Mike Baird

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Mike Baird
Mike Baird Day-1-Opening-Plenary-4091 (cropped).jpg
Baird in 2016
44th Premier of New South Wales
Election: 2015
In office
17 April 2014 – 23 January 2017
MonarchElizabeth II
GovernorMarie Bashir
David Hurley
DeputyAndrew Stoner
Troy Grant
John Barilaro
Preceded byBarry O'Farrell
Succeeded byGladys Berejiklian
20th Leader of the New South Wales Liberal Party
In office
17 April 2014 – 23 January 2017
DeputyGladys Berejiklian
Preceded byBarry O'Farrell
Succeeded byGladys Berejiklian
Minister for Infrastructure
In office
23 April 2014 – 23 January 2017
Preceded byBrad Hazzard
Succeeded byAndrew Constance
Minister for Western Sydney
In office
23 April 2014 – 23 January 2017
Preceded byBarry O'Farrell
Succeeded byStuart Ayres
Treasurer of New South Wales
In office
3 April 2011 – 23 April 2014
PremierBarry O'Farrell
Preceded byEric Roozendaal
Succeeded byAndrew Constance
Member of the New South Wales Parliament
for Manly
In office
24 March 2007 – 23 January 2017
Preceded byDavid Barr
Succeeded byJames Griffin
Personal details
Michael Bruce Baird

(1968-04-01) 1 April 1968 (age 53)
Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
Political partyLiberal
Spouse(s)Kerryn Baird
RelationsBruce Baird (father), Julia Baird (sister)
EducationThe King's School, Parramatta
University of Sydney
Regent College
OccupationChief Executive Officer of Hammondcare

Michael Bruce Baird AO (born 1 April 1968[3]) is an Australian investment banker and former politician who was the 44th Premier of New South Wales, the Minister for Infrastructure, the Minister for Western Sydney, and the Leader of the New South Wales Liberal Party from April 2014 to January 2017.

Baird represented the electoral district of Manly in the New South Wales Legislative Assembly for the Liberal Party from 2007 to 2017. Before becoming Premier, he was the Treasurer of New South Wales in the O'Farrell government between 2011 and 2014. On 19 January 2017, Baird announced his intention to step down and on 23 January he resigned as Premier and member for Manly.

Early career[edit]

Born in Melbourne, Baird is the son of Judy and Bruce Baird.[2] His father was Deputy Leader of the New South Wales Liberal Party and Member of Parliament representing the electoral district of Northcott, and later a Member of the Australian House of Representatives, representing the Division of Cook, for the Liberal Party.

Baird attended The King's School, Parramatta,[4] and spent time living in the U.S. while his father served as head of the Australian trade commission in New York City.[5][6] Baird graduated with a Bachelor of Arts with majors in Economics and Government from the University of Sydney in 1989.[7][8] Baird also studied at Regent College in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, initially intending to enter the Anglican ministry, but while there decided to pursue a career in investment banking and later politics.[4]

Political career[edit]

In 1999, Baird unsuccessfully sought preselection for the seat of Manly. Baird then returned to investment banking, working for the National Australia Bank for a time in London, before returning to Sydney to work for HSBC Australia.[9]

Baird again sought, this time successfully, Liberal Party preselection for the seat of Manly and went on to defeat the sitting independent member David Barr by 3.4% at the 2007 state election.[10] After initially serving in a range of junior shadow ministries, Baird was promoted to the position of Shadow Treasurer in 2008 and touted as a future Liberal leader.[9][11]

Following the election of the O'Farrell government in 2011, Baird was appointed Treasurer, although O'Farrell removed some of Baird's ministerial responsibilities, transferring the authority for land tax, gaming tax, payroll tax, public service superannuation and the Office of State Revenue to Greg Pearce, the Minister for Finance and Services.[12]

Baird has campaigned against dangerous drinking, voted against embryonic stem research and euthanasia, does not support same-sex marriage or same-sex adoption[13][5] and has stated that his strongest preference is not to support abortion in most circumstances.[14] He is strongly in favour of Australia becoming a republic.[15]

In 2015, Baird supported calls for increasing the GST to 15%.[16][17]

Premier of New South Wales[edit]

Baird at the official reopening of the Lindt Café, Martin Place, Sydney, March 2015.

Following Barry O'Farrell's resignation,[18] Baird was elected unopposed as parliamentary leader of the NSW division of the Liberal Party on 17 April 2014, and subsequently sworn in as the 44th Premier of New South Wales on 23 April by the Governor of New South Wales, Dame Marie Bashir.[19]

Just six days later, on April 29, Baird presided over the sale of the Port of Newcastle, with 50% ownership going to the China state owned China Merchants Group.[20] According to the Port Authority, the Port is "Australia’s deepwater global gateway" which " enables Australian businesses to successfully compete in international markets".[21]

Baird also immediately reshuffled the ministry elevating Andrew Constance into the Treasury portfolio and increasing Andrew Stoner's ministries to five[22] in preparation for the 2015 state election.[23][22] In October, Stoner resigned as Leader of the NSW Nationals and Deputy Premier of New South Wales and was replaced by Troy Grant.

The Sydney Morning Herald described Baird's government as "the most devout in living memory," with a concentration of powerful religious figures in its upper echelons.[13] Baird's chief of staff, Bay Warburton, once said that in his role as chief of staff he is serving Jesus, "and Mike (Baird), who's the Treasurer—he believes he's serving Jesus as the Treasurer of the state. He believes that he has a great opportunity to help people by making responsible decisions about the money from this state."[13]

On the morning of 15 December 2014, a lone gunman, Man Haron Monis, held hostage ten customers and eight employees of a Lindt chocolate café located at Martin Place, Sydney. Baird addressed the media during the stand-off, and stated "we are being tested today... in Sydney. The police are being tested, the public is being tested, but whatever the test we will face it head on and we will remain a strong democratic, civil society. I have full confidence in the Police Commissioner and the incredible work of the NSW police force.[24] On 20 March 2015, Baird met with staff at the re-opened café, stating the staff and company: "...Are saying that they want to be strong for their friends, they want to be strong for this city and state".[25]

Prime Minister Modi of India meeting with Mike Baird in Sydney 16 Nov 2014

2015 New South Wales election[edit]

At the 2015 election, Baird led the Liberal-National Coalition to a second term. The main policy that dominated the election was Baird's unpopular policy to lease 49% of the state's electricity distribution network, known as the "poles and wires" in the form of a 99-year lease to the private sector and use the proceeds to invest in new road, public transport, water, health and education infrastructure.[26][27]

Other regional policies centred around the Baird Government's truncation of the Central Coast & Newcastle Railway Line at Wickham and its replacement with the $130 million light rail system and associated transport interchange as part of a broader revitilisation of the Newcastle city centre.[28] Coal Seam Gas was a likewise major regional issue in northern New South Wales.[29]

Ultimately, Baird won a full term, though he lost 15 seats from the massive majority he'd inherited from O'Farrell. Baird is only the fourth state Liberal leader, after Sir Robert Askin, Nick Greiner and O'Farrell, to win an election in New South Wales since the main non-Labor party adopted the Liberal banner in 1945. It also marked the first time since 1973 that a non-Labor government had retained its majority at an election and Baird became the first non-elected Liberal Premier to be elected in his own right.

Approval rating[edit]

After replacing Barry O'Farrell as Premier in April 2014, Baird initially fared well in statewide opinion polls but his approval rating collapsed in the 2nd half of 2016. From December 2015 to September 2016, Baird's satisfaction rating fell by 46 points—"the biggest fall in net satisfaction of any mainland state premier in the history of Newspoll".[30]

Satisfaction Rating of Mike Baird
Satisfied Dissatisfied
September 2016 39% 46%
September 2015 63% 23%
March 2015 57% 29%
February 2015 59% 26%
December 2014 60% 22%
October 2014 56% 20%
August 2014 49% 23%
June 2014 49% 19%

Lockout laws[edit]

Baird had publicly advocated for the tough Sydney lockout laws[32] and on 9 February 2016 posted a Facebook response to an article published by Matt Barrie condemning the Premier's actions.[33] Baird's response gained international attention[34] after the post received over 10,000 likes - along with more than 10,000 comments that were mostly critical of the Premier's stance on the laws.[35] Baird's reputation as a "darling of social media"[36] was tarnished as the hashtag #casinomike became the number one trending topic nationwide on Twitter in reference to lockout laws not applying to Star City Casino, as it is located outside the entertainment and cbd precincts where the laws apply.[37] A protest was organised in response to Baird's comments by community group Keep Sydney Open on 21 February 2016,[38] with over 15,000 people marching in Sydney's CBD and calling on the Baird government to abolish the lockout laws.[39]


On 19 January 2017, Baird announced he was retiring from politics, with his resignation to be effective after a leadership spill the following week.[40] He said, "I have made clear from the beginning that I was in politics to make a difference, and then move on. After 10 years in public life, this moment for me has arrived."[41][42] Following his decision to resign, Baird was criticised for his failure to listen on key issues such as protests against the WestConnex, lockout laws and local government amalgamations. Baird also reversed an earlier decision to ban greyhound racing in the face of significant community pressure, especially from the Nationals.[43]

On 23 January 2017, Baird formally resigned as both premier and member for Manly, and Gladys Berejiklian was sworn in as New South Wales' 45th premier.[44]

After politics[edit]

In February 2017, Baird was appointed Chief Customer Officer at National Australia Bank.[45] Baird was paid a total of A$2.29 million in 2018. In 2019, NAB executives forfeited their short-term bonuses, resulting in Baird earning the lesser total of A$1.7 million for that year. At the end of the 2018/2019 financial year, Baird held A$500,000 of NAB stock as well as 67,888 NAB performance rights, worth A$1.59 million as of March 2020.[46] In March 2020, it was reported that Baird would leave the company on 15 April 2020.[47]

In April 2020, Baird was appointed Chief Executive Officer of HammondCare, a Christian aged care provider of palliative and dementia care.[48][49][50]

In October 2021, Baird gave evidence to the Independent Commission Against Corruption regarding Gladys Berejiklian's relationship with disgraced Liberal MP Daryl Maguire. After leaving the ICAC, Baird stated he was "devestated" to have to give evidence about Berejiklian, who he described as a "close personal friend".[51]

Personal life[edit]

Baird lives in Fairlight in northern Sydney[52] and is married to wife Kerryn. Together they have three children; Laura, Cate and Luke.[53] His mother, Judy, who died in 2021 was in full-time care at the time of his appointment.[54]

His sister is journalist Julia Baird, presenter of ABC's The Drum TV program and a bestselling author.[55] His younger brother, Steve Baird, is the CEO of International Justice Mission Australia.[50]

Baird is a long time friend of former Australian prime minister Tony Abbott and they regularly surf together off the Northern Beaches.

In popular culture[edit]

In 2016, Sydney DJ Tom Budin released a song named "Mike Baird", which mocked and protested against the Sydney lockout laws, which were introduced in February 2014, two months before Baird became the Premier of New South Wales.[56]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Korporaal, Glenda (5 February 2011). "Political son wants a big gig". The Australian. News Limited. Retrieved 26 April 2011.
  2. ^ a b Jabour, Bridie (17 April 2014). "Who is Mike Baird? Meet NSW's new fiscally conservative Christian premier". The Guardian. Retrieved 17 April 2014.
  3. ^ Yeend, Peter Jon; King's School (Parramatta, NSW) Council (2000). The King's School register 1831–1999 (3rd ed.). Council of the King's School. ISBN 978-0-908234-06-6.
  4. ^ a b Wood, Stephanie (26 October 2012). "The son rises". Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 17 April 2014.
  5. ^ a b Howden, Saffron (17 April 2014). "Who is Mike Baird?". The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 22 April 2014.
  6. ^ Percy, Natasha (29 January 2009). "Early starters make real connections". Sydney Anglican Network. Retrieved 15 November 2015.
  7. ^ "ECONOMICS ALUMNI PROFILES". The University of Sydney. Mike BAIRD (BA '89).
    Melbourne-born, Baird attended the King’s School, Parramatta before undertaking his Sydney Arts degree with majors in Economics and Government.
  8. ^ "Mr (Mike) Michael Bruce BAIRD (1968 - )". Former Members of the Parliament of New South Wales. Retrieved 3 April 2019.
  9. ^ a b Cleary, Paul (26 March 2011). "Ex-banker seeks to bring balance to Treasury: Mike Baird has the background to look after NSW's finances". The Weekend Australian. Retrieved 11 April 2011.
  10. ^ "About Mike Baird". Member for Manly. Mike Baird. Archived from the original on 18 February 2011. Retrieved 11 April 2011.
  11. ^ Lewis, Daniel; Gibson, Joel (28 December 2008). "Heir apparent promoted". The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 11 April 2011.
  12. ^ Clennell, Andrew (5 April 2011). "Cupboard is Baird for new Treasurer as Barry O'Farrell 'neuters' department". The Australian. Retrieved 11 April 2011.
  13. ^ a b c Nicholls, Sean (26 April 2014). "Onward Christian soldier: a premier's faith". The Sydney Morning Herald.
  14. ^ Robins, Brian (30 December 2008). "The new face of the Liberals' charm offensive". The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 24 February 2015.
  15. ^ Jabour, Bridie (18 April 2014). "Mike Baird admits mistake to appoint Nick de Girolamo to Sydney Water". The Guardian. Retrieved 24 February 2015.
  16. ^ Feneley, Rick (20 July 2015). "Tony Abbott applauds Premier Mike Baird's 15% GST proposal". The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 12 July 2021.
  17. ^ Staff Writer (19 July 2015). "Would you pay more? Push to raise GST to 15 per cent". NewsComAu. Retrieved 12 July 2021.
  18. ^ Shanahan, Leo; Coultan, Mark (16 April 2014). "Barry O'Farrell quits as NSW Premier over memory fail". The Australian. Retrieved 23 April 2014.
  19. ^ "Mike Baird named new NSW premier named after Barry O'Farrell resignation". ABC News. 17 April 2014. Retrieved 17 April 2014.
  20. ^ "Premier Mike Baird sells off $1.75 billion Newcastle Port in privatisation deal". Daily Telegraph News. 1 May 2014. Retrieved 1 May 2021.
  21. ^ "More than a Port: Australia's Deepwater Global Gateway deal". Port of Newcastle. 1 May 2021. Retrieved 1 May 2021.
  22. ^ a b Nicholls, Sean (22 April 2014). "Mike Baird's cabinet reshuffle a preparation for next election". The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 14 November 2015.
  23. ^ "Mike Baird's NSW cabinet". The Sydney Morning Herald. 22 April 2014. Retrieved 23 April 2014.
  24. ^ "Premier and Commissioner address the media re: Martin Place police operation". YouTube. 15 December 2014. Retrieved 15 December 2014.
  25. ^ Nicholson, Johanna (20 March 2015). "Lindt cafe in Sydney's Martin Place reopens after deadly siege". ABC News. Retrieved 26 January 2017.
  26. ^ Wade, Matt; Nicholls, Sean (7 March 2015). "Mike Baird's electricity dilemma: popular Premier selling a toxic electricity privatisation policy". The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 14 November 2014.
  27. ^ Patrick, Aaron; Winestock, Geoff; Glasgow, Will. "Coalition Premier Mike Baird wins NSW election". Financial Review.
  28. ^ Bagshaw, Eryk (4 March 2015). "NSW State Election 2015: The train that divides Newcastle". The Sydney Morning Heraldl. Retrieved 14 November 2015.
  29. ^ MacKenzie, Bruce (15 March 2015). "NSW election 2015: Nationals on edge in state's north over CSG backlash". ABC news. Retrieved 14 November 2015.
  30. ^ Coultan, Mark (29 September 2016). "Newspoll: Dogs Ban Sends Mike Baird's Ratings into Freefall". The Australian. Retrieved 1 December 2016.
  31. ^ Loussikian, Kylar (8 December 2016). "Mike Baird slumps to lowest rating as Coalition clings to its lead". The Australian. Retrieved 26 January 2017.
  32. ^ "New alcohol laws now in place ShareTweet Sydney's alcohol laws". NSW Government. Archived from the original on 23 February 2016. Retrieved 21 February 2016.
  33. ^ Dumas, Daisy. "Matt Barrie's tirade against Sydney's night-time lockout laws touches a raw nerve". The Sydney Morning Herald. Fairfax Media. Retrieved 21 February 2016.
  34. ^ "Sydney's lockout 'laughing stock'". BBC. Retrieved 21 February 2016.
  35. ^ Pawle, Fred (10 February 2016). "Lockout laws: NSW Premier Mike Baird bombarded on Facebook and Twitter". The Australian. Retrieved 21 February 2016.
  36. ^ Palmer, Maddie (10 February 2016). "Mike Baird's run as social media darling goes bust with #casinomike". SBS. Retrieved 21 February 2016.
  37. ^ Reynolds, Emma; Koubaridis, Andrew (15 February 2016). "Lockout laws' Star attraction: Inside Sydney's biggest after-hours venue". News.com. Retrieved 21 February 2016.
  38. ^ Begley, Patrick (21 February 2016). "Keep Sydney Open: protesters march to 'unlock Sydney's nightlife". The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 21 February 2016.
  39. ^ Chang, Olivia (21 February 2016). "Photos: 15,000 people protest lockout laws in Keep Sydney Open rally". The Business Insider. Retrieved 21 February 2016.
  40. ^ Jacques, Owen (19 January 2017). "Baird resigns: NSW Premier to quit top job and Parliament". The Satellite. Archived from the original on 2 February 2017. Retrieved 18 January 2017.
  41. ^ Jordan, Mary (19 January 2017). "NSW Premier Mike Baird brought to tears as he explains why he's quitting politics". 9 News. Retrieved 18 January 2017.
  42. ^ Stephens, Kim (19 January 2017). "Premier Mike Baird resigns". news.com.au. Retrieved 18 January 2017.
  43. ^ Fernandez, Timothy; Vukovic, Dom (20 January 2017). "Mike Baird resignation: Thoughts from protesters and haters". ABC News. Australia. Retrieved 23 January 2017.
  44. ^ Blumer, Clare (23 January 2017). "Gladys Berejiklian is Premier of New South Wales, replacing Mike Baird". ABC News. Retrieved 26 January 2017.
  45. ^ Janda, Michael (28 February 2017). "Mike Baird moves to NAB: Former NSW premier takes senior bank role". ABC.
  46. ^ "Baird has an "open mind" after leaving NAB". 7NEWS.com.au. 4 March 2020. Retrieved 28 April 2020.
  47. ^ Grieve, Charlotte (4 March 2020). "Mike Baird privately rules out return to politics after quitting NAB". The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 7 April 2020.
  48. ^ "Mike Baird to run aged care provider HammondCare". Australian Financial Review. 21 April 2020. Retrieved 28 April 2020.
  49. ^ Loussikian, Kylar (21 April 2020). "Former NSW premier Mike Baird to lead aged care charity". The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 28 April 2020.
  50. ^ a b Chancellor, Jonathan (29 July 2020). "Margin Call". The Australian. Retrieved 27 September 2020.
  51. ^ Cormack, Lucy (20 October 2021). "Former premier Mike Baird tells ICAC relationship should have been disclosed". The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 30 October 2021.
  52. ^ Baird, Kerryn (22 March 2015). "Mike Baird's wife Kerryn reveals what it is like living with the State's Premier". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 14 November 2014.
  53. ^ Glanville, Brigid (4 March 2015). "NSW election 2015: A day with Premier Mike Baird on the campaign trail". ABC News. Australian Broadcasting Corporation. Retrieved 26 January 2017.
  54. ^ Smith, Alexandra (21 April 2020). "'I still hope to serve': Mike Baird's new role is close to his heart". The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 27 September 2020.
  55. ^ Christopher, Lissa (5 June 2020). "Lunch with Julia Baird: author of Phosphorescence, promoter of awe". The Sydney Morning Herald.
  56. ^ "Sydney musician Tom Budin releases Mike Baird protest song". The Music Network. 16 February 2016. Retrieved 14 October 2020.


New South Wales Legislative Assembly
Preceded by Member for Manly
Succeeded by
Political offices
Preceded by Treasurer of New South Wales
Succeeded by
Preceded by Premier of New South Wales
Succeeded by
Minister for Western Sydney
Succeeded by
Preceded byas Minister for Planning and Infrastructure Minister for Infrastructure
Succeeded by
Party political offices
Preceded by Leader of the New South Wales Liberal Party
Succeeded by