Thursday, March 8, 2012

A Strayn Connection

The relationship between Federal and State branches of a political party must often be a fraught one.

We've read countless stories in recent years about whether a poorly performing federal party is having an effect on a state election, or whether a state party wracked by scandal is affecting the federal vote.

Of course, these things are impossible to determine, given that, even when they are specifically asked, no one can know why a voter ticks a certain box or answers a polling question one way or the other.

Not that that stops all those blasted columnists and bloggers.

In any event, it seems like the most common source of friction must be issues where an option is good for the country as a whole but effects states differently.

The infrastructure funding is a good example.  The Federal Government allocates a particular sum of money each year to Infrastructure projects, and the states jostle each other for the cash.

In the last year of the NSW Labor government a fairly half-hearted application was made for Federal funding. As a result of the sub-standard effort the state missed out entirely.  This was despite the fact that a large injection of cash may have significantly boosted NSW Labor's numbers in the lead-up to the 2011 election.

Of course, that didn't stop Federal Labor offering to throw great big wads of money at the NorthWest Rail link during the campaign, but that's another issue.

It's not often, however, that a State branch and a Federal Branch are perceived to be working at cross purposes.
Full Story here
Now, O'Farrell is on record as opposing the Carbon Tax.

Additionally, the NSW Liberal website has great big swathes of space dedicated to the issue. I went there to download a press release or comment, but found this instead.

In any event.

Now, despite some people's protestations, pursuit of clean energy will undoubtedly create jobs.  Whether those jobs will replace those lost because of the carbon price is all but impossible to determine, but it would be plain wrong to say that NO jobs will be created.

And, of course, those jobs will have to be created somewhere. So the NSW government has to chase those jobs for the state. I don't think anyone would argue with that.

The most interesting part, though, is the fact that this announcement was only the creation of 40 jobs. It's not an enormous investment in Sydney's future - in the face of approximately 3. 5 million people employed in NSW, it is a miniscule number.

Notwithstanding, a big fuss was made about it, including a joint press conference with O'Farrell and Gillard.

Brad Burden, O'Farrell's media man, had this to say:
He may be right, he may not be.  But the more I think about, the more I see this announcement doing very little help the NSW Coalition, but probably hurting the Federal Coalition quite a bit.

What it shows, in short, is NSW getting on with the job - accepting that there will be a price on Carbon, and that energy is best invested dealing with that rather than rending garments in protest.

No matter, what you think about the Carbon Price, I think NSW would be stupid to not try and ensure that as many of these new jobs as possible are in NSW.

Having said all that, it seems that the debate on the Carbon Price and in particular the reporting from certain segments of the media means that all reason may well have flown out the window, so what would I know?

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