Archbishop pays tribute to ‘outstanding leader’
Archbishop Glenn Davies has issued a public statement on the resignation of NSW Premier Mike Baird, describing him as 'an outstanding leader'.
"A man of principle and of mature Christian faith, Mike Baird has 'made the difference' that he intended to make when he entered politics a decade ago." Dr Davies said in his official statement.
"His bold agenda for improving the infrastructure of our cities and our transport networks will stand the State in good stead for the next half century. His willingness to eschew short term political gain in order to do the right thing for the citizens of NSW is a model for political leaders from all sides."
Mr Baird announced on Thursday he was stepping down immediately.
"I said many times I didn't want to become a career politician," the Premier said. "I wanted to go as hard as I could for as long as I could and then step aside. Today, I am making good on that pledge."
Mr Baird says that he thought it was the right time to resign - after 10 years in public life, three years as Treasurer and three years as Premier.
Archbishop Davies referred to recent criticism of the Premier - saying that "leadership of this calibre naturally attracts its critics, especially when powerful minorities are challenged and chastened as to their genuine concern for the common good, rather than their own sectional interests.
For Mike Baird, his commitment to his family is both serious and important, not a smokescreen for a resignation due to other reasons."
The Archbishop said he was personally sorry to see Mr Baird leave the office of Premier, but his statement ended "I thank God for the impact he has made over the past ten years, and especially the last three years as Premier. May God raise up more leaders like Mike, a person of transparency and genuine concern for the long term good of the citizens of NSW."
Within days, Gladys Berejiklian had been elected by the party room as the 45th Premier of NSW.
Archbishop Davies welcomed the election, saying "I have known Ms Berejiklian since she entered Parliament and became my local member when I lived in her electorate. She is a well respected local member who has managed her ministerial portfolios with industry and competence. While a member of the Armenian Church, she has been a strong supporter of Anglican ministry and never missed a service marking the commencement of ministry of new Anglican rectors in her electorate."
"All our Anglican churches pray for those who govern us, and as we have prayed for Mike Baird we shall now pray for Gladys Berejiklian that she might exercise this new responsibility with wisdom and grace, for the good of all citizens and the glory of God" Archbishop Davies said.