Libs’ big win

Townsville Bulletin - - Inside Today -

Gold Lotto

draw 3097 26.3.11

1 14 23 34 41 42 27 37

supps Divi­sion 1: $ 2,000,000.00, Divi­sion 2: $ 16,784.30, Divi­sion 3: $ 1138.10, Divi­sion 4: $ 34.40, Divi­sion 5: $ 22.40, Divi­sion 6: $ 12.10.

* All Div 1 div­i­dends pro­vi­sional for two weeks af­ter draw.

PREMIER-elect Barry O’Far­rell has claimed a man­date to im­ple­ment sweep­ing re­forms to trans­port and health, but ad­mits be­ing a lit­tle daunted about the coali­tion’s mas­sive elec­tion vic­tory.

In his first press con­fer­ence since tri­umph­ing on Satur­day night, Mr O’Far­rell said he was still taken aback by the scale of the win, the big­gest against a sitting gov­ern­ment in Aus­tralia.

The coali­tion is likely to have 68 of the 93 seats in the state’s lower house, with La­bor re­duced to about 20 af­ter a record state-wide swing of about 16 per cent.

Sur­rounded by his new west­ern Syd­ney Lib­eral MPs who joined him in Par­ra­matta, Mr O’Far­rell promised to re­pay the trust placed in him by NSW vot­ers.

‘‘ It is a trust that peo­ple have put in us, it’s a trust we’re de­ter­mined to de­liver on,’’ said Mr O’Far­rell, who will this week be sworn in as the state’s 43rd premier.

With swings of up to 35 per cent in some seats and La­bor heart­lands such as in west­ern Syd­ney largely fall­ing to the Coali­tion, Mr O’Far­rell ad­mit­ted be­ing shaken up.

‘‘ I think all of my col­leagues, all of my front­bench col­leagues, feel that enor­mous sense of hon­our and trust that peo­ple have placed in us,’’ he said.

‘‘ It’s ex­cit­ing, but it is to some ex­tent daunt­ing.’’

Mr O’Far­rell met yes­ter­day af­ter­noon with of­fi­cials from the Depart­ment of Premier and Cabi­net and with Na­tion­als leader Andrew Stoner to start map­ping out the new gov­ern­ment’s first steps.

As promised dur­ing the cam­paign, Mr O’Far­rell said one of his first pri­or­i­ties would be to con­duct an au­dit of the state’s fi­nances, while trans­port and health would also be a ma­jor fo­cus.

Asked if he be­lieved he could de­mand Can­berra trans­fer the $ 2.1 bil­lion in promised fund­ing for the Par­ra­matta-to-Ep­ping link to his north-west rail pro­ject, Mr O’Far­rell said: ‘‘ I don’t just think it, I now know it.

‘‘ We have a man­date to pri­ori­tise the in­fra­struc­ture back­log we in­herit.

‘‘ We have a man­date to get on and build that North West Rail Link, and we have a man­date to sit down with the Fed­eral Gov­ern­ment, to talk to them about putting money into the ( north-west rail pro­ject).’’

Mr O’Far­rell also in­di­cated that pub­lic sec­tor jobs may be tar­geted, but added pro­duc­tiv­ity was more im­por­tant than num­bers.

‘‘ I have al­ways been of the view that it is not about how many but what they are do­ing,’’ he said.

‘‘ What . . . I am de­ter­mined to en­sure is that peo­ple who are in the jobs can ac­tu­ally de­liver bet­ter ser­vices to peo­ple across this state.’’

MAN­DATE: New South Wales Premier-elect Barry O’Far­rell with Fed­eral Op­po­si­tion Leader Tony Ab­bott

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