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Lewis–Cutler ministry

The Lewis–Cutler ministry or First Lewis ministry was the 68th ministry of the New South Wales Government, and was led by the 33rd Premier, Tom Lewis, of the Liberal Party in coalition with the Country Party, led by Sir Charles Cutler. It was the first of two occasions when Lewis was Premier; and the seventh and final occasion when Cutler served as Deputy Premier.


Lewis was elected to the New South Wales Legislative Assembly in 1957 and served continuously until 1978, representing the seat of Wollondilly. When the Askin government came to power in 1965, Lewis was given relatively junior portfolios of Lands and Mines. In 1972, Tourism was added to his ministerial responsibilities when Eric Willis moved to Education. Late in 1974, Askin announced his resignation and Lewis was chosen as leader over Willis and Justice Minister John Maddison.

Cutler was elected to the NSW Legislative Assembly in 1947 and served continuously until 1975, representing the seat of Orange. Elected Deputy Leader of the Country Party in 1958, Cutler was elected as leader of his party following the 1959 state election, replacing Davis Hughes.

Lewis inherited a relatively stable government that had been in power for ten years. However, the Liberal government was engaged in almost daily warfare with the Whitlam Labor federal government, most notably over the Medibank health care scheme, to which New South Wales was the last state to sign.

Composition of ministry

The composition of the ministry was announced by Premier Lewis and sworn in on 3 January 1975, and covers the period from 3 January 1975, when the former Premier, Sir Robert Askin resigned as Premier and as Member for Pittwater, until 17 December 1975,[1] the day after Cutler resigned as Deputy Premier, the Leader of the Country Party, and as Member for Orange. There were minor rearrangements in June 1975 following the resignation of Milton Morris and in October 1975 when Wal Fife resigned in order to successfully contest the Australian House of Representatives seat of Farrer at the 1975 federal election.

Portfolio Minister Party Term commence Term end Term of office
Tom Lewis   Liberal 3 January 1975 17 December 1975 348 days
Deputy Premier
Minister for Local Government
Minister for Tourism
Sir Charles Cutler[a]   Country 16 December 1975 347 days
Attorney General
Minister of Justice
John Maddison   Liberal 17 December 1975 348 days
Minister for Planning and Environment
Vice-president of the Executive Council
Leader of the Government in Legislative Council
John Fuller, MLC[a]   Country
Minister for Public Works
Minister for Ports
Leon Punch
Minister for Education Eric Willis[a]   Liberal
Minister for Labour and Industry
Minister for Consumer Affairs
Minister for Federal Affairs
Frederick Hewitt, MLC
Minister for Lands
Minister for Forests
Milton Morris[b] 30 June 1975 178 days
John Mason[b] 30 June 1975 17 December 1975 170 days
Minister for Agriculture Geoff Crawford[a]   Country 3 January 1975 16 December 1975 347 days
Minister for Transport
Minister for Highways
Wal Fife[c]   Liberal 10 October 1975 280 days
Max Ruddock[c] 10 October 1975 17 December 1975 68 days
Minister for Police
Minister for Services
John Waddy 3 January 1975 17 December 1975 348 days
Minister for Mines
Minister for Energy
George Freudenstein   Country
Minister for Decentralisation and Development Tim Bruxner[a]
Minister for Housing
Minister for Co-operative Societies
Laurence McGinty[a]   Liberal
Minister for Health Dick Healey
Minister for Revenue
Assistant Treasurer
Max Ruddock[c] 10 October 1975 280 days
Peter Coleman[c] 10 October 1975 17 December 1975 68 days
Minister for Youth, Ethnic and Community Affairs Steve Mauger 3 January 1975 17 December 1975 348 days
Minister for Culture, Sport and Recreation John Barraclough

  Ministers are members of the Legislative Assembly unless otherwise noted.

See also


  1. ^ a b c d e f Retained portfolios from the sixth Askin–Cutler ministry.
  2. ^ a b Milton Morris resigned on 30 June 1975 and John Mason was appointed to replace him.
  3. ^ a b c d Wal Fife resigned on 10 October 1975. His ministerial responsibilities were transferred to Max Ruddock and Peter Coleman was promoted to the ministry, taking on the portfolio responsibilities previously held by Ruddock.


  1. ^ "Part 6 Ministries since 1856" (PDF). NSW Parliamentary Record. Parliament of New South Wales. Retrieved 12 April 2020.


Preceded bySixth Askin–Cutler ministry(1973–1975) Lewis–Cutler ministry 1975 Succeeded byLewis–Punch ministry(1975–1976)
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Lewis–Cutler ministry
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