In this episode: a wrap up of the New South Wales election from last weekend, with the NSW Coalition ending their 12 years in office and the start of a NSW Labor government; the case against whistleblower Richard Boyle continues, but it needs to stop; the federal government social housing policy has stalled in Parliament; a new inquiry into the Freedom of Information system; and predictions for what might happen in the Aston byelection.
There was a change of government in New South Wales last weekend and of the nine jurisdictions across Australia, there’s only one Liberal Party government. Former Prime Minister John Howard suggested it’s just a matter of time before the Liberal Party returns as a political force, but there are some very big long-term problems for the party, and not just in New South Wales.
The case against whistleblower Richard Boyle is proceeding after the judge in the case decided that he’s not immune from prosecution and the case should now proceed. The Labor government promised to clean up the whistleblower legislation and they still haven’t done that. The Attorney–General Mark Dreyfus needs to act now and stop this case from going ahead any further.
The Labor government’s social housing policy is on the backburner – it’s only 30,000 properties across Australia, it’s not enough and the Greens cannot support it. Jim Chalmers did suggest that it would offer a boost to the economy as well as address a serious housing supply issue but it doesn’t look like it’s going to be the panacea that he suggested. And this is the time to do this properly.
The Australian Greens, the crossbench and the Coalition have created an inquiry into the Freedom of Information system – the Coalition virtually destroyed when they were in office and it’s a system that does need to be cleaned up.
The Aston byelection on Saturday could be Peter Dutton’s last stand. Historically, it’s a seat the Liberal Party should hold – they’ve held it for over 30 years. But when you look at much of the evidence at the moment, it’s also a seat that Labor should win. There’s a 2.8 per cent margin, the Liberal Party in Victoria is in disarray. And it’s not looking very good for the Liberal Party who might be looking for a new leader after Saturday night.
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