Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
Robert John Carr (born 1947) has been the premier of the Australian state of New South Wales since 1995. Before his entry into politics, he was a journalist for the AM program, ABC Radio and later wrote for The Bulletin.
A member of the Australian Labor Party, Carr entered the New South Wales Legislative Assembly as MP for Maroubra in 1984, becoming Opposition Leader after Labor's 1988 defeat. After losing a tight election to Nick Greiner's coalition government in 1991, he became Premier in a comfortable victory in 1995 and won comfortably again in 1999 and 2003.
Carr, the son of a tram-driver, was educated at the University of New South Wales, from which he graduated as a Bachelor of Arts majoring in history. He makes no secret of his intellectual leanings, and still occasionally writes book reviews for the major newspapers; he appeared on stage at the 2004 Sydney Festival in conversation with Tom Stoppard.
Like many contemporary leaders of social democratic parties, his government preaches responsible financial management, encouragement of market forces, with substantial privatisation of government assets such as the electricity industry, and makes much of its "tough on crime" policies, crime often being considered a particular interest of Sydney and much of its tabloid media.
Carr occasionally ventures into national policy issues, particularly environmental issues where he has consistently argued that Australia's population growth is environmentally and socially unsustainable. Until the election of Mark Latham as leader of the Federal Parliamentary Labor Party, the continued weakness of federal Labor, particularly in New South Wales, produced continuing rumblings about his co-option to the position; this now seems unlikely.
Bob Carr is the author of several books, the best known being Thoughtlines (Viking, 2002). He is also an acknowledged expert on the lives and times of some of the more obscure Presidents and Vice-Presidents of the United States.
In May 2003, a biography by Marilyn Dodkin , Bob Carr: The Reluctant Leader, was published to some acclaim, partly as it was based on Carr's private diaries and included his often not complimentary thoughts on various political personalities. A second biography, Bob Carr - A Self-Made Man by Andrew West and Rachel Morris , was published in September 2003 by Harper Collins.
In August 2004, Carr faced criticism due to his alleged involvement in the Orange Grove affair, and also from the commissioner of the New South Wales Independent Commission Against Corruption, due to his remarks that a minister being investigated by ICAC would be "vindicated" before ICAC released their findings, resulting in an allegation of contempt.
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