Wednesday, October 21, 2020

Berejiklian’s mistake strengthened NSW’s toxic swamp of self-interest

Berejiklian's mistake strengthened NSW's toxic swamp of self-interest

We thought Gladys Berejiklian was one of the good ones. But her personal decisions reinforced the entrenched NSW culture of sordid, self-interest deals.

(Images: AAP/Erik Anderson; AAP/Joel Carrett)

It’s sad that a politician as competent and hard-working as Gladys Berejiklian now finds herself forever tarnished by her association with spiv — and allegedly worse — Daryl Maguire. Berejiklian herself did nothing wrong and wouldn’t have gained anything by Maguire’s ever-more convoluted efforts to pay off his debts and land a big score. “Pie in the sky,” she called them.

But Berejiklian’s sin is not what she did, but what she tolerated and, to an extent, enabled: the toxic “Games of Mates” politics of NSW.

Games of Mates is the on-the-money term devised by Cameron Murray and Paul Frijters to describe how shonks and spivs — in the guise of property developers, miners, bankers and other business people — exploit political and bureaucratic connections to tilt the regulatory field in their favour.

Keep reading about the great NSW Game of Mates…

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