Constance promoted to NSW treasury

Summary:NSW Minister for Finance and Services Andrew Constance has been promoted to the position of NSW treasurer in a cabinet reshuffle following the resignation of Barry O'Farrell and the installation of new NSW Premier Mike Baird.

NSW Premier Mike Baird has injected some young blood into his ministry while keeping the peace inside the Liberal Party's left and right factions.

After taking on the job last week following Barry O'Farrell's stunning resignation, Baird on Tuesday unveiled his new-look cabinet, which he said balanced renewal and experience.

Finance and Services Minister Andrew Constance was elevated to the treasury portfolio — relieving Baird of his former responsibilities.

Constance was understood to have demanded a senior role in the Baird government in return for not running in the party's leadership ballot.

The 40-year-old Constance has quickly risen through the Liberal ranks, moving from the disability portfolio to finance and now bagging one of the state's most coveted jobs.

He is said to have last week secured the support of about 10 left wing MPs in his leadership bid and was the main rival to Gladys Berejiklian.

Dominic Perrottet's elevation to the ministry, where he is filling Constance's former finance and services slot, will be seen as Baird's attempt at keeping the right of his party happy, after conservative MP Greg Smith was dumped as attorney-general. Perrottet is 31-years-old and has been touted as one of the more promising right wing MPs in the state.

Pru Goward was another big winner in the cabinet reshuffle, picking up the planning portfolio from Brad Hazzard. Baird will hope she can finally push through the government's planning reforms, which Hazzard failed to do in the last three years.

Hazzard has been handed the attorney-general role and has been described by one insider as a "safe pair of hands" for the law-and-order portfolio. He reportedly argued against the O'Farrell government's mandatory sentencing laws in cabinet.

The reshuffle is also expected to bring forward the retirement of a number of Liberal MPs who were expected to resign later in the year.

Already, north coast MP Don Page, 63, announced he was retiring from politics shortly before being officially demoted by Baird. Former Tourism Minister George Souris is also tipped to step aside from politics.

The new ministry will be sworn in today.

Topics: Government : AU, Australia

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