NSW National Party MPs Paul Toole and Melinda Pavey race to replace John Barilaro | National Party


Dominic Perrottet’s triumph in the New South Wales Liberal Party hall and his rise to prime minister is not the only leadership race in the state’s coalition government this week.

The NSW Nationals will hold a meeting in the village hall on Wednesday where incumbent leader John Barilaro will officially resign and call for a vote for a new leader – who will then become deputy premier.

Barilaro announced Monday that he would be leaving state politics at the same time as former Prime Minister Gladys Berejiklian, saying NSW needed a “fresh start”.

The new leader of the Coalition’s junior partner will influence the direction of NSW under the Perrottet government.

It seems likely that there will be two national deputies contesting the leadership. Here’s what you need to know about them.

Paul Toole

The Bathurst MP announced he would raise his hand to lead the NSW Nationals on Tuesday – more than a day after Barilaro’s announcement. He needed time to think about his position and seek the support of his colleagues.

Acting Deputy Prime Minister Paul Toole. Photograph: Dan Hambrechts / AAP

Toole has served under Barilaro as deputy party leader since 2019, making him a strong candidate to take the reins.

“This is a time when we need strong, stable leadership as we emerge from a pandemic,” Toole said when announcing his candidacy on Tuesday.

He spoke about his credentials as deputy party leader and highlighted his track record of working with the new prime minister in the crisis cabinet and other committees.

Toole served as regional transport and highways minister, and previously held the portfolios of races, local government, and lands and forests.

Toole – a former schoolteacher and mayor – was elected alongside Barilaro in 2011.

Melinda Pavey

Member of Parliament for Oxley on the Mid-North Coast, Pavey has served as Minister of Water, Property and Housing since April 2019.

Melinda Pavey
New South Wales Water Minister Melinda Pavey. Photograph: Joel Carrett / AAP

Its water portfolio meant that its visibility immediately increased as the government responded to the severe drought affecting parts of the state.

“I believe I have what it takes and I can be a good national party leader, a good coalitionist, and be very dedicated to getting NSW through Covid and seeking these opportunities for the bush,” Pavey said. Monday.

Raised on a dairy farm, the former broadcast journalist and small business owner previously held the road and maritime portfolios.

Will it be just two candidates?

It seems likely. Education Minister Sarah Mitchell had been presented as a possible candidate but had not officially announced that she would run on Tuesday night.

During his swearing-in as prime minister on Tuesday, Perrottet said he was happy to be working with whoever was elected the new leader of the national party.

Who will win?

The National Party Hall is small, so things could change quickly, making it hard to predict exactly what’s going to happen.

On Tuesday evening, a national MP told Guardian Australia: “The numbers are so strong behind Paul that I think he will win overwhelmingly.”

They said there was a sense of frustration among national MPs that Pavey signaled his candidacy so soon after Barilaro’s resignation was announced.

“The fact that she had done it so soon was outrageous.”

As Toole is the current national deputy, if he wins the leadership, a ballot will be held to replace him.

Bronnie Taylor, an upper house MLC and minister of mental health, is expected to be elected as the new deputy leader if Toole becomes leader.

– with Australian Associated Press

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