John Robertson will zero in on Barry O’Farrell’s most controversial decisions, with a string of promises to wind back workers’ compensation changes, reintroduce the ban on hunting in national parks and re-open Grafton jail, reports the Sydney Morning Herald.
John Robertson to zero in on Farrell’s most controversial decisions
By Heath Aston, Political Editor
The NSW Opposition Leader also pledged to fund 800 university scholarships to train maths and science teachers if Labor can somehow recover from the state’s biggest landslide election defeat to recapture power in 2015.
Addressing Labor’s state conference at Town Hall yesterday, Mr Robertson savaged Mr O’Farrell.
Among the delegates was Denise Seal, a carer for people with disabilities who voted against Mr Robertson in his seat of Blacktown at last year’s election.
With temperatures still high in Grafton where 100 prison workers lost their jobs last week after the closure of the town’s jail, Mr Robertson promised to reopen the 119-year-old facility despite the government’s insistence it was costing the state millions of dollars to keep it open.
Mr Robertson saved some of his venom for the O’Farrell government’s decision to allow recreational shooters into national parks.
”In a single grubby deal with the Shooters and Fishers Party, Barry O’Farrell has broken his promise and opened up our pristine national parks to amateur hunters. Shooters with high-powered weapons can now traipse through the parks we once camped in and bushwalked through with our kids,” he said.
Given the extent of Labor’s loss at the last election and with three years until the next one, Mr Robertson’s promises are unlikely to be tested. However, he did address some of the past failures that still haunt the ALP.
”Sadly for us, even today, the ghosts of Labor’s past still occasionally emerge to embarrass us. You know who they are. I don’t need to name them.”
That was because they had been splashed over the front page of The Sydney Morning Herald on Thursday. The former minister Ian Macdonald, the former MP Angela D’Amore and Michael Williamson, a former Labor national president and state vice-president, were suspended from the party because of investigations or adverse findings by authorities.