Poor John Brogden. He’s the best state Liberal leader by a mile, the only one within a mile of becoming premier – all while under 40 – yet cops it left, right and centre.

The latest whack has come from Australian Business Limited, in its mid term report on the Carr Government. Carr marked his tenth anniversary as Premier last week, with his popularity sliding. No-one doubt his talents – but he has indulged, rather than applied them. Carr prefers to hob-nob with Gore Vidal and very publicly flick through the Penguin Classics in Question Time. Rather than devising the budgetary – or public-private partnership – policies needed to create the infrastructure needed to support the ever-growing population of Sydney, he does the Malthus act or behaves like a sub Club of Rome eco-apocalyptic. Now, there is talk he could go as early as June.

Australian Business Limited, however, seems to have bagged Brogden as much as Carr. “The NSW Opposition has also taken the State’s economic performance for granted,” its report card reads. “Business believes the NSW Opposition has focused too strongly on the day-to-day issues and has been unwilling to enter into policy debates, or address in any real detail, issues such as labour and skills shortages, workplace relations, OHS compliance issues and expenditure reductions. It’s feared that this lack of interest by the NSW Opposition will further disadvantage NSW businesses who already face the highest business taxes and charges in the country and the most difficult conditions in which to do business.”

NSW Liberal MPs claim ABL has been silent on a plethora of new business taxes, workers compensation levies, payroll tax and missed economic opportunities for most of Carr’s ten years. One unimpressed Liberal said: “you get more accurate and balanced reports from the Labor Council, but then they at least have some ideas, and aren’t trying to suck up to the government”.

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Peter Fray
Peter Fray
Editor-in-chief of Crikey
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