Perrottet vows continuity as NSW premier

Dominic Perrottet will be the new premier of NSW after a meeting of MPs backed him for the job.
Dominic Perrottet will be the new premier of NSW after a meeting of MPs backed him for the job.

Dominic Perrottet says the NSW government will make no major policy or personnel changes in the coming months as the state emerges from lockdown and enters the "COVID-normal" era.

The 39-year-old, from the Liberal Party's conservative faction, defeated Rob Stokes 39-5 in Tuesday's ballot at Parliament House to become NSW's youngest premier.

He will be sworn in on Tuesday afternoon, with Stuart Ayres to be the Liberal deputy leader and Matt Kean to serve as treasurer.

Mr Perrottet - a father of six - vowed to be a "family premier" and prioritise the plight of working families around NSW.

He also pledged to maintain policy and cabinet continuity after Gladys Berejiklian's resignation, with no cabinet reshuffle in the short term and no major policy changes as lockdowns draw to an end.

He said he would maintain this position at least until summer.

However, the premier-elect did indicate he was open to getting kids back to school. At the moment that staggered process isn't scheduled to begin for most students until October 18.

He will also have to appoint a new environment minister to replace Mr Kean and a transport minister to replace Andrew Constance, who announced his resignation on the weekend.

"We are at an important juncture. On Monday, the state opens up and we want to get people back into work, get business open again, and that is the focus of our government," Mr Perrottet said.

"This is not a time for people to be focusing on themselves."

Mr Perrottet knocked back speculation he would bring forward the easing of restrictions in NSW from next Monday to this week, saying he would be briefed by NSW Health later on Tuesday.

NSW is likely to reach its initial COVID-19 vaccination target - 70 per cent double-dose coverage of those 16 and over - by Thursday.

The 80 per cent double-dose milestone is expected around two weeks later and December will usher in a broader "COVID-normal" era when unvaccinated and vaccinated people will enjoy similar freedoms.

Long touted as the premier-in-waiting, Mr Perrottet struck a deal over the weekend with his moderate colleagues to make Mr Ayres deputy.

Mr Ayres' elevation to the position was unanimously supported.

Ms Berejiklian resigned on Friday after the state's corruption watchdog disclosed she was being investigated for potential breaches of public trust during her secret five-year relationship with former Wagga Wagga MP Daryl Maguire. She did not attend Tuesday's vote.

Mr Perrottet acknowledged the ICAC investigation connected to Ms Berejiklian - due to start on October 18 - would prompt public commentary but insisted it would not distract the government.

A post-lockdown economic recovery plan will be announced shortly.

"I was able to see first-hand how we could invest money quickly, get people into work and provide housing off the back of it. Where we had success last year, we'll double-down," the Epping MP said.

Mr Stokes, 47, had offered himself as a more experienced alternative to Mr Perrottet but said the party had chosen "emphatically". The Pittwater MP will remain in the planning portfolio.

He also said he was happy to work with whoever was voted the new Nationals leader on Wednesday following John Barilaro's resignation.

Paul Toole and Melinda Pavey have put their hands up for the top job.

Mr Perrottet said being a father of six was "demanding", but he felt enriched by his family responsibilities.

"What I might lose in time, I gain in perspective," he said.

"These are decisions you contemplate, you speak to your family about ... yes, there will be challenges with that, and perhaps disappointments."

Lobby group Business NSW welcomed Mr Perrottet's appointment, saying he would provide a "steady hand" for the post-lockdown period.

Australian Associated Press