Bedford was born at Concord, NSW, and attended Fort Street Boys High School before studying at Sydney Teachers College and embarking on a teaching career in country areas. He took an Arts degree through external study and returned to teach at Liverpool Boys High School and later Bankstown Girls High School.
While at Liverpool Boys High, Bedford met Gough Whitlam and inquired about rejoining the Labor Party, which he had been a member of in his youth. He later served as Gough Whitlam’s campaign director at the 1966 election, and Whitlam persuaded Eric to stand for state parliament in the seat of Fairfield, which was vacant as a result of a redistribution.
Bedford won the seat and served as the Member for Fairfield between 1968 and 1981 and then represented the seat of Cabramatta. He served as the Minister for Education in the Wran Government for three years after 1976. He then served as Minister for Planning and the Environment, Minister for Industry and Minister for Small Business until the end of his political career in 1985.
- The Australian, "Former Wran minister dies", 8 July 2006
- Parliament of New South Wales details
- Hansard, House of Representatives, 16 August 2006
|Parliament of New South Wales|
|Member for Fairfield
|Member for Cabramatta
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