Government | Regulation

Government failed trust and competency test: Greiner

The Labor Party lost the election months ago, according to Former NSW Premier and CEDA Governor Nick Greiner.

The Labor Party lost the election months ago, according to Former NSW Premier and CEDA Governor Nick Greiner.

Speaking at the NSW launch of CEDA's latest publication, Setting Public Policy, Mr Greiner said the government will lose on two key election issues.

"The reason this election was over many months ago is because…the government has failed the test of trust and competence," he said.

The emergence of professional politicians also influenced the election and political discussion in Australia, Mr Greiner said.

"I think unlike most other countries we tend to have very few people from business…it used to be that there were QCs, doctors and a range of people from the professions, there are virtually none now, partly I think driven off by the goldfish bowl nature of it (politics)," he said.

"It is clearly the case, the less professional political impact there is on cabinets and parliaments generally, the better chance you have of getting serious party policy change."

Mr Greiner also said in the 1980s and 1990s, there were more policy ideas coming up within politics from the public service.

But now, the public service channels their political leaders more than before.

"I think senior levels of the bureaucracy…run a risk of becoming overwhelmingly crisis managers…I think that does happen in most governments around Australia much more than it used to," he said.

Despite personally ascribing to long term vision and political leadership, Mr Greiner said short term vision exists in the current election campaign.

"I think that politicians largely believe today what John Fay once famously said that vision is bullshit," he said.

"There's a conflict between the long term and the short term and the winner at the moment is more the short term," he said.

Editor in Chief of The Australian Financial Review Michael Stutchbury who also spoke at the event said the political vision of Tony Abbott is hard to pin point.

"The Abbott mandate, the vision is basically to get rid of what we've had for the last six and particularly the last three years and return to trust and a bit of normalcy," he said.

On the subject of the current environment Mr Stutchbury said in recent years both the media and political parties have contributed to superficial politics.

Commenting on the level of media engagement under a Liberal government, Mr Stutchbury said we can expect change.

"We may have reached some sort of peak in this, I don't think that Abbott or an Abbott government will play that (media) game quite as much," he said.

"Mr Abbott…won't want to be out in front of the cameras several times a day.

"He'll want to…get the madness gone, he'll want to get it back to a bit more business as it used to be."