Western Australian ministries

The ministries of Western Australia (popularly called Cabinets) are the centre of executive power in the Government of Western Australia. They are composed of Ministers who are responsible for one or more portfolios, answer questions on those portfolios in Parliament, and control the operation and administration of departments, authorities, statutes and votes within those portfolios. In a formal constitutional sense, they possess executive power through being appointed to the Executive Council, which contains all members of the Ministry plus a Clerk (who is a staff member and not a member of Parliament), and is headed by the Governor of Western Australia who represents the Crown.

The members of the Ministry are selected by the Premier of Western Australia and then appointed by the Governor from members of the Western Australian Legislative Assembly and Western Australian Legislative Council associated with the governing party or coalition. However, in Labor ministries generally, and the Nationalist Lefroy Ministry (1917–1919), Cabinet's composition is chosen by caucus (a meeting of all Parliamentary members of the party) rather than by the Premier. The Ministry must command the support of the Legislative Assembly—if it either loses a vote of no confidence on the floor of the Assembly, or loses a general election and hence a majority in the Assembly, it is expected to resign and the Opposition Leader, as prospective Premier, is then expected to form a Ministry.

The Constitution of Western Australia does not require Ministers to be members of Parliament, but provides that non-members can only be Ministers for a maximum of three months.[citation needed] This means that when a Government loses an election, the Ministry remains in office (in "caretaker mode") until a new Ministry is presented to the Governor for appointment. For example, when the state election on 6 September 2008 produced a defeat for the Labor government, the Labor ministers remained in office until 23 September 2008, when Premier Colin Barnett appointed a new Ministry.

Until 1948, it was necessary for Ministers, when appointed, to resign their seat in Parliament and re-contest it at a ministerial by-election—these were generally uneventful, but on two occasions, Ministers were defeated—in 1901 when half the Morgans Ministry were defeated, and in 1917 when John Scaddan was defeated upon his appointment to the Lefroy Ministry.

List of Western Australian ministriesEdit

Name Premier Party Date appointed Date replaced Reason for replacement
Forrest Ministry Sir John Forrest Ministerial 29 December 1890 14 February 1901 Premier entered federal politics
Throssell Ministry George Throssell Ministerial 15 February 1901 27 May 1901 Lacked support in Assembly
Leake Ministry (1st) George Leake Opposition 27 May 1901 21 November 1901 Lost confidence motion in Assembly
Morgans Ministry Alf Morgans Ministerial 21 November 1901 23 December 1901 Lost confidence motion in Assembly
Leake Ministry (2nd) George Leake Opposition 23 December 1901 1 July 1902 Premier died in office
James Ministry Walter James Opposition 1 July 1902 10 August 1904 Lost election
Daglish Ministry Henry Daglish Labor 10 August 1904 25 August 1905 Lost confidence motion in Assembly
Rason Ministry Cornthwaite Rason Ministerial 25 August 1905 7 May 1906 Premier resigned
Moore Ministry Sir Newton Moore Ministerial 7 May 1906 16 September 1910 Premier resigned
Wilson Ministry (1st) Frank Wilson Ministerial 16 September 1910 7 October 1911 Lost election
Scaddan Ministry John Scaddan Labor 7 October 1911 27 July 1916 Lost confidence motion in Assembly
Wilson Ministry (2nd) Frank Wilson WA Liberal 27 July 1916 28 June 1917 Ministry collapsed
Lefroy Ministry Sir Henry Lefroy Nationalist 28 June 1917 17 April 1919 Premier resigned
Colebatch Ministry Hal Colebatch Nationalist 17 April 1919 17 May 1919 Ministry collapsed
Mitchell Ministry (1st) Sir James Mitchell Nationalist 17 May 1919 15 April 1924 Lost election
Collier Ministry (1st) Philip Collier Labor 16 April 1924 23 April 1930 Lost election
Mitchell Ministry (2nd) James Mitchell Nationalist 24 April 1930 24 April 1933 Lost election
Collier Ministry (2nd) Philip Collier Labor 24 April 1933 19 August 1936 Premier retired
Willcock Ministry John Willcock Labor 20 August 1936 31 July 1945 Premier retired
Wise Ministry Frank Wise Labor 31 July 1945 1 April 1947 Lost election
McLarty–Watts Ministry Ross McLarty Liberal-Country 1 April 1947 23 February 1953 Lost election
Hawke Ministry Albert Hawke Labor 23 February 1953 2 April 1959 Lost election
Brand–Watts Ministry Sir David Brand Liberal-Country 2 April 1959 11 April 1962 Deputy Premier retired
Brand–Nalder Ministry Sir David Brand Liberal-Country 12 April 1962 3 March 1971 Lost election
Tonkin Ministry John Tonkin Labor 3 March 1971 8 April 1974 Lost election
Court–McPharlin Ministry Sir Charles Court Liberal-Country 8 April 1974 5 June 1975 Deputy Premier resigned
Court Ministry Sir Charles Court Liberal-National Country 5 June 1975 25 January 1982 Premier resigned
O'Connor Ministry Ray O'Connor Liberal-National Country 25 January 1982 25 February 1983 Lost election
Burke Ministry Brian Burke Labor 25 February 1983 25 February 1988 Premier resigned
Dowding Ministry Peter Dowding Labor 25 February 1988 18 February 1990 Premier deposed by caucus
Lawrence Ministry Dr Carmen Lawrence Labor 19 February 1990 16 February 1993 Lost election
Court–Cowan Ministry Richard Court Liberal-National 16 February 1993 16 February 2001 Lost election
Gallop Ministry Dr Geoff Gallop Labor 16 February 2001 3 February 2006 Premier resigned
Carpenter Ministry Alan Carpenter Labor 3 February 2006 23 September 2008 Lost election
Barnett Ministry Colin Barnett Liberal 23 September 2008 17 March 2017 Lost election
McGowan Ministry Mark McGowan Labor 17 March 2017 Incumbent

See alsoEdit