got out of its way. – Henry David Thoreau
How do we measure the effectiveness of a government? There are polls, both of opinion and at the ballot box, but these don't really offer us any measure of effectiveness. You can look at the economy and measure the health of the populace - and these are both good indicators - but are not wholly under the influence of the government of the day.
One way might be to look at the ability of a government to pass legislation. Admittedly this is a quantity over quality approach, but it does offer us a quantitative measure of a government, political party or prime minister. Someone that gets a lot of legislation passed might be considered to be good at getting things done.
I took all of the Commonwealth of Australia Numbered Acts and assigned them to a prime minister, political party, and parliament based on the date of assent of the act. This isn't entirely exact, as some legislation may be introduced under one PM and passed under another, though I believe it is a good proxy.
From this dataset, I counted the total acts for each PM, party, and parliament. Then, I determined the number of days in office for each PM, and the number of days each parliament and party governed. Using these figures you can calculate a rate of acts per day, which accounts for different lengths of prime ministers' or governments' terms.
Julia Gillard had the highest rate of passing legislation with a rate of 0.495, followed by Bob Hawke at 0.491: ...