In Estimates, Abigail called out the Premier's failure after failure to deliver outcomes for the people of NSW.
Ms ABIGAIL BOYD: At what point do you accept that your political party is fundamentally broken in terms of conflicts of interest, scandals—I mean, we could list them: Sidoti, Ward, Johnsen. We could talk about Ayres, obviously, Barilaro, Daryl Maguire, Gladys Berejiklian. We could go on and on and on. Your only response so far has been to point at a few people as being bad apples rather than to actually implement systemic reform. Are you honestly taking the high ground here and claiming that there is some form of corruption going on with the unions?
Mr DOMINIC PEROTTET: I guess you can't see what is blatantly obvious, Ms Boyd. Substantial donations from the union movement to the Labor Party, and the outcomes that are obtained by that, is deeply
Ms ABIGAIL BOYD: So donations—
Mr DOMINIC PERROTTET: And conflicts of interest. We have prohibited—I'm actually very uncomfortable generally with donations to political parties at all.
Ms ABIGAIL BOYD: Yes, me too.
Mr DOMINIC PERROTTET: Because the questions naturally arise—the outcomes that are obtained by donations.
Ms ABIGAIL BOYD: So—
Mr DOMINIC PERROTTET: Hold on; I'll answer the question. Through the history of this State, over time, we have, through this Government and previous governments, prohibited certain donations being
Ms ABIGAIL BOYD: Yes. That's great—thanks to the efforts of The Greens, in many cases, over the last 20 years.
Mr DOMINIC PERROTTET: Congratulations on the involvement that you've had in cleaning up politics.
Ms ABIGAIL BOYD: Yes, exactly.
Mr DOMINIC PERROTTET: But I don't understand how you can't see that there is a substantial conflict of interest between significant amounts of money being paid by the unions to the New South Wales Labor
Party and the outcome that could be obtained by that. How are you not—
Ms ABIGAIL BOYD: I'm not in favour of any of these large donations.
Mr DOMINIC PERROTTET: You can't see the issue with that.
Ms ABIGAIL BOYD: What I am asking you, Premier, is in the context, for example, of Transurban still giving the Liberal Party $30,000 to attend a dinner—the amount of donations that are flowing to the New South Wales Liberal Party on the disclosures— Why is this stuff still continuing? Why do we have Ministers—
Mr DOMINIC PERROTTET: We've moved, obviously, to a greater approach in relation to public funding. It's something that I will continue to look at because I am deeply uncomfortable with the connection
between donations to political parties, whether you're in government or whether you're in opposition. But the largest donors to political parties in this State and in this country are to the Labor Party. You just had the RTBU, who is providing significant financial support to Labor, have a Minister in the Federal Government write to the Fair Work Commission in the midst of an industrial action that affects the RTBU. The Greens and Labor think there is absolutely nothing wrong with that.
Ms ABIGAIL BOYD: This is a fascinating line of attack from you, Premier.
Abigail then grilled the Premier about his Budget that prioritises big business over people and planet...
Ms ABIGAIL BOYD: What we're talking about is a budget that you have presided over that has favoured the big end of town and corporations, and has left people, like the 431,000 public sector workers, without a fair wage. And then you get upset when they take to the streets or when they strike to complain about that. What else are they supposed to do in this environment, Premier?
Mr DOMINIC PERROTTET: Is this a question or a statement? I'm entitled to respond and I will. I have made it very clear that when it comes to wages in New South Wales we have the leading policy in the
country, outside of Queensland, who just matched us. When it comes to wage growth in the public service, as the State's leading employer I want to see wages higher right across the board, right across the State.
Ms ABIGAIL BOYD: If you remove the cap, you might get an actual fair wage.
Mr DOMINIC PERROTTET: No. If you remove the cap, Ms Boyd, what you will have is a situation where you strip money out of the households—
Ms ABIGAIL BOYD: Out of the fossil fuel companies. Out of all of the other people—
Mr DOMINIC PERROTTET: No, that's not who pays our taxes.
Ms ABIGAIL BOYD: —who you're giving millions and millions of dollars to.
Ms ABIGAIL BOYD: We still have one in six children in poverty, Premier. And we still have over 13 per cent of people in New South Wales in poverty.
Mr DOMINIC PERROTTET: Still, New South Wales is in a very strong position. When it comes to wages, I've made it very clear. Our approach is fair, reasonable, provides support—
Ms ABIGAIL BOYD: At what point do you admit that you've got this wrong, Premier?
Mr DOMINIC PERROTTET: We have the leading wage position in the country, outside of Queensland, who only recently increased their wages above New South Wales. I'm very proud of our track record.
I need, as Premier—and formerly as Treasurer—to balance the competing interests of the State. As I said, this is not my money; it's taxpayer money.
Ms ABIGAIL BOYD: Yes, 13 per cent of people in poverty is a failure.
Mr DOMINIC PERROTTET: People right across New South Wales—
The CHAIR: We're in the Opposition's time now. We'll have to come back to this. Thanks to both of
Mr DOMINIC PERROTTET: —are struggling with the cost of living. The New South Wales Government's public sector wages policy is nation-leading.
Ms ABIGAIL BOYD: You have failed.
You can read the full transcript here.