 December 1991 (1991-12-20) 20 June 1995 (1995-06-20)   Paul Keating
9 Kim Beazley Kim Beazley crop.jpg   Labor
Deputy Leader 1995–96
Deputy Prime Minister
Minister for Finance
Leader of the House
20 June 1995 (1995-06-20) 11 March 1996 (1996-03-11) 265 days  
10 Tim Fischer Tim Fischer Portrait 2013.jpg   National
Leader 1990–99
Deputy Prime Minister
Minister for Trade
11 March 1996 (1996-03-11) 20 July 1999 (1999-07-20) 3 years, 131 days   John Howard
11 John Anderson John Anderson 2001 (cropped).jpg   National
Leader 1999–2005
Deputy Prime Minister
Minister for Transport and Regional Development
20 July 1999 (1999-07-20) 6 July 2005 (2005-07-06) 5 years, 351 days  
12 Mark Vaile Mark Vaile (TM).jpg   National
Leader 2005–7
Deputy Prime Minister
Minister for Trade
Minister for Transport and Regional Services
6 July 2005 (2005-07-06) 3 December 2007 (2007-12-03) 2 years, 150 days  
13 Julia Gillard Julia Gillard 2010.jpg   Labor
Deputy Leader 2006–10
Deputy Prime Minister
Minister for Employment and Workplace Relations
Minister for Education
Minister for Social Inclusion
3 December 2007 (2007-12-03) 24 June 2010 (2010-06-24) 2 years, 203 days   Kevin Rudd
14 Wayne Swan WayneSwan2018.jpg   Labor
Deputy Leader 2010–13
Deputy Prime Minister
Treasurer
24 June 2010 (2010-06-24) 27 June 2013 (2013-06-27) 3 years, 3 days   Julia Gillard
15 Anthony Albanese Anthony Albanese.jpg   Labor
Deputy Leader 2013
Deputy Prime Minister
Minister for Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy
Minister for Infrastructure and Transport
27 June 2013 (2013-06-27) 18 September 2013 (2013-09-18) 83 days   Kevin Rudd
16 Warren Truss Warren Truss Portrait 2010.jpg   National
Leader 2007–16
Deputy Prime Minister
Minister for Infrastructure and Regional Development
18 September 2013 (2013-09-18) 15 September 2015 (2015-09-15) 2 years, 153 days   Tony Abbott
15 September 2015 (2015-09-15) 18 February 2016 Malcolm Turnbull
17 Barnaby Joyce Barnaby Joyce Portrait 2010.jpg   National
Leader 2016–18
Deputy Prime Minister
Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources
Minister for Resources and Northern Australia (25 July 2017 – 27 October 2017)
18 February 2016 (2016-02-18) 27 October 2017 (2017-10-27) 2 years, 8 days
Deputy Prime Minister
Minister for Infrastructure and Transport (20 December 2017 – 26 February 2018)
6 December 2017 (2017-12-06) 26 February 2018 (2018-02-26)
18 Michael McCormack Michael McCormack Portrait 2010.jpg   National
Leader 2018-Present
Deputy Prime Minister
Minister for Infrastructure and Transport
Minister for Defence Personnel (until 5 March 2018)
Minister for Veterans' Affairs (until 5 March 2018)
26 February 2018 (2018-02-26) Incumbent 114 days

Living former Deputy Prime Ministers

As of June 2018, there are 12 living former Deputy Prime Ministers of Australia, the oldest being Doug Anthony (born 1929). The most recent former deputy prime minister to die was Lionel Bowen (1983–1990), on 1 April 2012.

Informal Deputy Prime Ministers

The office of Deputy Prime Minister was created in January 1968 but prior to that time the term was used unofficially for the second-highest ranking minister in the government.

Name Picture Term of office Political party and position Ministerial Offices Prime Minister
Alfred Deakin Alfred Deakin crop.jpg 1901 1903 Protectionist Party
Deputy Leader 1901–03
Attorney-General
Acting Prime Minister 1902
Edmund Barton
William Lyne Williamlyne.jpg 1903 1904 Protectionist Party
Deputy Leader 1901–09
Minister for Trade and Customs Alfred Deakin
Gregor McGregor Gregor McGregor1.jpg 1904 1904 Australian Labor Party
Deputy Leader 1901–14
Vice-President of the Executive Council Chris Watson
Allan McLean 19Allanmclean.jpg 1904 1905 Protectionist Party Minister for Trade and Customs George Reid
William Lyne Williamlyne.jpg 1905 1908 Protectionist Party
Deputy Leader 1901–09
Minister for Trade and Customs
Treasurer
Alfred Deakin
Gregor McGregor Gregor McGregor1.jpg 1908 1909 Australian Labor Party
Deputy Leader 1901–14
Vice-President of the Executive Council Andrew Fisher
Joseph Cook JosephCookPEO.jpg 1909 1910 Commonwealth Liberal Party
Deputy Leader 1909–13
Minister for Defence Alfred Deakin
Gregor McGregor Gregor McGregor1.jpg 1910 1913 Australian Labor Party
Deputy Leader 1901–14
Vice-President of the Executive Council Andrew Fisher
John Forrest John Forrest 1898.jpg 1913 1914 Commonwealth Liberal Party
Deputy Leader 1913–16
Treasurer Joseph Cook
Billy Hughes Billy Hughes 1919.jpg 1914 1915 Australian Labor Party
Deputy Leader 1914–15
Attorney-General
Acting Prime Minister 1915
Andrew Fisher
George Pearce Sir George Pearce.jpg 1915 1916 Australian Labor Party
Deputy Leader 1915–16
Minister for Defence
Acting Prime Minister 1916
Billy Hughes
1916 1917 National Labor Party
Deputy Leader 1916–17
William Watt 24Williamwatt.jpg 1918 1920 Nationalist
Deputy Leader 1918–20
Treasurer
Acting Prime Minister 1918–19
Joseph Cook JosephCookPEO.jpg 1917 1921 Nationalist
Deputy Leader 1920–21
Minister for the Navy
Treasurer
acting Prime Minister May–September 1921
Earle Page Earle Page.jpg 1923 1929 Country Party
Leader 1921–39
Treasurer Stanley Bruce
Ted Theodore Ted Theodore 1931.jpg 1929 1932 Australian Labor Party
Deputy Leader 1929–32
Treasurer James Scullin
James Fenton James Fenton.jpg 1930 1931 Australian Labor Party
Temporary Leader 1929–32
Acting Prime Minister 1930–31 James Scullin
John Latham Johnlatham.jpg 1932 1934 United Australia Party
Deputy Leader 1932–34
Attorney-General
Minister for External Affairs
Minister for Industry
Joseph Lyons
George Pearce Sir George Pearce.jpg 1934 1934 United Australia Party
Deputy Leader 1934
Minister for External Affairs
Minister in Charge of Territories
Earle Page Earle Page.jpg 1934 1939 Country Party
Leader 1921–39
Minister for Commerce
Minister for Health
Archie Cameron Archiecameron.jpg 1940 1940 Country Party
Leader 1939–40
Postmaster-General
Minister for Commerce
Minister for the Navy
Robert Menzies
Arthur Fadden Arthur Fadden.jpg 1940 1941 Country Party
Leader 1940–58
Minister for the Air
Minister for Civil Aviation
Treasurer
Acting Prime Minister 1940
Billy Hughes BillyHughes1945.jpg 1941 1941 United Australia Party
Leader 1941–43
Minister for the Navy
Attorney-General
Arthur Fadden
Frank Forde Frank Forde.jpg 1941 1946 Australian Labor Party
Deputy Leader 1932–46
Minister for the Army
Minister for Defence
Acting Prime Minister April–July 1944, November 1944 – January 1945, Prime Minister for one week in 1945
John Curtin
Ben Chifley
H. V. Evatt Herbert V. Evatt.jpg 1946 1949 Australian Labor Party
Deputy Leader 1946–51
Minister for External Affairs
Attorney-General
Arthur Fadden Arthur Fadden.jpg 1949 1958 Country Party
Leader 1940–58
Treasurer Robert Menzies
John McEwen Sir John McEwen.jpg 1958 1967 Country Party
Leader 1958–71
Minister for Trade and Industry
Acting Prime Minister June–July 1965
Harold Holt

References

  1. ^ a b Koziol, Michael; Bagshaw, Eryk (16 February 2018). "Why can't Malcolm Turnbull sack Barnaby Joyce?". The Sydney Morning Herald. Fairfax Media. Retrieved 24 February 2018. 
  2. ^ Murphy, Katharine (26 February 2018). "Nationals appoint Michael McCormack as leader after George Christensen mounts challenge". The Guardian. Retrieved 26 February 2016. 
  3. ^ a b Probyn, Andrew (24 February 2018). "Malcolm Turnbull says Barnaby Joyce made 'right decision', says bond with Nationals 'strong'". ABC News (Online). News and Current Affairs Division of the Australian Broadcasting Corporation. Retrieved 24 February 2018. 
  4. ^ Dziedzic, Stephen; Lipson, David (24 February 2018). "Barnaby Joyce's exit leaves Nationals looking to repair broken bonds". ABC News (Online). News and Current Affairs Division of the Australian Broadcasting Corporation. Retrieved 24 February 2018. 
  5. ^ Massola, James (23 February 2018). "Barnaby Joyce quits as Deputy Prime Minister". The Age. Fairfax Media. Retrieved 24 February 2018. 
  6. ^ Elton-Pym, James (23 February 2018). "Barnaby Joyce has resigned as the leader of the Nationals and deputy prime minister of Australia to sit on the government's backbench". SBS World News. Special Broadcasting Service. Retrieved 24 February 2018. 
  7. ^ Yaxley, Louise (26 February 2018). "Michael McCormack replaces Barnaby Joyce as Deputy Prime Minister and Nationals leader". ABC News (Online). News and Current Affairs Division of the Australian Broadcasting Corporation. Retrieved 26 February 2018. 
  8. ^ a b Massola, James (27 October 2017). "High Court citizenship verdict: Barnaby Joyce facing byelection in hammer blow to Turnbull government". The Sydney Morning Herald. Fairfax Media. Retrieved 27 October 2017. 
  9. ^ a b c d Green, Antony (2017). "2017 New England by-election – Guide". ABC News (Online). News and Current Affairs Division of the Australian Broadcasting Corporation. Retrieved 24 February 2018. 
    Green, Antony (15 January 2018). "2017 New England by-election – Commentary". ABC News (Online). News and Current Affairs Division of the Australian Broadcasting Corporation. Retrieved 24 February 2018. 
  10. ^ a b Murphy, Jamieson (6 December 2017). "Barnaby Joyce is once again the Deputy Prime Minister after being sworn in". Northern Daily Leader. Rural Press. Retrieved 24 February 2018. 
  11. ^ PrimeFacts: Deputy Prime Ministers of Australia
  12. ^ http://primeministers.naa.gov.au/primeministers/mcmahon/before-office.aspx
  13. ^ a b Gartrell, Adam; Remeikis, Amy (14 August 2017). "Barnaby Joyce refers himself to High Court over potential dual citizenship". The Sydney Morning Herald. Fairfax Media. Retrieved 26 February 2018. 
  14. ^ Barnaby Joyce, Deputy Prime Minister (14 August 2017). "Parliamentary Representation" (PDF). Parliamentary Debates (Hansard). Commonwealth of Australia: House of Representatives. p. 8185. Retrieved 26 February 2018. Last Thursday afternoon the New Zealand High Commission contacted me to advise that, on the basis of preliminary advice from their Department of Internal Affairs, which had received inquiries from the New Zealand Labour Party, they considered that I may be a citizen by descent of New Zealand. 
  15. ^ Vielleris, Renee (15 August 2017). "Documentary evidence Barnaby Joyce has renounced his NZ citizenship". news.com.au. News Corp Australia. Retrieved 26 February 2018. 
  16. ^ a b Determination 2017/23: Members of Parliament, Remuneration Tribunal. Retrieved 20 February 2018.
  17. ^ Report on Ministers of State - Salaries Additional to the Basic Parliamentary Salary, Remuneration Tribunal. Retrieved 20 February 2018.
  18. ^ "Ministries and Cabinets". 43rd Parliamentary Handbook: Historical information on the Australian Parliament. Parliament of Australia. 2010. Archived from the original on 13 August 2014. Retrieved 9 July 2013. 
  19. ^ "Deputy Prime Ministers of Australia" (PDF). Museum of Australian Democracy. Retrieved 27 July 2013. 

External links

  • The official site of the Deputy Prime Minister of Australia
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