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January 18, 2022

NSW Nationals elect Barilaro as new leader

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NSW Minister for Regional Development John Barilaro and North Coast Nationals MLC Ben Franklin. (supplied)
NSW Minister for Regional Development John Barilaro and North Coast Nationals MLC Ben Franklin. (supplied)

John Barilaro has been elected as the new leader of the NSW Nationals and will become the state’s deputy premier following the dramatic resignation of predecessor Troy Grant.

The Monaro MP was elected unopposed in a ballot against Andrew Fraser during a party room meeting on Tuesday.

Niall Blair was also elected as deputy leader, after Education Minister Adrian Piccoli stepped down from the position on Monday.

John Barilaro replaced Troy Grant after the Nationals suffered a massive swing against the party in the regional electorate of Orange on the weekend.

‘We are focused on the future … and the messages to be learned from the weekend by-election,’ Mr Barilaro told ABC radio on Tuesday.

The vote count for Saturday’s Orange by-election puts the Shooters Fishers and Farmers party within range of winning a seat held by the Nationals for almost 70 years.

Unrest within the Nationals’ party room has been swirling for months, after Mr Grant backed Premier Mike Baird’s now-scrapped greyhound racing ban.

The controversial policy and forced local council mergers have been blamed as the main contributors to the disastrous by-election result.


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