Australia: In a groundbreaking development, Dominic Perrottet has elected as the 46th premier of Australia's most populous state of New South Wales (NSW) on Tuesday after his predecessor Gladys Berejiklian resigned on October 1 in the wake of a corruption probe.
The 39-year-old former New South Wales Treasurer won in a landslide internal vote by the state's ruling Liberal party with 39 to five ballots against NSW Planning Minister Rob Stokes, reports Xinhua news agency. Commenting on victory, Perrottet said before media: "It is an honour and absolute privilege to be elected as the parliamentary leader of the Liberal Party and premier of NSW." Perrottet is taking the reins of leadership at what is a critical juncture as NSW is scheduled to begin easing restrictions from October 11 as the 70 per cent vaccination rate is reached.
The former Premier had been the face of NSW's fight against the pandemic throughout 2020, and has navigated the state's course through the 2021 Delta variant outbreak that has seen lockdowns drag on in Sydney and surrounding areas for over 14 weeks.
Berejiklian's resignation came after it was revealed that she was under investigation by the Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC), regarding a conflict of interest around grant funding she oversaw. The ICAC will probe whether she breached the public trust and was liable to encourage the corruption of her former partner, former Liberal MP Daryl Maguire.