Prime Minister of Australia
|Prime Minister of the Commonwealth of Australia|
[[File:Flag of Australia (converted).svg#REDIRECTmw:Help:Magic words#Other|
This page is a soft redirect.border|100px]]
Government of Australia|
Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet
(Diplomatic, outside of Australia)
|Appointer||Governor-General of Australia|
At the Governor-General's pleasure|
With Federal Elections held no more than three years apart
|Inaugural holder||Edmund Barton|
|Formation||1 January 1901|
The Prime Minister of Australia is the head of government of the Commonwealth of Australia. The individual who holds the office is the most senior minister of the Crown, the leader of the Cabinet and the chairperson of the National Security Committee. The office is not mentioned in the Constitution of Australia and exists only through an unwritten political convention and tradition. Despite this, it is in practice, the most powerful political position in Australia. The individual who holds the office is commissioned by the Governor-General of Australia
Almost always and according to convention, the Prime Minister is the leader of the majority party or largest coalition party of the House of Representatives. However, there is no requirement that the prime minister sit in the House of Representatives, or even be a member of parliament. The only case where a member of the Senate was appointed prime minister was John Gorton, who subsequently resigned his Senate position and was elected as a member of the House of Representatives (Senator George Pearce was acting prime minister for seven months in 1916 while Billy Hughes was overseas).
|2 June 1999||$289,270|
|6 September 2006||$309,270|
|1 July 2007||$330,356|
|1 October 2009||$340,704|
|1 August 2010||$354,671|
|1 July 2011||$366,366|
|1 December 2011||$440,000|
|15 March 2012||$481,000|
|1 July 2012||$495,430|
|1 July 2013||$507,338|
The Royal Australian Air Force's No. 34 Squadron transports the prime minister within Australia and overseas by specially converted Boeing Business Jets and smaller Challenger aircraft. The aircraft contain secure communications equipment as well as office, conference room and sleeping compartments. The call-sign for the aircraft is "Envoy".
The prime minister's official residence is The Lodge in Canberra, Australian Capital Territory, but not all prime ministers have chosen to make use of it. Jim Scullin preferred to live at the Hotel Canberra (now the Hyatt Hotel); Ben Chifley lived in the Hotel Kurrajong; and John Howard made Kirribilli House in Sydney, New South Wales his primary residence, using The Lodge when in Canberra on official business. On her appointment on 24 June 2010, Julia Gillard said she would not be living in The Lodge until such time as she was returned to office by popular vote at the next general election. (She became prime minister mid-term after replacing the incumbent, Kevin Rudd, who resigned in the face of an unwinnable party-room ballot.) The official residences are fully staffed and catered for both the prime minister and his or her family. A considerable amount of official entertaining is conducted at these residences.
During his first term, Kevin Rudd had a staff at The Lodge consisting of a senior chef and an assistant chef, a child carer, one senior house attendant, and two junior house attendants. At Kirribilli House in Sydney, there is one full-time chef and one full-time house attendant.
Prime ministers are usually granted certain privileges after leaving office, such as office accommodation, staff assistance, and a Life Gold Pass, which entitles the holder to travel within Australia for "non-commercial" purposes at government expense.
Only one prime minister who had left the Federal Parliament ever returned. Stanley Bruce was defeated in his own seat in 1929 while prime minister, but was re-elected to parliament in 1931. Other prime ministers were elected to parliaments other than the Australian federal parliament: Sir George Reid was elected to the UK House of Commons (after his term as High Commissioner to the UK); and Frank Forde was re-elected to the Queensland Parliament (after his term as High Commissioner to Canada, and a failed attempt to re-enter the Federal Parliament).
Former prime ministers continue to be important national figures, and in some cases go on to significant post-prime ministerial careers. Some notable examples have included: Edmund Barton, who was a justice of the High Court; George Reid, Andrew Fisher, Joseph Cook and Stanley Bruce, who were High Commissioners to the United Kingdom; Arthur Fadden, who was Treasurer under another prime minister, Robert Menzies; and Kevin Rudd, who became Julia Gillard's Foreign Minister after the 2010 federal election, until 2012.
Official state car
Since 2015, the Prime Minister of Australia's official car has been a fleet of heavily armoured BMW 7 Series, which replaced a fleet of Holden Caprices. It is escorted by police vehicles from state and federal authorities. The Prime Minister's car bears the number plate "C1" (meaning "Commonwealth 1"). 
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Living former prime ministers
There are currently five living former Prime Ministers of Australia:
|Name||Term of office||Date of birth|
|Bob Hawke||1983–1991||9 December 1929|
|Paul Keating||1991–1996||18 January 1944|
|John Howard||1996–2007||26 July 1939|
|Kevin Rudd||2007–2010; 2013||21 September 1957|
|Julia Gillard||2010–2013||29 September 1961|
The most recently deceased prime minister was Malcolm Fraser (1975–1983), who died on 20 March 2015.
The greatest number of living former prime ministers at any one time was eight. This has occurred twice:
- Between 7 October 1941 (when John Curtin succeeded Arthur Fadden) and 18 November 1941 (when Chris Watson died), the eight living former prime ministers were Bruce, Cook, Fadden, Hughes, Menzies, Page, Scullin and Watson
- Between 13 July 1945 (when Ben Chifley succeeded Frank Forde) and 30 July 1947 (when Sir Joseph Cook died), the eight living former prime ministers were Bruce, Cook, Fadden, Forde, Hughes, Menzies, Page and Scullin.
Gough Whitlam lived in the lifetime of every prime minister of Australia and achieved a greater age than any other prime minister.
Acting prime ministers
From time to time prime ministers are required to leave the country on business, and a deputy is appointed to take his or her place during that time. In the days before jet airplanes, such absences could be for extended periods. For example, William Watt was acting prime minister for 16 months, from April 1918 until August 1919, and Senator George Pearce held the position for more than seven months in 1916.
John Curtin is the only prime minister to serve time in jail (three days for failing to comply with an order for a compulsory medical examination for conscription, during World War I).
Births and deaths
Seven prime ministers were born outside Australia: George Reid, Andrew Fisher, Joseph Cook, Billy Hughes, Julia Gillard and Tony Abbott were born in the United Kingdom, while Chris Watson was born in Chile.
Three prime ministers died in office: Joseph Lyons (1939), John Curtin (1945) and Harold Holt (1967). Holt's was a most unusual caseTemplate:Spaced ndashhe disappeared while swimming, was declared presumed dead two days later, and his body was never recovered. It was not until almost 38 years later, in 2005, that he was officially declared by the Victorian Coroner to have drowned at the time of his disappearance.
The three youngest people when they first became prime minister were:
- Chris WatsonTemplate:Spaced ndash37
- Stanley BruceTemplate:Spaced ndash39
- Robert MenziesTemplate:Spaced ndash44
The three oldest people when they first became prime minister were:
- John McEwenTemplate:Spaced ndash67
- William McMahonTemplate:Spaced ndash63
- Ben ChifleyTemplate:Spaced ndash59 years 10 months (George Reid was 59 years 6 months).
The three youngest people to last leave the office of prime minister were:
- Chris WatsonTemplate:Spaced ndash37
- Arthur FaddenTemplate:Spaced ndash46 years 5 months 22 days
- Stanley BruceTemplate:Spaced ndash46 years 6 months 7 days
The three oldest people to last leave the office of prime minister were:
- Robert MenziesTemplate:Spaced ndash71
- John HowardTemplate:Spaced ndash68
- John McEwenTemplate:Spaced ndash67
Time in office
The longest-serving prime minister was Sir Robert Menzies, who served in office twice: from 26 April 1939 to 28 August 1941, and again from 19 December 1949 to 26 January 1966. In total Robert Menzies spent 18 years, 5 months and 12 days in office. He served under the United Australia Party and the Liberal Party respectively.
The shortest-serving prime minister was Frank Forde, who was appointed to the position on 6 July 1945 after the death of John Curtin, and served until 13 July 1945 when Ben Chifley was elected leader of the Australian Labor Party.
Five former prime ministers are living: Hawke, Keating, Howard, Rudd and Gillard.
All the others who have left office at least 10 years ago have lived at least another 10 years. Nine of them (Bruce, Cook, Fadden, Forde, Fraser, Gorton, Hughes, Watson, and Whitlam) lived more than 25 years after leaving the office, and all but one of them have survived longer than 30 years (Hughes lasted 29 years and 8 months).
The longest-surviving was Gough Whitlam, who lived 38 years and 11 months after office. On 25 September 2013, Whitlam surpassed Stanley Bruce's previous record of 37 years and 10 months after leaving the office.
- Prime Minister
- Deputy Prime Minister of Australia
- List of Prime Ministers of Australia
- List of Prime Ministers of Australia by time in office
- Prime Ministers Avenue in Horse Chestnut Avenue in the Ballarat Botanical Gardens contains a collection of bronze busts of former Australian prime ministers.
- List of Australian Leaders of the Opposition
- Historical rankings of Prime Ministers of Australia
- Spouse of the Prime Minister of Australia
- Prime Ministerial Limousine (Australia)
- "Pearce, Sir George Foster (1870–1952)". Australian Dictionary of Biography. Australian National University. 2006. Retrieved 24 June 2010.
- Parliamentary Handbook of the Commonwealth of Australia – Historical information on the Australian Parliament – Ministries and Cabinets – 7. Deakin Ministry
- "Prime Minister Kevin Rudd and MPs in line to get a 3% pay rise".
- Hudson, Phillip (25 August 2010). "Politicians awarded secret pay rise". Herald Sun (Australia).
- [dead link]
- "Tony Abbott defends increase in MP salary, saying he's working hard for every Australian". Herald Sun. 5 July 2012.
- Peatling, Stephanie (June 14, 2013). "PM's salary tops $500,000". Sydney Morning Herald.
- Metherell, Mark (19 February 2008). "Rudds' staff extends to a child carer at the Lodge". The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 24 June 2010.
- CarAdvice.com.au (6 April 2009). "25% of government car fleet foreign made". Car Advice. Retrieved 12 December 2011.
- "Australian Dictionary of Biography – William Alexander Watt". ADB ANU. Retrieved 21 October 2014.
- "Australian Dictionary of Biography – Sir George Foster Pearce". ADB ANU. Retrieved 21 October 2014.
- "Curtin, John (1885–1945)". Australian Dictionary of Biography. Australian National University. 2006. Retrieved 24 June 2010.
|40x40px||Wikimedia Commons has media related to Prime Minister of Australia.|
- Official website of the Prime Minister of Australia
- Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet
- Australia's Prime Ministers – National Archives of Australia reference site and research portal
- Biographies of Australia's Prime Ministers / National Museum of Australia
- Classroom resources on Australian Prime Ministers[dead link]