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Bob Carr

Robert John Carr (born 1947) is the Premier of New South Wales (1995 - present). Prior to his entry into politics, he had been a journalist with ABC Radio and with the Bulletin.

The Labor premier of Australia's most populous state entered Parliament in the state seat of Maroubra in 1983, 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 makes no secret of his intellectual leanings, and still occasionally writes book reviews for the major newspapers and appearing 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 privatization of government assets such as the electricity industry, and makes much of its "tough on crime" policies, crime being a particular obsession 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 "Bob Carr: The Reluctant Leader" by Marilyn Dodkin 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.