As NSW prepares for the March 23 election, the “premier state” is in reasonably good condition. Retail spending and business investment are up, the budget is at $1.1 billion surplus and unemployment is at 4.3 per cent. Meanwhile, Sydney’s major public projects — from the new Sydney Metro to the WestConnex underground motorway scheme and Sydney Light Rail — are well underway.
And yet opinion polls show that the Coalition and Labor are neck and neck. Why? Are federal factors at play? What distinguishes Liberal premier Gladys Berejiklian from the Labor Opposition leader Michael Daley? Is either party committed to productivity-enhancing economic reform?
Nick Greiner, former NSW Liberal premier from 1988 to 1992, Bob Carr, former NSW Labor premier from 1995 to 2005 and host Brigid Glanville, ABC’s NSW political reporter, were at the CIS to discuss the state of the state.