Why Michael Costa was useless

Many Liberals like former NSW Labor Treasurer Michael Costa. He even has his on Facebook Fan Page. I myself enjoy reading his articles but the latest shows whats wrong with the NSW government and his fatal flaw.

In last week’s Australian he wrote on the Woolworths/Coles duopoly and good free markeeter he is, wants to remove barriers to competition:

The real danger in the government’s decision to walk away from its election commitment is not lack of consumer information but rather that the major underlying problem in retail competition, planning barriers to entry, will not be addressed effectively…..

Problems here are in jurisdictions normally outside the control of the federal government: state government planning departments and local councils. The ACCC correctly identified that state planning laws which contributed to a lack of suitable sites for new grocery retailers were a significant barrier to entry for competitors to the majors.

Look, those departments and Councils are under the control of the State government. Mr Costa was a member of that government and rose to the position of Treasurer . So why didn’t you do something about Michael? How about Accepting some responsibility?

Instead he reverts to the Labor State politician’s mindset- its the Feds fault:

The federal government needs to deal with urban planning and land use as part of its national competition reform agenda. The argument that this is a state and local government issue does not have credibility given the federal government intrusion through its environmental legislation into what were traditionally state and local government issues.

Bumping the problem upstairs is not going to help, the Feds will meet the same opposition to change that State politicians find. What is required are real state leaders who accept responsibility and are willing to make tough decision and see them carried out. Mr Costa proves he was never the man for the job.

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