March 24, 2017

Alan Jones sounds off about potential new NSW Premier

21 January 2017, 12:40 | Ella Tate

Big news The MP's sudden retirement had Twitter in a tizz

Big news The MP's sudden retirement had Twitter in a tizz

Treasurer Gladys Berejiklian says she will put her hand up for the leadership of the NSW Liberal Party.

In a statement on Thursday afternoon, Ms Berejiklian said she was saddened by Mr Baird's decision to leave politics and that he was an "inspiring leader" and a "man of enormous integrity".

Her announcement came a day after Premier Mike Baird announced his shock resignation from politics, citing serious health challenges faced by his parents and sister.

Ms Berejiklian told Fairfax Media she did not want to dignify the criticism with a response but offered a defence of her independence.

She says she has asked Finance Minister Dominic Perrottet to be her Liberal party deputy.

Jones, who called into 2GB radio while on holidays, said Berejiklian appeared to have been installed through factional manoeuvring and without proper process.

Mr Baird's reign ends next week after being in the top job for two years and nine months.

This meant Ms Berejiklian was all but assured of being voted party leader, and Premier of NSW, on Monday.

"Gladys will make an excellent Premier and she has my full support", Mr Constance said in a statement.

"I'm someone who appreciates what it's like to face challenges in life and to have to keep applying yourself", she said.

Nationals leader John Barilaro said, "the policy of local government amalgamations has impacted 20 councils, 12 of which are in regional NSW causing uncertainty and anger, and others are locked in costly legal action - that all stops today". He is also claiming that the entire situation is a "stitch up" accusing Ms Berejiklian of "ringing up and doing deals so that this would all be a fait accompli" even before Mr Baird's resignation.

"And I've made that clear to anybody, that there's absolutely no hard feelings if people put up their hand and want to run for the leadership on Monday - competition is healthy and if people feel they want to make that contribution, they should feel free to do that".

"[She] is not across these issues in a million light years", Jones said, referring to issues left behind by the Baird government, such as council amalgamations and the lockout laws.

Mr Constance also paid tribute to Mr Baird, calling him a "good mate".

In a press release, the Urban Taskforce acknowledged the "incredible position" Baird had achieved for New South Wales, emphasising that the next premier should be someone who continues to push for growth in infrastructure, which was the hallmark of Baird's term.

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