From Carr to Keneally: Labor in Office in NSW 1995-2011

From Carr to Keneally: Labor in Office in NSW 1995-2011

From Carr to Keneally: Labor in Office in NSW 1995-2011

From Carr to Keneally: Labor in Office in NSW 1995-2011


At the NSW state election in 2011, the public turned on the 16-year-old Labor administration with unprecedented fury. The Government that had won spectacular victories in 1999 and 2003 was defeated with a swing that was an Australian postwar record. How did it manage to stay in power for four terms? What were its achievements and why did things unravel so badly? In From Carr to Keneally respected experts analyze the four terms of Labor government in NSW: the premiers and their ministers, the political parties and their electoral fortunes; the role of independents; policies in all key areas; and changes in the bureaucracy, cabinet, and parliament. The definitive account of the Labor era in NSW, From Carr to Keneally goes to the heart of issues which Labor faces around Australia at both state and federal levels.


During 2006 New South Wales celebrated 150 years of responsible government. the celebrations, such as they were, had no fireworks or processions or pageant. the then government had appointed a committee to undertake and fund scholarly research on the passage of those years. Scholarship and publications were our game and sole interest. the intention was not only a commemoration of the culminating enactments which took effect in 1856. the broad aim was to examine the consequences of the creation of a bicameral legislature, a Cabinet drawn from the parliament and requiring the confidence of the Legislative Assembly, then to continue our work through all the years since as the franchise broadened and the assumptions of government evolved.

The Committee for the Sesquicentenary of Responsible Government 1856–2006 sponsored nearly forty projects examining aspects of the history of representative democracy and governance in nsw. in the prelude to 2006 and in the year itself, people interested in our history and political system were able to read accounts of the historical process by which autonomy was conceded by the Imperial government, a history of the franchise and electoral system, new studies of the major political parties and a thorough examination for the first time of the minor parties and independent candidates who sometimes play a decisive role in who governs our state and what policies they enact. Two volumes appeared on the premiers of nsw since 1856 and a volume on all the governors of nsw. We published a history of the nsw parliament and a two volume history of the regions of the state. We did not overlook conventional biographies—not all of them about conventional people.

The commemoration came to an end in 2006. the mandate of the committee appointed to oversight scholarly works did not end. With the assistance of the Premier’s Department, the committee had been husbanding its funds with care. Project after project came in under budget. the moneys not spent were returned to a trust account administered by the Premier’s Department on instruction from the Sesquicentenary Committee.

Over the five years since 2006, books have continued to appear funded by the Sesquicentenary Trust as scholars in the field have put forward . . .

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