ID 0059

State Government of New South Wales beginning 28 October 1959 - period in office of Premier Heffron, Robert James ending on 30 April 1964

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

Heffron, Robert James
Date of beginning of period in office
28 October 1959
Date of end of period in office
30 April 1964 
Reason for end of preceding period in office
Death of premier 
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
NSW 3 March 1962Robert James HeffronAustralian Labor PartyRobert James HeffronAustralian Labor Party

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


Death of premier (Cahill): Beginning of Heffron's period in office; 'On 22 October 1959 Cahill died. Heffron was immediately commissioned as Premier subject to being confirmed as leader of the Labor Party. On 28 October caucus elected him leader unopposed and filled the vacancy in the ministry', Hughes and Graham, p. 80, (see 'Sources', below).

Change of party leader (Heffron): 'On 28 April Heffron retired. On 29 April caucus elected Renshaw as leader and filled the vacancy in cabinet', Hughes and Graham, p. 84, (see 'Sources', below). Williams argues that disputes within the Australian Labor Party over an initiative by Heffron to introduce state aid to church schools undermined his public standing and was a major factor in the timing of his resignation as premier; Williams, pp. 326-328 (see 'References', below).

References: For an analysis of the role of Premier in New South Wales, see David Clune and Ken Turner, 'Introduction: The Changing Role of the Premier in the 20th Century', pp. 1-14, in Clune and Turner vol. 2 (see, 'Sources', below).

For a survey of Cahill's political career, see Evan Williams, 'John Joseph Cahill', in Clune and Turner, vol. 2, pp. 315-330 (see 'Sources', below), and Robert Carr, 'Heffron, Robert James (1890-1978)', in John Ritchie (general editor), Australian Dictionary of Biography, vol. 14, pp. 427-429, (Melbourne: Melbourne University Press, 1996, ISBN 052284717X).


David Clune and Ken Turner (editors), The Premiers of New South Wales, vol. 2, (1901-2005), (Sydney: Federation Press, 2006, ISBN 186287551); Colin A Hughes and B D Graham, A Handbook of Australian Government and Politics 1890-1964, pp. 57-85, (Canberra: Australian National University Press, 1968, SBN 708102700); New South Wales, Parliament, The New South Wales Parliamentary Record: Legislative Council and Legislative Assembly, 1824-1999, vol. VI, pp. 246-308, (Sydney: Parliament of New South Wales, 1999). In consulting these sources, note the difference between ministries and periods in office.