Raising the BARR – Week ending 8 February 2019

Raising the Barr

The Political Spin of Elections Will Be Enough To Put You Into a Spin

As someone who works and lives inside of the state political “bubble” I see all kinds of statements made by politicians that really don’t reflect very accurately on reality. In simple terms, the truth is hard to find. Because I am a little bit closer to the facts, I can see the spin, but it must be so hard for everyone out in voter land.

In more recent times I have seen and heard some howlers. Take for example the business case that supported the re-build of Parramatta Stadium – it turns out that it relied on 3 NRL teams playing all of their home games there. Assuming Parramatta is one of those 3 teams, who are the other 2? Should we expect the other 2 to be playing there in 2019? If there aren’t going to be another 2 teams playing there, does that make the business case a big fat lie?

The naming of the Sydney ferry as “Ferry McFerryface” was an incredible mistruth. The Minister assured us all that the public had spoken and that the silly name had the most votes. Some months later it was leaked that the silly name had in fact received very few votes, while a more sensible name, dedicated to a great Australian, Ian Kiernan had received thousands more votes than the Ferry McFerryface idea. The Minister had to acknowledge that he had originally misled the public.

And one of the more misleading arguments ever put by a Premier about selling a public asset, the Land Titles office, is one that is close to my heart. My role as the Shadow Minister for Finance was to have a shadow responsibility for the Land Titles Office because it was in my portfolio. The Premier told us that it was “just the administration” of the Land Titles Office. The former Surveyor General came out of retirement to put the Premier in her place and declare that the Premier was fundamentally wrong to refer to it as just administration; that in fact it was the core and heart of our entire Land Title system that she was selling.

In the coming months there will be 2 elections – State and Federal. I can only imagine how hard it is going to be for people to figure out the truth. Where possible, I am more than happy to help.