This month Dylan Behan takes an in-depth look at all the big NSW state election issues from boat ramps to cashless gaming cards to superannuation for kids and why neither major party will do anything to actual tackle the biggest cost of living issue in NSW: astronomical rents. Also we look at the two middle aged white men who are determined to promise to do as little as possible in order to get your vote this Saturday.
This is News Fighters, where we fight the news so you don't have to.
Dylan Behan 0:09
Yes, Hi everyone. Welcome to Episode 122 of news fighters for February 2023. If you haven't listened before News Fighters is an in depth yet comedic look at the big stories in Australian news, media and politics presented by me, TV comedy editing wizard and future AUKUS submarine captain Dylan Behan. Yes, thanks for joining us this month, once again on the A Rational Fear podcast feed. We had a great time with A Rational Fear down in Adelaide at the Fringe Festival. Thanks to everyone who came out and saw us there and this weekend. We're at the Brisbane Science Festival on Sunday. Get your tickets now but, a little bit south of the border, the New South Wales State election campaign feels like it's been in full swing for months now. And I'd totally understand if you haven't been paying attention to it because most of the policy announcements have been pretty uninspiring ones like this.
The premier was talking about water. He's hoping to hook voters with a $20 million promise to upgrade boating ramps and fishing facilities across the state.
Dylan Behan 1:13
Yes in New South Wales 2023 will go down as the year of the boat ramp state election. Oh geez. This is the least interesting New South Wales State election I've covered and I've only covered two at least back in 2019. We had the spectacle of Labour leader Michael Daly's lucky meat pie
Michael Daley 1:29
Before every election I've been doing it for 30 years are always gonna have my Lucky Pie
a pie and strawberry milk having my Lucky Pie.
What pie having Mr. Daley?
Michael Daley 1:38
just a plain pie with strawberry milk is // eating a Lucky Pie for breakfast at a local shop // we opted for as usual fortifying election breakfast a pie and strawberry milk // For 30 years I had a Lucky Pie. No sauce beef,
No Sauce? Are you feeling confident?
Michael Daley 1:54
Terrific. I have my lucky pie
Hoping what he eats tonight. He's not humble pie.
Dylan Behan 2:00
Anyway, strap yourselves in everyone because this episode I'm taking a deep dive into all the big issues in the current New South Wales State election campaign. And before I begin, I'm sad to announce that I just don't have time to recap the past 12 years of scandals that have plagued the O'Farrell embed then Berejiklian Imperator a coalition governments you know, you know, all the scandals, the you know, the pork barreling or the brand stalking or the cushy overseas jobs with the boys or the fact koalas are facing extinction or the pandemic lockdown measures that unfairly targeted poor and migrant communities or the cracked rail carriages, or the stuffing up of the bushfire recovery or the stuffing up of the flood recovery or the lockout laws that said our nightlife and art scenes back by generation, or the failure of the government to implement any of the recommendations from the special commission of inquiry into the drug is or the way they've used StrikeForce rapidly to intimidate musical acts and try and get them to change their lyrics or the shocking stories of the sharing of pornographic images of Parliamentarians by other parliamentarians. I just haven't got time for any of that. Besides, I'm sure it's probably already been covered by a friendly jordiz In a funny accent. No, I'm just going to assume you're up to speed with all the corruption and scandals and we're going to jump right in to the choices facing New South Wales voters this Saturday. So I hear you asking who are the contenders for the top job? Well, first of all, is the current Premier and former treasurer, conservative liberal party leader and Millennial in name only Dominic parity. And Isn't he good at talking up his own record? Well,
Dominic Perrottet 3:23
we need to do better. Well, I've always said we've got to do better. Can we do more?
Yes, he also
Dylan Behan 3:28
needs to do better on knowing the ages of his seven young children.
Mr. Perrottet name all seven of your kids in age order.
Unknown Speaker 3:35
Just not their age, Charlotte Amelia. Annabel, William. Harriet. Beatrice. Celeste.
Dylan Behan 3:46
I can barely afford to have a cat Perrottet has been premier for almost 18 months and he's reputations held up despite the fact that he admitted to wearing a Nazi uniform in his own 21st birthday party. Surprisingly, the Australian public were quite forgiving of this, leading to this amazing voxpop
What did you think of him before this?
Man on the street 4:06
Well, he seemed like an upstanding member of the community. Right? Seven kids.
What do you think of him now?
Man on the street 4:13
Seven kids in a Nazi uniform!
Dylan Behan 4:14
Yes, that also sounds like potential movie collaboration between Nancy Meyers and Mel Brooks this holidays, get ready for the heartwarming romcom seven kids and a Nazi uniform and then there's Labour leader Chris Minns. Now if you haven't heard of him, don't worry, because neither has anyone else
on a day when a small poll found the majority of voters in the labor leaders knife edge seat. Can't name him. Do you know who this man is?
Unknown Speaker 4:40
No, I don't it's the Leader of the Opposition. I just can't remember his name and on top of my head Did you know this man?
Unknown Speaker 4:47
He's the opposition leader opposition of New South Wales, Chris something
Dylan Behan 4:50
Yeah, no worries. Good luck with that. It's not like you said is the most marginal in the entire state anyways. Also, there's probably a good reason why people in the Chinese community didn't recognize him
Chris Minns has suffered a little lost in translation incident. Cantonese speakers pointing out. These characters when spoken aloud can also sound a lot like having to use a bathroom.
Dylan Behan 5:12
Yeah, so finally, if any Liberal staffers are caught urinating on men's posters outside polling booths on election day, they've got an excuse. The poster told them to in Cantonese! now on to Chris Minns' campaign itself and it appears to be focused on one big issue
Chris Minns 5:26
No privatization under labour. // New South Wales Labour will never sell Sydney Water //no more reckless energy privatizations // Sydney Water is on the ballot at this election campaign // and we'll do it all without privatizing Sydney Water // There's no point selling your house to fund an upgrade of your driveway.
Dylan Behan 5:44
Yes, and I think I speak for most people in Sydney when I say what's a driveway? Jeez, what's this guy's obsession with Sydney Water? Oh, that's right. It's the only asset left that hasn't been privatized under the last 12 years with the Liberals and fun fact I just discovered it turns out that humans need water to live I just discovered that thanks wiki pedia! Yes, it turns out men seems to be copying word for word Anthony Albanese is small target strategy where you don't promise anything very much and instead just say they've been in too long. Give us a go!
Chris Minns 6:12
The premier of New South Wales leads a team that's been in power for 12 years and is asking for 16 years in office. Now that's a long period of time for a team whose best days are behind them. / They're asking for 16 years in power. Their best days are behind them and their most experienced leaders have already departed // Our message to the people in New South Wales a straightforward vote for change.
Dylan Behan 6:35
Yeah, it's pretty similar to Alba's pitch from last year.
Anthony Albanese 6:38
Give us a crack
Dylan Behan 6:40
Speaking of Albanese. While Mr. Popularity Peter Dutton hasn't been seen anywhere on the New South Wales State election campaign trail. Albanese has been very visible making multiple appearances like this one.
Meanwhile, Prime Minister Anthony Albanese joined Labour leader Chris Mintz on the campaign trail. The pair went to a pub in Balmain. Before visiting unlike our childcare center,
Dylan Behan 6:59
yes, they visited a pub then a childcare center and I think we have a clip of Albo at the childcare center here.
Anthony Albanese 7:05
No, Chris means who will be a fantastic labour premier to have a majority on the floor of the Legislative Assembly.
Dylan Behan 7:21
Oh, geez, maybe maybe switch to the light beers next time. Albo. Unfortunately Minns also appears to have stolen Scott Morrison's election campaign strategy of showing off his ship musical skills in public like he did here on the Kyle and Jackie O show.
Chris Minns 7:35
Want a little bit of Acca Dacca (plays guitar)
Dylan Behan 7:44
Thanks Minzy that will fix the housing crisis. Oh, are we going with Minzy? Sorry, I didn't any satirists listening can you have we haven't heard I haven't got a memo we go with Minzy or something bit more Ozzy like Christo or are we gonna do a scomo thing and like first name last name it so it'd be like Cri-Mi. Cri... creamy. Well, it will be his nickname. Anyways, the rising cost of living appears to be the single biggest issue for voters this election with rent, mortgages, power prices, groceries and transport costs, all eating up more and more of the weekly family budget. But don't worry, Chris Minns has a big plan
Labor's big policy is to scrap the public sector wage cap, which currently limits pay rises to three and three and a half percent. And so
Chris Minns 8:30
we can strike a fair deal for essential workers right across New South Wales, we will remove the wages kept.
Dylan Behan 8:38
Yes, this is great news for public service workers. This will help the public service hire and retain workers and help them with their cost of living issues. However, unless there's also a rent cap, I'm not sure how this isn't going to just keep feeding inflation and keep making housing and everything else more expensive for everyone has anyone thought this through. Meanwhile, power prices are also shaping up to be a huge election issue with no lead up insight.
Good evening, it's going to be a cold and costly winter for many in Sydney, with authorities flagging a 23% jump in power prices from July one the biggest increase ever.
power prices are set for a steep increase of around 20%. Yes,
Dylan Behan 9:17
electricity prices keep going up and up. But I think this pension has figured out a surefire way to beat the system.
90 year old reg has an easier path,
With a bit of luck I'll die and won't have to worry about it at all.
Dylan Behan 9:29
Yes, that's one way to beat the high living costs associated with late stage capitalism just stop living. Thankfully, both parties have a plan to bring power prices down and Labour's is to create a state owned Energy Corporation and well, won't it provide immediate relief.
Chris Minns 9:47
I'm going to be honest with the people of New South Wales and say that the benefits of this policy will be felt six and seven years down the line and it's not possible for me to explain seven years they're gonna have to wait it's important that I get this out and Got to make sure that you've got firming power, particularly in relation to pumped hydro. Those projects take a lot of time
on power bills in your state owned energy company. Seven years it'll take to have any impact on a family's energy bill. Seven years. Is that fair?
Chris Minns 10:17
I think in context, it's the right policy for what we're facing today. And the voters are smart enough to say Labour's got a plan for long term energy reform in New South Wales. The liberal party has got a cash handout.
Dylan Behan 10:28
Well, Chris Minns has a lot of faith in New South Wales voters they're thinking now prioritize long term structural reform over a quick sugar hit cash handout, which is exactly what Perrottet and the Liberals are proposing to try and fix power prices,
a half a billion dollar elections sweetener is now an offer worth $250 per household, just for looking at a website to compare power prices.
And here's the important thing to note. You don't have to switch to get the discount. You just have to look,
is it really responsible to be paying $250 to anyone just to Google their power provider?
Dominic Perrottet 11:03
Absolutely. Because we want people to go online and see if they're on the best deal possible.
Dylan Behan 11:07
Yes, that's right. The Liberals are going to give you a turn and $50 power price discount just for going on the internet. Finally an excuse for me being online all the time. Honey, are you looking at duck videos again on the internet, no honey just shopping around for power prices. (quack noises) Meanwhile, Labour's decided to match the $250 rebate but only offer it to a much smaller number of households in a much more targeted way.
Labour is promising the same amount, but to just half the households with only those on income support pensioners and seniors eligible
Dylan Behan 11:42
Yes, labour of course, in typical labour fashion has completely forgotten about working poor people. But since when was the labor movement about working people anyways, that's what I want to know. Sorry, working poor people, you should have been even poor. Also on the cost of living crisis, the liberals have announced a policy to try and bring down the cost of groceries and that policy is to add more bureaucracy and just watch how good premiere parity was at selling it. At the channel line debate.
You have said that you will bring down grocery bills by appointing a new supply chain Commissioner. So for example, on a basket of groceries that costs $100, how much cheaper will that be? Well, we know
Dominic Perrottet 12:22
Liz, in terms of the cost of inflation, that the one of the biggest impacts on that is supply chain costs. And so putting this commissioner in, I can't give you $1 figure on that. But what I do know what I do know is that we can get produce from port to plate faster and working with the industry that will put downward pressure on grocery prices across our state. Yes, Dom
Dylan Behan 12:43
I'm sure those famously disorganized Fly By Night operators known as Coles and Woolworths don't know anything about logistics and have just been winging it the whole time. They definitely need some government help in this area. What the hell what what what will the supply chain Commissioner do anyways? Turn on the shaft signal to get toilet paper back on the shelves. Then we haven't even got to the Liberals big news signature cost of living policy they've announced this election, giving free money to rich babies
An investment in children that will set up the next generation. That's how the premier describes his signature election promise of $400 per child. In an Australian first kids Future Fund,
the government would deposit $400 To start the account. Each year parents can contribute up to $1,000. With the government matching contributions dollar for dollar up to $400. Assuming interest of 7% and regular parental contributions the fund could reach between $28,500.40 $9,000 By the time the child turns 18. Only then can they withdraw it to spend on either a house deposit or for skills and education like a university degree or TAFE course, children whose parents received Family Tax benefits would get an automatic $200 A year from the government.
Dominic Perrottet 14:06
Reportedly, it furthers the central mission of our Liberal Party to spread equality of opportunity far and wide.
Dylan Behan 14:15
Yes, that's right. And nothing spreads equality more equally like making sure already we'll have kids graduate high school with an extra 50 grand in their bank account to go towards paying off their hex earlier or get them on that property ladder sooner. Now that's real equality, Liberal Party style parity tried to sound empathetic when introducing this policy.
Dominic Perrottet 14:35
Well, that is all about making sure that our children have greater opportunities than we do. Right now. It's the opposite. We burden our children with hex and housing debt before they even start. We're all worried about our kids capacity to be able to buy a home and also the cost of education.
Dylan Behan 14:52
Yes, Dom If only somebody could do something about the massive sky high cost of housing and education in this state, if only so Somebody could do something. Yes the kids Future Fund policy is such a clearly bad policy favoring the rich. It even turns Sky News accidentally left wing.
What are these 18 year olds going to be doing with 10s of 1000s of dollars?
I'm sorry, give it back to the government for their education apparently. Hope you get into the housing market to pay you $50,000 That might cover the state government's land tax or financial duties. That's outrageous.
Dylan Behan 15:28
Yes in talking about the Liberals trying to patch over problems that they themselves created. They're also trying to win favor with toll road drivers and public transport patrons after years. Of increases
the premier making a promise to cut the opal cap from 50 to $40 a week saving almost $500 a year.
Some cash flow relief is coming for half a million motorists across Sydney with road toll rebates offering up to $750 back
Dominic Perrottet 15:56
and we want to use our financial strength to help budgets right across New South Wales,
Dylan Behan 16:01
Perrottet is so brazen are trying to fix the problems that his party created. That I'm amazed his election slogan isn't something like a vote Liberal this state election because only the Liberals can bring down the high prices that the Liberals are responsible for. Well, at least Sydney public transport is going to be capped at $40 a week if the Liberals win because this is a public transport system definitely worth paying money for Good evening
Sydney's transport systems are in chaos tonight. Sydney's entire train network was brought to a standstill today leaving 1000s of passengers stranded. How are you going to get home tonight?
I don't know.
The entire rail network was shut down when communications failed,
They cann't keep doing this door off. We're paying our fares
live wires fell onto the train trapping more than 500 passengers
I have been working for 50 years and I've never seen it this bad it's an absolute joke.
People have been forced to wait hours for trains
Two times this week I've missed shifts and that's money out of my paycheck
so people are being told to avoid train travel if they can but good luck if you can find another way home // commuters advise to delay travel if they can maybe stay in town for a beer
Dylan Behan 17:12
Yes What a group of satisfied customers Sydney public transport communities are the official slogan of Sydney trains should just be go to the pub instead. imagine any other service or product where this counts as a good review.
Dylan Behan 17:26
Thank you for your compliment, sir. Can we use it in the new Sydney trains advertising campaign? Meanwhile, Labour's election winning infrastructure strategy is that they're going to build less infrastructure because you know, Sydney isn't growing at all and everything works perfectly all the time.
A major tunnel project through the Blue Mountains would be scrapped under a Chris Minns premiership as labour seeks to tighten spending it adds to a growing list of government projects Labour will shelve including a metro from Westmead to the aerotropolis. Raising Warragamba Dam wall and the Northern Beaches
Chris Minns 17:58
are not going to sell essential assets in New South Wales to build infrastructure. Now the premier has a $50 billion infrastructure plan that is completely unfunded.
Dylan Behan 18:08
Yeah, it might be completely unfunded now, but have you seen the cost of public transport in the city? No, those new metros will be paid off in no time anyways, maybe Chris means is right. And we can't actually afford to build any more infrastructure. But personally, I can't really afford to put up with the infrastructure the way it is at the moment. I have to allow three hours a day to commute to a job 12 kilometers away if we don't build any more infrastructure in this state, me and everyone I know I just got to move to Tasmania and live in a tree house and eat bugs because that's better for my mental health than dealing with Sydney public transport on a daily basis. Anyways, at least Labour has said they're going to do something for drivers by introducing a $60 a week toll cap you know, finally getting those toll costs down to a much more manageable $3,000 a year for just driving in Sydney. But even that comes with strings and more bureaucracy attached.
You're giving truckies and trainees of rebate to drive on the M5 and the M8. What about truckies who used the M7 to m4 they don't matter.
Chris Minns 19:11
Now they do matter. And I'd love to do more. It's one of the reasons where we're appointing Professor Allan Fels to do a full review of tolls in New South Wales.
Dylan Behan 19:19
Oh perfect. A total review reviews always work great. Just look at all the high speed rail lines Australia has now after 30 years of nonstop reviews. Oh and speaking of proposed reviews that are intended to achieve absolutely nothing that's also Labour's answer to the government's proposed cashless gaming card for pokies.
The coalition has promised to make poker machines in pubs and clubs cashless by 2028 Labour has committed to a trial of cashless gaming on 500 of the state's 90,000 machines
Chris Minns 19:50
In relation to capitalist gaming in New South Wales. We'll have a trial of 500 machines and an independent panel that will make a recommendation to the New South Wales Government in short, Alex If it works, we'll do it. But I want to make sure that when we pursue policy in New South Wales, we know that it will work and my reluctance in relation to this and the need to have evidence based processes in place is because it's in operation in only one place around the world. And that's in Norway is part
of this about trying to avoid a powerful campaign against the Labour Party from the club lobby?
Chris Minns 20:23
Dylan Behan 20:24
Yes, he's not afraid just because registered clubs donated over $400,000 to the New South Wales Labour Party between 2011 and 2021 doesn't mean Chris Minns isn't going to stand up to them. Yes. In fact, Labour's attitude to the cashless gaming card is a bit like if your flatmate proposed that the flat had a housework schedule, so the house was clean. And you're like, "look, this everyone cleaning the house on a schedule thing hasn't been proven to work anywhere or arrived. I propose a four week shared housework trial, and then we can get an independent panel to rule whether having a house work schedule is right for this house. Just because Norway has it doesn't mean it'll work here alright". Mind you. It turns out Chris Minns might not wind up having a choice on the cashless gaming card. Because if Labour is in a minority position, and they need to do a deal with the greens to form government, well, it's going to be conditional on their support.
Cate Faehrmann 21:16
The Greens will also be seeking a commitment to a mandatory statewide cashless gambling card for our support. Just to be clear, we won't settle for half measures. And we won't be fooled by a trial that has been set up to fail. Yeah, isn't it funny
Dylan Behan 21:34
how we haven't heard much from the Greens this election campaign in the media I'm guessing it's because their lefty hippie socialist policies are so out there that just alienate the mainstream.
The greens are pushing for an immediate rent freeze demanding no new coal or gas projects, rent control, a cashless gaming card and scrapping anti protest laws.
Dylan Behan 21:54
Geez, what are the Greens thinking there? A rent freeze to bring down the cost of rent? Haven't they heard the only way to fight the cost of living crisis is to give out free money to well off parents and have inquiries and appoint powerless commissioners. Didn't they get the memo? So in conclusion, New South Wales voters are faced with an unenviable choice this state election. The Liberals and Nationals are obsessed with handing out free money to people who don't really need it in the hope that everyone forgets what a corrupt shitshow they've been the last 12 years. Meanwhile, Labour's plan if it wins is to try and appear slightly less corrupt than the other guys while kowtowing to their own special interest donors and simultaneously building nothing in the hope it makes them appear to be fiscally responsible until one day, we all wind up living in the park across the street from our work because nobody can afford to rent anywhere anymore and anyway, it takes 14 hours to get to work on the train because they're so old and overcrowded. Yes, and faced with these two terrible choices at the ballot box this Saturday. I think it's safe to say that all New South Wales voters can kind of relate to 92 year old rages attitude about the state of the world,
With a bit of luck I'll die and won't have to worry about it at all.
Dylan Behan 23:12
Alrighty, that's news fighters for February. Thanks for listening to my big New South Wales State election Deep Dive this episode took over 50 hours to create so if you enjoyed it, please pitch in to the irrational fear Patreon at patreon.com/arationalfear. News fighters is written produced and edited by me Dylan Behan for irrational fear. You can follow me on Twitter at dylabolical or email me at Dylan at newsfighters.com Don't forget all new episodes of news fighters are now on the a rational fear podcast feed subscribe at a rational fear.com or you can watch us on YouTube at youtube.com/newsfighters and news fighters is on social media on Twitter and Instagram at newsfighterspod if you want to keep up with all things news fighters, sign up for our free newsletter and news fighters.com Alrighty, that's it for now. I'll see everyone in Brisbane at irrational fear this weekend. Keep fighting and bye for now.
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