I am really enjoying the WA outcome. We still don't know what the final results will be, but it has set people running in all directions at once. In particular, I am really enjoying the existence of so many multiple National Party models.
In WA, we have the cross-bench model. In SA, a coalition arrangement with Labor. In Queensland, a merged Liberal National Party, with Federal members able to sit in either Party room. This is in fact a variant of the CLP NT model.
In all this, there now seems to be emerging agreement that the lessons for the Nats from the Lyne/WA combo is stick to their knitting, proper independent representation of regional interests.
Meantime, in NSW with its new Labor Premier, the main feeling seems to be a heartfelt hope that he can actually do something to improve the situation.
A major casualty in all this is the support that once existed for four year fixed terms. This seemed so self-evidently sensible - give Governments time to govern. But what do you do when a Government gets into a mess? In the NSW case, the ALP's current majority means that the Government can simply hang in there for the next few years hoping that things will get better. As do we all.
The decline in the NSW economy adds to the Government's woes.
All the discussion about the existence in Australia of a two tier economy misses the point that the Australian economy has always been a multi-tier economy. It's just that the balance has changed.
The NSW Government's revenue position has been weakening for some time. The ending of the Sydney property boom reduced income from property transfers. Slowing consumer spending affected GST revenues. Growth in pay roll tax revenues has slowed as employment growth has slowed. In all this, the only growth area has been increased mining revenues from the coal fields of Northern NSW.
The NSW Government's expenditure position has also been deteriorating. Leaving aside problems with the State's deteriorating infrastructure, the aging of the NSW population is now affecting spend in a number of areas such as health and welfare.
One can argue that the Labor Government has failed to address the State's needs. However, and in fairness, it needs to be recognised that any NSW Government would face a difficult time just at present.