Dominic Perrottet has won a vote to become NSW’s 46th Premier after Gladys Berejiklian resigned last week facing a corruption investigation.
The Catholic father of six and former Treasurer landed the top job in a Liberal party room meeting on Tuesday morning, reportedly beating Planning Minister Rob Stokes by 39 votes to five.
Ms Berejiklian did not show up for the meeting, with a colleague voting on her behalf.
Former Jobs Minister Stuart Ayres – the boyfriend of Foreign Minister Marise Payne – was elected Deputy Liberal leader unopposed.
NSW Treasurer Dominic Perrottet walks through Parliament after securing the votes to become NSW Premier
Dominic Perrottet (right with Deputy Stuart Ayres) landed the top job in a Liberal party room meeting on Tuesday morning after Gladys Berejiklian resigned last week facing a corruption investigation
NSW Treasurer Dominic Perrottet leaves his home in Sydney ahead of the party room vote on Tuesday morning
Mr Perrottet is a father of six children with wife Helen. He regularly shares pictures with his family on social media
Mr Perrottet, who was brought up in West Pennant Hills in north-west Sydney, worked as a corporate lawyer before becoming an MP in 2010 and Treasurer in 2017.
He is a devout Catholic who voted against the decriminalisation of abortion in 2019 and will argue against voluntary assisted dying in an expected vote later this month.
He is also a keen economic reformer who wants to replace stamp duty with a land tax and has touted GST changes which would upset Western Australia Premier Mark McGowan.
Mr Perrottet hails from the right wing of the Liberal Party and in 2016 called Donald Trump’s US election win ‘a victory for people who have been taken for granted by the elites’.
Liberal party whip Adam Crouch arrives with the ballot box ahead of the party room vote for NSW Premier
NSW Minister for Arts Don Harwin (right) arrives at Parliament House in Sydney ahead of the votes
Throughout the Covid pandemic, Mr Perrottet has publicly supported Ms Berejiklian’s decisions but has argued for lighter and shorter restrictions.
In July, it was reported that he opposed a lockdown extension and said Chief Health Officer Kerry Chant should take a pay cut if Sydney was shut down unnecessarily- although he said he could not recall making this comment.
In an interview with Daily Mail Australia two weeks ago Mr Perrottet said he expected nightclubs to open at the 80 per cent vaccination rate – but under current plans they are closed until December 1.
He said some hawkish members of the crisis cabinet even wanted them open at the 70 per cent rate.
Rob Stokes and Dom Perrottet enjoy a picnic together, above, earlier this year. The close mates will have to fight it out in the NSW Liberal party room on Tuesday
There are already unconfirmed reports that Mr Perrottet is ‘seriously considering’ bringing Freedom Day forward from Monday October 11 to Friday October 8.
‘The information I’ve got is he will seriously consider bringing forward Freedom Day for NSW to this Friday,’ Nine News political reporter Chris O’Keefe revealed.
‘So instead of waiting until Monday 11, pubs will open, you’ll be allowed to have people over to your home this Friday.’
Such rescheduling would mean residents could return to pubs, meet in groups of 20 outdoors and have five visitors to their homes in just a few days’ time.
Mr Perrottet has previously argued for unvaccinated residents to be granted equal freedoms once everyone has been offered a jab.
‘Once every single person in this state has had the opportunity to be vaccinated with two doses then we should open up for everyone,’ he said last month.
‘I want to see more unity and not have a two-tiered society here.’
Mr Perrottet also wants to restart international travel, with tourists expected to enter Australia next year.
‘We’re talking about returning international students, we’re talking about returning Australians. We’re opening up businesses and the next step is opening up borders,’ he told Daily Mail Australia.
Mr Perrottet and Mr Stokes (middle and on right) often go jogging together
‘If we can lead the way on international travel that’s going to be a great thing for the state.
‘And hopefully that will then lead to other states following us. It might be ironic that you can get to Bali before you can get to Broome but that’s where we’re heading.’
Ms Berejiklian quit on Friday after the state’s corruption watchdog said it was investigating her.
The Independent Commission Against Corruption is investigating whether Ms Berejiklian encouraged or allowed corrupt conduct by her secret ex-boyfriend and former Wagga Wagga MP Mr Maguire between 2012 and 2018.
It will also probe whether she breached public trust by not reporting any suspicion of corrupt conduct and what role she had to play in two government grants handed out in Mr Maguire’s electorate.
The NSW corruption watchdog ICAC is investigating whether Ms Berejiklian encouraged or allowed corrupt conduct by her ex-boyfriend and former MP Daryl Maguire (pictured together)
Ms Berejiklian said she had no option but to resign in her emotional 10-minute speech
An ICAC public inquiry on the matter will be held for about 10 days from October 18, overseen by Assistant Commissioner Ruth McColl SC.
Mr Maguire is accused of abusing his public office after admitting being involved in a cash-for-visa scheme and seeking secret commissions for brokering property deals. He was forced to resign in 2018.
In an emotional 10-minute speech on Friday Ms Berejiklian denied any wrongdoing and slammed the watchdog for announcing its investigation into her as the state emerges from a four-month Covid lockdown.
‘Resigning at this time is against every instinct in my being and something which I do not want to do,’ she said.
Mr Perrottet on Monday played up his credentials working alongside Ms Berejiklian as deputy leader, and argued for stability.
‘As Gladys demonstrated so well, leading a successful Liberal and National government requires unity across our party’s ‘broad church’,’ he wrote in an opinion piece published in The Daily Telegraph.
Rob Stokes (pictured right with ministerial colleague Natalie Ward) has refused to bow out of the leadership race for his good mate Dominic Perrottet
‘We can only do that if we remain united, and maintain stability and continuity for the people of our state.’
Former prime minister and Liberal party elder John Howard has backed Mr Perrottet, saying he is driven and reform-focused.
It comes as the NSW Nationals prepare for their own leadership contest.
The NSW government will have an entirely fresh leadership team by Wednesday, after Deputy Premier and Nationals leader John Barilaro announced he too would quit parliament on Monday.
Sporting dark sunglasses, Dominic Perrottet was spotted at his ministerial office in Sydney’s Martin Place on Monday as he tried to shore up support
Paul Toole and Adam Marshall are expected to join Melinda Pavey in a three-way race to fill his position, with a party room vote due Wednesday.
Mr Barilaro’s resignation means the NSW government faces three by-elections in coming months for the seats of Willoughby, Bega and Monaro, after Transport Minister Andrew Constance on Sunday also announced he was leaving to attempt a switch to federal politics.
Opposition leader Chris Minns on Monday blasted Mr Constance and Mr Barilaro for resigning during the pandemic.
‘That you’ve got a new job opportunity or you’d like to move into a new political arena is not a good enough reason to abandon your electorate and start a new career, particularly during a pandemic,’ he said.
By-elections cost upwards of $1.5 million each, he said, and urged them to reconsider their decisions to quit.
Who is Dominic Perrottet? Meet the new NSW Premier, a 39-year-old father of SIX who is a devout Catholic
By Stephen Johnson
Father-of-six Dominic Perrottet, 39, is the youngest leader in the history of Australia’s’ most populated state, making him a year younger than Nick Greiner, Nathan Rees and Kristina Keneally when they rose to power.
He is Australia’s youngest state premier since Labor’s Wayne Goss first led Queensland aged 38 in December 1989.
Mr Perrottet, who became Treasurer in January 2017 when Ms Berejiklian replaced Mike Baird as Premier, is also a devout Catholic hails from the Liberal Party’s Right faction.
Mr Perrottet is pictured with his wife Helen in March 2021. He is a staunch Catholic
He voted against the decriminalisation of abortion in 2019 and will vote against voluntary assisted dying.
He is also a keen economic reformer who wants to replace stamp duty with a land tax and has touted GST changes.
In 2016, Mr Perrottet called Donald Trump’s election win a ‘a victory for people who have been taken for granted by the elites’.
Mr Perrottet, the Member for Epping in Sydney’s north, became NSW Young Liberals president in 2005, three years after future Immigration Minister Alex Hawke spear-headed the right-wing takeover of the party’s youth wing.
His studied law at the University of Sydney with future Labor senator Sam Dastyari and the two were friends when they respectively led the youth wings of their parties.
He worked as a corporate lawyer before becoming an MP in 2010.