New leader flags support for the bush

LOCAL MPs are confident new premier Mike Baird is listening to regional NSW and that their electorates will continue to benefit under his leadership.

Mr Baird was elected to the top job on Thursday after the shock resignation of Barry O’Farrell the day before.

Transport minister Gladys Berejiklian is the new deputy after minister for health Jillian Skinner stepped aside.

Member for Tamworth Kevin Anderson said his dealings with Mr Baird in his capacity as treasurer had always been constructive and he’d shown great support for the electorate. “I believe he’s focused on regional NSW and while the circumstances (of Mr Baird’s appointment) aren’t ideal, I think it will be good to have a fresh pair of eyes and ears looking at the issues,” he said.

Mr Anderson said he’d been in the fortunate position of striking up a good relationship with Mr Baird and Ms Berejiklian.

“I would like to think that when the Tamworth electorate speaks, they will listen,” he said.

Northern Tablelands MP Adam Marshall said he, too, had a good working relationship with the pair and he was confident good outcomes for the electorate could be achieved in the future. 

“Sudden though this change has been, it’s a good opportunity to take stock and have a good look at where the government wants to head over the next 11 months,” he said. Both MPs are also keen for the new premier to visit their electorates as soon as possible. For the moment though, Mr Baird will be focusing on his new ministerial line-up, and both MPs are quick to refute any suggestion they may receive a call-up, citing their relative inexperience.

The premier has denied there’ll be any significant reshuffle, saying stability and experience was important, but admitted there will be some changes.

Mr Anderson said it was only his first term as an MP and he wanted to make sure his focus was on looking after the people of the Tamworth electorate.

“Whatever opportunities there may be in the future, I’ll let them present themselves,” he said.

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