Before 1976, NSW was a place where homosexuality was a crime and random breath testing was unheard of.
Under the guidance of Labor premier Neville Wran, the state was set for a major shake-up.
During his 10 years as premier, Mr Wran orchestrated some of the most significant reforms in the state’s history.
1976 – The Wran Government introduces rate-pegging for councils.
1977 – The Anti-Discrimination Act is legislated and the Anti-Discrimination Board is established.
1978 – A referendum overwhelmingly approves a move to reconstitute the NSW Legislative Council. Strongly advocated by Mr Wran, the reform introduced the democratic elections of members in the upper house.
1979 – The Wran Government allows liquor trading on Sundays through the Liquor Amendment Act.
July, 1979 – Construction of the Sydney Entertainment Centre begins. A top priority of the Wran Government, the precinct opened its doors to the public on May 1, 1983.
November, 1979 – The first Lotto draw takes place on television, after the Wran Government obtained passage of the Lotto Act 1979 to inaugurate Lotto in NSW. The first division prize for the inaugural draw was $384,975. The Wran Government would go on to announce a $1 million lottery prize, before introducing instant lotteries in 1982, when tickets would start being sold at newsagents.
1981 – The Ministry for Aboriginal Affairs is established, tasked with overseeing the drafting of land rights legislation.
1982 – Random breath testing is introduced in NSW, after Wran gave his “cautious backing” to the personal crusade of Minister for Liverpool George Paciullo
October, 1982 – The Wran Cabinet bans the logging of NSW rainforests.
1983 – The Wran Government enacts the Land Rights Act, allowing Aboriginal land councils to claim empty Crown land not needed for essential public purposes.
1984 – The State Government passes the Crimes Amendment Act, legalising homosexual acts between consenting adults.
1984 – Legislating the Darling Harbour Act, Neville Wran announces the government’s decision to redevelop Darling Harbour and “return it to the people of Sydney” in time for Australia’s 1988 bicentennial celebrations.
Over the decade, the Wran Government also introduced a $2 billion integrated transport system and created 20 national parks.