October 5, 2021
By Colin Packham
CANBERRA (Reuters) – Dominic Perrottet, a social conservative and economic reformer, was on Tuesday elected as the new state premier of New South Wales, which will within weeks exit a months-long COVID-19 lockdown that has battered its economy.
Gladys Berejiklian last week resigned as premier of Australia’s most populous state after after a corruption watchdog said it was investigating whether she was involved in conduct that “constituted or involved a breach of public trust”.
In a vote of the ruling Liberal party, Perrottet – the state’s Treasurer – was elected as Berejiklian’s replacement, beating Planning Minister Rob Stokes by 39 votes to five.
“I really appreciate the trust my colleagues have put in me today,” Perrottet told reporters in Sydney.
Perrottet, 39, will now oversee the reopening of the state, which has been in a COVID-19 lockdown since June following an outbreak of the highly contagious Delta variant and left many businesses reliant of government aid for survival.
Perrottet is expected to push economic reform as he seeks to revive an economy that is larger than Singapore, Thailand or Malaysia.
While Treasurer, Perrottet proposed changing a one-off tax on the purchase of residential properties to an annual fee to improve housing affordability for first-home buyers.
($1 = 1.3742 Australian dollars)
(Reporting by Colin Packham; Editing by Lincoln Feast)
Source Link Social conservative and economic reformer elected to lead Australia’s most populous state