Incoming NSW Labour leader, Chris Minns, made history in the 2023 state election, breaking the Liberal party’s 12-year streak in office.
Minns declared that the people of New South Wales had voted for a “fresh start” in his acceptance speech.
“I’m proud to say today, the people of New South Wales voted for the removal of the unfair wages cap,” he said.
“They voted for our nurses, our teachers. They voted for our paramedics and police.
“It is undeniably the case that today’s election was also a decisive vote against privatisation.”
Labour is very likely to hold 47 of the 93 seats in the lower house, creating a majority government. It is only the third time since World War II that the party has made the jump from opposition to government.
The election is an exciting time for Minns, who has been the member for Kogarah since 2015, a traditionally safe Labour seat since 1953. He first put his name forward as the Labour opposition leader in 2018, but was rebuffed for the likes of Michael Daly and Jodi McKay until June 2021.
Now, as the elected Premier, he can begin to enact the list of promises the Labour government made to constituents for this election. This includes “resuscitating the health system” and its workforce, recruiting more teachers and working on teacher retention, renewing local manufacturing and “repairing the damage caused by 12 years of Liberal privatization”.
As the state’s 47th Premier, Minns has a big task ahead of him. But who is Chris Minns? What is his background and how will it help him weather the storms that surely lie ahead?
Here, everything to know about Minns’ personal life and his career.
Chris Minns’ career
Minns’ Entry Into Politics After Schooling
Chris joined the Labour party at 18, and was president of Young Labor at just 25. This was the same year he became engaged to Anna Minns, marrying her the year later in 2005. He’d met Anna at a Labor campaign meeting at Pizza Hut in 1999.
After school he went on to tertiary education, getting a bachelor’s degree from the University of New England. He later attended Princeton University in Pennsylvania, United States, achieving a Masters in Public Policy in the early 2010s.
Chris Minns’ Political Journey To The Premiership
Minns was elected to office as a local government councillor and then worked as Deputy Mayor for Hurstville in 2007-2008. He left after one term.
Minns worked as a part-time firefighter in 2006 and 2007, and was also a stay-at-home-dad, while his wife Anna brought TerraCycle to Australia in 2013.
In 2015 he ran and was successfully elected as the member for Kogarah, starting his path to being the Premier of NSW for the Labor party.
His election battle first began with his nomination to lead the party in 2018, however he lost out to Michael Daly and the same occurred again in succeeding years with Jodi McKay.
In May 2021, Minns announced that he intended to run for the highest office in the state government. This time, his bid was supported by the larger party and he was elected unopposed, to be the opposition leader.
What Are Chris Minns’ Political Affiliations And Promises?
Minns leans towards Labor’s right faction, having previously criticised the party’s close relations with unions, he is also opposed to legislation that would make voluntary euthanasia legal. However, he has also strongly opposed the sell-off of government assets, being against ‘privatisation’ in general.
Minns is a big believer in the value of education, having himself taken up the opportunity for tertiary study and then a master’s degree. He told News.com.au, “Education is one of the leading reasons why you can do anything in this country. If you’ve got the motivation and discipline to go and study, any job is available to you.
“Educational outcomes have been worse today than they were when the government was elected, so we need to get it back up to parity and then climb from there.”
Other key promises from his election campaign include a $60 weekly cap on tolls for Sydney as well as an overhaul of the tolling system with the ACCC. He has also promised bigger pay rises for teachers, police officers and healthcare workers.
Meanwhile, Labor is also promising to scrap stamp duty taxes on houses under $800,000 to assist first home buyers to enter the market, along with a slew of changes to the rental system to address skyrocketing prices in metropolitan areas.
We will need to wait and see how the government intends to make these promises a reality, but with a majority government in sight, it may help them reach their goals a little sooner.
Who is Chris Minns’ wife, Anna Minns?
Chris Minns met his wife, Anna Minns, while volunteering for a Labour election campaign, two years after he joined the party, aged 18.
“From the moment I set eyes on (Anna) at Beverly Hills Pizza Hut in 1999, I knew she was the one,” Minns tweeted in 2021.
Anna has spoken openly about politics being at the centre of their early relationship, with the ABC reporting they were “driving around New South Wales, door-knocking for Labor MPs and candidates”.
While Chris had a busy career, that did not stop Anna from pursuing her dreams. The couple, who live in the Kogarah area, have had to do their fair share of co-parenting, with Chris even stepping back to be the primary carer at one point.
“The circumstances were that Anna, who is a wonderful small-business woman, brought a company from America to Australia and was working 24 hours a day it seemed like, and her career was taking off. It was amazing,” he told News.com.au.
The company in question was TerraCycle, which recycles packaging that cannot go in average home bins, like soft plastics and cosmetics.
Chris stepped in throughout the year she was getting it off the ground, spending his time with the kids while his wife’s career thrived.
“I remember we would like hide in the front yard when Anna would come walking up the street from the train station, just trying to scare her just to fill in an hour,” he said. “Anyway, it was more difficult than this election campaign.”
After bringing TerraCycle to Australia, Anna moved onto a new CEO-ship, at Boomerang Labs. The company runs programs to support founders on their journey to creating startups.
Anna was previously a lawyer for the Department of Public Prosecutions (DPP). She studied Arts and did a graduate Law degree at the University of New South Wales, where she joined the Young Labour group. In 1999, she was introduced to Chris, and they worked together on Bob Carr’s electoral campaign.
The pair married six years later, in 2005, and now share three children together, Joe, 14, Nick, 12, and George, six.