The first New South Wales Liberal/Country Government was elected to office
on 1 May 1965 under the leadership of Sir Robert Askin. The New South Wales
Liberal/National Coalition was re-elected to government in three successive
State elections and remained in government until 1 May 1976. Sir Robert Askin
retired on 3 January 1975. The following Premiers of the New South Wales
Liberal/Country Government were Tom Lewis and then Eric Willis. Under the
premiership of these individuals, the Liberal Government progressed in a
variety of activities, including:
The introduction of Australia's first pollution control legislation.
Australia's first consumer protection legislation.
The construction of the Eastern Suburbs Railway.
The establishment of the National Parks and Wildlife Service.
The establishment of the NSW Law Reform Commission.
Completion of the Sydney Opera House.
The establishment of the first Women's Advisory Board and Ethnic Affairs Bureau.
The abolition of death duties.
Free school transport.
The introduction of Colleges of Advanced Education.
The introduction of four weeks annual leave.
The second New South Wales Liberal/National Government was elected to office on
19 March 1988 under the leadership of Nick Greiner. With the resignation of Premier
Nick Greiner on 24 June 1992, John Fahey was elected to the premiership. The Greiner
and Fahey Governments presided over a period of substantial structural reform that
traversed industrial relations, State finances and micro-economic reform in many
State utilities. Some of the achievements of the Greiner and Fahey Governments
Selective High Schools.
Last payment on the Sydney Harbour Bridge.
The establishment of the Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC).
The successful bid for the Sydney 2000 Olympics.
The Parramatta River Cat.
The appointment of the first Minister for the Status of Women.
The launch of the New South Wales Senior's Card.
The establishment of the Office of Ageing and the Senior's Media Network to combat negative stereotypes about ageing.
The abolition of compulsory retirement.
The passage of the Disability Services Act to guarantee the rights of all disabled people in New South Wales.
The establishment of the Environment Protection Authority to protect and improve the State's environment.
Prime Minister Robert Menzies retired on the 20th January 1966. For
the next six years the Liberal/National Government was led by Prime
Ministers Harold Holt, John Gorton and William McMahon.
In this period, the advances of the Menzies period were consolidated
and the Liberal Governments moved ahead in the areas of traditional
Liberal concern – health, education and welfare.
The period is significant for a number of reasons, including foreign
policy and defence initiatives, commitment to the aboriginal people
and involvement with the rapidly changing world of technology, energy
conservation and the environment.
Initiatives of the period:
over half the existing homes in Australia were constructed since 1949
urban and regional development programmes begun
introduction of Department of Education and Science to take account of new technology
support for water conservation projects
emphasis on development of Northern Australia with new railways, roads and ports and continued funding for beef roads
rapid expansion and support for tourist industry
of full employment, high growth rates, exports doubled over the decade
to 1969, and the work force rose over a million in the same period
continuation of beneficial
social security policies (eg assistance to sheltered workshops,
handicapped schools, etc) and health policies (eg grants to facilitate
home nursing care)
continuation of the heavy migration programme and provision of services (eg English language courses) for new citizens
in the fields of the Arts (eg established the Australian Council for
Arts and the Australian Film and Television Corporation)
increased grants for Aboriginal programmes
establishment of energy advisory and environmental bodies
new teacher training colleges funded
expansion of assistance to secondary schools for science laboratories
social service benefits provided to mentally retarded
assistance to deserted wives introduced
assistance scheme for pensioners wanting hearing aids introduced
Aboriginal Affairs Office established along with Council for Aboriginal Affairs
legislation introduced to protect against unfair corporate takeover activity
established Institute of Marine Science
assistance to institutions training handicapped people
Meals on Wheels assisted
introduction of language courses for migrants
aid for the establishment of Ord River Scheme
established twelve mile fishing zone
carriage of the referendum allowing aboriginals to be regarded as full citizens
Gordon River irrigation and conservation
funding of housing support for young widows scheme
established Bureau of Transport Economics in order to analyse costs of transport facilities
The Fraser Government faced difficult economic times: the aftermath of
the world oil shock; record-breaking droughts; unsettled world markets
and the legacy of the profligate Labor Government under Prime Minister
Initiatives of the period:
introduction of far-reaching new Federalism programmes
large scale new development projects (roads, dams, etc)
focus on conservation, the environment and development of national parks
new developments in the social security area, led by the new family allowance scheme
on the world’s stage such as the instigation of the Commonwealth Heads
of Government Regional Meeting, CHOGRM, facilitating the emergence of
Zimbabwe and playing a leading role in the resettlement of Vietnamese
major new developments in the wages and industrial relations areas
focus on assistance with employment schemes and encouraging employment growth
new mineral resources found and developed
assistance given to sportsmen to help them compete more effectively at world level
primary producers helped through the most severe drought ever
succession of programmes introduced to assist businesses both large and small
introduction of family allowance providing direct help for mothers and families
family income supplement introduced
lone fathers’ benefit introduced
means test on pensions replaced by simpler income test
automatic indexation of pensions
new pensioner housing scheme introduced
abolition of estate and gift duties
establishment of Office of Child Care
legal reforms with introduction of Ombudsman, National Companies and
Securities Commission, Human Rights Commission, Freedom of Information
ratification of International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights
prohibition of sand mining on Fraser Island
whaling banned in Australian waters
declaration of the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park
properties placed on the World Heritage List (Great Barrier Reef,
Kakadu, Wilandra Lakes, Lord Howe Island and South West Tasmania)
Northern Territory given self government and land rights granted there
reached with States to restore their powers in territorial seas and to
establish joint authorities for mining, fishing, etc in off-shore areas
States and local government given permanent and guaranteed shares of personal income tax collections
National Women’s Advisory Council established
establishment of Institute of Multicultural Affairs
establishment of Special Broadcasting System (SBS) with special television and radio programmes
nuclear safeguards agreement negotiated with ten nations
introduction of child migrant education programme
introduction of import parity oil pricing as a means of conserving existing supplies and encourage exploration
Office of Youth Affairs and Institute of Family Studies set up to address family issues
National Youth Advisory Group established
SYETP (Youth Training), school to work transition programme, programme
for unemployed youth, youth employment task force, relocation
assistance scheme and the Job Bank computer system as a means of
helping young people
established commercial FM radio
established Australian Institute of Sport
Sport Development Programme, National Athlete Award Scheme, National
Committee on Sport and Recreation for the Disabled
established a number of bodies
(eg National Aboriginal Conference) to further the cause of Aborigines
and Torres Strait Islanders
introduced income equalisation deposits as a self-help aid to primary producers to assist them in times of drought, etc
more referendum questions carried under the Fraser Government (3) than under any other government