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Mike Baird just the man for Coalition's NSW plan

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Thoughts of Premier Baird

Listen to what the new Premier had to say on key issues affecting NSW. Nine News.

PT0M0S 620 349

As shell-shocked Liberal MPs struggled to accept the sudden resignation of Barry O'Farrell on Thursday, talk turned to how new Premier Mike Baird would work with his federal colleagues.

Baird holds the state seat of Manly, which sits within Prime Minister Tony Abbott's federal seat of Warringah. The pair are both surfers – they've actually surfed together – and are family men with a strong Christian faith (Abbott trained to be a priest; Baird hoped to become a missionary).

In Baird, Abbott and federal Treasurer Joe Hockey have a political soul mate who could help them realise their plans to rebuild NSW.

The 56-year-old Abbott has worked in the cut and thrust of politics since the early 1990s, when he served as press secretary to former opposition leader John Hewson.

In comparison, Baird, 44, is a relatively recent arrival on the political stage, having been elected only in 2007. But the former HSBC executive has been in and around politics for much of his life – his father Bruce served in the state and then federal parliaments from 1984 to 2007. And it was against his father's advice that he entered public life.

Liberal insiders rushed to emphasise the strength of the relationship between Abbott and Baird on Thursday. And the new Premier's elevation is a chance for the relationship between the federal and state governments to be reset. Abbott and O'Farrell were not always on the same political page, including when O'Farrell ensured NSW was the first state to sign up to the former Gillard government's Gonski reforms.

Baird's political leanings are in line with those of Hockey. The 49-year-old Hockey is said to be delighted with Baird's appointment, as well as that of his deputy Gladys Berejiklian, with whom Hockey is particularly close.

 Hockey and Baird have a similar economic rationalist view of the world. There is renewed optimism in Liberal ranks that the elevation of Baird will restart the push to privatise NSW's electricity poles and wires. As treasurer, Baird oversaw the sale of Port Botany and Port Kembla, and such a sale could reap $30 billion in revenue. If it were to be ploughed back into infrastructure, as seems likely, Hockey and Abbott would be delighted.

Abbott has promised to be an "infrastructure prime minister", while Hockey is driving the government's push to recycle old or "brownfields" infrastructure to fund new projects.

On Thursday, just days after the announcement that Badgerys Creek would be the venue for Sydney's second airport, and that billions would be spent on roads to support it, Baird spoke about the "huge infrastructure backlog" facing NSW when the Coalition came to office.

He pledged his next budget, just weeks away, would continue to tackle the problem. Abbott and Hockey would have been thrilled.

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86 comments

  • He's a Tony Abbott sycophant it's written all over him,NSW you are as stuffed as QLD. You have a Premier like ours that is embarrassing to watch fawn and drool over Abbott.

    Commenter
    Rosie
    Date and time
    April 18, 2014, 8:49AM
    • Everyone who isn't a Labor/Greens rusted-on is regarded by them as being an 'Abbott sycophant'. Same thing happened with the Howard Haters.

      Commenter
      SteveH.
      Date and time
      April 18, 2014, 9:04AM
    • Agreed.....and it disturbs me that these types with their so-called economic rationalist views(which is just words for 'giving' more to the greedy rich I feel), say they are religious, when the very people who suffer under them are ordinary folk and the poor.

      So from my observation and experience nowadays, anyone that sprouts they are religious, just means they will take from the poor and give to the rich.......

      Commenter
      poorman
      Date and time
      April 18, 2014, 9:42AM
    • Give the guy a chance.....how can you bag someone after only one day? Grow up!

      Commenter
      J.G.
      Date and time
      April 18, 2014, 9:49AM
    • Indeed Rosie !
      Read a comment yesterday from Marshall 8:18AM
      He said "..... the press held the letter which suddenly appears.... and gone is The Rogue NSW Premier Barry O'Farrell. This the very same Rogue Premier who made a fool of Pyne re:Gonski... so now Gonski is shredded paper.... The Rogue Premier who signed up for Gillard/Shorten's NDIS trails also certainly gonski.... the Rogue Premier who refuses to offload electricity assets without public consent..... not likely to play into the Hockey Flog It All! Ambitions. Education Minister from The National Party in NSW.... hands down will be gonski by the end of the Day. Coal and gas sectors are lining up with their consent slips ready for signing.....NSW North Shore Liberal Wing..... have another win."
      Perhaps Marshall is closer to the truth than we all think !!

      Commenter
      Lefty
      Date and time
      April 18, 2014, 9:51AM
    • BOF ? rolled by the right ? Jesus wept!! Hopefully, we in NSW won't be such pushovers as in Qld. Election in 12 months anyway. I hope for many more Independands, Greens and a hung Parliament to ensure negotiation and a stronger democracy.

      Commenter
      Dizz
      Location
      Nthn Rivers
      Date and time
      April 18, 2014, 9:59AM
    • J.G. He's been in politics longer than a day.

      Commenter
      davros
      Date and time
      April 18, 2014, 10:32AM
    • Hi Rosie, about 60% of Qlders would disagree with you

      Commenter
      Next Mini Ice Age
      Location
      Brisbane
      Date and time
      April 18, 2014, 12:19PM
    • @Lefty, 9.51am. I read that comment too (and took a copy) because it made far too much sense to ignore.
      With that though, I note a substantial rise of white male Christians amongst our politicians - an indication of Australian politics being taken over by the neoconservative/Tea Party adherents. With declining religiosity in Australia, one MUST ask why our elected representatives DO NOT represent Australia (based on this evidence of religious and nonreligious belief systems). As an ex Catholic, for me, this stands out against the backdrop of other political matters.

      Commenter
      Jump
      Date and time
      April 18, 2014, 12:53PM
    • @Next Mini Ice Age "about 60% of Qlders would disagree with you" are you seriously implying you think that 60% of Queenslanders would vote for Newman if an election were held right now, or am I misunderstanding something here ??!! If that is what you're saying, you'd better release the firm grip you have on yourself mate, otherwise it may fall off !!
      Newman & the rest of the rabid extremist right wing nutters would be out on their proverbial ears& the insanity thrust upon us by non thinking naive voters would come to a relieving end! Hopefully an incoming Labor government can return this state to some semblance of sanity!!

      Commenter
      Lefty
      Date and time
      April 18, 2014, 1:22PM

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