old parliament should reflect modern nsw

Old parliament should ‘reflect’ modern NSW


The near-two-century-old NSW parliament needs to better reflect the modern state it represents, Premier Gladys Berejiklian says.

She has asked for two parliamentary committees to look at how it can modernise standards inside Australia’s oldest parliament and place more focus on outcomes, rather than process.

“Of course, tradition is important, but we need to work harder to ensure that the parliament better reflects, and responds to, the community it serves,” Ms Berejiklian said.

“Parliament should always be focused on the people, not on itself.”

Tuesday marks the first sitting day since the March 23 election, in which the Liberal-National government was returned with a smaller majority in the lower house.

In the upper house, the government will have to tackle a crossbench rabble spanning from far-left to far-right.

Controversial NSW One Nation leader Mark Latham, his deputy Rod Roberts and Animal Justice Party vegan bodybuilder Emma Hurst are among the expanded crossbench taking up 11 of the 42 upper-house seats.

Five crossbenchers will be needed for the government to pass bills opposed by Labor.

That task will be all the more difficult as Labor tries to team up with a handful of crossbenchers to block legislation or force parliamentary reform.

In the lower house where the government has a two-seat majority, the crossbench includes three Shooters MPs, three Greens and three independents: Wagga Wagga’s Joe McGirr, Sydney’s Alex Greenwich and Lake Macquarie’s Greg Piper.

Ms Berejiklian has promised to focus on education and social inequality this term after years of government spending on roads, railways and stadiums.

She told the first meeting of her cabinet in April she hoped to break the cycle of intergenerational disadvantage.

Meanwhile, Labor will return to parliament without a permanent leader after Michael Daley stepped down following the election loss.

Upper house MP Penny Sharpe is Labor’s interim leader with the leadership ballot process expected to begin after the May 18 federal election.

Kogarah MP Chris Minns is the favourite for the top job despite simmering tension between him and NSW Labor head office.

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