Gladys Berejiklian has left a heartfelt note to her constituents in her office window after emerging for the first time since her shock resignation over a corruption investigation.
After four days of hiding in a CBD hotel, the 51-year-old turned up at her electorate office in Northbridge on Wednesday morning to go back to work as a backbench MP.
She told reporters she was ‘OK’ and later wrote a note to her supporters who had left bunches of flowers and cards outside her office before sticking it to the inside of the window for them to read.
Gladys Berejiklian left this heartfelt note to her constituents in her office window after emerging for the first time since her shock resignation over a corruption investigation
After four days of hiding in a CBD hotel, the 51-year-old (pictured) turned up at her electorate office in Northbridge on Wednesday morning
‘Thank you for the beautiful flowers, gifts, cards, drawings, and messages of support,’ she wrote.
‘It has provided much comfort during this difficult time. I am so deeply grateful.
‘Serving the people of NSW has been the privilege of my life and the kindness and thoughtfulness of citizens has been and will remain a constant source of inspiration.
‘Love and best wishes, Gladys.’
When she arrived home Ms Berejiklian (pictured) picked up a bunch of flowers outside her gate and entered her property
Ms Berejiklian wore her mask when she left her electorate office on Wednesday afternoon
The premier was seen arriving at home Northbridge, still clutching a red bag which she carried to work
The premier was later seen arriving at home in Northbridge, still clutching a red bag which she carried to work.
She picked up a bunch of flowers outside her gate and entered her property.
The former premier said the messages of support were ‘very comforting’ and pledged to read every single one of them.
‘I want everyone to know that I will read every single card, every single message,’ Ms Berejiklian said.
The former premier briefly spoke to media outside her electorate office on Wednesday
Wearing a mask and flanked by Federal Liberal MP Trend Zimmerman (pictured), she picked up flowers and cards which were left outside the door by devastated constituents
Ms Berejiklian (pictured on Wednesday) has been holed up in a CBD hotel to avoid the media
Hundreds of supporters left flowers and cards at the door of Ms Berejiklian’s office
Ms Berejikian was pictured holding a red bag and wearing a backpack over one shoulder
The former premier (pictured on Wednesday) urged residents to support her successor Dominic Perrottet who was sworn in on Tuesday
Ms Berejiklian arrived at her electorate office to find bunches of flowers left for her on the ground
Asked how she has been going since stepping down, the former premier said: ‘Oh OK thank you’.
Ms Berejiklian revealed what she said in a message to her Liberal Party colleagues which was read to them by her successor Dominic Perrottet on Wednesday.
‘I just wanted to say a big thank you to everyone, and I want everyone to get behind Premier Perrottet, I know he will be an outstanding leader,’ she said.
‘Follow the Premier’s words and make sure we come out of this lockdown as safely as possible.’
Supporters at the office praised Ms Berejiklian who was premier since 2017.
One named Mary told Daily Mail Australia: ‘She did a good job. She was a really good role model for woman and the ethnic community.
‘She’s from an Armenian background. It’s very empowering for other people from ethnic backgrounds.’
‘I’m quite upset about what happened to her. It’s not right.’
Several reporters and camera crew were waiting to greet Ms Berejiklian at her office
The former premier waved to supporters as she crossed the road to her electorate office
A closer look at some of the flowers and cards left for the former premier at her office
Asked how she has been going since stepping down, the former premier said: ‘Oh OK thank you’
Another supporter named Marie Cherote added: ‘It’s disgusting what was done to her. This is a woman who’s dedicated her life to politics.
‘She loves her job and she loves NSW. She’s always there for people. I’m quite p***ed off about it. No one is perfect.
‘It’s typical of our Australian attitude to attack people at the top. It’s a lack of respect.
‘She deserved a hell of a lot more.’
Daily Mail Australia understands Ms Berejiklian has been holed up in an inner-city hotel to avoid the media over the past four days.
On Friday she went straight home after revealing she would step down as state leader.
Ms Berejiklian says hello to a constituent as she makes her way to her office in Northbridge
The Premier’s office had flowers and messages of support left outside it after the former premier resigned
Ms Berejiklian enters her office flanked by a security guard (left) on Wednesday morning
However, her Jeep four-wheel-drive parked only briefly in her drive in Northbridge on Sydney’s leafy lower north shore.
News cameras then captured the car quickly fleeing back across the Sydney Harbour Bridge.
Since then, there has been a media circus outside her house – but no sign of Ms Berejiklian.
Only her former lover who got her into this mess in the first place – Daryl Maguire – has been seen.
Daily Mail Australia captured photographs of Mr Maguire, 62, smoking a cigarette and wielding a rifle on his property in Wagga Wagga.
Mr Maguire is under investigation by the Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC) after admitting to financially benefitting from his former job as an MP
Mr Maguire was seen Saturday puffing on a cigarette on his property in Wagga Wagga, NSW after Ms Berejiklian’s shock departure
Ms Berejiklian did not even show up for the Liberal Party meeting at the state Parliament to choose her successor.
She will stand down as an MP and leave state politics altogether as soon as a byelection can be arranged after lockdown.
There is speculation she could turn to federal politics and run for Tony Abbott’s old seat of Warringah, or get a lucrative job in the private sector.
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 is also probing her role in multi-million dollar government grants to a gun club and conservatorium of music in his electorate.
Ms Berejiklian insists she has done nothing wrong and has ‘always acted with integrity’.
Ms Berejiklian’s former media advisor Sean Berry was pictured in her street in a classic Corvette on Tuesday
A man attempts to deliver flowers to NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian at Parliament House in Sydney. There has been an outpouring of grief since the popular premier stepped down
Mr Maguire hasn’t commented on the recent developments.
The 62-year-old was the state Liberal MP for the area from 1999 until he quit under a corruption cloud in 2018.
He is still under investigation by the Independent Commission Against Corruption.
The new Premier Mr Perrottet landed the top job in a Liberal Party meeting on Tuesday morning, beating Planning Minister Rob Stokes by 39 votes to five.
‘It’s an honour and absolute privilege to be elected as the parliamentary leader of the Liberal Party, the Premier of New South Wales,’ Mr Perrottet said after the vote.
‘I really appreciate the trust my colleagues have put in me today.’
NSW Treasurer Dominic Perrottet walks through Parliament on Tuesday before securing the votes to become NSW Premier
In a press conference an hour later, Mr Perrottet thanked Ms Berejiklian for her service during the Covid-19 pandemic as Sydney endures the final week of a four-month lockdown.
‘The first thing I want to do today is to acknowledge my predecessor and pay tribute to her, Gladys Berejiklian, who strong and steady leadership has seen us through so many difficult challenges,’ he said.
‘Now, while there are still more challenging days to come, there is light at the end of the tunnel, thanks to the way that everyone across our state has responded.
‘We want New South Wales to bounce back stronger, safer and more successful than ever before, to get back to the life that we love and the freedoms that we hold dear.’
Mr Perrottet said he would be a ‘family premier’ who wants to ‘make life better for working families.’
Jobs Minister Stuart Ayres – the boyfriend of Foreign Minister Marise Payne – was elected deputy Liberal leader unopposed while Environment Minister Matt Kean will become Treasurer.
Why did Gladys Berejiklian resign?
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 Daryl 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)
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.