Barrie Unsworth

Barrie John Unsworth (born 16 April 1934) is a former Australian politician, representing the Labor Party in the Parliament of New South Wales from 1978 to 1991. He served as the 36th Premier from July 1986 to March 1988.


Barrie Unsworth
36th Premier of New South Wales
Election: 1988
In office
4 July 1986 – 25 March 1988
DeputyRon Mulock
Preceded byNeville Wran
Succeeded byNick Greiner
Member of the New South Wales Parliament
for Rockdale
In office
2 August 1986 – 3 May 1991
Preceded byBrian Bannon
Succeeded byGeorge Thompson
Member of the Legislative Council of New South Wales
In office
6 November 1978 – 15 July 1986
Personal details
Born16 April 1934 (age 85)
Dubbo, New South Wales
NationalityAustralian
Political partyLabor Party
Spouse(s)Pauline Hennessy
ProfessionTrade union official

Early years

Unsworth, the son of Joseph and Olive Unsworth, was born in Dubbo, New South Wales, and educated in Sydney, at Kogarah High School. On leaving school at age 15, he was apprenticed as an electrical fitter. In 1955, aged 21 years, he married Pauline Hennessy and they subsequently had one daughter and three sons, one of whom has died; he and his wife have nine grandchildren, and a great grandchild. Unsworth was initially an Apprentice Electrical Fitter, then Electrical Fitter, Electrical Testing Officer and subsequently Sales Representative for Sydney County Council from 1950 until 1960.[1]

Unsworth had a brief period of military national service in 1953–1954 in the Royal Australian Navy (RAN).[1]

Union career

In 1961, Unsworth became an organiser of the Electrical Trades Union, and continued to build his career in the labour movement. He was awarded a Churchill Fellowship in 1966 to attend Harvard University Trade Union Program. The following year he was elected to the Labor Council of NSW and was its elected Secretary from 1979 to 1984. Unsworth was an Australian delegate to His Royal Highness the Duke of Edinburgh Study Conference, Oxford University in 1974.[1][2]

During his career as an elected union official, he was appointed by the Wran Labor NSW Government to a range of positions on government bodies including:

  • Public Transport Commission of New South Wales, Commissioner (1972–1975)
  • Pipeline Authority, Member (1973–1978)

Political career

Unsworth was elected a member of the New South Wales Legislative Council in 1978. While serving in the Legislative Council, Unsworth represented Australia as a delegate at the International Labour Organization (ILO) Worker Participation in Management Conferences held in Geneva (1980) and The Hague (1981).

In the Wran Labor Government, Unsworth was Minister for Transport (1984–1986) and Minister for Health (February–July 1986).[3]

After the surprise retirement of Premier Neville Wran in May 1986, he became leader of the NSW Labor Party and thus Premier, and was also Minister for Ethnic Affairs and Minister for State Development. As Premiers are required by convention to be members of the Legislative Assembly, Brian Bannon, the member for the normally safe Labor seat of Rockdale, resigned to accept a government job as Chairman of the Homebush States Sport Centre Trust,[4] and Unsworth contested the resulting by-election held on 2 August 1986. He only narrowly won the seat, with a 17.1% dive in the primary vote and hostile independent preferences giving him a margin of just 54 votes.[5] A by-election for Wran's equally safe seat of Bass Hill was even worse, with a 22.2 per cent drop on the primary vote delivering a 103-vote victory to the Liberal candidate.[5]

Unsworth was Premier for two years[1] until the Labor Party's landslide defeat by the Liberals' Nick Greiner in the 1988 elections. Unsworth did not contest the 1991 election.

Life after politics

Immediately following politics, Unsworth had little political involvement with his only public commitment being as Deputy Chairman and then Chairman of the Australian Executive Committee for His Royal Highness Duke of Edinburgh Study Conference (1982–1998). Unsworth was General Manager of 2KY Broadcasters Pty Ltd Racing Radio 1992-2000. In 2001 he was a recipient of the Centenary Medal.[6]

Following the election of the Carr Labor Government in 1995, Unsworth was placed on a number of key government and community bodies, including:

During 2003 - 2008, Unsworth was a Director of Father Chris Riley's charity, Youth off the Streets, that provides crisis care, refuges, schools, drug programs and alcohol programs to young people in Australia and throughout Asia. Unsworth has also been a Director of Entherm Pty Ltd (2003–2005), Member of Overseas Trade Authority of New South Wales (1978) and a Director of Manly-Warringah Sea Eagles (2004–2006).[1]

In 2003 and 2004, Unsworth was commissioned by the NSW Government to conduct a formal review of public bus services.[7] In 2008 he headed a committee that considered the privatisation of the New South Wales' electricity industry.[8] The committee and Unsworth supported the sale.[9]

References

  1. ^ a b c d e f g "The Hon. Barrie John Unsworth (1934–)". Members of Parliament. Parliament of New South Wales. Archived from the original on 23 October 2012. Retrieved 11 February 2013.
  2. ^ "The Hon. Barrie John Unsworth (1934–)". NSW Parliamentary Papers. State Library of New South Wales. Retrieved 13 June 2010.
  3. ^ "Chronological List of Ministries (1856 to 2009)". Former Members of Parliament. Parliament of New South Wales. Archived from the original on 15 March 2011. Retrieved 13 June 2010.
  4. ^ "Rockdale By-election (1986)". NSW Electoral Commission. Retrieved 13 June 2010.
  5. ^ a b "By-election bloodbaths". Crikey. 27 November 2005. Retrieved 13 June 2010.
  6. ^ "Centenary Medal". It's an Honour. Australian Government. 1 January 2001. Retrieved 11 February 2013.
  7. ^ "Ministerial Review of Bus Services in NSW (Unsworth Review)". NSW Government, Ministry of Transport. 15 July 2004. Archived from the original on 9 November 2007. Retrieved 26 November 2007.
  8. ^ "Unsworth to head electricity committee". The Sydney Morning Herald. 21 January 2008.
  9. ^ "NSW electricity privatisation bid rejected". ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation). 3 May 2008.
Political offices
Preceded by
Paul Landa
Leader of the Government in the Legislative Council
1984 – 1986
Succeeded by
Jack Hallam
Vice-President of the Executive Council
1984 – 1986
Preceded by
Peter Cox
Minister for Transport
1984 – 1986
Succeeded by
Ron Mulock
Preceded by
Ron Mulock
Minister for Health
1986
Succeeded by
Peter Anderson
Preceded by
Neville Wran
Premier of New South Wales
1986 – 1988
Succeeded by
Nick Greiner
Minister for Ethnic Affairs
1986 – 1988
New title Minister for State Development
1986 – 1988
Succeeded by
Wal Murray
Parliament of New South Wales
Preceded by
Brian Bannon
Member for Rockdale
1986 – 1991
Succeeded by
George Thompson
Party political offices
Preceded by
Paul Landa
Leader of the Labor Party in the Legislative Council
1984 – 1986
Succeeded by
Jack Hallam
Preceded by
Neville Wran
Leader of the Australian Labor Party in New South Wales
1986 – 1988
Succeeded by
Bob Carr
Trade union offices
Preceded by
John Ducker
Secretary of the Labor Council of New South Wales
1979 – 1984
Succeeded by
John MacBean
1986 Rockdale state by-election

A by-election was held for the New South Wales Legislative Assembly seat of Rockdale on 2 August 1986. It was triggered by the resignation of sitting Labor MP Brian Bannon. The by-election was won by Labor candidate Barrie Unsworth.

The Rockdale by-election was held the same day as the Bass Hill by-election.

1988 New South Wales state election

Elections to the 49th Parliament of New South Wales were held on Saturday 19 March 1988. All seats in the Legislative Assembly and a third of the seats in the Legislative Council were up for election. The Labor government of Premier Barrie Unsworth was defeated by the Liberal-National Coalition, led by Opposition Leader Nick Greiner.

The election took place following a redistribution of seats, which resulted in the Assembly growing from 99 to 109 seats.

Australian Labor Party (New South Wales Branch)

The Australian Labor Party (New South Wales Branch), also known as NSW Labor, is the New South Wales branch of the Australian Labor Party. The parliamentary leader is elected from and by the members of the party caucus, comprising all party members in the Legislative Assembly and Legislative Council. The party factions have a strong influence on the election of the leader. The leader's position is dependent on the continuing support of the caucus (and party factions) and the leader may be deposed by failing to win a vote of confidence of parliamentary members. By convention, the premier sits in the Legislative Assembly, and is the leader of the party controlling a majority in that house. The party leader also typically is a member of the Assembly, though this is not a strict party constitutional requirement. Barrie Unsworth, for example, was elected party leader while a member of the Legislative Council. He then transferred to the Assembly by winning a seat at a by-election.

When the Labor party wins sufficient seats to be able to control a majority in the Legislative Assembly, the party leader becomes the State Premier and Labor will form the government. When Labor is the largest party not in government, the party leader becomes the Leader of the Opposition. To become a Premier or Opposition Leader, the party leader must be or within a short period of time become a member of the Legislative Assembly.

Brian Bannon

Brian Joseph Bannon (22 August 1930 – 6 October 2017) was an Australian politician. He was the Labor member for Rockdale in the New South Wales Legislative Assembly from 1959 to 1986. Died in Sydney on 6 October 2017.

Electoral results for the district of Rockdale

This is a list of electoral results for the Electoral district of Rockdale in New South Wales state elections. The district has had two incarnations, the first from 1927 to 1930, the second from in 1941 to the present.

George Keegan

Ernest George Keegan OAM (16 September 1928 – 25 November 2008) was an Australian politician. He served as an independent member for Newcastle in the New South Wales Legislative Assembly from 19 March 1988 to 3 May 1991.

Keegan attended Adamstown Primary School and Cooks Hill High Schoolfor secondary schooling. Before entering politics, Keegan was a self-employed real estate agent and licensed valuer.Keegan sought and won by a 5.3% margin the extremely safe Labor party seat of Newcastle at the New South Wales state election, 1988 which saw the landslide defeat of the Barrie Unsworth Labor Government which had collectively been in power for well over a decade. He sought re-election at the New South Wales state election, 1991 however was defeated by the new Labor candidate.

Keegan had two sons from his first marriage to Laurel Woollett, and at the time of his death was married to Jeanette Ballard and also had two stepdaughters. He was a foundation member of the Newcastle Cruising Yacht Club. Keegan died on 25 November 2008 in the Newcastle suburb of Gateshead, New South Wales after a severe heart attack the week before. His funeral was held at Newcastle's Christ Church Cathedral and was attended by some 700 mourners.

George Paciullo

George Paciullo, OAM (20 February 1934 – 9 October 2012) was an Australian politician. He was the Labor member for Liverpool in the New South Wales Legislative Assembly from 1971 to 1989, and served as a minister from 1984 to 1988.

Paciullo was born in Sydney to market gardener Sisto Paciullo and his wife Immacolata, who had come to Australia from Calabria during the Great Depression. He attended public schools at Liverpool and Homebush, and was employed as a survey draftsmen with the New South Wales Soil Conservation Service upon his graduation in 1951. He underwent national service in 1952 and subsequently served in the Citizen Military Forces for three years. In 1958, he joined the Labor Party, and the following year was elected to Liverpool City Council. On 3 November 1964, he married Janette Blinman, with whom he had a son named Murray. He continued as both a draftsman and a councillor until 1971.In 1971, the member for the local state seat of Liverpool, Jack Mannix, retired, and Paciullo was preselected as the replacement Labor candidate. He was elected easily, and was never troubled in his own electorate. In 1973 he became Shadow Minister for Sport, Recreation and Tourism.

When Labor, under Neville Wran, won government in 1976, Paciullo was appointed Minister for Roads, moving to Industry and Small Business from February to April 1984 and then to Consumer Affairs and Aboriginal Affairs. In 1986, when Wran resigned and Barrie Unsworth succeeded him in the Premiership, Paciullo became Police and Emergency Services Minister.

After Labor suffered a landslide defeat by the Nick Greiner-led Coalition in 1988, Unsworth retired as party leader. Paciullo was a candidate for the leadership position, but lost out to Bob Carr.

Shortly afterwards Paciullo resigned from parliament; the by-election held to replace him was acrimonious, as the former member for Penrith, Peter Anderson, was chosen as candidate after a protracted preselection dispute between the Left's Paul Lynch and the Right's Mark Latham.After 1988 Paciullo returned to local politics, serving again on Liverpool City Council as Mayor from 1994 to 2003. On 14 June 1999 he was awarded the Medal of the Order of Australia, and on 21 November 2003 was awarded the Centenary Medal. He was appointed to the Board of the NRMA in 2000. On 26 May 2002 he was made a life member of the Labor Party.Paciullo died at Liverpool Hospital in Sydney on 9 October 2012, aged 78, of complications related to non-Hodgkin's lymphoma.

George Thompson (Australian politician)

George Edmund Thompson (born 27 May 1945) is a former Australian politician, who served as the member for Rockdale in the NSW State Parliament.

Thompson went to school at Marist Brothers, Kogarah and after finishing, got a job at the Rural Bank. While working at the bank, he became interested in industrial relations and trade unions, completing courses at Sydney and Harvard universities. In 1974, he was elected secretary of the Australian Bank Employees Union (State Bank Branch).

When the former NSW Premier and Member for Rockdale Barrie Unsworth stepped down in 1991, Thompson (who had been Unsworth's campaign manager) was elected to replace him. He was a member of the NSW Parliament for twelve years, before stepping down at the 2003 state election. He is married with a son and a daughter.

Graham Freudenberg

Norman Graham Freudenberg AM ( born 1934) is an Australian author and political speechwriter who worked in the Australian Labor Party for over forty years, beginning when he was appointed Arthur Calwell's press secretary in June 1961.

He was raised in Brisbane. His father was a soldier who fought at Gallipoli and, being a patriot, he named his son after a former colonial Governor of Queensland, Field Marshal Sir Henry Norman. He was educated at the Anglican Church Grammar School in Brisbane, then studied journalism in Melbourne.He has written over a thousand speeches for several leaders of the Australian Labor Party at both the New South Wales state and federal level. These have included Arthur Calwell, Gough Whitlam, Neville Wran, Bob Hawke, Barrie Unsworth, Bob Carr and Simon Crean. He was "centrally involved" in policy speeches for 14 federal elections and 9 New South Wales state elections.In 1990 he was appointed a Member of the Order of Australia (AM).From 1995–1998 he served on the Council of the National Library of Australia.In June 2005 he was inducted as a life member of the NSW ALP. He lives in retirement on Bribie Island, Queensland.

Jack Hallam (politician)

Jack Rowland Hallam (born 10 September 1942), a former Australian politician, was a member of the New South Wales Legislative Council from 1973 to 1991 representing the ALP. Hallam held several ministerial posts in the state governments led by Neville Wran and Barrie Unsworth.

Ken Booth (politician)

Kenneth George "Ken" Booth (23 February 1926 – 1 November 1988) was a New South Wales politician, Treasurer, and Minister of the Crown in the cabinets of Neville Wran and Barrie Unsworth. From 1981 to 1988 he was the Treasurer of New South Wales. He was a member of the New South Wales Legislative Assembly for 28 years from 8 October 1960 until his death on 1 November 1988 for the Labor Party, representing the seats of Kurri Kurri and Wallsend.

Members of the New South Wales Legislative Assembly, 1984–1988

This is a list of members of the New South Wales Legislative Assembly from 1984 to 1988, as elected at the 1984 state election.

1 Pittwater MLA Max Smith was elected as a Liberal, but resigned from the party in 1984 after a falling out with party leader Nick Greiner. He served as an independent until his mid-term resignation in 1986.

2 Murray-Darling National Party MLA Tim Fischer resigned on 18 October 1984 to contest the seat of Farrer at the 1984 federal election. National Party candidate Jim Small won the resulting by-election in January 1985.

3 Peats Labor MLA Paul Landa died on 24 November 1984. Labor candidate Tony Doyle won the resulting by-election in February 1985.

4 Gloucester National Party MLA Leon Punch resigned on 2 July 1985. National Party candidate Wendy Machin won the resulting by-election in October.

5 Cabramatta Labor MLA Eric Bedford resigned on 31 December 1985. Labor candidate John Newman won the resulting by-election in January 1986.

6 Canterbury Labor MLA Kevin Stewart resigned on 31 December 1985. Labor candidate Kevin Moss won the resulting by-election in January 1986.

7 Vaucluse Liberal MLA Rosemary Foot resigned on 13 February 1986. Liberal candidate Ray Aston won the resulting by-election in May.

8 Independent Pittwater MLA Max Smith resigned on 11 April 1986. Liberal candidate Jim Longley won the resulting by-election in May.

9 Bass Hill Labor MLA and Premier of New South Wales Neville Wran resigned on 4 July 1986. Liberal candidate Michael Owen won the resulting by-election later that month.

10 Rockdale Labor MLA Brian Bannon resigned on 3 July 1986, making way for Labor's preferred candidate for Premier, Barrie Unsworth, to shift from the Legislative Council. Unsworth, as the Labor candidate, won the resulting by-election later that month.

11 Heathcote Labor MLA Rex Jackson resigned on 13 August 1986 amidst a corruption scandal that ultimately led to his imprisonment. Labor candidate Ian McManus won the resulting by-election in January 1987.

12 Bankstown Labor MLA Ric Mochalski resigned on 1 December 1986 after being charged with fraud. Labor candidate Doug Shedden won the resulting by-election in January 1987.

13 Kiama Labor MLA Bill Knott resigned on 31 December 1986. Labor candidate Bob Harrison won the resulting by-election in January 1987.

14 Northern Tablelands Labor MLA Bill McCarthy died on 25 April 1987. National Party candidate Ray Chappell won the resulting by-election in May.

15 Illawarra MLA George Petersen was expelled from the Labor Party in July 1987 after crossing the floor to vote against his government's changes to the Workers Compensation Act. He sat thereafter as a representative of the Illawarra Workers Party.

Members of the New South Wales Legislative Council, 1984–1988

This is a list of members of the New South Wales Legislative Council from 1984 to 1988:

1 Call to Australia MLC Jim Cameron resigned on 30 October 1984 after suffering a serious heart attack. Marie Bignold, his running mate from the 1984 state election, was appointed to the resulting casual vacancy on 5 December.

2 Labor MLC John Morris resigned on 1 November 1984 to contest the Senate at the 1984 federal election. Judith Walker was appointed as his replacement on 5 December.

3 Toby MacDiarmid was elected as a representative of the National Party, but resigned from the party in April 1985. He served out the remainder of his term as an independent.

4 Liberal MLC Lloyd Lange resigned on 6 January 1986. Former MLC Greg Percival was appointed to the resulting casual vacancy on 5 February.

5 ALP MLC Barrie Unsworth resigned on 15 July 1986 in order to contest a by-election in the Legislative Assembly seat of Rockdale. The by-election had been organised so as to allow Unsworth to shift to the Legislative Assembly in order to succeed Neville Wran as Premier of New South Wales. Former MLA Michael Egan was appointed to the resulting casual vacancy on 24 September.

6 ALP MLC Peter Watkins resigned on 1 July 1987. Tony Kelly was appointed to the resulting casual vacancy on 17 September.

Michael Egan (Australian politician)

Michael Rueben Egan (born 21 February 1948), a former union official and former Australian politician, served as Treasurer of New South Wales between 1995 and 2005. Egan is currently the Chancellor of Macquarie University and sits on a number of government and non-government advisory boards.

Neville Wran

Neville Kenneth Wran, (11 October 1926 – 20 April 2014) was an Australian politician who was the Premier of New South Wales from 1976 to 1986. He was the national president of the Australian Labor Party (ALP) from 1980 to 1986 and chairman of both the Lionel Murphy Foundation and the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) from 1986 to 1991.

Nick Greiner

Nicholas Frank Hugo Greiner (born 27 April 1947) is an Australian politician who served as the 37th Premier of New South Wales from 1988 to 1992. He was Leader of the New South Wales Division of the Liberal Party from 1983 to 1992 and Leader of the Opposition from 1983 to 1988. He has been the Federal President of the Liberal Party of Australia since June 2017, with Fay Duda, Allan Pidgeon, Karina Okotel, and Trish Worth as Vice Presidents.

Premier of New South Wales

The Premier of New South Wales is the head of government in the state of New South Wales, 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.

Prior to Federation in 1901 the term "Prime Minister of New South Wales" was also used. "Premier" has been used more or less exclusively from 1901, to avoid confusion with the federal Prime Minister of Australia.The current Premier is Gladys Berejiklian, the Leader of the New South Wales Liberal Party, who assumed office on 23 January 2017. Berejiklian replaced Mike Baird on 23 January 2017, after Baird resigned as Premier.

Ron Mulock

Ronald Joseph "Ron" Mulock AO KCSG (11 January 1930 – 4 September 2014) was an Australian politician. A former City of Penrith mayor, he was an Australian Labor Party member of the New South Wales Legislative Assembly from 1971 to 1988. He was Deputy Premier of New South Wales under Neville Wran and Barrie Unsworth from 1984 to 1988.

Unsworth ministry

The Unsworth ministry was the 79th ministry of the New South Wales Government, and was led by the 36th Premier of New South Wales, the Honourable Barrie Unsworth, , representing the Labor Party.

After the surprise announcement in June 1986 that Neville Wran would retire as Premier, NSW Labor Leader, and from Parliament with effect from 4 July 1986, Unsworth, then a Member of the New South Wales Legislative Council, was elected as the leader of the NSW Labor Party and thus became Premier. However, by parliamentary convention, Premiers are members of the Legislative Assembly. In order for Unsworth to move from the Legislative Council to the Legislative Assembly, Brian Bannon, the member for Rockdale, resigned to accept a role as Chairman of the Homebush States Sport Centre Trust, and Unsworth contested the resulting by-election held on 2 August 1986. He narrowly won the seat, with a 17.1% decline in the primary vote and independent preferences giving him a margin of just 54 votes. A by-election for Wran's safe Labor seat of Bass Hill was even worse, with a 22.2 per cent decline in the primary vote delivering a 103–vote victory to the Liberal candidate.The ministry covers the period from 4 July 1986 when Unsworth was elected by Labor caucus as the NSW Labor Leader until 21 March 1988 when Labor suffered a landslide defeat at the state election by the Liberal–National coalition, led by Nick Greiner and Wal Murray. Unsworth did not contest the 1991 election.

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