After an exhilarating election campaign that dominated much of the state’s parliamentary and media attention during the first quarter of the year, the results are in! After 12 years on the sidelines, the Labor Party led by Chris Minns has been elected to power in NSW.
This significant win not only breaks a longstanding Liberal streak in the state, but means Labor now holds the majority in all mainland jurisdictions (with Tasmania the only remaining Liberal government in the country).
Despite several seats being too close to call ahead of Saturday’s vote, and speculation about a potential hung parliament, Labor is on track to win with a majority – gaining several key seats from the Coalition. This included Minns retaining his seat of Kogarah with over 60% of first preference votes (in defiance of the 0.01% margin he formerly held in the seat).
So now NSW has a new government…What’s next?
Over the coming days…
Minns accepted victory with a commitment to governing for “everyone” in NSW and outgoing Premier Dominic Perrottet has conceded defeat – announcing he will be standing down as leader of the NSW Liberal Party. With previous leadership front runner Matt Kean announcing he won’t be contesting, former Minister Alister Henskens and outgoing Attorney-General Mark Speakman are emerging as potential replacements.
As vote counting continues this morning, the next immediate steps are for the Governor of NSW, Her Excellency the Honourable Margaret Beazley, to invite the majority leader in the Legislative Assembly to form a government. Minns, as well as key Shadow Ministers who have retained their seats, will most likely be officially sworn in later this week. (be sure to keep an eye out for Advoc8’s mailing list to congratulate new Ministers).
Over the coming weeks…
The election campaign was full of promises for change and progression – with cost of living and housing affordability at the forefront of the Labor campaign. Unions that supported Labor’s election campaign, including the Public Service Association, have already called on the new government to begin negotiations for soon to expire awards, after Labor pledged to scrap the public sector wage cap.
Given the close consultation on policy between the Labor Party and unions, and with many union officials holding positions within the party's governing bodies, this stakeholder group will have a direct say in the policies and priorities of the government and will continue to push for measures that benefit their members and the wider working-class community.
Over the coming months…
Some of Labor’s most eagerly anticipated policy promises include 100 public preschools in the first year of government, tackling the housing affordability crisis, workers’ rights and pay (especially for teachers and nurses) and cashless cards gambling reform. To support these priorities, there will likely be a change in the machinery of government – which effectively means a restructuring of the public service to help implement the Labor government’s mandate.
While some change won’t happen overnight, we will see quick action taken wherever possible so that Labor can ride the post-election high and be perceived as a government that can deliver.
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