Mike Baird has become the 44th premier of NSW with Gladys Berejiklian as his deputy leader.
The unopposed decision was announced by a party official following a meeting with Liberal MPs on Thursday afternoon. The former Treasurer and Manly MP united with his closest rival, former Transport Minister Gladys Berejiklian, releasing a joint statement on Thursday morning.
“We are contesting the leadership and deputy leadership of the NSW Liberal Party, with Mike Baird to become leader. We strongly encourage our colleagues to support this decision this afternoon,” the statement said.
The leadership was uncontested, with Pru Goward and Anthony Roberts pulling out of the race earlier in the day.
Mr O’Farrell resigned on Wednesday after giving misleading evidence to the Independent Commission Against Corruption about the receipt of a $3000 bottle of Grange Hermitage.
Mr Baird had said it would be a “privilege” to be the state’s premier.
”It is important that we all come together. Clearly, unity has been a hallmark of what we have been about in past few years,” he told the Seven network.
”We want to maintain that unity. It’s important for the state, it’s important for government and [to] enable us achieve the best outcome.”
The 45-year-old surfing Christian and father of three was appointed Treasurer of NSW following the election of the NSW Liberal and Nationals Government in 2011. In September 2012 he was also appointed Minister for Industrial Relations. Mike had served as Shadow Treasurer since December 2008 and previously as Shadow Minister for Energy, Finance and Youth Affairs.
Mr Baird became the Member for Manly in 2007 after an 18-year banking career incorporating corporate banking, securitisation, debt capital markets and project finance in Australia, London and Hong Kong.
Career highlights include managing corporate finance transactions across a range of industries for Deutsche Bank and Head of Originations, debt capital markets in London for the NAB.
Prior to his election to Parliament, Mike was Head of Institutional Banking for HSBC in Australia and New Zealand. – Naomi Winner
Screenshot taken from Mike Baird’s website.