Kogarah MP Chris Minns has been elected leader of the New South Wales branch of the Labor Party.
Minns won the leadership unopposed after former leader Michael Daley declined to contest the position. The leadership election was sparked by the resignation of Jodi McKay, Minns’ predecessor, on 28 May.
Chris Minns, who was first elected to the Legislative Assembly in 2015, has been an enthusiastic proponent of NIMBYism in New South Wales, particularly with regard to his local area. In 2017, Minns declared that planning authorities were creating a “high-rise hell” and “irretrievably ruining” the suburbs in his electorate. Minns argued that new housing should be matched by infrastructure upgrades,1 and in 2020, claimed that development was to blame for overcrowding in schools.2
Minns has also been a vocal opponent of toll roads. In an opinion piece for the St George and Sutherland Shire Leader, he described tolls as “a tax on Sydney families,” which he labelled “unaffordable and unfair.”3 Minns is a member of the Labor Right faction, and has never shied away from expressing unorthodox Labor views. In his maiden speech to the Legislative Assembly, he denounced protectionism and called for a reduction of union influence in the Labor Party. Minns also suggested “mandating the teaching of Mandarin to all New South Wales schoolchildren from kindergarten to year 12.”4
In the Legislative Assembly last year, Chris Minns and Nationals MP Melinda Pavey each labelled the other an “idiot” during a heated debate over nuclear energy. Minns withdrew his comment.5
New South Wales is set to hold its next state election on 25 March, 2023.