Premiers of New South Wales

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The Premier of New South Wales is the head of government in New South Wales, originally a British colony and, from 1901, a state of Australia. The Government of New South Wales follows the Westminster system, with a Parliament of New South Wales acting as the legislature. The Premier is appointed by the Governor of New South Wales, and by modern convention holds office by virtue of his or her ability to command the support of a majority of members of the lower house of Parliament, the Legislative Assembly.

Before the 1890s, there was no formal party system in New South Wales. Party labels before that time indicate a general tendency only. In the 1860s and 1870s, there was a fairly coherent "liberal" tendency, led first by Charles Cowper and then by Henry Parkes. Liberals generally favoured land reform in the early years, culminating in the Robertson Land Acts. They also supported state schools and opposed support for religion, including religious schools. They supported democratic reforms of the parliament and public works (such as roads and railways) and often supported the exclusion of non-European races. This later developed into the Free Trade Party. Non-liberal politicians often used the same political rhetoric, but were less active in implementing it. There was never an organised Conservative party, although some politicians used this label. Ministries which were not liberal were usually factional. From the 1880s the party conflict was between Free Traders and Protectionists. This situation continued until the rise of the Labor in the 1890s. After Federation in 1901, the Protectionists renamed themselves Progressives, while the Free Traders became the Liberal Reform Party. These two parties later merged as the Commonwealth Liberal Party.

List of Premiers of New South Wales

* Askin's given name was Robin but he changed it legally to Robert in 1971, prior to being knighted in 1972. Before then, he was generally known as Bob.

Living former premiers

As of December 2009, eight former Premiers are alive, the oldest being Tom Lewis (1975–76, born 1922). The most recent premier to die was Eric Willis on 10 May 1999 at age 77.

See also

Jon Stanhope

Kristina Keneally

Paul Henderson

Anna Bligh

Mike Rann

David Bartlett

Ted Baillieu

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