Gladys Berejiklian’s voice broke at one point after announcing that she would be stepping down as NSW Premier during an emotional press conference.
Gladys Berejiklian made the explosive announcement that she would resign as Premier of NSW, saying she had “no options” after a corruption watchdog said he was investigating her .
The shocking announcement came after the Independent Commission Against Corruption confirmed on Friday that its investigation into Ms Berejiklian’s former secret boyfriend had broadened to include him.
Ms Berejiklian said it went against “every instinct” for her resignation.
“I love my job and I love serving the community, but I was not given any options,” she said.
She was largely stoic during the six-minute announcement, but her voice got emotional towards the end as she addressed the residents of the state to say “thank you.”
“I want to thank you, the people of NSW – when fleas were down in recent years, especially during drought, bushfires and now Covid – we have stood side by side,” she said. declared.
“I hope you will now stay in the forefront of my thoughts.”
Her voice then broke momentarily when she told people that this would be the last time she would address them as Prime Minister.
“So, as I address you for the last time as Prime Minister, please stay the course and stay safe. We will soon come out of this lockdown and be able to move on with our lives, ”she said.
She said earlier that she regretted “not being able to complete the job to ensure that the people of NSW can move on to life with Covid.”
Ms Berejiklian will also resign as MP for Willoughby, which will trigger a by-election.
It was not immediately clear who will take over as Prime Minister. The Liberal Party was planning a meeting where MPs would vote on the issue.
Treasurer Dominic Perrottet has long been considered the favorite to succeed Ms. Berejiklian.
The ICAC said in its announcement that it will start holding new public hearings from October 18.
The watchdog will investigate if she has breached the public’s trust in her personal relationship with former MP Daryl Maguire.
The ICAC said on Friday it would investigate whether Ms Berejiklian’s relationship with Mr Maguire created a conflict of interest that led her to sever public trust by awarding grants to an association of targets of clay and a music conservatory in Wagga Wagga.
He would also investigate whether the prime minister violated public trust by allegedly failing to report conduct by Mr Maguire that may have been corrupt.
The ICAC also said it would investigate whether it was “responsible for allowing or encouraging the occurrence of corrupt behavior by Mr. Maguire”.
The investigation will be a continuation of an ongoing investigation into Mr. Maguire’s conduct as a Member of Parliament.
Ms Berejiklian said on Friday that she had “always acted with the highest level of integrity”.
“In all of the decisions I have made as Minister or Premier of NSW, my first consideration has always been the welfare and welfare of the people of the state,” she said.
“I categorically state that I have always acted with the highest level of integrity.
“History will show that I have always performed my duties, again with the highest level of integrity, for the good of the people of NSW.”
It was during public hearings into this case that it was revealed that Ms Berejiklian had a secret five-year relationship with Mr Maguire.
Ms. Berejiklian has been a Member of Parliament since 2003 and Prime Minister since 2017.
She is the third NSW prime minister to resign following an ICAC investigation since the corruption watchdog was established in 1988.