New South Wales Premier Gladys Berejiklian is alert to the challenge of operating in today’s difficult electorate.
“The digital age has brought a sense of empowerment. It’s brought a sense of greater appreciation of democracy and the political process. And we need to not only respond to it, but adapt to that and make sure that we are listening during our term in office – not just at election time,” she says.
With her government having just handed down a budget with an enviable surplus, she says the federal government’s Gonski legislation will leave NSW better off “in terms of dollars”.
But she is very concerned about what she sees as an urgent need to review the numerous and “clumsy” federal-state partnerships. She’d prefer a more fundamental overhaul, but that’s not on the horizon.
“I don’t want piecemeal reform; I would prefer to have wholesale reform. But I can’t see that happening in the near future, and for that reason I think as a state leader I have to deliver as much as I can under the existing circumstances.”
Authors: Michelle Grattan, Professorial Fellow, University of Canberra