The New South Wales Labor Government, led by Premier Bob Carr, was first elected in 1995.
At that election, it narrowly defeated the coalition government of John Fahey. Fahey had succeeded Nick Greiner who resigned after an adverse finding, subsequently overturned, by the NSW Independent Commission Against Corruption.
Greiner had won an overwhelming victory against Labor in 1988, but was forced to rely on the support of Independents after the 1992 election.
During Fahey’s period as Premier, NSW secured the 2000 Olympic Games in Sydney.
Carr’s government was overwhelmingly re-elected in 1999 and the Opposition Liberals descended into leadership infighting.
The first sign of problems for Carr came with a large swing against the ALP in the Auburn by-election in July 2001. Suburban gang crime became a major issue, feeding into the opposition that developed around asylum-seekers in the federal election campaign later that year.
Following a poor showing by the ALP federally in NSW – the party now holds only 20 of the 50 NSW seats in the House of Representatives – Carr catapulted Michael Costa into the Police Ministry in an effort to shore up the government’s position in the Sydney suburbs.