Published in the South Sydney Herald, February 2017
Can our new Premier improve the score?
NSW has a new Premier. We’re relieved to see the back of Casino (or is it Chainsaw?) Mike, but will our new Premier be better?
Premier Berejiklian has already indicated how her Government will respond on a number of key issues. On others, we’re still in the dark. Over the coming months we will see whether the Premier is genuinely willing to listen to community concerns and take action to repair some of the disastrous decisions made under former Premier Baird.
While the Premier has recognised that this housing affordability one of the biggest challenges to be addressed, she continues to argue that increasing supply will fix the problems. But experts and housing advocates have long warned that building more houses and apartment blocks is not enough. We need to address unfair tax laws and incentives that favour developers and investors, but leave people trying to buy their first home at a big disadvantage.
Minister for WestConnex
The Premier has made the extraordinary decision to appoint a Minister for WestConnex. It signals that the Government has recognised that the project is a basket case that needs special oversight. But Stuart Ayres, who as Sports Minister oversaw the debacle of the Sydney football stadium project, isn’t going to ‘fix’ the WestConnex disaster because the flaws in this mega-expensive project are fatal.
Security for Renters
While rental laws in many other countries and global cities provide long term stability for tenants, in NSW we have ‘no-grounds’ evictions which can be used by dodgy landlords to evict tenants who simply stand up for their rights. Although NSW rental laws are currently being reviewed, the Government is indicating that they won’t even consider this small but significant change that would improve security for renters.
Tell us what you think
We know that these aren’t the only issues impacting our area with the massive plans on the horizon for the Central to Eveleigh corridor, attacks on our local councils, the plans for a new Metro station and ‘redevelopment’ of local public housing and not to mention the need for additional schools, essential services and accessible transport – there’s so much at stack for our community.
Our hope is that above all, the new premier and this government starts listening to the needs of this community. But we know that there’s only way to make sure that happens and that’s to keep campaigning and advocating for the things that matter.
Let us know what you think of our new Premier and tell us what issues she should be held to account on. We will be doing all that we can to ensure Premier Berejiklian listens to you and our community’s concerns.
Leave your comments at jennyleong.org/premier_report_card and we will keep you posted on her performance.