Member for Penrith Stuart Ayres will be reinstated as a senior minister in Cabinet if Premier Dominic Perrottet wins the NSW State Election, and Ayres retains the tightly held seat.
The Premier headed to Penrith on Monday morning as the election campaign gets underway, and claims he is not considering the possibility of defeat.
After Ayres resigned from his Ministerial roles last year amid accusations he breached the Ministerial Code of Conduct in hiring John Barilaro as Trade Commissioner in New York, he was cleared of any wrongdoing by an independent inquiry.
Perrottet has now revealed that he will allow the Penrith MP back to the front bench after the election.
“Stuart hasn’t just made a contribution to his local community and improved it for families across western Sydney, he has made a significant contribution to the whole state of NSW,” Perrottet said to the Weekender in an exclusive interview at The Coffee Club Nepean River.
“He has the energy, the experience, the ideas, the drive, the passion, to continue to make a strong contribution at the highest levels and he will be a senior minister in the government I lead.”
Along with the seat of Penrith, the Premier is also confident that his government can win Badgerys Creek (formerly Mulgoa) and current Londonderry MP Prue Car’s spot even though there has not been a Liberal candidate announced as of yet.
“There are 90 odd seats across NSW so the party moves through that process… We will have an announcement on Londonderry soon and I believe the Liberals and Nationals will win the seat of Londonderry,” he said.
“Tanya (Davies) has been a very strong member of parliament, a strong advocate for her community in Mulgoa and western Sydney. She is a key part of the team and delivers for her community.”
While a YouGov poll in the Sunday Telegraph showed that Labor led against the Coalition on a two-party preferred basis and in first preferences, Perrottet is “forging ahead” and is focused on having a strong economic plan and providing opportunities for all NSW residents.
This includes the shared equity scheme that he and Treasurer Matt Kean announced at Robinson Park, Jamisontown, which will help workers such as teachers, paramedics, nurses and childcare workers to purchase a house.
“Our key workers, first homebuyers, singles and over 55’s can get access to this new scheme to purchase a property in partnership with the NSW Government, so with a two per cent deposit we provide 40 per cent equity for new properties and 30 per cent for existing properties, so it gives our key workers the opportunity to access a new scheme,” he said.
“That is in addition to our first home buyer’s scheme. Up to $1.5 million for first home buyers to not pay up front stamp duty but pay an annual amount.”
He also told the Weekender that the LNP would consider looking at building a high school in Jordan Springs following Labor’s commitment.
Perrottet remains committed to building a new stadium in Penrith and believes good financial management will allow for further cost of living relief.
“We are in negotiations with the Paceway, and we are committed to that stadium to be built on the Paceway site,” he said.
“These are projects we get criticised about but it’s about building everything. It’s hospitals, schools, public transport, roads and also culture… it’s about having a great lifestyle for you and your family and that means the best of everything.
“A strong economy and having an economic plan leads to providing support for families across NSW and our households. Labor can’t deliver because they don’t have that plan to keep NSW moving forward.”
A graduate of Western Sydney University, Emily covers Local, State and Federal politics for the Weekender, as well as crime and general news.