Paul Toole chosen as NSW Deputy Premier after John Barilaro’s shock resignation
Paul Toole has been chosen as NSW’s next Deputy Premier, replacing outgoing Nationals leader John Barilaro.
The Regional Roads Minister triumphed over rival Melinda Pavey at a partyroom meeting to become the state’s second-highest political official.
Mental Health Minister Bronnie Taylor was chosen as deputy party leader, at the same meeting, held behind closed doors at state parliament.
Mr Toole has been the MP for Bathurst since 2011 and has been the NSW Nationals‘ deputy leader since 2019.
“I want to keep building on the foundations John Barilaro has laid and provide the community with the stability they want to see,” he said.
“My focus remains very much on delivering the road map, getting kids back to school, businesses back open and people back to work.”
MPs who backed Mr Toole pointed to his performance as acting deputy premier while outgoing leader Mr Barilaro took time off for his mental health following the parliament drama known as “koalagate” last year.
He beat Water Minister Melinda Pavey for the job. The Oxley MP put her hand up shortly after Mr Barilaro quit.
It has earlier been suggested the new party deputy leader, Ms Taylor, could run for Mr Barilaro’s lower house seat of Monaro, attempting to reclaim the seat at a looming by-election.
“I would always back Bronnie Taylor, she’s already the unofficial member for Monaro,” Mr Barilaro earlier told reporters.
Ms Taylor, who lives in the electorate of Monaro, told Sky News when asked about a possible run for the lower house seat: “You never rule anything out.”
Mr Barilaro’s shock departure followed that of Gladys Berejiklian, whose resignation as NSW premier led to former treasurer Dominic Perrottet ascending to fill her position after a vote on Tuesday morning.
Originally published as Paul Toole chosen as NSW Deputy Premier after John Barilaro’s shock resignation
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