Chief Minister of the Australian Capital Territory

The Chief Minister of the Australian Capital Territory is the head of government of the Australian Capital Territory. The leader of the party with the largest number of seats in the unicameral Australian Capital Territory Legislative Assembly usually takes on the role. Unlike other states and territories, the chief minister is not appointed by a governor or administrator, but elected directly by the Assembly.[1]

Chief Minister of the
Australian Capital Territory
Andrew Barr

since 11 December 2014
Chief Minister, Treasury and Economic Development Directorate
StyleThe Honourable
StatusHead of Government
Member ofCabinet
National Cabinet
Reports toLegislative Assembly
Seat1 Constitution Avenue, Canberra
AppointerAustralian Capital Territory Legislative Assembly
Constituting instrumentNone (constitutional convention)
Formation11 May 1989
First holderRosemary Follett
DeputyDeputy Chief Minister of the Australian Capital Territory

The chief minister is the rough equivalent of the state premiers, and has been a member of the National Cabinet since its creation in 2020.[2] The chief minister previously also represented the ACT on the Council of Australian Governments (COAG).[3] Since there are no local governments in the territory, the chief minister's role is also similar to that of the mayor of a local government area. The chief minister sits on the Council of Capital City Lord Mayors.[4]

The current chief minister is Andrew Barr of the Australian Labor Party (ALP), who was first elected by the Assembly on 11 December 2014 following the resignation of Katy Gallagher.[5]

List of chief ministers

#NamePartyTerm startTerm endTimespan
1 Rosemary Follett Labor 11 May 1989 5 December 19891 208 days
2 Trevor Kaine Liberal 5 December 1989 6 June 19912 1 year, 183 days
(1) Rosemary Follett Labor 6 June 1991 2 March 1995 3 years, 269 days
3 Kate Carnell Liberal 2 March 1995 18 October 20003 5 years, 230 days
4 Gary Humphries Liberal 18 October 2000 5 November 2001 1 year, 18 days
5 Jon Stanhope Labor 5 November 2001 12 May 20114 9 years, 188 days
6 Katy Gallagher Labor 16 May 2011 11 December 20145 3 years, 209 days
7 Andrew Barr Labor 11 December 2014 Incumbent 6 years, 201 days

1 Lost a no confidence vote in the Assembly originating from allegations made on a television program that the Follett led Labor Government had sought to secure by persuasion the vote of David Prowse, the Speaker of the Legislative Assembly, for the Business Franchise ("X" Videos) Bill.[6]
2 Lost a no confidence vote in the Assembly following unpopular decisions to close schools, close the Royal Canberra Hospital and amend planning laws that led to the collapse of the Kaine led Liberal Alliance Government with Residents Rally.[7]
3 Resigned when faced with a no confidence vote due to the high costs of the Bruce Stadium renovations; and was replaced by Gary Humphries without the motion being put to the Assembly.[8]
4 Resigned on 12 May 2011 for personal reasons; was replaced by his deputy Katy Gallagher on 16 May 2011 by vote of the Assembly.[9]
5 Resigned on 11 December 2014 to contest the ACT Senate position vacated by Kate Lundy; was replaced by her deputy Andrew Barr.

Living former chief ministers

As of August 2017, all former Chief Ministers are living with the exception of Trevor Kaine who died on 3 June 2008.

Graphical timeline

Andrew BarrKaty GallagherJon StanhopeGary HumphriesKate CarnellRosemary FollettTrevor KaineRosemary Follett

See also


  1. "Assembly Debate" (PDF). ACT Hansard. ACT Legislative Assembly. 11 May 1989. p. 4. Retrieved 21 August 2010.
  2. "Advice on coronavirus". Prime Minister of Australia (Press release). 13 March 2020. Retrieved 1 April 2020.
  3. "COAG Members". Council of Australian Governments. Retrieved 6 June 2021.
  4. "Canberra". Council of Capital City Lord Mayors. Retrieved 6 June 2021.
  5. "Andrew Barr elected ACT Chief Minister, seventh in history". ABC News. Australia. 11 December 2014. Retrieved 11 December 2014.
  6. "Assembly Debate" (PDF). ACT Hansard. ACT Legislative Assembly. 5 December 1989. pp. 2987–2993. Retrieved 19 August 2010.
  7. "Assembly Debate" (PDF). ACT Hansard. ACT Legislative Assembly. 6 June 1991. pp. 2167–236. Retrieved 14 August 2010.
  8. "Assembly Debate" (PDF). ACT Hansard. ACT Legislative Assembly. 10 October 2000. p. 3141. Retrieved 21 August 2010.
  9. "Resignation of Chief Minister" (PDF). Parliamentary Debates (Hansard). Legislative Assembly for the Australian Capital Territory. 16 May 2011. pp. 2027–2028.