Mike Baird

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This article is about the Australian politician. For other people called Mike or Michael Baird, see Michael Baird (disambiguation).
The Honourable
Mike Baird
The Honourable Mike Baird MP.png
44th Premier of New South Wales
Elections: 2015[1]
Assumed office
17 April 2014
Monarch Elizabeth II
Governor Marie Bashir
David Hurley
Deputy Andrew Stoner
Troy Grant
Preceded by Barry O'Farrell
20th Leader of the New South Wales Liberal Party
Assumed office
17 April 2014
Deputy Gladys Berejiklian
Preceded by Barry O'Farrell
Minister for Infrastructure
Assumed office
23 April 2014
Preceded by Brad Hazzard
Minister for Western Sydney
Assumed office
23 April 2014
Preceded by Barry O'Farrell
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
Assumed office
24 March 2007
Preceded by David Barr
Majority 27.0% (2011)
Personal details
Born Michael Bruce Baird
(1968-04-01) 1 April 1968 (age 47)
Melbourne, Victoria
Political party Liberal Party of Australia
Spouse(s) Kerryn Baird
Relations Bruce Baird (father)
Children 3
Education The King's School, Parramatta
University of Sydney
Regent College
Occupation Investment Banker
Religion Anglican
Website mikebaird.com.au
Parliament website
Premier's website

Michael Bruce "#CasinoMike" Baird MP (born 1 April 1968[4]), an Australian politician, is 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 since April 2014. Mike Baird has also been attributed with the decimation of Sydney’s nightlife by the introduction of the now infamous ‘lockout laws'.

He has represented the Electoral district of Manly in the New South Wales Legislative Assembly for the Liberal Party of Australia since 2007. Before becoming Premier, Baird was the Treasurer of New South Wales in the O'Farrell government between 2011 and 2014.

Early career[edit]

Born in Melbourne, Baird is the son of Judy and Bruce Baird.[5] His father was a New South Wales Minister and Member of Parliament representing the electoral district of Northcott, and a Member of the Australian House of Representatives, representing the Division of Cook, for the Liberal Party and later as a trade commissioner in northern America and Europe.

Baird attended The King's School, Parramatta,[6] and spent time living in the United States of America whist his father served as head of the Australian trade commission in New York.[7][8] Baird graduated with a Bachelor of Arts (Economics) from the University of Sydney. 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.[6] 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. He was a journalist.[9]

Political career[edit]

Baird again successfully sought 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][14] and has stated that his strongest preference is not to support abortion in most circumstances.[15] He is strongly in favour of Australia becoming a republic.[16]

Premier of New South Wales[edit]

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

Following Barry O'Farrell's resignation,[17] 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.[18]

Baird immediately reshuffled the ministry elevating Andrew Constance into the Treasury portfolio and Andrew Stoner later resigning as Leader of the NSW Nationals and Deputy Premier of New South Wales and replaced by Troy Grant[19] in preparation for the 2015 state election.[20][21]

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.[22][23] On 20 March 2015, Baird met with staff at the re-opened café, stating the staff and company: "...Are saying that the want to be strong for their friends, they want to be strong for this city and state".[24]

2015 New South Wales election[edit]

At the 2015 election, Baird led the Liberals and Nationals Coaltion to a second term, albeit with a slightly reduced yet still workable majority. The main policy that dominated the election was Baird's unpopualr 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.[25]

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.[26] Coal Seam Gas was a likewise major regional issue in Northern New South Wales.[27]

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 has consistently fared well in statewide opinion polls. As of October 2014, Baird's satisfaction rating has not dipped below 50% and as at September 2015, compared to his state and territory counterparts, is 10% ahead of his nearest rival counterpart, Annastacia Palaszczuk the Premier of Queensland at 53%.[28]

Baird's September 2015 satisfaction rating of 63% is the highest in over a decade of any New South Wales premier since Bob Carr polled 66% in March 2003 and the third highest behind John Fahey in February 1994 at 65% after thwarting the David Kang incident on Charles, Prince of Wales during Australia Day celebrations the month earlier.[29]

Satisfaction Rating of Mike Baird
Satisfied Dissatisfied
Feburary 2016 0% 100%
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%

Personal life[edit]

Baird lives in Fairlight in Northern Sydney[31] and is married to wife Kerryn. Together they have three children; Laura, Cate and Luke.[32] 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 regularly surf together off the Northern Beaches.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Coalition Premier Mike Baird wins NSW election". Financial Review. 
  2. ^ Korporaal, Glenda (5 February 2011). "Political son wants a big gig". The Australian. News Limited. Retrieved 26 April 2011. 
  3. ^ Jabour, Bridie (17 April 2014). "Who is Mike Baird? Meet NSW's new fiscally conservative Christian premier". The Guardian. Retrieved 17 April 2014. 
  4. ^ 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. 
  5. ^ Jabour, Bridie (17 April 2014). "Who is Mike Baird? Meet NSW's new fiscally conservative Christian premier". The Guardian. Guardian News and Media. Retrieved 14 May 2014. 
  6. ^ a b Wood, Stephanie (26 October 2012). "The son rises". Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 17 April 2014. 
  7. ^ http://www.smh.com.au/nsw/who-is-mike-baird-20140416-36ssh.html%7CRetrieved 20151115
  8. ^ http://sydneyanglicans.net/blogs/indepth/bruce_bairds_sweetest_victory%7CRetrieved 20151115
  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. ^ Howden, Saffron (17 April 2014). "Who is Mike Baird?". The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 22 April 2014. 
  15. ^ Robins, Brian (30 December 2008). "The new face of the Liberals' charm offensive". Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 24 February 2015. 
  16. ^ Jabour, Bridie (18 April 2014). "Mike Baird admits mistake to appoint Nick de Girolamo to Sydney Water". The Guardian. Retrieved 24 February 2015. 
  17. ^ "Barry O'Farrell quits as NSW Premier over memory fail". The Australian. 16 April 2014. Retrieved 23 April 2014. 
  18. ^ "Mike Baird named new NSW premier named after Barry O'Farrell resignation". ABC News. 17 April 2014. Retrieved 17 April 2014. 
  19. ^ http://www.smh.com.au/nsw/mike-bairds-cabinet-reshuffle-a-preparation-for-next-election-20140422-371g9.html%7CSMH - Accessed 20151114
  20. ^ "Mike Baird's NSW cabinet". The Sydney Morning Herald. 22 April 2014. Retrieved 23 April 2014. 
  21. ^ Nicholls, Sean (22 April 2014). "Mike Baird's cabinet reshuffle a preparation for next election". The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 24 April 2014. 
  22. ^ Cite error: The named reference abc-blog was invoked but never defined (see the help page).
  23. ^ "Premier and Commissioner address the media re: Martin Place police operation". YouTube. 15 December 2014. Retrieved 15 December 2014. 
  24. ^ http://www.abc.net.au/news/2015-03-20/lindt-cafe-in-martin-place-reopens-after-deadly-siege/6334154%7CRetrieved 20151115
  25. ^ http://www.smh.com.au/nsw/mike-bairds-electricity-dilemma-popular-premier-selling-a-toxic-electricity-privatisation-policy-20150306-13x13f.html%7CSMH - Accessed 20141114
  26. ^ http://www.smh.com.au/nsw/nsw-state-election-2015/nsw-state-election-2015-the-train-that-divides-newcastle-20150225-13oflk.html%7CRetrieved 20141114
  27. ^ http://www.abc.net.au/news/2015-03-15/nationals-face-csg-backlash-northern-nsw-state-election/6319350%7CRetrieved 20141114
  28. ^ http://www.couriermail.com.au/news/queensland/queensland-labor-strengthens-lead-over-lnp-latest-newspoll-shows/story-fntuy59x-1227546696328%7CSeptember 2015 Newspoll - Accessed 20151114
  29. ^ http://polling.newspoll.com.au/cgi-bin/polling//display_poll_data.pl%7CNewspoll - Retrieved 20141114
  30. ^ http://polling.newspoll.com.au/cgi-bin/polling/display_poll_data.pl?mode=trend&page=continue_results&question_id=2551&url_caller=%7CReferenced - Newspoll
  31. ^ http://www.dailytelegraph.com.au/news/nsw/mike-bairds-wife-kerryn-reveals-what-it-is-like-living-with-the-states-premier/story-fni0cx12-1227273483798%7CRetrieved 20141114
  32. ^ "NSW election 2015: A day with Premier Mike Baird on the campaign trail". ABC News. Australian Broadcasting Corporation. 4 March 2015. 

External links[edit]

Political offices
Preceded by
Eric Roozendaal
Treasurer of New South Wales
Succeeded by
Andrew Constance
Preceded by
Brad Hazzard
as Minister for Planning and Infrastructure
Minister for Infrastructure
Preceded by
Barry O'Farrell
Minister for Western Sydney
Premier of New South Wales
Parliament of New South Wales
Preceded by
David Barr
Member for Manly
Party political offices
Preceded by
Barry O'Farrell
Leader of the New South Wales Liberal Party