Public release of NSW Cabinet Papers
NSW State Archives and Records has initiated an annual release of NSW Cabinet Papers, held as part of the State Archives Collection, to increase public awareness of important milestones in the history of NSW and the State Government.
Each year, the public release program will highlight the issues in the Cabinet Papers from 30 years ago.
The program provides an opportunity to publicise the value, richness and depth of the NSW Government’s State Archives Collection.
1987: The Year of New Directions
The inaugural public release will focus on selected NSW Cabinet Papers from 1987. The following subjects have been highlighted from an examination of the Cabinet Papers from this period:
Dual occupancy and the quarter-acre block
In 1987, Cabinet approved a radical change in the provision of housing in the State which allowed for ‘more flexible controls’ around the development of single dwellings. This ushered in dual occupancy and the start of urban consolidation.
The Sydney Harbour Tunnel
- Sydney Harbour Tunnel - Cabinet Minute No. 127-87 - part 1
- Sydney Harbour Tunnel - Cabinet Minute No. 127-87 - part 2
- Sydney Harbour Tunnel - Cabinet Minute No. 127-87 - part 3
A decision by Cabinet in 1987 marked a shift in the State’s approach to funding new infrastructure by having the Harbour Tunnel privately funded.
Preparations for the Bicentenary in 1988 were identified as a ‘major issue’ throughout 1987. The Cabinet Papers include changes to legislation which facilitated the construction of the monorail for the Bicentenary.
The City of Sydney Council Bill
- City of Sydney - Cabinet Minute No. 85-87
- City of Sydney - Cabinet Paper
1987 marked the fourth time in history that the State Government sacked the Sydney City Council.
The University of Western Sydney
- University of Western Sydney - Cabinet Minute No. 68-87
- University of Western Sydney - Cabinet Minute No. 74-87
The institution we now know as Western Sydney University was established in 1987 as Chifley University College.
The First Casino Tender
- The First Casino Tender [link]
During 1987, Cabinet considered tenders for the establishment of Sydney’s first casino.
Chelmsford Private Hospital
- Chelmsford Private Hospital [link]
Cabinet deliberations in 1987 eventuated in the creation of a Royal Commission into Chelmsford Private Hospital and its practice of ‘deep sleep therapy’. The Royal Commission was initiated by the Greiner Liberal Government the following year.
- Workers’ Compensation [link]
Reform to workers’ compensation approved by Cabinet in 1987 had a major impact on litigation and workers’ compensation insurance. New legislation introduced automatic coverage of people injured at work.
The Judicial Commission
- The Judicial Commission [link]
While the Judicial Commission was established in late 1986, 1987 established the Judicial Commission as a corporation which had the power to employ its own staff.
More about the 1987 Cabinet Papers
If you’d like to read more about the Cabinet Papers and the Year of New Directions, see the essay prepared by historian Professor Paul Ashton.
NSW Cabinet is the key decision-making body of the NSW Government. Cabinet papers are significant historical documents as they reflect decisions made at the highest levels of government. Yet they also reveal how the Cabinet has been concerned with issues affecting local communities and individuals.
The NSW Cabinet papers are the primary centrally-maintained set of records documenting Cabinet meetings. They cover the full range of documents associated with the meetings including agenda, minutes of meetings, and Cabinet minutes prepared by government departments and ministerial offices relating to matters to be considered. These are often accompanied by attachments: financial impact statements, draft policies and other appendices. Also included are ministerial submissions concerning draft policies and proposals to be discussed; correspondence, such as that requesting items to be placed on the agenda; and lists of subjects discussed and decisions reached.
Access to the State Archives Collection
Access to NSW State Archives is provided by part 6 of the State Records Act 1998.
The purpose of this part of the Act is to ensure a balance between the protection of sensitivity in records for as long as necessary on the one hand and the rights of the people of New South Wales to access State records on the other.
There is an explicit presumption that records that are at least 30 years old should be open to public access. This ensures the protection of any confidential or sensitive personal information in records. Any assessment as to whether records should be open or closed to public access must have regard to the presumption that records should be opened to public access after 30 years.
The Act requires public offices to give an access direction (whether the records are open or closed) for all their records that are at least 30 years old in the 'open access period'.
In the case of Cabinet Papers, an open to public access direction has been authorised by the Department of Premier and Cabinet. This means the records are open to public access after 30 years.