Perrottet wins vote to take helm in NSW
DOMINIC Perrottet has been elevated from NSW Treasurer to Premier after a landslide win in a vote among Liberal colleagues.
Sworn in at a Government House ceremony on Tuesday afternoon, he is the state’s youngest ever Premier, at the age of 39.
He will also be seen as a far more conservative leader than his moderate predecessor Gladys Berejiklian.
Mr Perrottet, a conservative Catholic who opposes same-sex marriage and abortion reforms, said it would be “sad” if people thought he shouldn’t serve as premier because of his religion.
“My religious views and my Christian faith is something I am incredibly proud of, as many people across our state are,” he said. “Does that in any way take away my capacity to serve as Premier? Well, I do not think so, and I think it is a sad thing that some people do.”
Earlier on Tuesday, Mr Perrottet won the party room ballot 39 votes to five, comfortably defeating Planning Minister Rob Stokes.
Stuart Ayres became his deputy.
“It’s been an honour and an absolute privilege to be elected as the parliamentary leader of the Liberal Party,” Mr Perrottet said. “I really appreciate the trust that my colleagues are putting in me.”
Mr Stokes also spoke after his resounding loss.
“I always said that I would give people a choice – they have chosen emphatically,” he said. “Democracy is the winner today. Dom Perrottet will be a magnificent Premier and he has my undivided loyalty and support.
“I will use every ounce of strength in my body to make sure he is re-elected as Premier of NSW when we go to the polls in 2023.”
Asked whether he would like to remain in the cabinet,
Mr Stokes said it would be “entirely up to the Premier”.
Moderate faction powerbroker Matt Kean was promoted to Treasurer after helping Mr Perrottet secure victory. He will also keep his portfolio of environment for the time being.
Mr Perrottet praised his predecessor, Gladys Berejiklian, saying he hoped he would “continue the strong leadership that Gladys has shown throughout this pandemic”.
His ascendancy followed Ms Berejiklian’s resignation as a result of an anti-corruption investigation.