One has to wonder what ever possessed Nathan Rees to take on the role of Premier of New South Wales. If there was a job that was going to be a thankless task and a burden to one’s spirits and optimism, then I think being Premier of N.S.W. in 2008 has to rank amongst the top few. I can only wonder at what carrots the Labor Party backroom boys must have dangled in front of Mr Rees to convince him to take on the job. Talk about “sacrificial lambs being led to the slaughter”.
And in today’s papers comes news that Labor have further deserted their traditional supporters, workers and their families, by deciding to stop subsidising free school travel for N.S.W. students.
Poor Premier Rees – he really is on a hiding to nothing. The only thing he has on his side at the moment is time. The next election for State politicians is not due until around 24 March, 2011 (the last full election was held on 24 March, 2007), so Premier Rees and the Labor Party at least have time to try to turn things around.
Even so, I think it will take nothing short of an economic miracle to save the Labor Government in NSW. Their past ineptitude has finally caught up with them – N.S.W. is a state in of dire economic circumstances, as evidenced by the cutbacks Premier Rees and his Ministers are having to introduce. On top of this, there is the current world economic crisis that is yet to be fully felt here in Australia. Things are going to get tough for Australians, no matter how much chest beating Prime Minister Rudd and his colleagues at Federal level do about how they’re taking action to mitigate the effects of the crisis on Australians. N.S.W is effectively bankrupt and doesn’t have the war chest of funds available to it that the Federal government has. Premier Rees and N.S.W. are going to keep getting hit, and hit hard, over the next couple of years, and N.S.W voters will continue to be reminded of their State’s dire woes right up to, and most likely beyond, the next State election.
On top of all that is the Australian voter’s penchant for not wanting the same political party at both State and Federal level. I think we will see a number of State governments change political persuasion as voters cast protests based on their perception of both State and Federal government’s handling of the economy.
As a resident of N.S.W. I can only hope we will see a turnaround in the State’s circumstances sooner rather than later, but, despite being an optimist by nature, I really feel it’s going to take a long time before N.S.W. is out of the economic doldrums.