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Wran ministry (1983–1984)

Fifth Wran ministry
75th Cabinet of Government of New South Wales
Premier Neville Wran
Date formed1 February 1983 (1983-02-01)
Date dissolved10 February 1984 (1984-02-10)
People and organisations
MonarchQueen Elizabeth II
GovernorSir James Rowland
PremierNeville Wran
Deputy PremierJack Ferguson
No. of ministers20
Member partyLabor
Opposition partiesLiberal National coalition
Opposition leaderNick Greiner
PredecessorFourth Wran ministry
SuccessorSixth Wran ministry

The Wran ministry (1983–1984) or Fifth Wran ministry was the 75th ministry of the New South Wales Government, and was led by the 35th Premier of New South Wales, Neville Wran, representing the Labor Party. It was the fifth of eight consecutive occasions when Wran was Premier.


Wran had been elected to the Legislative Council of New South Wales by a joint sitting of the New South Wales Parliament on 12 March 1970.[1] He was Leader of the Opposition in the Legislative Council from 22 February 1972.[2] He resigned from the council on 19 October 1973 to switch to the Legislative Assembly, successfully contesting the election for Bass Hill, which he would hold until his retirement in 1986.[3] Wran successfully challenged Pat Hills to become Leader of Labor Party and Leader of the Opposition from 3 December 1973 and became Premier following a narrow one seat victory at the 1976 election.[4]

Labor retained government at the 1981 election, gaining an additional 6 seats despite a 2% swing against Labor, giving a majority of 19 seats in the Legislative Assembly and two seats in the Legislative Council.

During the course of this ministry, Wran stood aside for two months from May 1983 while Sir Laurence Street conducted a Royal Commission into claims made by the Australian Broadcasting Corporation current affairs show Four Corners that Chief Magistrate Murray Farquhar had said that Wran wanted charges against Kevin Humphreys to be dismissed. After two months of hearings the Royal Commission found that Farquhar had attempted to pervert the course of justice, but Wran was exonerated and resumed the office of Premier.[5][6] During this time allegations were made that Rex Jackson, the Minister for Corrective Services, was accepting bribes connected with an early-release scheme, with Wran demanding Jackson's resignation in October 1983.[5][7]

Composition of ministry

The ministry covers the period from 1 February 1983 when Wran reconfigured his ministry. There were two minor rearrangements of the ministry, with Jackson resigning in October 1983,[a] and George Paciullo was promoted to the ministry in November 1983.[b] The ministry ended on 10 February 1984 when Jack Ferguson, who had been Wran's deputy since 1973, resigned as Deputy Premier announcing that he would not be contesting the next election,[8][9] and the Sixth Wran ministry was formed.[10]

Portfolio Minister Party Term commence Term end Term of office
Premier Neville Wran   Labor 1 February 1983 10 February 1984 1 year, 9 days
Deputy Premier
Minister for Public Works
Minister for Ports
Jack Ferguson[c]
Minister for Transport Peter Cox[c]
Minister for Youth and Community Services
Minister for Aboriginal Affairs
Minister for Housing
Frank Walker
Minister for Industrial Relations
Minister for Technology
Pat Hills
Attorney General
Minister for Justice
Minister for Consumer Affairs
Vice-President of the Executive Council
Leader of the Government in Legislative Council
Paul Landa, MLC
Treasurer Ken Booth
Minister for Industrial Development
Minister for Decentralisation
Don Day
Minister for Corrective Services Rex Jackson[a] 27 October 1983 268 days
Peter Anderson[a] 27 October 1983 10 February 1984 106 days
Minister for Roads Rex Jackson[a] 1 February 1983 27 October 1983 268 days
Laurie Brereton[a][b] 27 October 1983 10 November 1983 14 days
George Paciullo[b] 10 November 1983 10 February 1984 92 days
Minister for Planning and Environment Eric Bedford[c] 1 February 1983 10 February 1984 1 year, 9 days
Minister for Mineral Resources Kevin Stewart
Minister for Education Ron Mulock[c]
Minister for Local Government
Minister for Lands
Lin Gordon
Minister for Agriculture and Fisheries Jack Hallam, MLC[c]
Minister for Energy
Minister for Finance
Terry Sheahan
Minister for Health Laurie Brereton[c]
Minister for Police and Emergency Services Peter Anderson[c]
Minister for Leisure, Sport and Tourism Michael Cleary[c]
Minister for Water Resources
Minister for Forests
Paul Whelan

  Ministers are members of the Legislative Assembly unless otherwise noted.

See also


  1. ^ a b c d e Rex Jackson resigned in October 1983 as a result of bribery allegations.[7] Peter Anderson took on his portfolio of Corrective Services and Laurie Brereton took on his portfolio of Roads.
  2. ^ a b c On 10 November 1983 George Paciullo was promoted to the ministry, taking on the portfolio of Roads from Laurie Brereton.
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h Retained portfolios from the fourth Wran ministry.


  1. ^ "Candidates declared to be elected Members of the Legislative Council". Government Gazette of the State of New South Wales. No. 36–37. 13 March 1970. p. 849. Retrieved 3 December 2020 – via Trove.
  2. ^ "Part 3 Members of the Legislative Council" (PDF). NSW Parliamentary Record. Parliament of New South Wales. Retrieved 3 December 2020.
  3. ^ Green, Antony. "Elections for the District of Bass Hill". New South Wales Election Results 1856-2007. Parliament of New South Wales. Retrieved 3 September 2019.
  4. ^ "The Hon. Neville Kenneth Wran (1926–2014)". Former members of the Parliament of New South Wales. Retrieved 10 May 2019.
  5. ^ a b Tiffen, Rodney (31 August 2021). "Was Neville Wran corrupt?". Inside Story. Retrieved 14 March 2022.
  6. ^ "Royal Commission of Inquiry into Certain Committal Proceedings against K.E. Humphreys". State Archives and Records. Government of New South Wales. 28 July 1983. Retrieved 22 January 2019.
  7. ^ a b "Time runs out for disgraced prisons minister". The Sydney Morning Herald. 2 January 2012. Retrieved 2 January 2012.
  8. ^ "The Hon. (Jack) Laurie John Ferguson (1924–2002)". Former members of the Parliament of New South Wales. Retrieved 13 May 2019.
  9. ^ Cavalier, Rodney (18 September 2002). "Ferguson, Laurie John (Jack) (1924–2002)". Australian. Retrieved 3 November 2021 – via Obituaries Australia.
  10. ^ "Part 6 Ministries since 1856" (PDF). NSW Parliamentary Record. Parliament of New South Wales. Retrieved 14 March 2022.


Preceded byFourth Wran ministry(1981–1983) Fifth Wran ministry 1983–1984 Succeeded bySixth Wran ministry(1984)
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Wran ministry (1983–1984)
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