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A still from a NSW election ad, run on television and online, which says “selling the electricity network is wrong; selling it to another country is just not on”. CFMEU Mining/YouTube

Playing the China card may win votes, but it’s bad for Australia

Labor and the unions have decided to play the China card in the NSW election. Such scare campaigns ignore the facts, including that Australia has invested almost as much in China as China has here.
New South Wales Premier Mike Baird looks likely to keep enjoying the view from the top of the state after the March 28 poll. Mike Baird/Facebook

NSW voters set to back Baird, but upper house is too close to call

With just a day of campaigning left in the New South Wales election, the result is already clear. Mike Baird's government will be re-elected – but the battle for 21 upper house seats will be crucial.
Premier Mike Baird and Communities Minister Victor Dominello have vigorously pursued their vision for peak body Multicultural NSW. AAP/Dan Himbrechts

Multicultural mayhem lurks in the shadows of the NSW election

Multicultural issues are stirring in NSW. They range from education, aged care and health through to political rights to commemorate unresolved overseas conflicts.
In the countdown to the March 28 New South Wales election, social media is a key battleground for persuading swinging voters. @lyon_brendan/Twitter

The marketing battle for NSW hearts and minds on privatisation

Given the history on privatisation in NSW, and facing a more emotionally powerful campaign, the Baird government is actually doing pretty well to be closing in on polling day in a winning position.
Security experts discovered that the iVote practice server was vulnerable to tampering; after checking that the same weakness affected the real voting server, they alerted the authorities. Vanessa Teague and Alex Halderman

Thousands of NSW election online votes open to tampering

UPDATED 3PM: The NSW Electoral Commission has now publicly commented on the security flaw we uncovered. But we're concerned that it does not seem to understand the serious implications of this attack.
Mike Baird concedes there are ‘challenges’ facing the federal Liberal Party, led by Tony Abbott (right), but says voters want him to focus on state issues. AAP/Paul Miller

NSW Premier Mike Baird on health, privatisation, and Abbott’s shadow

'There's no doubt there's challenges in Canberra ... I would like Canberra to get on with the job of actually looking after the people it's supposed to be representing.' – Mike Baird
Asked about what he would consider a good result at the upcoming state election, Mike Baird joked he’d be happy with a win. AAP/Dan Himbrechts

In Conversation with Mike Baird: full transcript

'I would be incredibly disappointed, I can’t tell you how disappointed I’d be, if I didn’t have the opportunity to continue beyond March ... [these are] some of the most exciting times in politics'.
Many services in NSW that previously operated as specialist women’s refuges have been dramatically transformed under recent reforms. shutterstock

The evidence supports specialist refuges for domestic violence

Research about specialist women’s domestic violence and other refuges does not support the claims made by NSW Family and Community Services Minister Gabrielle Upton that recent sweeping changes to these…
Unlike in Queensland, NSW Premier Mike Baird will not be able to keep Tony Abbott away from the campaign trail. AAP/Dan Himbrechts

Making Abbott invisible in NSW campaign will prove difficult

The major political parties are only days away from launching their campaigns for this year’s New South Wales state election, to be held on March 28. As state political issues that don’t involve the Independent…
NSW premier Mike Baird’s proposed changes to the state’s electoral funding laws could cost taxpayers more than $10 million extra per electoral cycle. AAP/Dean Lewins

NSW is introducing full public funding of major political parties – by stealth

How much should taxpayers pay to subsidise the running of political parties and their campaigns? If the NSW government gets its way, the answer is going to be quite a lot more. While its proposed changes…
NSW premier Mike Baird’s government remains resilient despite a growing body count as a result of revelations at the state’s ICAC. AAP/Nikki Short

A growing body count by ICAC hasn’t hurt the NSW Liberals – yet

The New South Wales Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC) is the state’s most popular institution. If you need proof, ask yourself: just how many other government bodies have members of the…
For acting on a NSW Law Reform Commission review of bail laws, Greg Smith was pilloried for having gone from ‘Rambo’ in opposition to ‘marshmallow soft’ on crime as attorney-general. Daily Telegraph

Is rational law reform still possible in a shock-jock tabloid world?

The New South Wales government’s decision to “review” and amend the new Bail Act after only one month in operation illustrates worrying trends in public policymaking relevant to all jurisdictions. It raises…
It seems things are not yet bad enough in the Labor Party to make significant reform, such as John Faulkner’s proposed changes to preselection, likely. AAP/Daniel Munoz

Faulkner’s reforms will fail as NSW Labor refuses to change

Labor senator John Faulkner does not anticipate that his moves to reform the party’s preselection processes will succeed at this weekend’s NSW State Conference. Faulkner is hoping to have the rules changed…
NSW premier Barry O'Farrell felt obliged to resign as a result of ICAC revelations when it wasn’t clear to all that he should. Daniel Munoz/AAP

Has monitory democracy spawned a monster in ICAC?

“Monitory democracy” refers to the extra-parliamentary, para-legal, post-bureaucratic institutions of scrutiny that emerged as recently as the 1970s in Australia. Their evolution has swept us along in…
NSW premier Mike Baird has suggested moving to the full public funding of election campaigns in response to the stunning revelations at the state’s ICAC hearings. AAP/Alan Porritt

Public funding of election campaigns won’t end improper influence

The revelations concerning the sorry state of political finance in NSW continue to be aired at public hearings of the state’s Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC). Both the Liberal and Labor…
Mike Baird leaves a party meeting after being elected unopposed as the next leader of the NSW Liberal Party. AAP/Daniel Munoz

Baird elected NSW Premier, flags disclosure changes

Mike Baird is the new premier of New South Wales with Gladys Berejiklian as deputy leader of the NSW Liberal Party, after…
Mike Baird is the man chosen by the Liberal Party to replace Barry O'Farrell as premier. Who is he, and what challenges does he now face? AAP/Tracey Nearmy

From O'Farrell to Baird: a new start for NSW politics?

Mike Baird has been elected unopposed as the new NSW Liberal Party leader, and will soon become the state’s 44th premier after the shock resignation of Barry O'Farrell yesterday. But what are the prospects…
NSW premier Barry O'Farrell has fallen victim to the state’s ICAC, resigning his post earlier today over a ‘memory fail’ in the evidence he gave before it. AAP/Dan Himbrechts

History repeats: how O'Farrell and Greiner fell foul of ICAC

Today, the New South Wales Independent Commission into Corruption (ICAC) claimed its biggest political scalp in two decades. Liberal state premier Barry O’Farrell resigned after what he has described as…
Barry O'Farrell has resigned after acknowledging that his denial to ICAC of receiving expensive wine, was incorrect. AAP Image/Dan Himbrechts

O’Farrell fell short of basic standards in business and public life

It is tragic that New South Wales has lost an able and dedicated Premier apparently over a bottle of wine, even if it is a $3000 bottle of 1959 Penfolds Grange. Many will be sad to see Barry O’Farrell…

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