NSW premier Gladys Berejiklian resigns
The Premier of Australia’s New South Wales Gladys Berejiklian has resigned, after the state's corruption watchdog revealed it was investigating her, ABC reports.
The ICAC will hold public hearings later this month to investigate whether there was a conflict between Ms Berejiklian's public duties and private interests when she was in a personal relationship with then-MP Daryl Maguire.
Berejiklian conceded her shock announcement comes amid some of the "darkest days in the state's history" — but it's been praised as the "right decision" by the opposition, and some experts.
"I want to be clear, and all the decisions I have made as Minister or Premier of New South Wales, my first consideration has always been the well-being and welfare of the people of this state. I state categorically I have always acted with the highest level of integrity. History will demonstrate I have executed my duties again with the highest level of integrity for the benefit the people of New South Wales for who I have had the privilege to serve,'' Berejiklian said. ''As a leader of the New South Wales government, I have expected the high standards of myself and my colleagues and made it clear on numerous occasions that if any of my ministers were the subject of allegations being investigated by an integrity agency or law enforcement, then he or she should stand aside during the course of investigation until their name was cleared. The reason for my stance was not to have made any presumptions as to their conduct but rather to maintain the integrity of the public office which that person has held while the investigation was completed. That same standard must always apply to me also as Premier. However, standing aside is not an option for me as a Premier of New South Wales. The people of this state need certainty as to who the leader is of the state during the challenging time for the pandemic. I cannot predict how long it will take you ICAC to complete the investigation, let alone deliver a report in circumstances rather first called to give evidence nearly 12 months ago.''
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