The Guardian 10 August, 2005

NSW's longest serving Premier: Bob Carr

NSW Premier Bob Carr announced his retirement from politics last week, having recently earned the title of "NSW's longest serving Premier". The policies Mr Carr's Labor government pursued during his 10 years were almost indistinguishable from those of the Coalition government which preceded it: the wholesale extinguishing of workers rights; constant battles waged against the state's nurses and teachers; racism-fuelled law and order policies; the privatisation of public services, land, and utilities; environmental destruction on a mammoth scale; and the accompanying stench of corruption that was carried into Parliament House along with the millions of dollars in corporate donations.

So long, Mr Carr, and thanks for all the memories:

Guardian June 27, 2001

How the Government is gutting workers' compensation

The NSW Labor Government is trying to ram through Parliament radical legislation which will seriously damage the rights of injured workers. The government has reneged on its deal with the NSW Labor Council, with the current version of the Workers' Compensation Legislation Amendment Bill 2001 almost the same as the first version which Industrial Relations Minister Della Bosca sprang on the Upper House on March 27 without any warning or consultation.

July 4, 2001

Victims of medical negligence lose common law rights

Last week, amidst all the furore of the Workers' Compensation Bill, the NSW State Labor Government quietly slipped through another Bill removing many of the common law rights of victims of medical negligence.

November 24, 1999

New NSW electoral laws: Attack on democracy

On November 10, the NSW Legislative Council (Upper House) passed legislation making it virtually impossible for small political parties to stand candidates in their own name in the Upper House. The Bill, which amends the Elections Act, introduces steep fees to register political parties and nominate candidates, and more than triples the minimum number of members a political party must have to be registered.

November 20, 2002

Dictatorial powers: Carr Government's terror laws

Under cover of anti-terrorism, the NSW Carr Government has rushed through Parliament laws that attack fundamental civil liberties and democratic rights. Under the Terrorism (Police Powers) Bill police only have to have "reasonable grounds" to suspect a terrorist attack to pre-emptively detain and search suspects without a warrant.

August 4, 2004

NSW corporate rent-a-cop scheme

The Carr Government dropped a bombshell recently with the announcement that from now on businesses will be able to hire police from the Department as de facto security guards. The restrictions that used to prevent corporations hiring police for these functions were lifted the week before last with the gazetting of amendments to policing laws.

May 15, 2002

State of corruption

New laws in NSW allow police officers with sniffer dogs to patrol train carriages throughout Sydney's metropolitan rail network. They will range as far as the trains running to Nowra and Newcastle, with plans to extend their patrols to other train services. These new police powers have been joined on the books by new legislation passed last week that dumps the fundamental legal right of the assumption of innocence.

June 18, 2003

"Political cover-up" of corruption allegations

There is no end to the NSW Government's determination to curtail and eliminate democratic rights and institutions and public accountability. Not satisfied with passing Australia's most draconian "terror" laws, the Carr Labor Government has decided to wipe the position of Inspector-General of Prisons. The abolition of the office comes as the Inspector-General was to give evidence before a corruption Inquiry.

October 13, 2004

Bob Carr and NSW Labor: Arrogance and a certain stench

Orange Grove! The name conjures up images of hundreds of retail workers and small business owners thrown out of work by the NSW government's decision to close a cut-price Sydney retail complex, apparently at the behest of the retail giant, Westfields.

December 15, 2004

The great Redfern land grab

There has surely never been an Australian Government more blatantly aligned with corporate developers than the NSW Carr Government. As the year draws to a close the people of the inner- Sydney suburb of Redfern are still reeling from the shock announcement that the government plans to completely rebuild much of the suburb. To do this they would sweep aside all normal legal and ethical constraints, override the wishes of local residents, and ignore the heritage significance of Redfern, one of the oldest suburbs in Australia.

October 6, 2004

Fox on the rampage again

Four years after the Carr Government virtually gave away the immensely valuable old Sydney Showground site at Moore Park to Rupert Murdoch's Fox Studios, corporate interests are planning to profit from inappropriate development of the site.

June 18, 2003

Quarantine Station sell-out

The NSW Carr Government has announced its decision to lease off Sydney's spectacular and historic former North Head Quarantine Station at the entry to Sydney Harbour. The Government wants to lease most of the site and its largely 19th century buildings to the British-based firm of Mawlands Hotels.

March 3, 2004

Carr backflips on GM crops

Last year the NSW Premier Bob Carr promised a moratorium on the commercial release of genetically modified crops, a calculated move to calm down fears of the unknown consequences of using GM food. Now there is to be the planting of canola as early as April this year that involves thousands of hectares of genetically modified plants.

December 10, 2003

Carr Government passes Auburn rubbish dump law

Despite widespread public opposition the NSW Government has passed special legislation to overrule a Court decision and enforce construction of a huge new garbage facility at Clyde, in Sydney's Auburn local government area. The new law overturns a "thumbs-down" ruling from the NSW Land and Environment Court, which found that the new facility would have major adverse impacts on local residents.

May 15, 2002

DOCS: scandalous government neglect

The NSW Government has come under fire in a damning report saying it is failing to protect neglected and abused children. Unionists working for the Department of Community Services (DOCS) say the report vindicates their claim that they are understaffed and under stress.

August 18, 2004

Carr sends disabled to "the Dark Ages"

The NSW Government has announced sweeping cutbacks to the support program provided to young adults with disabilities who want opportunities for adult training, learning and support.

November 29, 2000

Airport link stink

The privately-run airport rail link in Sydney has been shown up as a debacle that will cost the people of NSW hundreds of millions of dollars. Revelations of secretive contractual arrangements with government are surfacing almost on a daily basis and are yet more proof that the provision of vital public services on a for-profit basis simply does not work.

August 4, 2004

Sydney rail service suffers savage cuts

Sydney commuters have had their weekend rail services cut by 50 percent. The NSW Carr Government has attempted to justify the appalling new timetable with the statement that the drivers freed up from working on the weekend would be transferred to weekday peak-hour services.

It certainly hasn't worked.

30 March, 2005

Newcastle: residents meet over rail closure

On Saturday March 19, around 500 people attended a meeting at the Newcastle Town Hall. This open forum was called by Newcastle Save Our Rail committee president Joan Dawson in response to plans to close railway track and four railway stations in Newcastle.

July 7, 2004

NSW electricity: Privatisation by attrition

The Carr Government is at it again. Seven years ago they tried to privatise the NSW electricity system but were defeated by an angry union movement. They now want to achieve the same thing by "nibbling around the edges", i.e. by reducing their involvement in the trading of electricity and selling off most of the billing operations. After that they would only retain a small billing service and the actual generation of power as a government-owned operation.

August 18, 2004

Support NSW cleaners

NSW cleaners members of the Liquor, Hospitality and Miscellaneous Workers' Union (LHMU) are furious that a Labor Government is putting their job security at risk. Cleaners who work in local schools, on TAFE campuses, in police stations and MPs' electorate offices are campaigning to stop the Carr Government introducing its 2005 plans which attack nearly 7000 low-wage workers' jobs.

August 25, 1999

TAFE teachers to strike

TAFE teachers in NSW will strike for 24 hours on Tuesday August 31 against a $67 million reduction in TAFE funding and plans to retrench more than 630 teaching and support staff. The cuts and loss of staff are part of an ongoing process of casualisation and privatisation of TAFE by the State Labor Government.

November 17, 1999

Teachers strike in NSW

NSW public school teachers will take strike action this Thursday, November 18, calling on the Carr Labor Government to withdraw an award application which would wipe teachers' hard-won pay and conditions. Adding insult to injury, the Government expects teachers to accept its offer of a wage increase that will be below the inflation rate.

May 26, 2004

NSW teachers strike after government interference

Teachers walked out of schools across NSW last week as Premier Bob Carr was accused of "contempt" and "blatant political interference" by trying to intimidate the Industrial Relations Commission (IRC). The allegations flew after the State Government successfully moved to re-open a wage case that finished six months ago.

December 11, 2002

Insidious public-private "partnership" for public schools

The NSW Carr Labor Government has announced that a private consortium, by the name of Axiom Education, will finance, build, own and maintain nine new public schools in a 30-year contract. During the 30-year contract, the state (taxpayers) will pay the consortium rental for the use of the schools.

November 20, 2002

No New Year cheer for Illawarra TAFE students

The Illawarra Institute of TAFE is in crisis. Funding for training workers in essential Community Services is being slashed. Workers in nursing, child care, welfare, youth, alcohol and drug addiction, aged care and a range of other health and recreation areas are affected by the cuts which take effect from February, 2003

July 18, 2001

NSW fire fighters disaffiliate from Labor

Last month, at a series of mass meetings, full-time fire fighters employed by the NSW Government voted overwhelmingly to disaffiliate from the Australian Labor Party. The Fire Brigade Employees Union (FBEU) has a membership of 6000. The disaffiliation is targeted at the State Premier and will remain effective "for as long as Bob Carr remains Premier in NSW".

20 April, 2005

Public health: there's no fix without nurses

Lamingtons were the order of the day as the NSW Pensioners Association held a cake stall in front of Parliament House to raise money to fund a decent pay rise for the state's nurses.

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