NSW re­sult put Gil­lard’s re­forms in doubt

Townsville Bulletin - - National Snapshot -

PRIME Min­is­ter Ju­lia Gil­lard’s plans for a na­tional school cur­ricu­lum, hos­pi­tals over­haul and car­bon tax are in jeop­ardy in the wake of the coali­tion’s NSW state elec­tion win.

NSW premier-elect Barry O’Far­rell, who over­saw the de­feat of the 16-year-old La­bor gov­ern­ment in a land­slide on Satur­day, has said he was yet to be con­vinced about the mer­its of the health agree­ment-in­prin­ci­ple reached in Fe­bru­ary.

He’s also told NSW teach­ers that he doesn’t sup­port the na­tional cur­ricu­lum as it stands.

Mr O’Far­rell said the elec­tion also sent a sig­nal to Can­berra that vot­ers did not want a car­bon tax.

Ms Gil­lard, who con­grat­u­lated Mr O’Far­rell on his win, said she was com­mit­ted to work­ing co-op­er­a­tively with coali­tion gov­ern­ments in NSW, Vic­to­ria and West­ern Aus­tralia.

Fed­eral La­bor front­bencher Tony Burke said there was no in­di­ca­tion in in­ter­nal party re­search that the car­bon tax was a vote changer.

‘‘ It’s not like we sud­denly four months ago had an in­cred­i­bly pop­u­lar state gov­ern­ment and that shifted fol­low­ing the an­nounce­ment that we were go­ing to act on cli­mate change,’’ Mr Burke said.

The fed­eral La­bor gov­ern­ment will also be asked to find bil­lions for NSW trans­port projects and de­fer its 2010 elec­tion prom­ise to build the Par­ra­matta-Ep­ping rail line.

Fed­eral coali­tion front­benchers cam­paigned heav­ily in two re­gional seats held by in­de­pen­dents – Tam­worth and Port Mac­quarie – which fell to The Na­tion­als.

The wins have been trum­peted by The Na­tion­als as a back­lash to the deals done by in­de­pen­dents Tony Wind­sor and Rob Oakeshott to de­liver gov­ern­ment to Ms Gil­lard.

The seat re­sults have led to spec­u­la­tion the fed­eral coali­tion may try to in­duce the in­de­pen­dents to switch sides, some­thing Op­po­si­tion Leader Tony Ab­bott said was ‘‘ the sort of bridge we would cross if it ever came to it’’.

Mr Wind­sor said he was con­fi­dent he made the right call in sup­port­ing the Gil­lard gov­ern­ment, as it promised to pro­vide the ‘‘ most sta­bil­ity’’ over the term.

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