In 2011, current New South Wales Premier, Gladys Berejiklian cast aspersions on the motives of then Premier, Kristina Keneally over the decrease in the fares for the Airport Rail Line, which was in Keneally’s own electorate. Berejiklian said: “24 days out from an election in the premier’s [Kristina Keneally’s] own back yard is a worst [sic] example of pork barrelling you can find”1. Jump forward to 2020 and Berejiklian has been caught pork barrelling with the Stronger Communities Fund, and she has accepted the government’s controversial $250 million council grants program may have been used to shore up Coalition votes, insisting the practice of pork barrelling was “not an illegal practice. Unfortunately, it does happen from time to time”. Berejiklian, when queried about the fact that 95% of grants went to Coalition-held seats, replied: “Guess what? There are more Coalition seats than any other”1,2. Strangely, Coalition members do not constitute 95% of those in the lower house of the New South Wales parliament, so Berejiklian’s assertion is just more equine ordure. This is desperate stuff from her.
The hypocrisy of the current crop of Coalition politicians is obvious, but I have never seen it so blatant and so extensive. They seem to have forgotten the aphorism ‘the internet never forgets’. It exposes hypocrisy at the press of a few buttons on the computer keyboard. As if to underline Berejiklian’s hypocrisy, the Greens had moved an amendment to the budget bill on Tuesday to provide an extra $7.3 million for the Independent Commission Against Corruption from this month’s state budget to address “underfunding”. However, Berejiklian on Thursday said the funding boost was unlikely3. One has to punish those who expose one’s corruption.