New South Wales
Originally, New South Wales included the whole of the Australian mainland east of current Western Australia. When new colonies were founded in Brisbane, Adelaide and Melbourne, sections of New South Wales were carved out to be adminstered by the new colonies as Queensland, South Australia and Victoria, respectively. The Northern Territory was also carved out to be adminstered initially by the South Australian government. Modern day New South Wales is the fourth largest of Australia's six states.
The current boundaries of the state are with Victoria to the south, South Australia to the west and Queensland to the north. It also completely surrounds the Australian Capital Territory and the land side of the Jervis Bay Territory.
New South Wales has its own bicameral parliament with a lower house (the New South Wales Legislative Assembly) and an upper house (the New South Wales Legislative Council). The lower house has 93 members representing each of the 93 single member-electoral districts, a format similar to that of the Australian House of Representatives. The upper house has 42 members elected on the basis of proportional representation. Like the Australian Senate, it has more members from minor parties.
Legislative Assembly -- 93 members
- Australian Labor Party -- 51 members or 55%
- Liberal Party of Australia -- 23 members or 25%
- National Party of Australia -- 13 members or 14%
- Independent -- 6 members or 6%
Legislative Council -- 42 members
- Australian Labor Party -- 19 members or 45%
- Liberal Party of Australia -- 10 members or 24%
- National Party of Australia -- 5 members or 12%
- Australian Greens -- 4 members or 10%
- Shooters Party -- 2 members or 5%
- Christian Democrats -- 1 member or 2%
- Family First Party -- 1 member or 2%
The NSW ALP branch is currently in power, but have been heavily criticized in the media and in the general public due to factional wars and the debt accumulated in recent years. There have been four premiers in as many years. On 3 December 2009 Kristina Keneally was elected leader of the Labour Party and ultimately premier, beating Nathan Rees who himself succeeded Morris Iemma after he resigned when his bill to privatize the states electricity was rejected by the majority of delegates within his own party.  She is the first American-born Austrian and the first woman to hold that position. Recent polls have placed her party at low levels--in some case close to 25% on primary votes.  .
A recent study has labelled the economy of NSW the worst in the country, having grown at only 0.2% compared to the national average of 1.1%. The region's share of the national economy has fallen from 36% during the 2000 Sydney Olympics to 32% in June, 2009