Modia Minotaur

Trawling the airwaves to spare you the agony!

Monday, May 08, 2006

Book Launch: The Wran Era

Several generations of Labor legends from several levels of government gathered today for the official launch of `The Wran Era', celebrating the 30th anniversary of the election of the Labor government which remains the most successful in NSW's history.

Apart from being an extraordinarily popular leader - his approval rating hit over 70% at the height of his popularity, a figure John Howard has never approached, and he saw five Liberal leaders come and go (two of whom, Bruce Macdonald and Peter Coleman, lost their seats in the famous `Wransides' in which Wran built a massive majority from the slim lead on which he won the 1976 election) - Neville Wran and his government introduced bodies and reforms which make Sydney what it is today. These include the establishment of the Sydney Theatre Company and Wharf Theatre, the Land and Environment Court and Environmental Planning and Assessment Act, the Historic Houses Trust, the Powerhouse Museum, and of course, allowing pubs to open on Sundays, to name a few.

The book was launched by its editor, Troy Bramston, former NSW Labor President and Prime Minister Paul Keating - as always, worth the price of admission alone, and in fine Liberal-bashing fettle. Wran himself also said a few very humble words about the book, admitting that it opened his eyes to his government's achievements, which he himself had never realised had amounted to so much.

In his speech, Keating attributed to Wran the two qualities he identified as the sole requirements of any good leader: imagination and courage. Sadly, to survey the political scene today is to find very few leaders with either quality in large amounts.