The Hon. John Fahey, AC
In a distinguished career now spanning four decades, John Fahey has demonstrated leadership, commitment, integrity and dynamic energy at the highest level of Government, national sport, community organisations and business.
On Australia Day 2002, John was awarded his nation’s highest award, the Companion in the Order of Australia (AC). It is an award limited to around 10 Australians each year and the citation accompanying John’s award noted his outstanding contributions to State and Federal Parliaments, to International Relations as Chairman of Sydney’s successful Olympic Games Bid and to Industrial Relations law reform in Australia.
John was elected as a member of the Liberal Party to the New South Wales Parliament in 1984. After four years in Opposition as a spokesman for Minerals and Energy and Industrial Relations and Employment, the Liberal Party won Government and John was appointed as a Cabinet Minister. From 1988 to 1992 he was Minister for Industrial Relations, Employment and Further Education and successfully developed and implemented modern and progressive workplace laws in New South Wales that became the blueprint for significant workplace change across Australia. In 1992 John was elected by his peers to lead the Government as Premier in 1992. He was also Treasurer and Minister for Economic Development until the Government changed in 1995.
On being elected to the National Parliament in 1996 he was immediately appointed to Cabinet as the Minister for Finance, a position he held until his voluntary retirement from Parliament nearly six years later. His responsibilities included national expenditure of approximately A$160Billion per annum, the management of all Government Trading Enterprises and all National Real Estate excluding Defence Land. He was also responsible for the privatization of Government businesses valued at more than A$45Billion including the sale of the national communications carrier and the sale of 18 Airports around Australia. He introduced accrual budgeting to the National Budget. He led the Australian delegation to the World Trade Organization 4th Ministerial Conference in Doha in November 2001 and made the third speech of welcome to China following their admission to WTO.