Bob Carr has resigned today, and will doubtless attract well-deserved plaudits for his longevity and electoral skills. And there are a few policy successes too – it’s unlikely the week-long drugs summit in May 1999 would have happened under the Liberals. But aside from drugs, the failure to rock the boats on industrial reform, and some worthy rhetoric on the environment and literature, it’s difficult to think that NSW would be a very different place if leaping John Fahey had stayed Premier for another decade.
Some of this must surely be attributable to the fact that it’s hard to do much of anything in state government. Yet on education policy, probably the state policy issue I know most about, it was disappointing to see how little real reform took place. Here’s hoping that Carr’s successor will be a little more energetic about putting in place some substantial social democratic changes.