Editor-In-Chief: Charbel Baini

‘Next year in Jerusalem’

www.jewishnews.net.au
NSW Premier Mike Baird has reaffirmed his commitment to lead a trade delegation to Israel as Premier if the Coalition is returned in the NSW election later this month.

The remarks were made at an Australia–Israel Chamber of Commerce business lunch on Tuesday, at which Baird also outlined his plans for the state if re-elected on March 28.

“I’ve committed to [NSW Jewish Board of Deputies CEO Vic Alhadeff] that should we win the election, I will become the first Premier to lead a delegation to Jerusalem,” he said.

“So next year in Jerusalem, we look forward to it.”

In regard to the election itself, Baird said voters face a “pretty stark choice”.

“We have an opportunity to move forward or we have an opportunity to move backwards,” he said.

Outlining the government’s first term, he said when the Coalition was elected in 2011 the state was running “dead last” in every economic indicator.

“We said while we got the budget under control, we had to invest in the drivers of the economy,” he said.

“The economy now, on every single indicator, is back leading the nation. There is some momentum back in NSW and that is something we’re very proud of.”

He said his government will increase economic growth and provide more jobs, while providing more revenue for the government to “look after those most vulnerable”.

Referring to the government’s plan to lease 49 per cent of the electricity network, he added: “The reason that it can be delivered is because we put the funding against it.”

Baird also dismissed Labor’s opposition to the power sale as a “scare campaign”, saying the privatisation would put downward pressure on electricity prices.

“This state deserves a great government that is prepared to tell people honestly that this is how we’re going to fund it, and this is the difference it will make to your life,” he said.

Meanwhile last Sunday, a confident Opposition Leader Luke Foley officially launched Labor’s campaign.

He is campaigning on a platform of retaining electricity infrastructure and using profits from it to invest in hospitals and schools.

Labor also plans to introduce a moratorium on coal seam gas mining in parts of NSW.

GARETH NARUNSKY

NSW Premier Mike Baird.

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