This event was both popular and informative as acclaimed political journalist Leigh Sales took to the stage to interview NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian, discussing where NSW is today and what its future holds.
With a long weekend beckoning, the Corporate Club Australia Business Lunch was perfectly timed to bring together business and government leaders before signing-off the working week.
Living up to expectations in the blue state
The event kicked off with Leigh Sales bravely admitting upfront that she’s a proud Queenslander, in the wake of NSW’s State of Origin victory. Our presenters had fun with the footy banter as did Brad Fittler, coach of the NSW Origin team (in attendance) who greeted Leigh's admission with a ‘send off’ signal.
Fortunately, the veteran reporter kept her poise to carry on and ask the tough questions of the Premier.
Up first, with NSW economically leading the country, why do some people still feel they’re doing it tough? The Premier made it clear it was all about high expectations. People demand more and more from their leaders, but it’s a government’s job to meet those growing hopes, not temper them.
Getting the train and getting ahead
Housing and transport challenges formed the centre of discussions. With four major transport projects being finalised in the next 18 months, things will change very soon. The Premier said she passionately wanted to see more suits on trains; with smartphones and laptops bringing us closer to work wherever we are, why not work on the train and avoid traffic altogether?
The Premier was pressed on housing affordability and responded she was delighted that the removal or reduction in stamp duty on homes under $800,000 had led to many more people entering the housing market. Leigh admitted to recently selling her own house for far more than that, and the Premier thanked her for her contribution to the economy, drawing laughter from the crowd.
A reputation for business as usual
With a room full of Sydney business leaders, the Premier laid out her priorities. Businesses look to government decisions before they make their own. So, a government is only as good as its reputation and the stability it provides. With both short- and long-term infrastructure plans in place, the government is able to give its business leaders the confidence they need to invest in NSW’s future.
With good foundations in place, the Premier said the government would work hard over the next year to help people and business in NSW get ahead.
A thank you to Luna Park Sydney for hosting the event, and to everyone who attended.
Ms Leigh Sales appears by arrangement with Claxton Speakers International.