NSW Labor is ramping up its attack against the Baird government as it prepares a six-week “stop the cuts” campaign.
In an email sent to campaign teams and candidates, NSW ALP said its campaign would kick off in late June and would focus on state Liberal cuts to health.
“Party Office will provide materials, some of which will be payable under entitlements,” the email said.
“Organisers will be in touch with MPs this week.”
The call to arms came as state Opposition Leader John Robertson delivered his official budget reply.
Mr Robertson accused Premier Mike Baird of not having the “guts” to stand up to Prime Minister Tony Abbott’s funding cuts to NSW.
“On Tuesday he produced a budget that let Tony Abbott get away with it,” he told parliament.
“Never before has NSW seen such a craven capitulation to the Commonwealth.”
He said it was clear that Mr Baird was “no antidote to Tony Abbott”.
Mr Robertson also used the speech to launch an attack against the state government’s proposed sell-off of its electricity network.
He said the budget had a “single goal of blackmailing the people of NSW into accepting the privatisation of our electricity network.”
The speech was seen as the Labor leader’s launching pad for his election bid in March.
“Selling off the poles and wires is a dud deal for NSW: it means more expensive power bills for consumers,” Mr Robertson said.
He promised to scrap the “heartless changes” made by the Liberals if elected next year, starting with the government’s “massive” TAFE-fee hikes.
“Mike Baird’s fee increases for TAFE courses will put vocational training out of reach for many people in NSW,” he said.
Treasurer Andrew Constance dismissed Mr Robertson’s comments, saying it was the most embarrassing budget reply speech he’d seen.
“He cannot run the `dog ate my homework’ excuse when he failed to mention roads, rail, any transport links, any infrastructure in his speech,” Mr Constance said.