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Wednesday, July 27, 2005


Bob Carr announced at 11 am to-day that he was standing down as Premier of New South Wales and Member for Maroubra effective as at Wednesday 3 August. Bob will retire as the longest serving Premier of NSW. Bob Carr entered the NSW Legislative Assembly in 1983 as the Labor Member for Maroubra, a seat in the south-eastern suburbs of Sydney based on the beachside suburb of Maroubra. Bob Carr has served as Premier since 1995. Prior to that he held several cabinet posts from 1984-1988 in previous Labor Governments led by Neville Wran and Barrie Unsworth - namely the portforlios Planning and Environment, Consumer Affairs and Heritage. He then lead the ALP as Leader of the Opposition from 1988 until he became Premier in 1995. He is the NSW Australian Labor Party's second longest serving leader since 1891.

Bob was born in 1947 and grew up in Sydney's south-east at Matraville. From childhood, he has been a well known history buff with a penchant for American history, particulary the American Civil War. He graduated from the University of New South Wales (not far from home) with a B.A. (Hons). He came into the public eye as a journalist with the ABC Radio current affairs programs, AM and PM 1969-72. He did a stint as Education Officer for the Labour Council of NSW from 1972-78 and went on then to become Industrial Relations reporter for The Bulletin from 1978-83. His awards have included that of Fulbright Distinguished Fellow and the World Conservation Union International Parks Merit Award. He is the author of Thoughtlines: Reflections of a Public Man (2002) and What Australia Means to Me (2003). Also the subject of two biographies Bob Carr: The Reluctant Leader and Bob Carr: A Self-Made Man

His future is unclear - at least to the general public. He has done much - but left much undone. All in all, though, he is one of the most brilliant - if not the most brilliant - of Australia's Premiers. Let's hope that Bob and Helena have a peaceful and constructive retirement - and may they still continue to make strong contributions to Australian life.