NSW Treasurer Gladys Berejiklian seeks to replace Premier Mike Baird
Reported in the Australian Financial Review: NSW Treasurer Gladys Berejiklian will stand as a candidate to replace Premier Mike Baird for the party leadership, a government source said, and is considered by Liberal insiders likely to be successful.
Ms Berejiklian, who has overseen a strong budget performance as treasurer for three years, was unlikely to formally nominate on Thursday because she did not want to draw attention from Mr Baird, who announced Thursday morning he is retiring from politics in part to care for his sick mother, father and sister.
Representing the seat of Willoughby on Sydney’s lower north shore, Ms Berejiklian is a leader of the party’s so-called moderate wing. She would be the state’s second female premier. The first was the Labor Party’s Kristina Keneally, who was premier for 15th months from 2009 to 2011.
In recent months some Liberal MPs have suggested privately that Ms Berejiklian had enough support to replace Mr Baird, whose once-high popularity was undermined last year by a failed attempt to completely ban greyhound racing, and controversial limits on pubs, bars and nightclubs designed to reduce inner-city violence.
At a press conference in Sydney Mr Baird wouldn’t nominate a successor, although said he would vote in any ballot of Liberal MPs to choose his replacement.
Betting company Luxbet said the odds of Ms Berejiklian becoming the next premier were $1.50, compared with $2.50 for Anthony Roberts, the Minister for Industry, Resources and Energy, $4.00 for Finance Minister Dominic Perrottet and $8.00 for Transport Minister Andrew Constance.
Read the original story in the Australian Financial Review here.