As NSW prepared for the 2019 state election, the “premier state” was in reasonably good condition. Retail spending and business investment were up, the budget was at $1.1 billion surplus and unemployment was 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 — were well underway.
And yet opinion polls showed that the Coalition and Labor are neck and neck. Why? Were federal factors at play? What distinguished Liberal premier Gladys Berejiklian from the Labor Opposition leader Michael Daley? Was 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, discussed the state of the state.