Premier Dominic Perrottet plans to hold his own government to account on key promises if he is re-elected, pledging to publish data to track spending in state seats to improve transparency over commitments made during the campaign.
The Department of Premier and Cabinet would monitor the status and delivery of election promises and publish results twice a year under the public accountability measure.
If re-elected, the premier said the move would give voters confidence that his government’s promises were genuine.
“Good governments have a strong vision for the future, but voters rightly expect them to deliver on their plans and commitments and be transparent about any hurdles that arise,” he said. “This will raise the bar across the country when it comes to government transparency and accountability.”
Perrottet has vowed to lift integrity standards in his government after repeated revelations of widespread pork barrelling, which is the process of targeting specific electorates with taxpayer cash for a political outcome.
Then-ICAC chief commissioner Peter Hall last year found pork barrelling had reached an “industrial scale” in NSW in recent years, after an infamous government grants scheme that resulted in millions of dollars flowing mostly to Coalition electorates.
Former premier Gladys Berejiklian famously directed more than $100 million to Wagga Wagga in a 2018 byelection, failing to stem the Liberals’ spectacular loss to independent Joe McGirr. She also said pork barrelling was “not illegal” in defending a grants program in 2020.
The tracking of election promises would be in addition to integrity reforms the government has already put in place, including changes to grant guidelines and amending ICAC legislation to apply the NSW Ministerial Code of Conduct to parliamentary secretaries.
Under the proposal, a website would publish the status of spending announcements, while an annual report would also be produced to be table to parliament.
Among the government’s biggest election promises is $1.5 billion for a Create Clean Energy Superpower Fund to deliver renewable energy storage projects, as well as a $1.2 billion promise to build and upgrade 20 hospitals and health facilities.
The Coalition has also promised to spend $260 million creating final business cases for four new metro lines in Sydney’s west and $130 million to provide airconditioning to Western Sydney classrooms.
The premier said the election promise tool would help people track projects and policies that impact their communities.
“Trust in our democracy relies on the community having the confidence that what they vote for will actually be deliver,” he said.
with Anthony Segaert
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