By: Kim Chappell
There will be no cabinet reshuffle until NSW has worked its way through its re-opening says Premier Dominic Perrottet.
“I know how big the challenge ahead is for our state, but I love New South Wales, and that is the passion that will fuel me and fuel my team,” he said.
“A stable, united government is vital to getting on with the work that we have begun, so there will be no cabinet reshuffle until we’re through this change.”
He said this meant the current team would stay in place until summer.
Matt Kean would move into the position of Treasurer, while his Liberal deputy, Stuart Ayres will take the portfolios of Jobs and Investment and Brad Hazzard would remain in Health.
Mr Perrottet said he wanted NSW “to bounce back stronger, safer and more successful than ever before” and the COVID-19 re-opening would continue as planned next week.
“My intention at this stage is that day will remain on Monday for next week, but there are a number of issues that need to be looked at, and obviously, health is our number one priority right now and I will sit down with the minister and the whole team this afternoon,” Mr Perrottet said.
“I want to acknowledge that the events of the last few days have been difficult and I think we all understand why.
“Unexpected change can bring uncertainty, and sometimes they can feel unsettling. But as hard as it may be, we all have a duty as a state to keep going. Today, begins a new chapter for NSW and one that we will all write together.
“As a former treasurer, I know that a strong society needs a strong economy, and that is why our first priority will be to continue the plan that we have started: keeping people safe, opening up the economy and securing our recovery.
“Up until now, all of our Liberal premiers have been infrastructure premiers, building roads, rail, schools and hospitals for communities right across our state, and that will not change with me, but I will also be a family Premier, focusing on how we can make life better for working families, living the Liberal values of opportunity, aspiration and hard work.”
The Liberal Party whip Adam Crouch announced the result shortly after the ballot in Sydney.
Rob Stokes was his moderate rival in the ballot. The meeting was delayed because of COVID-19 rapid antigen testing as MPs went in to NSW Parliament on Tuesday morning.
Perrottet won the ballot 39 votes to five votes.
Stuart Ayres was elected the deputy leader of the Liberal Party unopposed.
The extraordinary ballot situation evolved after the popular Ms Berejiklian resigned from NSW Parliament after she was named in an ICAC inquiry.
Mr Perrottet was previously the NSW Treasurer. From the right wing of the Liberal Party, he won the support of a moderate bloc headed by western Sydney MP Stuart Ayres.
He’s expected to lead a conservative agenda, being a conservative Catholic associated with the Opus Dei movement and having espoused support for former US President Donald Trump in the past. He also voted against marriage equality.
He has overseen a strong period of growth for the NSW economy and was willing to open the pursestrings for regional NSW, working closely with his “mate” John Barilaro, who on Monday also announced he was resigning, saying he’d “lost the fight”.