New South Wales

Apr 22, 2014

The O’Farrell legacy: a new model of government in NSW

David Clune, NSW Parliament’s historian and an honorary associate in Sydney University's Department of Government and International Relations, assesses a premiership cut short for Inside Story.

Not long after Barry O’Farrell (pictured) won government, his predecessor as Liberal premier of New South Wales, Nick Greiner, made what now seems like an ironic comment. “Barry’s Barry, he’s not Nick, he’s not Jeff,” he said, referring to himself and former Victorian premier Jeff Kennett. “He has a more measured approach [which is] likely to lead to him being premier for a lot longer than Jeff Kennett or myself.” In fact, while Greiner was premier for four years and three months, O’Farrell lasted barely three years.

The irony doesn’t end there. Greiner was often compared unfavourably to O’Farrell in terms of political nous. He was much criticised for his performance before the Independent Commission Against Corruption during the Metherell affair, when he responded to questions with “I don’t recall” about two dozen times. If O’Farrell had said “I don’t recall” at ICAC last week he would still be premier.

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One thought on “The O’Farrell legacy: a new model of government in NSW

  1. Noelene Turton

    Perhaps he was too honest for his won good although some will say he was too good too good to be honest. Alas it is those like Obeid and the labor party or liberal party members who have the support and dirty politics to bring down their enemies. I guess that is politics.

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