NSW Labor leader Chris Means is looking to energize the party faithful 160 days after the March 2023 state election.
He used a speech at the NSW Labor conference to promise a local fleet of trains to replace NSW’s aging railway depot and 10,000 extra teachers.
“We’re ready to take on the challenge, we want to take on the responsibility,” Means said Sunday.
The opposition member said that he cannot blame everything Coalition did
“But does anyone really believe that this government’s best days are ahead?” – said Means.
He repeated pledges to increase health funding and nursing numbers, lift the civil service pay cap, end privatization and end “unbridled overdevelopment”.
Labor MP Prue Carr said Means would be a prime minister everyone could be proud of.
“We know that participation in the next elections will be difficult, stressful,” she said.
NSW’s transport network and the teacher shortage have been two of the biggest issues this year, with union members in both sectors holding several strikes.
Minns said he would once again build his own fleet of trains, trams, buses and ferries in New South Wales.
“We just need a government with the will and belief in it,” he said.
Replacing the state-owned rail network would be the first step of his hopeful future government.
As for teachers, Minns hoped to end the teaching workforce by creating 10,000 permanent teaching roles across the state, moving temporary workers into permanent positions.
“We’re not just going to tell them they’re appreciated, we’re going to show them,” Means said.
The New South Wales coalition government, led by Premier Dominic Perrotet, tried to renege on Means’ promise on Sunday by making a similar promise to move 10,000 temporary teachers into permanent positions.
Education Minister Sarah Mitchell accused the unions of delaying earlier action on the change, which would also see student learning support staff also moved into permanent posts.
More than 800 delegates attended the conference over the weekend, where they learned the party’s war chests were ready for next year, with Labor set to win the 2022 federal election.
Minns is hoping to secure Labor’s first win in New South Wales since 2011 after his party sat on the opposition benches for more than a decade.