ID 0163

State Government of Tasmania beginning 11 November 1981 - period in office of Premier Holgate, Harold Norman ending on 27 May 1982

Period in office of premier (see Glossary entry for 'period in office' and related terms)

Holgate, Harold Norman
Date of beginning of period in office
11 November 1981
Date of end of period in office
27 May 1982 
Reason for end of preceding period in office
Change of party leader 
Reason for end of this government
Loss of general election (see note)
Number of days in office

Parliamentary support during period

Party affiliation of premier at start of period
Australian Labor Party
If coalition government
Coalition partner 1
Coalition partner 2
Coalition partner 3
Coalition partner 4
Party support in parliament at beginning of period
If change in parliamentary support during period
17 November 1981
Defection by Party Members
If further change during period

Number of ministers at beginning of period (this may vary during the period)

Total number of ministers
Number from party of premier
Number from coalition party 1
Number from coalition party 2
Number from upper house
Number who are women

Assembly elections contested as premier or after which became premier (see Glossary entry for 'after election')

* to view table drag left or right.
Election Premier at election Premier's party Premier after election Premier's party
TAS 15 May 1982Harold Norman HolgateAustralian Labor PartyRobin Trevor GrayLiberal Party

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Change of party leader (Lowe): Beginning of Holgate's period in office: Factional tensions in the Australian Labor Party and disagreements within the parliamentary party over schemes for the damming of the Gordon, Franklin and Olga rivers for hydroelectric power generation, led to the replacement of Lowe as party leader. After a series of disputes within caucus, '... in the "Remembrance Day coup", following the delivery of a petition by twelve members of Caucus requesting his resignation, Premier Lowe lost a vote of confidence by twelve votes to nine. A bitter Doug Lowe resigned from the ALP and moved to the crossbenches', Smith, p.109, (see 'References, below); for an assessment of the broader context, see Townsley, pp 387-401 (see 'References, below).

After moving the successful vote of no confidence in Lowe, Holgate was confirmed as leader by caucus and was commissioned as Premier of an Australian Labor Party majority government.

Change in parliamentary support: Lowe had resigned from the Labor Party after his removal from the leadership of the party, and sat as an Independent in the House of Assembly. '...[W]ithin a week, on 17 November, the government whip, Mrs Mary Willey, left the government to join Mr Lowe and Australian Democrat Dr Sanders on the cross benches. Her departure created a minority Labor government...', Smith, p.109, (see 'References, below).

Loss of general election: On 26 March 1982 the minority Holgate Labor Government was defeated on a no confidence motion in the House of Assembly and Premier Holgate requested a dissolution of the House of Assembly. At the ensuing general election in May 1982, the Liberal Party under Gray won 19 of the 35 seats and was commissioned as Premier of a Liberal Party majority government; see Graham A Smith and R J K Chapman, Tasmania', Australian Journal of Politics and History, Australian Political Chronicle, January-June 1982, 28 (3) December 1982: 438-443, at 438.

References: Terry Newman, Tasmanian Premiers 1856-1988: A Biographical Handbook, (Hobart: Tasmanian Parliamentary Library, [1988]). See also Graham Smith, 'Tasmania', Australian Journal of Politics and History, Australian Political Chronicle, July-December 1981, 28 (1) April 1982: 106-111, W A Townsley, Tasmania: Microcosm of the Federation or Vassal State, 1945-1983, pp 387-401, (Hobart: St David's Park Publishing, 1994), and the entries in the Australian Journal of Politics and History, Australian Political Chronicle, for 1981 and 1982. For a survey of Labor Party politics in this period, see Richard Davis, Eighty Years' Labor: The ALP in Tasmania, 1903-1983, ch. 4 (Hobart: Sassafras Books and the History Department, University of Tasmania, 1983, ISBN 0859012212).


'Ministries: Names of the Members of Successive Ministries which have held Office in Tasmania since the inauguration of Responsible Government, together with the Dates of Appointment and Retirement', Journal of House of Assembly, Second Session of the Forty-Fifth Parliament of Tasmania, Anno LIII and LV Eliz II; Session 2 of the 45th Parliament, Volume 251, 2004-2006, (Hobart: Government Printer, Tasmania); Colin A Hughes, A Handbook of Australian Government and Politcs 1975-1984, (Sydney: Australian National University Press, 1986, ISBN 008033038X), and the website of the Parliament of Tasmania,