Death of the Honorable John Fahey AC

Published: 12 Sep 2020

Released by: The Premier

Today we mourn the loss of the Honorable John Fahey AC, Premier of NSW from 1992 to 1995, who dedicated almost two decades of his life in service to NSW and Australia. 


John Fahey helped deliver major reforms for NSW, both as Premier and as a senior member of the Greiner Government. 

Under Premier Fahey’s leadership, important achievements included the introduction of the Disability Services Act, the NSW Senior’s Card and the first NSW Minister for the Status of Women. As Minister for Industrial Relations, he led a major overhaul of NSW’s Industrial Relations system. 

He also played a key role in one of the biggest victories in NSW and Australian history – the successful bid for Sydney to host the Olympic Games in 2000. Many of us would remember the celebrations that immediately swept the nation after Sydney was announced as the winner – and the image of Mr Fahey jumping for joy at the news. 

History will also remember him as a brave man, for his quick-thinking and selfless action to protect Prince Charles from an attack on Australia Day in 1994.   

My thoughts are with John’s wife Colleen, his children and grandchildren. I have spoken to Colleen to pass on my condolences and offer a State Memorial Service. 

Personally, I am grateful for John’s support and encouragement. He has always been a wonderful role model to generations of Liberals. His contribution to the State and Nation will leave a lasting legacy.   

Mr Fahey migrated to Picton from New Zealand as a boy and was raised with strong Catholic values, which remained with him his whole life. 

Mr Fahey was elected as State Member for Camden in 1984. In 1996 he made the move to Federal politics, elected to the House of Representatives for Macarthur, where he served as Finance Minister in the Howard Government. He dedicated 17 years of his life to politics before retiring in 2001. 

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