Mike Baird announced as NSW Premier: Community responds
Conservative Christian Liberal, Mike Baird has been announced as the 44th Premier of NSW. Baird will step into the breach left by Premier Barry O’Farrell’s shock resignation.
Baird is the son of former Howard government minister Bruce Baird and currently holds the position of Treasurer of NSW. He is well-known for his conservative views, including his anti gay marriage stance.
The Manly MP left behind a career in the banking sector to pursue politics in the mid nineties. His strong religious conservatism is well known and he has voiced his disapproval of marriage equality and same-sex adoption on various occasions.
The NSW Gay and Lesbian Rights Lobby convenor Justin Koonin said whilst the lobby congratulated Baird on his new role they were saddened to say goodbye to Premier O’Farrell. “It is disappointing that the new Premier does not share the progressive views of his predecessor on issues like marriage equality and same-sex adoption” Koonin told SX, “but we welcome his commitment to a conscience vote on marriage equality. We hope he will make his belief in the importance of a free vote clear to his federal colleagues.”
It’s a sentiment shared by Australian Marriage Equality National Director, Rodney Croome, "There are many examples of social conservatives changing their minds on marriage equality and we hope Mike Baird can be persuaded too,” said Croome.
“At the least, we hope Mr Baird will support a federal free vote on marriage equality, and become an advocate for it to Tony Abbott. We will seek a meeting with Mr Baird and encourage other supporters of marriage equality to do the same."
Sydney Independent MP Alex Greenwich hoped Mike Baird would be a leader for all people in NSW, including the LGBTI community. “Taking NSW into the 21st century includes improving the rights and equality of the LGBTI community,” Greenwich said.
Greenwich told SX he hoped to meet with Baird to discuss issues of importance to the LGBTI community. “I hope to meet with the new premier and discuss anti-discrimination protection, ending forced trans divorce, expungement, and improving the recognition for our states same-sex and gender diverse couples”
Liberal MP Bruce Notley-Smith said he looked forward to working with Baird.
Mike Baird will be an outstanding premier,” said Notley Smith. “He is humble, personable and incredibly intelligent. Mike has been a strong supporter of me and I look forward to working with him.”