n politician, current leader (Premier
) of the state
of New South Wales
Bob Carr is the Premier of NSW, (1995-Present), Leader of the NSW parliamentary Australian Labor Party (1988-Present) and representative for the NSW state electorate of Maroubra.
Political Priorities and Crises
Bob Carr's chief political priorities as Premier have been the careful management of the state's finances, the completion of infrastructure projects for the 2000 Sydney Olympic Games, and the conservation of large areas of forests in the state.
During his party's early conservative, cautious years in government, there have been few large scale political crises, however since the March 2003 election, persistent funding problems have developed in the hospitals and safety issues have plagued the train network, and the budet has moved into deficit for the first time, significantly hurting his popularity and the ALP's re-election chances.
Bob Carr is a member of the Australian Labor Party, the party of organised labour in Australia, and the party which has held office most frequently since the Labor Party was established in that state in 1891. Bob Carr belongs to the conservative or right wing faction of the ALP, officially called Centre Unity Caucus, and has done so since his election to the Legislative Council of NSW.
He describes himself as a Social Democrat but most importantly he is a pragmatic politician, an economic rationalist with a tendency towards left-wing social positions, but nonetheless his government remains committed to the welfare state and has been incredibly tough on violent crime.
Bob Carr is also a committed conservationist, and an advocate of reduced immigration and population control for Australia (although this is a federal, rather than a state, issue, and not one he can influence directly).
Bob Carr has had little experience outside politics and has always been associated with the Australian Labor Party.
At age 15, Bob Carr joined his local ALP branch, and thereafter was steadily more and more active in the Party. He gained good marks from his local high school, which secured him a scholarship to attend Sydney University to study a Bachelor of Arts. He became Secretary, then President, of the campus ALP organisation at his University, and eventualy became President of the youth ALP organisation for the whole state of NSW. Whilst at Sydney University, he met his future wife Helena.
Upon graduation, Bob Carr went to work as Education Officer for the Trades Council of NSW, the peak representation body for organised labour in the state. Here however, he met a setback in his career, falling out with the trade union leader at the time, John 'Bruvver' Ducker. Bob Carr left the Trades Council to become a journalist for the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC), where he worked until he could secure nomination as the ALP candidate for his local area, the seat of Maroubra, a process that involves attaining local party support and which generally takes many years to achieve, but one which he had been working at since he was at University.
Bob Carr was elected in1983 and served on the backbench of the Wran Labor government, then became Environment Minister after Neville Wran was replaced as Premier by Barry Unsworth. As Environment Minister he enjoyed mixed fortunes, establishing a strong environmental record for his government but also making a significant mistake during the 1988 election campaign. The Labor Party lost government at that election and moved into opposition.
After the defeat of 1988, Bob Carr was elected to lead the party in opposition, and he did an effective, conventional job of criticising the encumbent conservative Coalition government. In 1995, the scandal-plagued coalition government was defeated at the polls by the Labor Party and Bob Carr became the Premier of NSW, a position he still holds.
Bob Carr comes from a traditional working class, Labor voting background. His father was a train driver and he grew up in Matraville, at that time a poorly serviced new suburb on Sydney's easern fringe. He is an introspective, intellectual man, for whom politics has always been his primary interest. He suffered great tragedy when his younger brother died from a heroin overdose when Bob Carr was in his twenties.
He has written extensively for magazines and newspapers and has a keen interest in American politics & history. Some of his other interests include the writings of Proust and also the Roman Emperor Marcus Aurelius, from whom he draws some of his ideals on public service.