George Barnes (Australian politician)

George Powell Barnes (20 September 1856 – 9 December 1949), generally referred to by his full name or as "George P. Barnes",[N 1] was a Queensland businessman and politician.

George Barnes
George Powell Barnes - Queensland politician.png
Member of the Queensland Legislative Assembly
for Warwick
In office
5 February 1908 – 11 May 1935
Preceded byThomas O'Sullivan
Succeeded byJohn Healy
Personal details
George Powell Barnes

(1856-09-20)20 September 1856
Castlemaine, Victoria, Australia
Died9 December 1949(1949-12-09) (aged 93)
Brisbane, Queensland, Australia
Resting placeWarwick Cemetery[1]
Political partyMinisterialist
Other political
Liberal Party, National Party, Country and Progressive National Party
Spouse(s)Mary Cecilia Merry (m.1879 d.1942)
RelationsHiram Barnes (father), Walter Barnes (brother)

Early lifeEdit

George was a son of Cobb and Co. pioneer Hiram Barnes and a brother of Walter Barnes MLA.

Business interestsEdit

George Barnes started the company Barnes and Company Limited in 1880 in association with his brother, Walter Henry Barnes and Mr TF Merry. Merry was a storekeeper in Toowoomba, with whom George worked earlier and whose daughter, Mary Cecelia was married to George in 1879. Barnes and Co was formed to control businesses in Warwick, Allora, Yangan and Roma Street and Commonwealth Flour Mills at Warwick and South Brisbane.[2]

He was a leading figure in the Warwick Methodist Church and the Warwick Ambulance Brigade.


He was member for Warwick for 27 years, from 1908 to 1935, when he retired.[3]


He married Mary Cecilia Merry (ca.1858 – 3 October 1942) of Bulimba, Queensland in 1879. She was active in the local Methodist Church, Red Cross Society and Benevolent Society; they had a home "Glen Lyn" in Warwick.

A son, Franklin George Barnes (ca.1883 – ) was a mining engineer who devised and patented a method for degaussing British ships to counter the threat of magnetic mines in the early days of World War II.[4][5]

Another son, Cecil Merry Barnes, lost his life savings when his company, Barnes Ltd. of Fortitude Valley was forced into liquidation. G. P. Barnes felt his son's failure acutely, and personally paid out the company's preference shareholders.[6]


The former Barnes and Co. Trading Place in Warwick is listed on the Queensland Heritage Register.[2]


  1. ^ Most likely to distinguish him in newspaper reports from his contemporary, the prominent British parliamentarian George Barnes.


  1. ^ "Family Notices". The Courier-Mail. Brisbane: National Library of Australia. 10 December 1949. p. 16. Retrieved 27 January 2015.
  2. ^ a b "Barnes and Co. Trading Place (entry 600956)". Queensland Heritage Register. Queensland Heritage Council. Retrieved 1 August 2014.
  3. ^ "Former Members". Parliament of Queensland. 2015. Retrieved 27 January 2015.
  4. ^ "Outwitted Nazis". The Courier-Mail. Brisbane: National Library of Australia. 2 August 1941. p. 1. Retrieved 11 May 2014.
  5. ^ "Inventor of Degaussing Device Describes Famous Safeguard". The Advertiser. LXXXIV (26001). Adelaide, South Australia. 4 February 1942. p. 8. Retrieved 23 January 2018 – via National Library of Australia.
  6. ^ "Lost £16,000, Is Now Selling Flour". The Courier-Mail. Brisbane: National Library of Australia. 4 August 1939. p. 9. Retrieved 11 May 2014.
Parliament of Queensland
Preceded by Member for Warwick
Succeeded by