NSW Premier Dominic Perrottet and NSW Treasurer Matt Kean (Image: AAP/Dan Himbrechts/Liberal Party)
NSW Premier Dominic Perrottet and NSW Treasurer Matt Kean (Image: AAP/Dan Himbrechts/Liberal Party)

With Australia facing a huge range of economic challenges after nine wasted years -- energy, workforce, the budget, decarbonisation, health services, inflation just for starters -- there's a pressing need for imaginative government leadership.

The new federal government is a blank slate, led by experienced ministers but constrained by a deliberately unambitious election agenda. The South Australian government is new and fresh but leads a relatively small state. The Andrews government in Victoria is old and scarred by years of corruption. The Palaszczuk government in Queensland is also old and racked by governance problems. But in NSW, the oldest government of all outside the People's Republic of Canberra, age has turned into a virtue. Having cycled through three premiers, it is now on to its fourth and most reformist.

Paul Keating had a view that if you got elected you had three years to pursue your agenda as vigorously as possible and your priority was to get as much done as you could because you might not be there any longer. NSW Premier Dominic Perrottet and NSW Treasurer Matt Kean have adopted a similar strategy of going all out in their remaining time before the election next March. Circumstances have given them one budget to put their stamp on NSW before they face a reinvigorated NSW Labor under Chris Minns.