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.

The current Premier is Barry O'Farrell, the Leader of the New South Wales Liberal Party. His Deputy is Andrew Stoner, the Leader of the New South Wales National Party. Together, the Liberal/National coalition defeated the Australian Labor Party, led by Kristina Keneally, at the 2011 election. O'Farrell was sworn in as the 43rd Premier of New South Wales on Monday 28 March 2011. Stoner was sworn in as Deputy Premier on the same day.

Before the 1890s, there was no formal party system in New South Wales. Party labels before that time indicate a general tendency only. In the 1860s and 1870s, there was a fairly coherent "liberal" tendency, led first by Charles Cowper and then by Henry Parkes. Liberals generally favoured land reform in the early years, culminating in the Robertson Land Acts. They also supported state schools and opposed support for religion, including religious schools. They supported democratic reforms of the parliament and public works (such as roads and railways) and often supported the exclusion of non-European races. This later developed into the Free Trade Party. Non-liberal politicians often used the same political rhetoric, but were less active in implementing it. There was never an organised Conservative party, although some politicians used this label. Ministries which were not liberal were usually factional. From the 1880s the party conflict was between Free Traders and Protectionists. This situation continued until the rise of the Labor in the 1890s. After Federation in 1901, the Protectionists renamed themselves Progressives, while the Free Traders became the Liberal Reform Party. These two parties later merged as the Commonwealth Liberal Party.

Read more about Premier Of New South Wales:  List of Premiers of New South Wales, Living Former Premiers

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