Australia's largest population state NSW - government in 'turmoil' over withdrawal of support

Cheryl Sanders
September 15, 2020

"The disloyalty that we've seen out of the deputy premier makes his position untenable". By the same token we need our farmers to be able to have their rights too.

"It is disgusting to divert attention to something not even on the political radar at a time like this", he told reporters in Dubbo.

'The National Party stands for a thriving koala population, ' Mr Barilaro said. "She showed him that she would no longer tolerate his bullying behaviour".

However, he said Nationals ministers won't be surrendering their portfolios.

During the meeting, MPs voted unanimously to back their leader in allowing the Premier to sack them if he did not get the result he wanted, one party source said.

The Premier is understood to have replied, declaring that the issue was not about the SEPP but "the provision of stability to govern" and agreeing to "being in Coalition until the election" as well as for National MPs to "support all Cabinet decisions".

Mr McCormack said the ugly dispute should never have become public.

But Premier Gladys Berejiklian called his bluff, and won.

The dramatic backdown follows National sources indicting they would be holding firm on their threats after their 8am meeting this morning.

Another Liberal source said Mr Barilaro had told MPs that there had been concessions on both sides.

She said it wasn't surprising "city-centric" policies were being challenged by the Nationals.

Asked if he was happy to continue working with Mr Barilaro, he replied: "After Friday I'm finding it really hard to answer that because ... you don't go and strike an agreement and then do that". After that, reports began filtering out that the Deputy Premier had virtually rolled over and begged for forgiveness.

While the relationship between Ms Berejiklian and Mr Barilaro has been cordial for the most part, government insiders say the Premier had endured a history of "aggressive texts" from the Deputy Premier.

It seems likely that the National Party itself will have a much different take on events at some point, but a joint statement from Berejiklian and Barilaro is now expected.

The premier on Friday stared down the Nationals leader who backed away from threats to move his party to the cross bench because of a rift over the state's koala protection policy, made less than 24 hours earlier.

Mr Elliott hit out at his coalition colleague over the stoush.

John Barilaro, Deputy Premier of New South Wales pictured leaving 52 Martin Place in Sydney late last night after the Premier delivered her ultimatum.

"My job is to protect the cabinet process which is why I took the action I did last week". In threatening to move his MPs to the crossbench he was effectively leaving the Liberals with a minority government, which would have created a big old mess. "But yesterday we had to do what we had to do to bring this high up on the agenda of the government".

"We're not going to the crossbench, we're not sitting on the crossbench".

Other reports by iNewsToday