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The resignation of Ted Baillieu and the appointment of Denis Napthine as Victorian Premier has led to considerable discussion in the media about possible different approaches to governing in Victoria. My letter in the AFR (full version below) reiterates in briefer form the comments I made in an article in The Australian following the Baillieu victory in December 2010. They included the following:

“Under Baillieu’s leadership there was a consistent and puzzling refusal to make use of the enormous advantages that the Kennett government reforms gave Victoria. The Baillieu fear of being caste as a Kennett-lite was exploited by Labor by continued attempts to associate him with (inter alia) the sale of schools under Kennett.”

My letter below also refers to the opportunity for Napthine to take advantage of the apparent problems facing the Labor Party led by Daniel Andrews. This is not the time to examine these in detail. But the following developments last month are of considerable interest:

Des Moore

Too Much Government
(Letter published in The Australian Financial Review, 12 March 2013.
Square brackets deleted by Ed)

You suggest that if the Victorian government under Premier Denis Napthine is “pro-business, as it ought to be, it should come out of its shell” (“For Napthine, now’s the time for action”, 8 March). But what kind of action?

[Looking back over the period since the successful Kennett government, the policy areas most neglected by the Coalition appear to be the regulatory barriers faced by the private sector, particularly in workplace relations, and the potential for that sector to further increase its role in providing services such as education, health and transport.] The current political environment provides an opportunity to drive home the point that more government is not the answer to improving the state economy. Yet the Opposition’s [socialist left] solution is about more government in an economy facing competitive pressures [from overseas and other states. Action by the Coalition should include a more coherent response there].

Des Moore
Institute for Private Enterprise
South Yarra Vic

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