OUR SAY: NSW voters are spoiled for choice in turbulent times

YOU could hardly blame NSW voters for becoming completely disillusioned with state politics.

After years of a Labor state government dominated by names like Tripodi, Obeid, Kelly, Face and Orkopolous, NSW voters cast a definitive vote for change at the 2011 elections.

Barry O’Farrell was swept to power in a landslide victory that had many wondering if NSW Labor would ever recover.

Three years on, though, and those same people may now be wondering what - if anything - has changed.

Mr O’Farrell was the first major casualty, falling on his sword after it was revealed at the Independent Commission Against Corruption that he had accepted a $3000 bottle of wine from Australian Water Holdings (AWH) executive Nick Di Girolamo.

Mike Baird was elected to replace him, and promised he would not stand for any hint of corruption in his ranks.

But that didn’t last long, either.

While the latest ICAC hearings have focused on the dodgy dealings of Central Coast MPs Andrew Cornwell and Tim Owen, Mr Baird’s reputation has also been tarnished by his reluctance to act quickly when their mistakes were made public.

Serious questions surfaced last week about Mr Cornwell and Mr Owen taking cash from property developers in the lead-up to the election and Mr Baird should have called for their resignations then.

Instead, the MPs only resigned on Tuesday, leaving the Baird government facing two by-elections just six months out from the 2015 election.

They’ve also provided the beleaguered Labor Party with perfect campaign fodder, when just a few months ago it would have been laughable to think that NSW Labor might want to make corruption a headline factor in an election campaign.

Mr Baird had his chance last week to make the best of a bad situation.

His reticence to act has drawn him into the mire created by Mr Cornwell and Mr Owen, and left voters wondering just why they bother voting in the first place.

Smartphone
Tablet - Narrow
Tablet - Wide
Desktop