Message from John

WELCOME TO THE WEBSITE OF THE NSW LABOR OPPOSITION

In two years, Premier Barry O'Farrell has slashed $3 billion from hospitals and hundreds of millions from child protection, schools and TAFE. We need to remember this every time a teacher is removed, a hospital waiting list blows out or an ambulance takes too long. It's a fact of life: Coalition governments never make the investments that our essential services so desperately need.

The true colours of the O'Farrell government are becoming clear. Shooting in national parks. Expanded coal seam gas exploration. No action to curb drive-by shootings or alcohol-related violence. No transparency over the proposed new casino. And privatisation of our state's assets - from utilities to heritage buildings to every single NSW port.

At the same time - thanks to this government - you're paying more in public transport fares and speed camera revenue. More every quarter for electricity, water and gas.

A government cutting services, privatising assets and making you pay more has lost touch with the people who elected it. Join with us as we hold Mr O'Farrell to account. 

John Robertson      

PS - Click below for why I support the Gonski reforms to school funding - allocating more resources to the students in greatest need.


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A NEW STANDARD

My job as Opposition Leader is to hold the Government to account. Sadly, the biggest story in the media right now isn't Barry O'Farrell's cuts to jobs, hospitals or schools. Instead it's the action playing out at the Independent Commission Against Corruption.

I will not allow the shameful behaviour of a few to stop us from pursuing the great Labor cause. We can't simply ignore what's happened. We have a duty to win back the public's trust. That is why under my leadership I will set A New Standard for Labor.

Let me start by giving you an ironclad commitment: I will not tolerate corruption.
 
Any person found to have engaged in corrupt conduct will be expelled from the Labor Party. This zero tolerance approach will be enforced immediately. A re-elected Labor Government will also require all MPs to publicly release their taxable income, down to the very last cent. This includes income from investments, trusts, outside business interests and parliamentary salaries.

You have a right to know if your MP is earning significant income from outside sources. The President of the United States does it, the UK Prime Minister does it and under Labor in Government – every MP in NSW will have to tell you about their income.

To find out more about the New Standard I have introduced read my recent speech in Western Sydney or click on the video below.

HOUSING SUMMIT

Housing affordability is the "barbeque stopper" issue of our time. Young couples wonder how they’ll ever get off the rental treadmill and into that first home. Mums and Dads sweat every month on what the Reserve Bank will do with interest rates. And let's not forget our homeless population and the massive waiting lists for social and community housing.

State Governments are a primary driver of affordable housing - they write the planning laws, levy property taxes and create the business climate for new construction. Right now, the most obvious cause of price pressures is the shortage of supply - with Sydney, for example, estimated to be about 100,000 homes short. NSW has among the lowest rate of new housing construction starts anywhere in Australia.

On Tuesday February 12, I hosted a Housing Affordability Summit at Parliament House. We attracted a great lineup of speakers including Dr Andrew Charlton, Mark Bouris and many experts in business, unions, the property sector and local government.

The questions we asked: what are the key steps to break the housing deadlock in NSW? Are the current tax and grant incentives right? What innovative new investment and financing methods are available to grow supply? How can we streamline planning processes and reduce construction costs?

And how can we build not just more homes – but the right kind of homes. Affordable housing – not just on the city outskirts but in Sydney’s inner and middle suburbs. That means quality townhouses and medium density apartments.

Read my speech to the summit. Tell me what you think. And stay tuned as Labor develops its housing policy ahead of the 2015 election.

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