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NSW: I care about infrastructure, not polls: Rees

By Nick Ralston, State Political Reporter
30 Apr 2009 5:36 PM

SYDNEY, April 30 AAP - NSW Premier Nathan Rees insists his attention is squarely on fixing NSW infrastructure, not repairing his standing in opinion polls.

The latest Newspoll shows NSW Labor has has improved its primary vote support by three points to 33 per cent.

The coalition's primary support has fallen two points to 40 per cent.

On a two-party preferred vote, the coalition is still leading 53 to 47 per cent, but Labor has closed the 12-point gap from February to be just six points behind.

However, Mr Rees remained ahead of Opposition Leader Barry O'Farrell as preferred premier - 33 per cent to 31 per cent.

"I don't pay much attention to it," Mr Rees told reporters in Hobart, where he attended the Council of Australian Governments meeting.

"My attention is focused on our infrastructure program for the next number of years ... that's my focus, I won't be diverted from it by a poll."

Labor's standing in the polls has improved considerably since its low of last December, when its primary vote support hit 26 per cent and Mr Rees fell behind Mr O'Farrell as preferred premier.

But Mr O'Farrell said the December poll was taken in the wake of the November mini-budget when the government had made unpopular decisions, some of which it had since reversed.

"What's Nathan Rees been doing for the last three months? Reversing all those so-called tough decisions," he said.

Mr O'Farrell said the latest poll would remind the coalition it had to keep working if it wanted to win government at the March 2011 election.

"This is a reminder to my colleagues and I of the need to remain focused, the need to concentrate on issues that are affecting NSW and putting forward our positive plans for action," Mr O'Farrell told Fairfax Radio Network.

However, he was quick to also stress the state election was still 99 weeks away.