Dominic Perrottet, the Member for Epping, has claimed victory in the race for the New South Wales premiership.
“It’s an honour and absolute privilege to be elected as the parliamentary leader of the Liberal party, the Premier of New South Wales alongside my deputy leader, Stuart Ayres. I really appreciate the trust my colleagues have put in me today,” said New South Wales Premier Dominic Perrottet, in a brief message following the election.
Winning the count 39 votes to 5, he will become the 46th Premier of New South Wales as well as the youngest person to hold the role. Only 23 votes were required, suggesting that Perrottet enjoys a safe majority within the Party.
His deputy will be Jobs Minister Stuart Ayres.
It is yet to be determined if Perrottet intends to amend the Covid roadmap to remove medical segregation from the state’s official plans.
“Our first priority will be to continue the plan we have started; keeping people safe, opening up the economy and securing our recovery,” said Perrottet, who also added that there were ‘a number of issues that need to be looked at’.
This may refer to his earlier comments on radio against the implementation of vaccine passports and medical segregation.
Perrottet first won preselection in the safe Liberal seat of Castle Hill in 2010 and later became Minister for Finance and Services in 2014 during the Baird government. He then switched seats with Ray Williams, the Member for the Hawkesbury. Upon Baird’s resignation, Perrottet was promoted to Treasurer and Minister for Industrial relations where he stood side-by-side as deputy leader of the Liberal Party with Berejiklian as Premier. Perrottet is currently the Member for Epping as of 2019.
In a break from the factional politics of former Premier Gladys Berejiklian, Perrottet comes from the conservative faction inside the New South Wales Liberal Party. His election to Premier was widely anticipated, with the soft announcement made over the weekend shortly after Berejiklian’s shock resignation following an ICAC investigation.
As with most internal party appointments, Perrottet’s ascent to power was brokered between the factions before this morning’s official vote.
Perrottet leaves behind an empty Treasury position which is expected to go to moderate Matt Kean, the Member for Hornsby, who is currently serving as Minister for Energy and the Environment.
Over recent days, Perrottet has been the subject of a media smear campaign, taking issue at his Catholic faith and six children.
Perrottet has previously offered comments on the state's Covid health mandates contradictory to the joint Berejiklian and Barilaro campaign. He took particular issue with vaccine passports.
He also suggested during one of the state’s lockdown periods in 2020 that Chief Health Officer Kerry Chant take a pay cut if it was determined that Sydney was unnecessarily locked down.
As Treasurer, Perrottet argued in favour of reinstating the Federal Government’s JobKeeper payments during the ended lockdown of 2021 to support businesses. He was also one of the key figures responsible for the JobSaver initiative to boost economic activity during Covid recovery.