ID 0168

State Government of Tasmania beginning 14 September 1998 - period in office of Premier Bacon, James Alexander ending on 21 March 2004

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

Bacon, James Alexander
Date of beginning of period in office
14 September 1998
Date of end of period in office
21 March 2004 
Reason for end of preceding period in office
Loss of general election 
Reason for end of this government
Change of party leader
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
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 20 July 2002James Alexander BaconAustralian Labor PartyJames Alexander BaconAustralian Labor Party
TAS 29 August 1998Anthony Maxwell RundleLiberal PartyJames Alexander BaconAustralian Labor Party

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


Loss of general election: Beginning of Bacon's period in office: On 13 July 1998 '... Premier Rundle called a snap state election for 29 August 1998. The Government's term of could have extended until May 2000. Clearly disillusioned with the complexities and frustration of minority government, Premier Rundle declared that: "This hung parliament has reached its use-by date. It has done a lot but can do no more" (Mercury, 14 July 1998). ... In a move aimed directly at his minority government supporters, the Greens, the Premier also announced that he would recall parliament on 22 July so that the Labor party parliamentary reform model could be passed. This legislation would cut the number of members in the House of Assembly from 35 to 25 and the Legislative Council from 19 to 15', Tony McCall, 'Tasmania', Australian Journal of Politics and History, Australian Political Chronicle, July-December 1998, 45 (2) June 1998: 292-300 at 292. The legislation was passed with the support of both the Liberal Party and the opposition Australian Labor Party, and brought into effect for the August general election for the House of Assembly at which the Australian Labor Party won 14 of the 25 seats. Bacon was commissioned as Premier of an Australian Labor Party majority government.

Change of party leader: Bacon resigned as Premier in March 2004 for health reasons, and Lennon was chosen by the Labor caucus to be leader of the party. Lennon was commissioned as Premier of an Australian Labor Party majority government. For a survey of this transition, see Richard Herr, 'Tasmania', Australian Journal of Politics and History, Australian Political Chronicle, January-June 2004, 50 (4) December 2004: 623-629.

References: For Bacon's period in office, note that the Australian Journal of Politics and History has provided brief surveys of Tasmanian politics since 1956 in the 'Political Chronicle' section of the journal in issues of each annual volume. This publication can be viewed online through Wiley-Blackwell Journals at subscribing libraries. See also Tony McCall and Peter Hay, 'Jim Bacon/Paul Lennon: The Changing of the Guard -- From "the Emperor" to "Big Red" ', in John Wanna and Paul Williams (editors), (Sydney: University of New South Wales Press, 2005 ISBN 0868408409).

For a brief survey of Bacon's career, see Wendy Rimon, 'Bacon, James Alexander (Jim) (1950-2004)', in Alison Alexander (editor), The Companion to Tasmanian History, p. 36, (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); the website of the Parliament of Tasmania,