April 05, 2005 | Graham

Brogden becomes a Newman

Crikey reported yesterday in its subscriber only email that:

NSW Liberal leader John Brogden is ready to announce his $20 billion plan – to be called ‘Rebuild NSW’ or ‘Rebuilding NSW’, depending on who you talk to – aimed at winning the next election.
With a $20 billion wish list of major public private partnerships, it will be launched at a Millennium Forum luncheon at the Westin Hotel on 11 April before an audience of developers, builders and construction types.
It’s the brainchild of a Victorian PR company which believe the voters of NSW want to see lots of shiny new toys.

Is this yet another example of Liberal Oppositions inappropriately applying the lessons of Campbell Newman’s Brisbane City Council win where part of his campaign was to build 5 new tunnels to solve Brisbane’s traffic problems? I’ve said it before, but I’ll say it again – Newman won despite his tunnels, not because of them.
At this time in this country oppositions will not win government by promising large infrastructure projects. Not only won’t electors believe that they will be delivered, but the promise to build them lowers the opposition’s credibility, increasing the propensity for electors to believe that they will never be built.
Newman won in Brisbane because he ran against the perceived indolence of the Labor incumbent, and because he promised to fix the little things. Newman dramatised his “Can do” moniker by rushing around the suburbs filling potholes, not building four lane ones! Brogden should be running on a platform of fixing the infrastructure that’s there, not building more of it.
Our research in WA showed that the Canal proposal was no help to Barnett, but more pertinently, our research in the last NSW election showed that the Liberals’ promise to build a cross-harbour tunnel to Manly was a significant negative for them.
Not that infrastructure projects can’t be winners. Andrew Leigh finds a relationship between the Federal Coalition vote and the Roads to Recovery project using reversion analysis, but there is an important distinction between John Howard and John Brogden. Howard is in government and in a position to start laying tar before an election – Brogden can only promise for the future, a place that electors are notoriously reluctant to put much of a deposit on.

Posted by Graham at 6:54 am | Comments (1) |
Filed under: Australian Politics

1 Comment

  1. Boom Boom Bob at the other end of the barrel

    A former volunteer worker and sometime staffer for NSW Opposition Leader John Brogden has been charged after being found to have called the Premier’s office and threatened to kill him during Question Time yesterday. Mercifully for all of us living…

    Comment by wsacaucus.org — April 6, 2005 @ 1:24 pm

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