The NSW election process is starting to warm up. I am no fan of the ALP in NSW, but I have a hard time getting excited for the Coalition.
Barry O’Farrell is no leader. His “small target” strategy points to a weak leader with no burning ambition for NSW. He doesn’t articulate a vision for the state. He has ducked major reform issues (e.g., power privatisation in 2008).
Generally speaking, I don’t believe O’Farrell will be the leader that takes NSW forward. What a shame there isn’t an alternative. (I’ve said this before – what the hell happened to the Liberal Party?).
My favourite quote of the election so far goes to O’Farrell. On the topic of urban planning, he rejects the idea of increasing housing density in established areas, and instead wants more greenfield developments on the city finges. Of course, he felt no need to accompany this with any thoughts on how he would provide the infrastructure to those new areas, or the economic opportunities, problems that are endemic in NSW and are a threat to its economic and social wellbeing.
In numbers terms, moving from current policy of 70% of new housing coming from higher density in existing areas (and 30% in new greenfield sites) to a 50/50 approach. How did he get to that number:
‘It will be closer to 50 than 70 … because that’s the way I balance things.
Oh, this is going to be fun.