Mike Baird

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Mike Baird
The Honourable Mike Baird MP.png
44th Premier of New South Wales
Elections: 2015
In office
17 April 2014 – 23 January 2017
Monarch Elizabeth II
Governor Marie Bashir
David Hurley
Deputy Andrew Stoner
Troy Grant
John Barilaro
Preceded by Barry O'Farrell
Succeeded by Gladys Berejiklian
20th Leader of the New South Wales Liberal Party
In office
17 April 2014 – 23 January 2017
Deputy Gladys Berejiklian
Preceded by Barry O'Farrell
Succeeded by Gladys Berejiklian
Minister for Infrastructure
In office
23 April 2014 – 23 January 2017
Preceded by Brad Hazzard
Succeeded by Andrew Constance
Minister for Western Sydney
In office
23 April 2014 – 23 January 2017
Preceded by Barry O'Farrell
Succeeded by Stuart Ayres
Treasurer of New South Wales
In office
3 April 2011 – 23 April 2014
Premier Barry O'Farrell
Preceded by Eric Roozendaal
Succeeded by Andrew Constance
Member of the New South Wales Parliament
for Manly
In office
24 March 2007 – 23 January 2017
Preceded by David Barr
Succeeded by James Griffin
Personal details
Born Michael Bruce Baird
(1968-04-01) 1 April 1968 (age 49)
Melbourne, Victoria
Political party Liberal Party of Australia
Spouse(s) Kerryn Baird
Relations Bruce Baird (father), Julia Baird (sister)
Children 3
Education The King's School, Parramatta
University of Sydney
Regent College
Occupation Investment Banker
Politician
[1][2]

Michael Bruce Baird (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 of Australia 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 a New South Wales Minister 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 United States of America 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, Canada, initially intending to enter the Anglican ministry, but while there decided to pursue a career in investment banking and later politics.[4] In 1999, he 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]

Political career[edit]

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]

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,[16] 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.[17]

Baird immediately reshuffled the ministry elevating Andrew Constance into the Treasury portfolio and increasing Andrew Stoner's ministries to five [18]in preparation for the 2015 state election.[19][18] 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.[20] 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".[21]

2015 New South Wales election[edit]

At the 2015 election, Baird led the Liberals and Nationals Coalition to a second term, albeit with a slightly reduced yet still workable majority. 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.[22][23]

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.[24] Coal Seam Gas was a likewise major regional issue in northern New South Wales.[25]

Baird is only the fourth state Liberal leader, after Sir Bob Askin, Nick Greiner and O'Farrell, to win an election in New South Wales since the main non-Labor party in New South Wales merged into the Liberal Party of Australia in 1945.

Approval rating[edit]

Since 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".[26]

Newspoll
Satisfaction Rating of Mike Baird
[27]
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 has publicly advocated for the tough Sydney lockout laws[28] and on 9 February 2016 posted a Facebook response to an article published by Matt Barrie condemning the Premier's actions.[29] Baird's response gained international attention[30] after 10,000 comments, most critical of the Premier's stance on the laws, were posted in response.[31] Baird's reputation as a "darling of social media"[32] was tarnished as the hashtag #casinomike became the number one trending topic nationwide on Twitter in reference to Star City Casino's exemption from the lockout laws.[33] A protest was organised in response to Baird's comments by community group Keep Sydney Open on 21 February 2016,[34] with over 15,000 people marching in Sydney's CBD and calling on the Baird government to abolish the lockout laws.[35]

Resignation[edit]

On 19 January 2017, Baird announced he was retiring from politics, with his resignation to be effective after a leadership spill the following week.[36] 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."[37][38] 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.[39]

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.[40]

In February 2017 he took up a position with National Australia Bank.[41]

Personal life[edit]

Baird lives in Fairlight in northern Sydney[42] and is married to wife Kerryn. Together they have three children; Laura, Cate and Luke.[43] His sister is journalist Julia Baird, presenter of ABC's The Drum TV programme. His younger brother Steve Baird is an executive at Velocity Frequent Flyer.

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

See also[edit]

References[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 - )". Parliament of New South Wales. Qualifications, occupations and interests
    Bachelor of Arts (Econ) (Sydney), DPCS (Regent College) UBC. Career prior to politics: 18 years in wholesale banking.
     
  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. 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". Sydney Morning Herald. 
  14. ^ Robins, Brian (30 December 2008). "The new face of the Liberals' charm offensive". 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. ^ Shanahan, Leo; Coultan, Mark (16 April 2014). "Barry O'Farrell quits as NSW Premier over memory fail". The Australian. Retrieved 23 April 2014. 
  17. ^ "Mike Baird named new NSW premier named after Barry O'Farrell resignation". ABC News. 17 April 2014. Retrieved 17 April 2014. 
  18. ^ a b Nicholls, Sean (22 April 2014). "Mike Baird's cabinet reshuffle a preparation for next election". Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 14 November 2015. 
  19. ^ "Mike Baird's NSW cabinet". The Sydney Morning Herald. 22 April 2014. Retrieved 23 April 2014. 
  20. ^ "Premier and Commissioner address the media re: Martin Place police operation". YouTube. 15 December 2014. Retrieved 15 December 2014. 
  21. ^ Nicholson, Johanna (20 March 2015). "Lindt cafe in Sydney's Martin Place reopens after deadly siege". ABC News. Retrieved 26 January 2017. 
  22. ^ Wade, Matt; Nicholls, Sean (7 March 2015). "Mike Baird's electricity dilemma: popular Premier selling a toxic electricity privatisation policy". Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 14 November 2014. 
  23. ^ Patrick, Aaron; Winestock, Geoff; Glasgow, Will. "Coalition Premier Mike Baird wins NSW election". Financial Review. 
  24. ^ Bagshaw, Eryk (4 March 2015). "NSW State Election 2015: The train that divides Newcastle". The Sydney Morning Heraldl. Retrieved 14 November 2015. 
  25. ^ MacKenzie, Bruce (15 March 2015). "NSW election 2015: Nationals on edge in state's north over CSG backlash". ABC news. Retrieved 14 November 2015. 
  26. ^ Coultan, Mark (29 September 2016). "Newspoll: Dogs Ban Sends Mike Baird's Ratings Into Freefall". The Australian. Retrieved 1 December 2016. 
  27. ^ Loussikian, Kylar (8 December 2016). "Mike Baird slumps to lowest rating as Coalition clings to its lead". The Australian. Retrieved 26 January 2017. 
  28. ^ "New alcohol laws now in place ShareTweet Sydney's alcohol laws". NSW Government. Retrieved 21 Feb 2016. 
  29. ^ 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 Feb 2016. 
  30. ^ "Sydney's lockout ‘laughing stock'". BBC. Retrieved 21 Feb 2016. 
  31. ^ Pawle, Fred (10 February 2016). "Lockout laws: NSW Premier Mike Baird bombarded on Facebook and Twitter". The Australian. Retrieved 21 February 2016. 
  32. ^ Palmer, Maddie (10 February 2016). "Mike Baird’s run as social media darling goes bust with #casinomike". SBS. Retrieved 21 February 2016. 
  33. ^ Reynolds, Emma; Koubaridis, Andrew (15 February 2016). "Lockout laws’ Star attraction: Inside Sydney’s biggest after-hours venue". News.com. Retrieved 21 February 2016. 
  34. ^ Begley, Patrick (21 February 2016). "Keep Sydney Open: protesters march to 'unlock Sydney's nightlife". The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 21 February 2016. 
  35. ^ Chang, Olivia (21 February 2016). "Photos: 15,000 people protest lockout laws in Keep Sydney Open rally". The Business Insider. Retrieved 21 February 2016. 
  36. ^ Jacques, Owen (19 January 2017). "Baird resigns: NSW Premier to quit top job and Parliament". The Satellite. Retrieved 18 January 2017. 
  37. ^ 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. 
  38. ^ Stephens, Kim (19 January 2017). "Premier Mike Baird resigns". news.com.au. Retrieved 18 January 2017. 
  39. ^ Fernandez, Timothy; Vukovic, Dom (20 January 2017). "Mike Baird resignation: Thoughts from protesters and haters". ABC News. Australia. Retrieved 23 January 2017. 
  40. ^ Blumer, Clare (23 January 2017). "Gladys Berejiklian is Premier of New South Wales, replacing Mike Baird". ABC News. Retrieved 26 January 2017. 
  41. ^ Janda, Michael (28 February 2017). "Mike Baird moves to NAB: Former NSW premier takes senior bank role". ABC. 
  42. ^ Baird, Kerryn (22 March 2015). "Mike Baird's wife Kerryn reveals what it is like living with the State's Premier". Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 14 November 2014. 
  43. ^ 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. 

External links[edit]

Parliament of New South Wales
Preceded by
David Barr
Member for Manly
2007–2017
Succeeded by
James Griffin
Political offices
Preceded by
Eric Roozendaal
Treasurer of New South Wales
2011–2014
Succeeded by
Andrew Constance
Preceded by
Barry O'Farrell
Premier of New South Wales
2014–2017
Succeeded by
Gladys Berejiklian
Minister for Western Sydney
2014–2017
Succeeded by
Stuart Ayres
Preceded by
Brad Hazzard
as Minister for Planning and Infrastructure
Minister for Infrastructure
2014–2017
Succeeded by
Andrew Constance
Party political offices
Preceded by
Barry O'Farrell
Leader of the New South Wales Liberal Party
2014–2017
Succeeded by
Gladys Berejiklian