List of mayors and lord mayors of Brisbane

List of mayors and lord mayors of Brisbane

This is a list of the Mayors and Lord Mayors of the City of Brisbane, a Local Government Area of Queensland, Australia. The current Lord Mayor of Brisbane is Graham Quirk.


History of governance of Brisbane

The Municipality of Brisbane was gazetted on 25 May 1859 and proclaimed by the Governor of New South Wales on 7 September 1859. The first local government area in Queensland, Brisbane was the only one incorporated prior to the establishment of Queensland as a separate colony.[1]

On 31 March 1903 the Local Authorities Act 1902 came into effect, and Part 2, Section 10 of the Act proclaimed Brisbane a city.[2] The city's boundaries at this point only covered Brisbane's centre and the immediate surrounding suburbs.

On 1 October 1925 the City of Brisbane Act 1924 established a new City of Brisbane and its governing council, the Brisbane City Council. The new boundaries included 18 former local-government areas and parts of two others; it covered what was at that time the extent of Brisbane's metropolitan area.

Mayors of the Brisbane Municipal Council (1859-1902)

The list of mayors of the Brisbane Municipal Council (1859–1903) appears below.[3][4]

Mayor Term
John Petrie 1859–1862
Thomas Blacket Stephens 1862
George Edmondstone 1863
Joshua Jeays 1864
Albert John Hockings (1st term) 1865
Richard Symes Warry 1866
Albert John Hockings (2nd term) 1867
John Hardgrave 1868–1869
William Pettigrew 1870
Francis Murray 1871
Edward Joseph Baines 1872
James Swan 1873–1875
Richard Ash Kingsford 1876
Alfred Hubbard 1877–1878
John Daniel Heal 1879
John Sinclair 1880–1881
Robert Porter 1882
Abram Robertson Byram 1883
John McMaster (1st term) 1884
Benjamin Harris Babbidge 1885
James Hipwood 1886–1887
Richard Southall 1888
William McNaughton Galloway 1889
John McMaster (2nd term) 1890
John Allworth Clark 1891
George Watson, Junior 1892
John McMaster (3rd term) 1893
Robert Fraser (politician) 1894–1895
Robert Woods Thurlow 1896
John McMaster (4th term) 1897
William Thorne 1898
William Andrew Seal 1899
James Nicol Robinson 1900
Thomas Proe (1st term) 1901
Leslie Corrie 1902–1903

The Brisbane Municipal Council generally followed the practice of rotating the role of mayor among the aldermen, thus many mayors served for only one year and some served multiple times some years apart. The council "year" commenced and ended in about February to avoid a change-over during the summer holidays, so the mayor for 1890 would, strictly speaking, be the mayor into early 1891.

Most of the early aldermen and mayors of the Municipality of Brisbane were prominent local men rather than representatives of political parties.

Mayors of the Brisbane City Council (1903-1925)

Brisbane became a city on 31 March 1903. The list of mayors of the Brisbane City Council (1903–1925) appears below.[3]

Mayor Term
Leslie Corrie 1902–1903
Thomas Rees 1904
Thomas Proe (2nd term) 1905
John Crase 1906
William Murray Thompson 1907
Charles Packenham Buchanan (1st term) 1908
Thomas Wilson 1909
John Hetherington (1st term) 1910
Harry Diddams (1st term) 1911
Alfred John Raymond 1912
Harry Doggett 1913
Charles Jenkinson 1914
George Down 1915
John Hetherington (2nd term) 1916–1917
John McMaster (5th term) 1918–1919
Charles Packenham Buchanan (2nd term) 1919–1919
James Francis Maxwell 1920–1921
Harry Diddams (2nd term) 1921–1924
Maurice Barry 1924–1925

Lord Mayors of Brisbane City Council

On 1 October 1925, the City of Brisbane Act 1924 came into force, and 18 local government areas (including the Municipality of Brisbane) and parts of two others were amalgamated to form the City of Brisbane, governed by the Brisbane City Council.

Mayoral Elections

The City of Brisbane Act was amended several times over the years by successive State Governments, which changed the way in which the Lord Mayor was elected, and also the number of wards in the city. The two main ways in which the Lord Mayor are elected are direct election and election by majority vote of councilors (originally called aldermen).

List of Lord Mayors

Mayor Party Term No Of Terms Election Details Departure Details
  William Alfred Jolly United Party (later renamed Nationalist Civic Party 1925—1931 2 Elected Mayor by Popular Vote Retired just prior to the end of his term.
  Archibald Watson Nationalist Civic Party 1931 N/A Elected Mayor by Majority Vote of Aldermen for remainder of term (24/2/1931 to 11/5/1931) Lost election of 2 May 1931
  John William (Billy) Greene Progress Party/Independent 1931—1934 1 Elected as Alderman of Wynnum and then elected Mayor by Majority Vote of Aldermen (as a Compromise Candidate) Lost 1934 Election for Lord Mayor
  Alfred James Jones Labor 1934—1940 2 Elected Mayor by Popular Vote Lost election in 1940.
  Sir John Beals Chandler Citizens' Municipal Organisation 1940—1952 4 Elected Mayor by Popular Vote Lost election in 1952.
  Frank Edward Roberts Labor 1952—1955 1 Elected Mayor by Popular Vote Lost election as an Independent in 1955.
  Sir Thomas Reginald (Reg) Groom Citizens' Municipal Organisation 1955—1961 2 Elected Mayor by Popular Vote Retired in 1961 and did not re-contest.
  Clem Jones Labor 1961—1975 5 Elected Mayor by Popular Vote Retired in 1975 before the end of his 5th term.
  Bryan Vincent Walsh Labor 1975—1976 N/A Elected Mayor by Majority Vote of Alderman Lost his seat of Chermside in 1976 election, despite Labor Victory.
  Frank Northey Sleeman Labor 1976—1982 2 Elected Mayor by Majority Vote of Alderman Did not recontest the 1982 election.
  William Charles (Roy) Harvey Labor 1982—1985 1 Elected Mayor by Popular Vote Lost 1985 election.
  Sallyanne Atkinson Liberal 1985—1991 2 Elected Mayor by Popular Vote Lost 1991 election.
  James Gerald (Jim) Soorley Labor 1991—2003 4 Elected Mayor by Popular Vote Retired midway through last term.
  Kieran Owen Timothy (Tim) Quinn Labor 2003—2004 1 Elected Mayor by Majority Vote of Councillors Lost 2004 election.
  Campbell Newman Liberal 2004—2008 2 Elected Mayor by Popular Vote Retired from Mayoralty to contest State Election.
  Liberal National 2008—2011
  Graham Quirk Liberal National 2011—present 1 Current Mayor N/A

Historical Party Names

Prior to the creation of the Liberal Party in 1944, the conservative councilors were represented on a variety of different platforms: The Unity Party, Nationalist Citizens Party, Civic Reform League, the Citizens Municipal Organization and the Liberal Civic Party.[5]

The United Party, and its successor the Nationalist Citizens Party were created as the vehicle for conservative candidates to campaign against Labor candidates in the newly formed Brisbane City Council. The Nationalist Citizens Party was doomed when the very conservative Civic Reform League was created on 12 December 1930. This saw most of the conservative councilors from the Nationalist Citizens Party led by Acting Mayor Watson defect to the Civic Reform League, which failed to win the subsequent elections.[6] The Progress Party was created at the same time and for the 1931 election saw only 3 of its candidates win, including John Greene, who was made Lord Mayor as a compromise candidate amongst the 20 alderman.[7]

The Citizens' Municipal Organization (CMO) was ostensibly a non-political grouping, but was seen to be aligned with firstly the United Australian Party, then the Liberal Party (after 1944). The CMO was formed on 23 June 1936 and was the platform for the election campaigns of Sir John Chandler and Sir Reg Groom. The organization then became the Liberal Civic Party after the 1970 election due to the abysmal results against popular incumbent, Clem Jones. Finally in the 1976 election, the Liberal Party began to contest the elections directly.[8]



  1. ^ Larcombe, F.A. (Frederick) (1973). The Origin of Local Government in New South Wales 1831-58. Sydney University Press. p. 274. ISBN 0424066106. 
  2. ^ "Agency Details - Brisbane City Council I". 2009. Retrieved 15 December 2009. 
  3. ^ a b Brisbane City Council Archives
  4. ^ The Mayors of Brisbane, The Queenslander, Saturday 6 February 1892, page 278
  5. ^ Shaping A City - Making Greater Brisbane Work (1925-1985), John Cole (1985), Published by William Brooks Queensland
  6. ^ Shaping A City - Making Greater Brisbane Work (1925-1985), John Cole (1985), Published by William Brooks Queensland,Pp49-52, 73-78
  7. ^ Shaping A City - Making Greater Brisbane Work (1925-1985), John Cole (1985), Published by William Brooks Queensland,P 74
  8. ^ Shaping A City - Making Greater Brisbane Work (1925-1985), John Cole (1985), Published by William Brooks Queensland,Pp98,107-108

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