Labour History

The Limits of Socialism: The New South Wales Labor Party and the Proposal to Nationalise the Gas Industry

Labour History (2014), 107, (1), 115–127.


In 1910 the New South Wales Labor Party came to office committed to the nationalisation of the gas supply industry. Instead, it created a regulatory system which was to stay in place throughout the twentieth century, even during long periods of Labor governments in New South Wales. This paper looks at the reasons behind the failure to carry out a long-established Labor Party policy. In particular it identifies the Party’s satisfaction with the effects of regulation and its growing commitment to alternative areas of public expenditure such as transportation, health and education.

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Author details

Abbott, Malcolm