The Coalition whinging about ICAC is nothing new
This article originally appeared in The Guardian.
It had to happen. After last week's controversy which led to the resignation of Barry O'Farrell, we started hearing complaints and calls from the Coalition for the corruption watchdog's powers to be reduced. This is not new: it happened very early in Icac's life.
Back in 1990 and in its [...]
Suffer the Little Children: Massive Cuts to NSW Child Protection Budget
The great anthropologist, Margaret Mead, once said that a society can be judged by the way it treats its elderly. Perhaps the better test is how a wealthy society treats its most vulnerable and disadvantaged. If that is the test then the O’Farrell Liberal government in NSW is failing badly.
In the last week it has been revealed that the Minister for Community Services is not ruling out cuts to child sexual assault programs and other child protection services. The Minister, [...]
Massive Cuts to Health and Education: a Tale of Two Cities and One Party
I believe that it's healthy for people to have their support for a particular political party tested every now and then. Those who blindly follow a party or a cause and never question its direction do themselves no favours. Anyone who has read my blog or heard my public comments will know that from time to time I have quite a lot to say about how the Labor Party could lift its game. However, at the end of the day my concerns about Labor always seem so much less worrying than what the [...]
1995 NSW Election: How The Liberals Removed an Unpopular Leader and Got Back in the Race
By the time the 1995 NSW election was held, Bob Carr's Labor Party had been in opposition for seven years. For most of that time I was his chief of staff.
Despite almost winning the 1991 election after just three years in the wilderness (see my blog on the 1991 campaign), Labor was forced to wait another four years in a hung Parliament before getting its [...]
Upper Houses: Who Needs Them Anyway?
The farcical policy outcomes that sometimes result from having to do deals with minor parties were on display in the NSW Parliament last week.
In order to guarantee the passage of its controversial partial energy privatisation legislation, the O'Farrell government did a deal with the Shooters and Fishers Party to allow recreational shooting in national parks. It is also considering making shooting a subject for study in NSW schools. These decisions were made in the face of [...]
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Barry O'Farrell's first major political move was to trip over
This op-ed was originally published in The Daily Telegraph.
Until recently the O'Farrell government threatened to go through its first term completely unnoticed.
After 16 years in opposition it was hardly bursting at the seams with plans for NSW.
The Coalition [...]
Election ads from the vault
With Bob Carr again in the news as the new Senator for NSW and Australia's Foreign Minister I thought it would be interesting to look at some of his 1991 NSW election ads.
In this campaign Carr took Labor from its bad defeat in 1988 to almost winning back government in just three years.
I was his Chief of Staff at the time and the campaign focussed on a strong public impression that the Greiner Liberal Government had been responsible for mismanaging the NSW [...]
The NSW Coalition and the fire sale of public assets
By Graeme Wedderburn
Twenty years ago, when I was working for the NSW Labor Party under then Opposition Leader Bob Carr, we rolled out an advertising campaign criticising the Greiner Government’s fire sale of public assets.
The campaign was critical of government plans to flog off the sandstone education building in Bridge Street, Sydney, the Fish Markets at Pyrmont, school sites including Marsfield Public School, and vacant bushland like [...]
Ah, I love a divided house
It’s old news that the Coalition parties won a big majority in last year’s general election in New South Wales. The Liberals and the Nationals had spent 16 years in the political wilderness and approached every election since 1995, until the last one, with the uneasy feeling that they were doomed to four more years in opposition.
So after March 2011, you’d have thought Coalition MPs in NSW were the happiest cohort of their species.
But no, for them it is [...]
Election Funding Law Watch
Last year I raised concerns about the slant of legislation introduced by the New South Wales Government to change election funding rules. The changes proposed by the conservative government would ban [...]