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The Arrogance Problem Dogging The NSW Liberals' Election Campaign

ANALYSIS: Arrogance. It’s an ugly word and when used in an election context, can be dangerous.

But it’s starting to stick to a party that’s been in power in NSW since 2011.

Rightly or wrongly, arrogance is the word that’s been attached to the Coalition government’s decision to spend more than $700 million to knock down and rebuild Allianz Stadium.

It’s also being increasingly used to describe how it deals with the media.

Image: AAP

The Premier was called out for appearing to mock a Newcastle Herald journalist last month, describing his line of questioning as “operation normal”.

Similarly, a press conference on Tuesday  when Treasurer Dominic Perrottet repeatedly tried to laugh off failing to disclose an election donation.

10 News First revealed this week the deputy Liberal leader failed to disclose a $2,300 donation from his former law firm in 2011.

NSW Treasurer Dominic Perrottet at a press conference on Tuesday, March 12. Photo: AAP

The firm Henry Davis York has donated more than $17,000 to the NSW Liberal Party since 2010 and was the third largest earner of taxpayer money through government contracts last year.

READ MORE: The NSW Election Is Set To Be One Of The Most Unpredictable Yet

The Liberal Party is now in the process of declaring the donation, eight years after it was first made.

It was a terrible look for the Treasurer to make light of the situation, especially given he was the Coalition’s chief attack dog when Opposition leader Michael Daley didn't declare conflicts of interest when judging DAs from Labor donors while on Randwick Council.

Image: AAP

It’s that ‘I know best’ attitude no government can afford, but especially when polls have the major parties deadlocked.

One man who understands the Treasurer's predicament is former Premier Barry O'Farrell, who lost his job for failing to declare a $3000 bottle of wine and lying about it to the ICAC.

“I absolutely understood that my responsibility, having stuffed up, was to show the public that there was a consequence, I’m very happy with that decision – that’s completely different,” O’Farrell said on Tuesday.

Yes, different but no laughing matter.

The question for many voters in ten days time will be -- is eight years too long for one government or is it too soon to forgive a former government plagued by corruption?