Pacific National has begun scrapping railway assets in NSW says the Rail Revival Alliance
Newcastle Rail Judgement In July says the Rail Revivial Alliance
Newcastle rail line necessary for progress
A special levy on land values would fund the Melbourne Metro Rail
MP Geoff Lee: Parramatta needs multiple, shorter light rail lines
Brisbane Valley rail trail group reboots funding campaign
Toll motorists to pay for rail tunnel, expert says
McCloy lays property interests on the table
The east-west link is dead - a victory for 21st-century thinking
Here's what a real infrastructure plan looks like - Everald Compton
In early 2013, Dan Andrews was emerging as a contender. The Liberals had just knifed a premier, turning to Denis Napthine as an unlikely messiah. Labor was ahead in the polls, consistently. Even one-and-a-half years out from an election, this combination invited the question: would the member for Mulgrave be our next premier? And just as importantly, who was he?
So over several weeks, I watched and talked to him, from an awards day at the local primary school, to lengthy interviews in his Spring Street office. In the final of these discussions we talked about political leaders and a study of the subject was found on his bookcase, heavy with political biographies: from Labor hero John Curtin to nemesis Jeff Kennett.
"There's a lot of people there that won elections," noted Andrews. "There's a lot of people there that won elections and did things with the victory."
There were two books on Paul Keating, and Andrews offered that on a recent trip to Sydney, he had spent a couple of hours with the former prime minister. He summed up Keating's credo of what it meant to be in government: he won it, used it and left the place better than he found it.
Fast forward to state election night last November and, in the Mulgrave Country Club, I'm watching Andrews, premier-elect, make his way through the adoring Labor throng. The Keating connection hangs in the back of my mind. Andrews had won it, but how would he use it?
Three months on, we are starting to get a clearer picture of how Dan Andrews is shaping as a leader. Already, there are signs that the Keating credo is at work. In a series of both substantial and symbolic decisions, Andrews is showing that he could emerge as progressive Labor premier who is ready to seize the opportunity that power presents.
The first of these – substantial – was establishing the Royal Commission into Family Violence, following through on Labor's election commitment. The importance of the commission, headed by Justice Marcia Neave, cannot be overstated – an opportunity for a high-level investigation into what is the leading cause of death and disability for Victorian women under 45.
At the start of this month, Andrews made a symbolic statement when he led the Gay Pride march – the first Victorian premier to do so. This was a powerful public statement in support of equality and against discrimination.
The third decision – both substantial and symbolic – that marks Andrews as a progressive is the choice of Linda Dessau as Victorian governor, the first female to occupy the vice-regal post. The former Family Court judge is an outstanding choice to replace Alex Chernov when his term expires in the middle of the year. She has led national projects on the problems of family violence and child abuse. She combines this with a distinctly Melbourne vibe, serving as an AFL commissioner.
The first days of this government have involved many other issues: the messy East West Link arm wrestle, reviving the Metro rail tunnel, declaring Easter Sunday a public holiday. But it is these three decisions – the family violence royal commission, the Gay Pride march and Victoria's first female governor – that serve as markers of the potential of the Andrews premiership.
This article first appeared on www.theage.com.au
About this website
Railpage version 3.10.0.0037
All logos and trademarks in this site are property of their respective owner. The comments are property of their posters, all the rest is © 2003-2019 Interactive Omnimedia Pty Ltd.
You can syndicate our news using one of the RSS feeds.