ID 0159

State Government of Tasmania beginning 26 May 1969 - period in office of Premier Bethune, Walter Angus ending on 3 May 1972

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

Bethune, Walter Angus
Date of beginning of period in office
26 May 1969
Date of end of period in office
3 May 1972 
Reason for end of preceding period in office
Loss of general election 
Reason for end of this government
Loss of general election
Number of days in office

Parliamentary support during period

Party affiliation of premier at start of period
Liberal Party
If coalition government
Coalition partner 1
Centre Party
Coalition partner 2
Coalition partner 3
Coalition partner 4
Party support in parliament at beginning of period
If change in parliamentary support during period
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 22 April 1972Walter Angus BethuneLiberal PartyEric Elliott ReeceAustralian Labor Party
TAS 10 May 1969Eric Elliott ReeceAustralian Labor PartyWalter Angus BethuneLiberal Party

Previous period in this series for TAS | Next period in this series for TAS


Loss of general election: Beginning of Bethune's period in office: The Reece government lost its majority at the May 1969 general election for the House of Assembly, the Australian Labor Party winning only 17 of the 35 seats. The Liberal Party also won 17 seats, but joined with the sole elected member of the Centre Party, K O Lyons, to form a coalition government under Bethune with Lyons as Deputy Premier; see Peter J Boyce, 'Tasmania', Australian Journal of Politics and History, Australian Political Chronicle, May-August 1969, 15 (3) December 1969: 81-123 at 110-111.

Loss of general election: The withdrawal of the Centre Party member, K O Lyons, from the coalition with the Liberal Party, prompted Bethune to request a dissolution for a general election of the House of Assembly on 22 April 1972 at which the Australian Labor Party won a substantial majority of seats; see W A Townsley, 'Tasmania', Australian Journal of Politics and History, Australian Political Chronicle, January-April 1972, 18 (2) August 1972: 261-301 at 288-291.

References: Terry Newman, Tasmanian Premiers 1856-1988: A Biographical Handbook, (Hobart: Tasmanian Parliamentary Library, [1988]); For background on politics in Tasmania during this period, see W A Townsley, Tasmania: Microcosm of the Federation or Vassal State, 1945-1983, pp 273-297, (Hobart: St David's Park Publishing, 1994), and .

For a brief survey of Bethune's career, see Max Bingham, 'Bethune, Walter Angus (1908-2004)', in Alison Alexander (editor), The Companion to Tasmanian History, p. 303, (Hobart: Centre for Tasmanian Historical Studies, University of Tasmania, 2005, ISBN 186295223X), online at:


'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 1965-1974, (Canberra: Australian National University Press, 1977, ISBN 0708113400), and the website of the Parliament of Tasmania,