By ALLISON HORE
After Saturday’s state election, the status quo remains very much intact, with the Coalition returned to power for a third term.
However, with a swing across the state away from the major parties, the crossbench will play an important role in the NSW parliament over the next few years.
The Coalition needed to win 47 seats to gain a majority in the parliament, and after losing four seats across the state, it won a thin majority of 48 seats.
Two of these seats were picked up by Labor candidates and two went to candidates from the Shooters, Fishers and Farmers Party.
Although the government has a majority, it is a slim one.
It would only take a couple of by-elections gone wrong for the balance of power to be firmly in the hands of the crossbench.
Alex Greenwich, the Independent member for the seat of Sydney, comfortably retained his seat, winning over 43.5 per cent of the primary vote and 63% of the two-party preferred vote with the Liberals running second on with nearly 30% of the primary vote and 37% of the two party preferred vote.
He is one crossbencher whom Premier Gladys Berejiklian will be looking to work with.
“I’m thankful that Sydney voters have again given me the opportunity to be their voice in the NSW Parliament and advocate for policy action on vital issues like climate change, affordable housing, homelessness, ending discrimination and voluntary assisted dying,” he told City Hub.
In an email to his supporters, Mr Greenwich said that he and the other two Independents, Greg Piper and Joe McGirr, had already met with Ms Berejiklian and expressed their willingness to work with her.
When asked about this, Greenwich told City Hub that he would be continuing a discussion with others on the crossbench to decide how they would be working with the government.
“I’ll be meeting with the other Independents to consider how best we can ensure stable government but also action on the issues we’ve been elected to advocate,” he says.
“No matter who is in government, I will continue to work with ministers and other colleagues across all parties to get positive results for NSW and my constituents.”
Mr Greenwich’s ally Lord Mayor Clover Moore sat in a similar position in the state government between 1991 and 1995.
She and other Independents sitting in the NSW parliament held the balance of power over the Greiner Liberal government. It was her threat to vote against the government that led to the Premier’s resignation.
In his supporter email, Mr Greenwich acknowledged many were disappointed with the outcome of the election but he assured them he would continue pushing for progressive policy.