|Posted on March 24, 2019 at 12:45 AM|
The election victory of the NSW Liberal National Coalition is not just a victory for common-sense, it’s also a victory for Australian economy.
It’s a victory for common-sense because the NSW Coalition Government, which came to power under Barry O’Farrell and I in 2011, has performed very well on many measures, including:
- achieving a dramatic turnaround in the State budget, from a deficit budget laden with debt after 16 years of a Labor Government, to a strong surplus budget with funds liberated for improvements to services like health, education and the environment, as well as for renewal and upgrade of critical infrastructure (see below);
- delivery of a record infrastructure program including huge transport projects like the North West Rail link, metro rail and the Westconnex road link in Sydney, and the Pacific and Princes Highway upgrades in regional NSW; and
- restoration of the largest economy in Australia from the worst performing to the best performing in the nation, with record low unemployment.
This track record of sound economic management, strong service delivery and record infrastructure improvements is set to continue under Premier Gladys Berejiklian and Deputy Premier John Barilaro. As the largest economy in the nation, known as “the engine room of the national economy”, the NSW Liberal National Coalition’s victory is also a victory for the Australian economy, at a critical time.
The Australian economy has been underperforming over the past quarter, mainly off the back of a subdued property market, following moves by the Australian Reserve bank to restrict lending for property investors, by State Governments to increase taxes on foreign property investors and by a number of overseas governments (notably China) to restrict capital outflows, particularly those intended for property investment.
These measures alone would have substantially cooled the Australian property market, however policies by the Bill Shorten-led Federal Labor Opposition to increase capital gains tax and eliminate negative gearing for investors, could be regarded as the straw that broke the camel’s back in terms of the property market. As a result, property values around Australia have plunged by up to 20% in some centres, property development projects have been shelved, housing and construction jobs have disappeared and retail sales have slumped, due to declining consumer confidence associated with reduced household equity.
Had the Berejiklian/Barilaro Government not been returned in NSW, the massive infrastructure program would be wound back, with the State Labor leader Michael Daley having promised to cancel a number of key projects. With the loss of jobs and economic stimulus associated with these large infrastructure projects adding to the recent decline in jobs in the housing and retail sectors, this would likely have pushed the Australian economy over the brink of recession.
Hence, there was much at stake in yesterday’s New South Wales election, and the result is a victory for both the national economy and for common-sense. Congratulations to Premier Gladys Berejiklian for a history-making win as the first woman to lead a government to electoral success, and to the Liberal Nationals Coalition for a crucial victory.