Tasmanians
don’t know when they’ll get to have a peep at the Women’s Weekly spread on
their Premier’s glorious home
– but plenty of them are looking at Paul Lennon.

I seem to
recall Crikey describing the Apple Isle’s first citizen as “a schooner pig”
when he got the gig. Last week we commented on the Sydney Morning Herald‘s unprecedented
series
on “The great Carr crash” .

Perhaps
it’s time to ask – just how good are our state pols? The generation of Wrans
and Dunstans and Courts and Bjelke-Petersens were replaced with Unsworths and
Bannons and Cains and Kirners and Burkes. Who have been the prominent premiers
of the past 20 years? Bob Carr seems to be a smart cookie, but look what he’s
left behind. That only leaves Jeff and Nick Greiner as the standouts.

State
governments don’t actually do that much nowadays. Most of the money comes from Canberra. Many of the services have been
sold or outsourced. Perhaps
we should farm out the administration, too. What we’ve got now is a band of Labor
ciphers and timeservers.

It’s a
century and a quarter since the founding fathers of our federation started
yakking away about the shape their new nation should take, about who would look
after what. A lot’s changed since then. Too many
state leaders are doing a Weekend at Bernie’s. Can they hide behind the
Constitution for ever?

Peter Fray

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