Gladys Berejiklian has made good on her promise to quit politics and handed in her resignation as a member of the NSW Parliament.
The former NSW premier was one of five MPs who resigned this week, along with her former deputy and Nationals leader John Barilaro.
Ms Berejiklian quit as premier on October 1 after the Independent Commission Against Corruption announced it was investigating her.
She said that the time she would also step down as MP for Willoughby on Sydney‘s north shore to give her successor Dominic Perrottet a fresh start without distraction.
Mr Barilaro, ex-transport minister Andrew Constance and former NSW Labor leader Jodi McKay officially resigned alongside the ex-premier.
Months after her shock resignation as NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian (pictured) has officially quit Parliament for good months prompting speculation on her next career move
Ms Berejiklian (pictured with Chief Health Officer Kerry Chant) has remained tight-lipped on her next career move but told 2GB radio’s Ben Fordham she was going in a different direction
Three candidates will battle for Liberal preselection to fill Ms Berejiklian’s seat including Willoughby mayor Gail Giles-Gidney, executive general manager at the Menzies Research Centre Tim James, and executive Kellie Sloane.
Speaker Jonathan O’Dea said the four resignations were effective immediately with by-elections for the electoral districts of Bega, Monaro, Strathfield, and Willoughby likely to be held on February 12.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison and other federal Liberals lobbied her for Ms Berejiklian to run for the federal seat of Warringah, in Sydney’s Northern Beaches in this year’s election, but she turned it down.
She is instead expected to take a high-paying corporate role for at least the next few years, and may never return to politics.
That has not stopped speculation about what job she might take up in the private sector, and whether she may get the itch for public service again.
Ms Berejiklian said she was looking forward to a low-key Christmas with her loved ones she but remained tight-lipped on her next career move.
‘I’m looking forward to a much less public life. I won’t be contesting the federal seat of Warringah or any other seat for that matter,’ she told 2GB radio.
‘I’m going in a different direction and I’m looking forward to the opportunities that next year brings.’
Gladys Berejiklian will be spending Christmas with her family in a welcome break from the past two years that saw her deal with bushfires and the Covid-19 pandemic
The former premier revealed she was looking forward to spending a low-key day with her loved ones and relatives on the festive holiday (pictured, Ms Berejiklian with her boyfriend Arthur Moses)
The former leader spent Christmas with her family in a welcome break after the chaos of the last two years saw her handle bushfires and the Covid-19 pandemic.
The toned-down celebration was be a welcome change for Ms Berejiklian who has been forced to spend Christmas away from her family for the past two years.
In 2019, Ms Berejiklian visited towns and regional cities around the state that had been devastated by Black Summer bushfires.
The widespread blazes killed 26 people and razed 5.5 million hectares of land in NSW alone.
Ms Berejiklian followed fire chief Shane Fitzsimmons to visit the devastated communities and offer her support.
The ash from the massive bushfires had only begun to settle when Ms Berejiklian was forced to steer NSW through another disaster: the Covid-19 pandemic.
The former premier immediately threw all the state’s resources into tackling the outbreak and fronted media almost every day to provide updates on case numbers.
Her tireless approach earned her praise from prime minister Scott Morrison who referred to Ms Berejiklian as the ‘gold standard’.
Ms Berejiklian proved that she was willing to make the tough decisions when it came to combatting the virus – even at the cost of her popularity
Her tireless approach earned her praise from prime minister Scott Morrison who referred to Ms Berejiklian as the ‘gold standard’
Ms Berejiklian proved that she was willing to make the tough decisions when it came to combatting the virus – even at the cost of her popularity.
The former premier was forced to plunge Sydney’s Northern Beaches into a hard lockdown over Christmas 2020.
The decision was made as cases skyrocketed during an outbreak that was sparked by a Covid-19 positive airport limousine driver.
Ms Berejiklian was among the tens of thousands of families that were forced to spend Christmas alone because of the targeted lockdown.
Her popularity took another downturn following a new outbreak in Sydney’s eastern suburbs in June.
Ms Berejiklian waited until cases had grown exponentially before plunging the city into lockdown – a decision that drew strong criticism from media and residents.
Ms Berejiklian waited until cases had grown exponentially before plunging the city into lockdown – a decision that drew strong criticism from media and residents (pictured, Ms Berejiklian with boyfriend Arthur Moses)
She was slammed for enforcing different restrictions around the city with the military deployed and a curfew introduced in parts of western Sydney.
Her hardline tactics proved successful as case numbers slowly declined and Ms Berejiklian was just weeks away from easing restrictions before she announced she would be standing down as premier.
In October, Ms Berejiklian made the unexpected announcement as ICAC carried out an investigation into her relationship with former Liberal MP Daryl Maguire.
The ICAC revealed it was investigating whether she had breached the public’s trust or had a conflict of interest during the relationship.
The former state leader has denied any wrongdoing and the anti-corruption body is yet to hand down its findings on the matter.