|A time for change as NSW votes to turn Left|
A time for change as NSW votes to turn Left
Congratulations to Chris Minns, the newly elected NSW Premier. It can’t be easy for a political party to reverse its fortunes after 12 years to the point when it will now form the new government of Australia’s most populated state, but NSW Labor has accomplished it.
It has been said that it is easier to win the peace than to keep it. If Mr Minns (who was interviewed by the Middle East Times in our last edition) was not aware of that before his party’s win, the reality might be starting to dawn by now.
As was witnessed on the federal level last year, Labor’s elevation to government after so long in opposition means there is plenty of “house cleaning” to be done.
There are formidable challenges ahead as NSW Labor has fallen two seats short of being able to form a majority government which means the Minns’ team will need to be adept negotiators with the independent members and minority parties in Macquarie Street.
Top of the list of priorities for the new government is how to contain the escalating cost-of-living crisis which is being felt across the nation. The ability of Australia’s governments to resolve this issue will directly reflect their party’s political philosophy; the voters will cast their judgement just like they did in the NSW elections and the federal elections before that.
Another dilemma facing the incoming Minns government is the housing crisis. Housing affordability has become a major concern in NSW, particularly in Sydney, which is one of the most expensive cities in the world in terms of housing prices. Perhaps the time has come to invest in areas outside the main cities, in regional NSW where land is more readily available. Addressing these issues requires a multifaceted approach, including measures to increase affordable housing supply, implement policies to curb property price growth and improve rental market conditions. This means a lot of political will, and goodwill will be required.
Meanwhile, the Liberal-Nationals Coalition will need to do plenty of soul-searching as they work out how to regain voters’ support. But it is not all dire news, according to former federal attorney-general and Liberal stalwart George Brandis.
Writing in the Sydney Morning Herald on April 2, Mr Brandis noted that in the end “it was an extremely close call, with formerly very safe seats going down to the wire”.
“A government long in office, carrying the accumulated baggage that long incumbency inevitably brings, lost to an opposition with an appealing new leader and an apparently competent front bench, at a time when the electorate was in a mood for change,” he wrote.
Editor in Chief