Friday, 24 May 2013

The downhill spiral of the O'Farrell government has started

When the Chairman and CEO of Infrastructure NSW resign together you know there is a major infrastructure problem in NSW. The downhill spiral of the O’Farrell government has started. 

In a well written piece in todays Daily Telegraph entitled “Top ‘fix-it blokes Nick Greiner and Paul Broad abandon Barry O’Farrell” reporter Andrew Clennell, in effect, exposes Premier Barry O’Farrell for who, in my opinion he really is; just another politician, just interested in being there, providing no intellectual leadership, and no genuine intellectual agenda. 

Nick Greiner and Barry O’Farrell have something in common. Both were elected Premier of NSW on the back of the defeat of long serving Labor governments, which had run out of time as part of the normal democratic political cycle. One can debate ad nauseum the cause of those labor defeats, but governments sooner or later run out of time. But that is where the similarity ends. 

Although Mr Greiner and my views are poles apart, I respect that he had and always does have an intellectual basis for his opinions. In government, Mr Greiner implemented many of his reforms based on his intellectual political philosophy. His direction was relatively short lived, for a number of reasons, some being that in this State conservative and economic rationalist positions are not acceptable to the people of this state. Privatisation, for the sake of it, under the belief that the private sector can always provide affordable public services to the community is not a sustainable policy position that is supported in the community. 

Mr O’Farrell on the other hand has demonstrated no philosophical position in relation to anything. Milking every political advantage that he can from the ICAC allegations, holding up Westconnex and the North West Rail link as Infrastructure successes, having white papers on Planning reform and Local Government. But after more than 2 years as Premier it is all just talk. 

Almost since I have been elected to parliament, I have been warning that the Westconnex is just a line on a map, no costings, no designs, no planning, nothing. As Mr Clennell wrote; “Two years later, not one sod has been turned...” 

I would be the last person to advocate Mr Greiner’s policy positions are correct; but at least he has one. If people, when they elected Mr O’Farrell, believed they were electing a person that could provide genuine intellectual leadership to this state they must certainly be disappointed by now.

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