Sir Robert Philp

Sir Robert Philp (1851-1922), a ship-owner, shipping agent, merchant and speculator from North Queensland, was a member (1886-1915) of State parliament and premier (1899-1903 and 1907-08). He was an archetypal conservative who stressed northern development and advocated the continued use of Melanesian labour in the sugar industry. Although he argued strongly for northern separation from Queensland, he supported Federation. Courtesy Australian Dictionary of Biography


1 December 1899

World’s first Labour government

The first Labour government in the world takes office in the colony of Queensland. It is a minority government led by Anderson Dawson, and lasts for just seven days before being defeated by the conservative opposition party led by Robert Philp.


The Honorable Anderson (Andrew) Dawson.