When I read Sam Dastyari’s column yesterday about how great things are in NSW Labor, my first impression was that he’d branched out into the short fiction genre.
I haven’t seen so much spin since Shane Warne bowled Mike Gatting with the ball of the century back in 1993.
Sam’s right about one thing: Sydney is under pressure, and people are feeling the strain.
That’s precisely why our Government is investing $87 billion to build new train lines and improve old ones, along with 170 new and upgraded schools, 40 new and upgraded hospitals, and countless other projects to make NSW a better place to live.
It’s the biggest infrastructure program our state has ever seen, and one of the reasons it needs to be so big is that the previous Labor government left our state with a $30 billion infrastructure backlog.
We’re building what they failed to build, and then some.
Sam’s a creature of the Canberra bubble, so he may not understand what it takes to actually get things built.
We do, and we’re getting on with the job.
This massive infrastructure program is only possible because of our responsible financial management and our successful policy of swapping assets we don’t need for ones that we do.
If Labor had their way, none of it would be happening, because they opposed asset recycling tooth and nail.
Even in opposition, they are trying to hold our state back.
Sam complains that the Padstow station upgrade hasn’t made the trains faster. Yet just a few kilometers north of Padstow, our Government is doing exactly that – transforming the Bankstown line to a metro line with faster, more frequent services.
Who opposes that upgrade? NSW Labor.
Our Government understands that right now, the scale of construction can make life difficult. But we are determined to see it through, so families and communities can enjoy a new lease on life when the construction comes to an end.
And because we manage our finances well, we’ve been able to help ease the strain on family budgets with Active and Creative Kids vouchers, car registration rebates, and significant stamp duty cuts to help first home buyers get into a new home.
Labor’s only strategy so far has been to obstruct and oppose. Their campaign platform is to cancel projects as far as the eye can see.
That was the policy under Luke Foley, and nothing has changed.
According to Dastyari – and despite of the events of recent weeks – Labor now has a spring in its step. It’s gobsmacking, and an insult to the people of NSW.
I understand why Shanghai Sam would go into bat for his old mate. After all, in Daley’s maiden speech, Sam was one of several former MPs that Labor’s new leader made sure to thank – an elite gang that also included Joe Tripodi, and of course Eddie Obeid.
When Luke Foley resigned last week, Labor had a chance to embrace generational change. They did. But instead of looking forward, they went back to the bad old days, choosing a Labor generation that most of us in NSW would rather forget.
As old Carr staffers and spin doctors coast back into the new Labor leader’s office, I’m sure they’ll reminisce about the glory days, and try to forget the nightmare years when the same men took NSW from premier state to basket case.
Sam and his factional allies can keep spinning, but NSW is moving forwards and we don’t want to go back.