Labour History

Modern Labor in Queensland: Its Rise and Failings, 1978–98

Labour History (2013), 105, (1), 1–26.


This article explores the emergence of “modern Labor” in Queensland. Previously under Trades Hall control, Queensland Labor was transformed in 1980 when the Reform Group gained control after intervention by Labor’s Federal Executive. Between 1989 and 2012 it was only out of office once (1996–98). Labor’s restructure, however, brought neither rank-and-file involvement nor a substantial membership. Authority was vested in factional powerbrokers. Whereas prior to 1980 Queensland Labor was a union-controlled party (ie a labour party), it now became a faction-controlled party.

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*The author would like to thank the two anonymous referees ofLabour Historyfor their comments and suggestions. Google Scholar

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Author details

Bowden, Bradley