NSW Premier-elect Morris Iemma laughs during a press conference following the NSW Labor Party voting in favour of him replacing
NSW Premier-elect Morris Iemma laughs during a press conference following the NSW Labor Party voting in favour of him replacing

Premier a mystery



IF EVERY day of Morris Iemma's stint as NSW Premier is as busy as yesterday, he will soon have no problems being recognised by voters.

The 44 year old replaced Bob Carr despite much of the electorate struggling to pronounce his name and still a mystery to many.

A member of the NSW Parliament for 14 years, the low-profile MP has suddenly become an overnight sensation.

Labor's caucus yesterday elected him unopposed to be NSW's 40th premier.

"It's the greatest day of my life," Mr Iemma said.

Mr Iemma thanked his parents for migrating to Australia from Italy in 1960 to give him a better life.

Giuseppe and Maria Iemma left Calabria in southern Italy to live in Sydney, where their son was born a year later.

The family lived in Sydney's south-western suburbs, an area Mr Iemma now represents as the member for Lakemba.

The new premier, who has degrees in economics and law, spent five years working in the office of former ALP powerbroker Graham Richardson.

In an effort to boost his profile and make the right type of headlines yesterday, Mr Iemma wast- ed no time in announcing the abolition of the hated real estate vendor duty that has been an albatross around the government's neck since being introduced last year.

Mr Iemma said he was committed to in- frastructure spending so that NSW remained the 'economic powerhouse' of Australia.

He said he would establish a specialist unit to coordinate the delivery of major infrastructure projects, including rail, water and hospital construction.

He will also become the state's treasurer when the new cabinet is sworn in today, after deputy premier Andrew Refshauge announced he would be resigning from parliament.



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