Whilst The (un)Australian was on hiatus, NSW Opposition Leader John Robertson resigned after it emerged that he had written a letter in support of Sydney siege perpetrator Man Haron Monis.
The resignation stunned New South Wales with its jarring revelation that NSW had an opposition leader.
Robertson’s tenure as opposition leader was marked by consistent polling, remaining comfortably behind the Liberal government even after a premier was forced to resign for committing perjury before the Independent Commission Against Corruption.
Following his resignation a string of NSW Labor luminaries including Deputy Leader Linda Burney came forward to pay tribute to their former leader. In a statement Burney described Robertson as a “Great leader and a great Australian.” When pressed for specific examples of his greatness, Burney replied. “It was really the vibe of his leadership more than anything.”
Labor Historian Roy Forshaw has described Robertson’s leadership as “an historic chapter in our party’s history. Robertson is now only the second NSW Labor leader in one hundred and twenty years not to become Premier of NSW. In that sense he’s a much more significant figure than Bob Carr or Neville Wran.”
As is traditional when a leader of a major party resigns, The (un) Australian has constructed a timeline of all the noteworthy events to have occurred during Robertson’s tenure as Opposition Leader:
31 March 2011: Elected unanimously as leader of the NSW Labor Party
23 December 2014: Resigns as leader of the NSW Labor Party.
Mark Williamson & Nathan Lentern