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Lewis–Punch ministry

The Lewis–Punch ministry or Second Lewis ministry was the 69th 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 Leon Punch. It was the first of two occasions when Lewis was Premier and the first of two occasions when Punch 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.

Punch was elected to the NSW Legislative Assembly in 1959 and served continuously until 1985, representing variously the seats of Upper Hunter (1959-1962) and then Gloucester (1962-1985. Elected Deputy Leader of the Country Party in 1973, Punch was elected as leader of his party following the retirement and resignation of Sir Charles Cutler in December 1975.

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 17 December 1975, and covers the period until 23 January 1976,[1] when Lewis was deposed as Liberal leader by Sir Eric Willis following a spill motion on 20 January 1976, necessitating a reconfiguration of the ministry as the Willis–Punch ministry.

Portfolio Minister Party Term commence Term end Term of office
Tom Lewis[a]   Liberal 17 December 1975 23 January 1976 37 days
Deputy Premier
Minister for Public Works
Minister for Ports
Leon Punch   Country
Attorney General
Minister of Justice
John Maddison[a]   Liberal
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 Decentralisation and Development
Minister for Tourism
Tim Bruxner
Minister for Education Sir Eric Willis[a]   Liberal
Minister for Labour and Industry
Minister for Consumer Affairs
Minister for Federal Affairs
Frederick Hewitt, MLC[a]
Minister for Police
Minister for Services
John Waddy[a]
Minister for Mines
Minister for Energy
George Freudenstein[a]   Country
Minister for Housing
Minister for Co-operative Societies
Laurence McGinty[a]   Liberal
Minister for Health Dick Healey[a]
Minister for Transport
Minister for Highways
Max Ruddock
Minister for Youth, Ethnic and Community Affairs Steve Mauger
Minister for Culture, Sport and Recreation John Barraclough
Minister for Agriculture
Minister for Water Resources
Bruce Cowan[a]   Country
Minister for Lands
Minister for Forests
John Mason   Liberal
Minister for Local Government Col Fisher   Country
Minister for Revenue
Assistant Treasurer
Peter Coleman[a]   Liberal

  Ministers are members of the Legislative Assembly unless otherwise noted.

See also


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k Retained portfolios from the Lewis–Cutler ministry.


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


Preceded byLewis–Cutler ministry Lewis–Punch ministry 1975–1976 Succeeded byWillis–Punch ministry
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Lewis–Punch ministry
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