Australia and more correctly the people of the state of NSW have elected the first female Liberal Premier in the nation’s history this past weekend (Sat 23 Mar) in the Hon. Premier Gladys Berejiklian, and in fact have returned a Liberal-National Party Coalition Government to power for an historic third term.
This will mean NSW will have been under Coalition control for 12 years when the next state election comes around in 2023.
At the time of writing this Travel Daily column it has just been confirmed that the Premier will be able to govern with a majority in the lower house of the NSW Parliament.
Despite some seats remaining in the balance, Ms Berejiklian is undoubtedly the Premier in her own right and will be able to form government.
There has been much said about this state campaign over the past few months and Labor were definitely looking like a good chance to win.
In fact, while the Coalition has won, it is a just over the line result and Labor must be commended for having executed a strong plan over the past few months.
As with all things politics, the next few weeks and months will remain very interesting, particularly with the resignation of the Hon. Michael Daley as opposition leader.
He will eventually be replaced as the opposition leader, but curiously not until after the Federal Election, under an official ALP edict announced yesterday.
On that front, now that I am in full political mode, odds are shortening for a Federal election perhaps as early as 11 May, but we will all have to wait a bit longer to see the Prime Minister make this announcement.
The first half of 2019 is going to continue to be a period of political back and forth and as Canberra now puts its back into preparing the Budget, which will be handed down a month earlier than normal on 02 Apr.
My hope continues to be that consumer confidence stays strong over these next few months as this is the key driver to people travelling.
What will be interesting now that the NSW election has been concluded is how fast we see the Federal campaign ramp up, even without an official date.
There are some really different policy positions being taken by the two major parties and we will have to watch and see how the electorate responds now they have clear air to make the case.
We will be in election mode more and more over the coming weeks and once the budget is done and dusted, which should include some nice voter candy from both sides, we can just hope that the electorate decides and makes one or the other the government with a majority.
It is impossible to govern a country without this – we have been in that place too many times and in fact are in minority government right now as Prime Minister Morrison does not enjoy a majority in the House of Representatives.
I guess the master stroke is that the Government is only going to sit for a few days over the budget and the rest of the time is in campaign full steam ahead.
Great political watching to come, stay tuned.