Labor Leader Luke Foley says the Berejiklian Government has been sent the strongest message in three by-elections, that it has to start listening to people and change its policies.

Mr Foley was speaking while claiming victory in the Central Coast seat of Gosford, where the Labor party candidate Liesl Tesch recorded a 14 per cent swing to Labor.

In two other by-elections, in the traditionally safe Sydney Liberal seats of North Shore and Manly, Ms Berejiklian’s Government suffered massive swings of more than 25 per cent in some booths.

Mr Foley says that in six by-elections, three late last year, and three today, voters have said they have had enough of the Government’s wrong policies.

Gosford was the State’s most marginal seat, held by only 203 votes, before Ms Tesch’s landslide victory. Mr Foley says Ms Tesch campaigned strongly against the Government’s broken promise to build the Woy Woy underpass, cuts to TAFE, privatisation of hospitals and a failure to create long-term regional jobs.

Mr Foley says the swings tonight, and last November, are an emphatic rejection of failed Government policies throughout the State including:

  • The gutting of TAFE;
  • Privatisation of hospitals and soaring hospital waiting lists;
  • Forced council mergers;
  • Overcrowding in schools;
  • Falling academic standards; and
  • A reckless assault on the urban and natural environment.

Mr Foley says Ms Berejiklian must take responsibility for the big anti-Government swings. 

In November the voters in three seats said the Government should change – it changed Premier but it didn’t change direction. Today voters in three different seats told the Government again it needs to change direction – it is time for Ms Berejiklian to start listening.

Quotes attributable NSW Opposition Leader Luke Foley 

“This is a great victory for the Central Coast. Liesl is a fighter. She has been a success at everything she has attempted in life and I know she will be a great representative for the people of the Central Coast when she takes up her position in the State Parliament.

“She fought a strong campaign to bring the Government to account over its neglect of the Central Coast in general and in particular its wrong policies to cut TAFE and privatise hospitals.”

 Quotes attributable Member-elect for Gosford Liesl Tesch

“I am honoured to have been elected to represent Gosford in the State Parliament.

“The Central Coast and Gosford have been neglected by Liberal Governments for years. I will do all in my power to keep the Government accountable for the decisions they make that affect the lives of people on the Central Coast.”