Ted Baillieu is on the brink of being named as Victoria’s new Premier, ending an 11-year period of a Labor Government.
Despite the near-certainty of the Coalition obtaining a majority of 45 seats following Saturday’s election, Premier John Brumby is refusing to admit defeat, insisting that remaining pre-poll votes need to be counted before a result can be declared.
Brumby attributes Labor’s downfall to the “wear and tear” of an 11-year-old government, adding that the Liberals’ push on cost-of-living resonated with voters in the week leading up to the election.
With Baillieu poised to become Premier, Victorian small businesses are set to be the subject of a raft of new policies.
Baillieu’s government has promised small businesses a complete rewrite of the existing WorkCover legislation to make it “simpler and clearer, so that all parties, employers, workers, agents and the VWA can understand and meet their obligations to support injured workers and return them to work as quickly as possible.”
However, the first and major change will be the introduction of a competitiveness report, which Baillieu says the Government will consider when addressing business policies.
He has previously been quoted saying: “Our aim will be to ensure Victoria is the state of first choice for business, for investment and for lifestyle.”
“Private sector investment and jobs are the lifeblood of a stronger Victoria. An economic crisis is precisely the wrong time to demonise the creative spirit of enterprise in our society.”
Unlike the Brumby Government, which promised payroll tax relief among other initiatives for small business, Baillieu says the competitiveness report will deliver a host of recommendations.
Baillieu has also promised a plan to halve stamp duty for first home buyers over four years for homes costing up to $600,000.
Baillieu stated: “I want to relieve the pressure on families. The Coalition will cut stamp duty in half for first home buyers and introduce a year-round 17.5% reduction on energy bills for 800,000 households.”
Baillieu has also committed to the establishment of a new anti-corruption watchdog in a bid to “put an end to the Labor cover-ups, the secrecy and dishonesty.”
His government intends to abolish the Office of Police Integrity and replace it with a “one-stop shop” anti-corruption commission.
The Coalition’s proposed Independent Broad-based Anti-corruption Commission will have the powers of a royal commission and be closely based on the NSW model.
However, the jurisdiction of the IBAC will go one step further than its interstate counterpart, with powers to investigate police as well as ministers, members of parliament and their staff, the judiciary, the public service and local governments.
Baillieu said in a statement: “What you see will be what you get. No more spin and political double-talk.”