ID 0210

State Government of Victoria beginning 10 August 1990 - period in office of Premier Kirner, Joan Elizabeth ending on 6 October 1992

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

Kirner, Joan Elizabeth
Date of beginning of period in office
10 August 1990
Date of end of period in office
6 October 1992 
Reason for end of preceding period in office
Change of party leader 
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
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
VIC 3 October 1992Joan Elizabeth KirnerAustralian Labor PartyJeffrey Gibb KennettLiberal Party

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Change of party leader (Cain [junior]): Beginning of Joan Kirner's period in office; By mid-1990, the Cain (junior) government's financial problems with the Victorian Economic Development Commission and the State Bank of Victoria's links with the bankrupt merchant bank Tricontinental had been exacerbated by the collapse of the Pyramid Building Society. Coupled with the state's financial problems, hostility between the government and some sections of the union movement, and divisions within the Australian Labor Party caucus and cabinet, prompted Cain (junior) to resign as Premier on 10 August 1990 (see notes for previous period in office).

Kirner was chosen as leader by the Labor caucus; 'In a contest between Joan Kirner and Steve Crabb, Kirner was elected Premier with the support of her Socialist Left faction plus the Independents and unaligned members', Ardel Shamsullah., 'Victoria', Australian Journal of Politics and History, Political Chronicle, July to December 1990, 37(2) August 1991: 308-313 at 308.

Loss of general election (Kirner): At the general election for the Victorian Legislative Assembly in October 1992, the Australian Labor Party had a swing against it of more than 8 percent of the first preference votes, and the Kirner government was defeated with a loss of 19 seats in the 88 seat Assembly. A summary of the election and its context can be found in Ardel Shamsullah, 'Victoria', Australian Journal of Politics and History, Political Chronicle, July to December 1992, 39(2) August 1993: 237-243 at 237-247, and note Brian Costar and Nick Economou, 'Elections and Electoral Change', in Considine and Costar, pp 247-264, at 258-261, (see 'References', below).

References A survey of Kirner's period in office can be found in Jennifer Curtin, 'Joan Kirner: The First Feminist', in Strangio and Costar, pp 351-362, (see 'Sources', below), and there is a brief political biography of 'Premier Joan Kirner' in Cathy Jenkins, No Ordinary Lives: Pioneering Women in Australian Politics, pp 111-118, (North Melbourne: Australian Scholarly Publishing, 2008, ISBN 9781740971560).

A comprehensive review of the Cain (junior) and Kirner governments is provided by Mark Considine and Brian Costar (editors), Trials in Power: Cain, Kirner and Victoria 1982-1992, (Melbourne: Melbourne University Press, 1992, ISBN 0522845371). The Australian Journal of Politics and History has given brief summaries of Victorian politics and government 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.


Colin A Hughes, A Handbook of Australian Government and Politics 1985-1999, (Sydney: Federation Press, 2002, ISBN 1862874346); Paul Strangio and Brian Costar (editors), The Victorian Premiers 1856-2006, (Sydney: Federation Press, 2006, ISBN 9781862876019); Victoria Hansard (Record of Parliamentary Debates) on line at: .

In consulting these sources, note the difference between ministries and periods in office.