NSW Election 2023: Campaign Insights & Analysis Issue 3
Issue 3, 15 March 2023
Early voting for the NSW State Election begins on Saturday 18 March, and will continue until Friday 24 March.
The second week of the campaign has seen both major parties focus on education and cost of living policy.
The Campaign Trail
The NSW Liberal Party held its campaign launch on Sunday 12 March where Premier Dominic Perrottet announced plans to invest $850 million into a future fund for children aged up to 10 years old. A re-elected Liberal National Coalition Government will see the establishment of a Kids Future Fund account, where the government would invest an initial $400 per child. The fund allows parents or grandparents to contribute each year, with the government promising to match payments up to $400, with additional contributions for eligible families receiving Family Tax Benefit A. Premier Perrottet said the intention behind the policy is to secure the financial future of children in NSW and, in time, support recipients’ future education and housing. The policy announcement comes as the Coalition looks to focus (paywall) its campaigning and cost of living policies on Western Sydney families.
Continuing the Coalition’s education and family-focused announcements, the NSW Nationals promised $1.2 billion for future public school building projects. Among various upgrade projects to be undertaken across the State’s public schools, Western Sydney suburb Box Hill will also receive a new selective school. The Coalition also announced a $2 million investment in medical resources and support services for women and families dealing with miscarriage and stillbirth.
Commentary following the Liberal Party’s campaign launch noted (paywall) the Party’s strong focus on positioning Dominic Perrottet as a “family-man”. This imagery, prevalent throughout the election campaign thus far, was also seen in the most recent leaders’ debate on Wednesday 8 March where both Perrottet and Minns discussed a range of key policy issues, including both leaders’ education policies and views.
NSW Treasury has revealed (paywall) budget deficits for 2023 will now reach $12.03 billion, which is $668 million worse than what had been previously forecast by Treasurer Matt Kean. The revised forecasting has revealed that whichever party wins the upcoming election will be set to inherit a worse budget position than originally anticipated. NSW Treasury attributed the State’s worsening budget position to the anticipated decline in coal royalties. The update from Treasury also noted the $267 million cost of the Perrottet Government’s plans to support the transition to cashless gaming machines.
In a further attempt to address the cost of living crisis, Labor leader Chris Minns announced (paywall) plans to introduce a $250 energy rebate for an estimated 1.6 million households.
Following a series of major rail delays in Sydney this week, NSW Labor seized the opportunity to accuse the NSW Liberal Government of not taking accountability, claiming the government had been previously warned about the risks due to “obsolete” components in its digital communications system.
With the finalisation of candidates on 8 March, the State’s minor party and independent candidates are preparing to go up against the Coalition and Labor Party in a number of key seats. Federal Leader of the Greens Adam Bandt voiced (paywall) his confidence in the party, outlining that he believes it’s on track for a record result on 25 March.
With this confidence, the NSW Greens have told (paywall) the Labor Party they will not be willing to form a coalition in the event of a minority Labor Government unless it meets a series of demands. As expected, the NSW Greens will not support Labor unless it implements a “no new coal and gas” commitment, mandatory cashless gaming, and First Nations seats in Parliament. Additionally, a group of eight NSW Independent candidates has come together to push for coal and gas reforms ahead of the election.
- $485 million relief package (paywall) to take $250 off of households’ energy bills and $315 off small businesses’ bills.
- $13.8 million to support women’s workforce participation through investments in the Future Women’s Jobs Academy and the establishment of a new Working Women’s Centre.
- Committed to creating a renewable energy hydrogen skills training centre to help upskill workers for the state’s energy transition.
- Asserted (paywall) it will not be reducing The Star Casino’s tax rate from the Coalition’s announced 60.67 per cent to begin in July.
- $1.2 billion investment towards school building projects to facilitate new and upgraded public schools across the state.
- $1 billion in funding accelerated from the $5.8 billion universal pre-Kindergarten program to commence construction that would see the first 500 facilities completed within four years.
- $180 million investment to deliver small capital works projects in regional public schools through the Regional Renewal Program.
- $40 million to deliver a major redevelopment of the Bourke Multipurpose Service (MPS) to facilitate new and upgraded health services in the region.
- $30 million to boost the Safer Cities program and facilitate a safety overhaul of public spaces, parklands and transport hubs to ensure women’s safety.
- $12 million to upgrade the airports and airstrips across Western NSW and facilitate air services to remote communities.
- $7 million to establish virtual consultation spaces in all MPSs to enable better access to specialist follow-up care in regional NSW.
- $2 million of additional funding to the Tech Savvy Seniors Program to better protect older people across NSW from scams.
- Announced the Energy Bill Saver program to assist households and small businesses save on energy bills by helping them switch to cheaper electricity plans.
Seats in the Spotlight
This week we focus on seats in NSW’s regions and Sydney’s outer suburbs where there are a number of contests between Labor, the Coalition and Independents. All figures are sourced from ABC psephologist Antony Green’s calculations.
- Goulburn (3.1 per cent Liberal) is a regional electorate running along the Hume Highway from Bookham to Berrima. The incumbent Liberal candidate is Wendy Tuckerman MP who holds the seat on a minimal margin despite Goulburn being a Liberal-held seat since 2007.
- Tweed (5.0 per cent National) is in the most north-eastern corner of NSW located in the Tweed Valley. Tweed has been held by National MP Geoff Provest since 2007, despite a large swing against him in the 2015 state election.
- Riverstone (6.2 per cent Liberal) is an urban and semi-rural electorate in Sydney’s far north-west. Riverstone has been held by Liberal MP Kevin Conolly since 2011 after the Labor Party received a significant 30 per cent swing against it.
- Londonderry (3.0 per cent Labor) is an electorate in Sydney’s west covering from Oxley Park to Londonderry in the north. Londonderry has been held by Labor MP Prue Car since 2015, and electoral boundary redistributions in this election mean Labor’s margin slips from 6.5 per cent to 3 per cent.
- Badgerys Creek (9.7 per cent Liberal), formerly known as Mulgoa, is a Liberal seat safely held by Liberal MP Tanya Davies. Mulgoa was won in the 2019 election on a 11.3 per cent margin, however boundary redistributions mean that the renamed seat of Badgerys Creek is held on a 9.7 per cent margin.
This is the third edition of our New South Wales Election 2023 newsletter series, featuring analysis of campaign activities, policy announcements, polling and other political developments. For more information about the Election, or to enquire about our services in New South Wales, please contact a senior member of our team on the details below or our Sydney office on +61 2 8353 0400 or at [email protected].
Jaimi Greenspan, Director – Public Affairs
M: +61 432 590 193
E: [email protected]
Kirsten Mulley, CEO
M: +61 408 476 470
E: [email protected]