Constance resigns mid-race for top NSW post | Mandurah Courier
Former Prime Minister John Howard has backed Dominic Perrottet to replace Gladys Berejiklian as NSW Premier, as another competitor prepares to withdraw from the race.
Transport Minister Andrew Constance is set to resign from the New South Wales parliament and embark on a preselection campaign for the federal seat of Gilmore ahead of next year’s elections.
He called a press conference at 1 p.m. AEDT on Sunday.
His exit from state politics would leave four top Liberal leaders vying for the top post, but Mr Howard wants Mr Perrottet to rule the state in which he resides.
“I think his background, his experiences as treasurer and most importantly his commitment to economic reform mean that he, of all, is the best person to take the helm,” Howard told the Sunday program. Sky New Agenda.
“We have to continue with things like economic reform, he is very committed to tax reform.”
Mr Perrottet has yet to officially show his hand but was flattered by the approval and posted an announcement later on Sunday.
“Look, that means a lot. He has obviously been an inspiration to me and a pillar of the Liberal Party,” he told ABC TV.
“It obviously made a big difference yesterday and I’ll think about it.”
Planning Minister Rob Stokes is so far the only high-ranking minister to officially throw his hat in the ring, arguing he has “the right balance of experience, vision and integrity” necessary to assume this role at such a crucial time.
Another who is considering his options is Attorney General Mark Speakman.
“I am encouraged by the encouragement I have received from my colleagues to nominate and I will have more to say tomorrow,” he said on Saturday.
Another potential candidate is Employment Minister Stuart Ayres, while Environment Minister Matt Kean and Police Minister David Elliott are considered potential MPs.
Whoever wins has a difficult act to follow.
A very popular Prime Minister, Ms Berejiklian since her resignation has been greeted by everyone, from opposition leader of state Chris Minns – who said he “cannot fault her dedication and hard work” – to Prime Minister Scott Morrison, who praised his “heroic” qualities.
Voters flocked to her home and office on Saturday with flowers and balloons, while others put up hand-made signs.
Ms Berejiklian announced her resignation on Friday after the state’s corruption watchdog revealed that the 51-year-old was under investigation for potential damage to public confidence.
The ICAC says it is investigating whether she “held public office” in a position of conflict given her secret five-year relationship with former MP Daryl Maguire.
Tears and at times angry, she said on Friday she had “no choice” but to resign, but denied any wrongdoing.
She will also resign from Parliament as soon as a by-election for her seat in Willoughby on Sydney’s Lower North Shore can take place.
Australian Associated Press