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Phillip Collier (Australian Labor Party)

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Phillip Collier 16 April 1924 to 23 April 1930 and 24 April 1933 to 19 August 1936

Phillip Collier was born in Victoria in 1873 and came to WA at the age of 31. He left school at 15 to work in the mines near Ballarat and then later a variety of mines in Victoria and New South Wales. He became interested in Labor politics and was a campaign organiser for several State and federal Labor candidates. Before he came to WA he was working as a foreman on the Greater Melbourne Sewerage Scheme but he went back into the mining game when he arrived here, taking a job with a mining company.

In 1905, he was elected vice president of the Goldfields Trades and Labor Council and MLA for Boulder. Twelve years later he took over the parliamentary leadership of the Labor Party, a position he held for the next 19 years, including nine as Premier (1924-1930 and 1933-1936).

Collier was best known during the First World War as an anti-conscriptionist. He also fought successfully to have a federal land tax imposed.

Collier, and Mitchell before him, dominated State politics in the 20s and 30s and unusually Collier nominated Mitchell (his previous political rival) for the position of Lieutenant-Governor in 1933. Collier also surprisingly was convinced to present WA's secession petition to Westminster in 1934, though he had been unenthusiastic about the issue in Opposition.

In 1936, due to ill health, he handed over the reins of the party's leadership to J. C. Willcock. He held on to his parliamentary seat until his death in 1948.


Acknowledgement of Country

The Government of Western Australia acknowledges the traditional custodians throughout Western Australia and their continuing connection to the land, waters and community. We pay our respects to all members of the Aboriginal communities and their cultures; and to Elders both past and present.