Gladys Berejiklian has been sworn in as the 45th Premier of New South Wales, following her unopposed election as leader of the Liberal Party.
Berejiklian, 46, is the second female premier of NSW and the first female Liberal Party premier in any Australian state.
She was elected unopposed at a meeting of the Liberal party-room this morning. Her deputy is Dominic Perrottet, 33. Their unopposed election followed an agreement between the conservative and moderate wings of the NSW Liberals.
Berejiklian was elected to the Legislative Assembly as the member for Willoughby in 2003. She was Minister for Transport from 2011 until 2015. She became deputy leader of the party in 2014 when Mike Baird replaced Barry O’Farrell as leader. She has been Treasurer and Minister for Industrial Relations since 2015.
The daughter of Armenian immigrants, Berejiklian has a Master of Commerce from the University of NSW. She worked in the financial industry before entering parliament.
At a press conference this morning, Berejiklian said infrastructure, housing affordability and a strong economy were her priorities for government. She said she was committed to the Gonski school funding proposals.
Asked about the recent swearing-in of President Donald Trump, Berejiklian said: “I have to confess there is one thing Mr. Trump and I have in common and that is the number 45 and it pretty much stops after that.”
Berejiklian is the seventh NSW premier in twelve years. She is the third Liberal premier since the coalition won office from the ALP in March 2011. The next election is due in March 2019.
- Listen to Berejiklian’s press conference following her election as Liberal leader (24m)
- Full list of NSW Premiers Since 1856
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- Gladys Berejiklian’s personal website
Luke Foley, the ALP Leader of the Opposition in NSW, held a press conference to comment on Berejiklian’s elevation to the premiership.
Foley said that Berejiklian had done nothing to deal with housing affordability whilst she was Treasurer.
- Listen to Foley (5m)