|Minister for Lands and Forestry|
30 January 2017
|Preceded by||Niall Blair (as Minister for Primary Industries and as Minister for Lands and Water)|
|Minister for Racing|
30 January 2017
|Preceded by||Troy Grant|
|Member of the New South Wales Parliament
26 March 2011
|Preceded by||Gerard Martin|
|Minister for Local Government|
23 April 2014 – 30 January 2017
|Preceded by||Don Page|
|Succeeded by||Gabrielle Upton|
|Political party||The Nationals|
|Relations||Trevor Toole (father)
Jack Toole (grandfather)
Paul Lawrence Toole, an Australian politician, is the New South Wales Minister for Lands and Forestry and the Minister for Racing in the Berejiklian government. He is a member of the New South Wales Legislative Assembly, representing Bathurst for the Nationals since 26 March 2011.
Toole was previously the Minister for Local Government between April 2014 and January 2017 in the first and second Baird governments. Prior to his election to state parliament, he was the independent mayor of Bathurst Regional Council (BRC) from 2007 until 2011, having previously served as a councillor on BRC from 2005 until 2012, and before that, serving as a councillor on the now defunct Evans Shire Council between 1995 and 2005.
Early years and background
Toole is one of nine children raised by Trevor and Ellen Toole, of Peel, a village outside Bathurst, in the central west of New South Wales. Toole's father was a thrice-unsuccessful candidate for state and federal political office, representing the National Party at the 1984 and 1995 state elections for Bathurst and the 1996 federal election, for Calare. Paul Toole's grandfather, Jack Toole, was an unsuccessful Liberal candidate at 1956 state election, also for Bathurst.
Toole began teaching at Assumption Primary School in Bathurst in 1995.
In the same year, Toole was elected a councillor to Evans Shire Council. Evans was amalgamated with Bathurst to create the Bathurst Regional Council in 2005. He was elected to the new Council that year, filling the post of deputy mayor, becoming mayor in 2007.
On 30 October 2010, Toole was the sole nominee that sought and gained endorsement by the National Party as the candidate for the state seat of Bathurst. At the March 2011 elections, Toole was elected and recorded a swing of 36.3 points in the traditionally Labor seat, winning 74.8% of the two-party vote Toole's main competitor was Labor candidate, Dale Turner; and his election followed the retirement of Labor member, Gerard Martin.
Following his election to state political office, Toole announced his decision to immediately retire from teaching and step down as Mayor in September 2011. He stated that he will remain on Council until the 2012 local government elections.
Due to the ICAC related resignation of Barry O'Farrell as Premier, and the subsequent ministerial reshuffle by Mike Baird, the new Liberal Leader, in April 2014 Toole was promoted as the Minister for Local Government in the first Baird government; and was reconfirmed as the Minister for Local Government in the second Baird ministry.
Toole's attempts to force the amalgamation of a large number of councils has resulted in him becoming very unpopular across the state, including in areas of his own constituency, such as Oberon and Blayney. Following the resignation of Mike Baird as Premier, Gladys Berejiklian was elected as Liberal leader and sworn in as Premier. The Berejiklian ministry was subsequently formed with Toole sworn in as the Minister for Lands and Forestry and the Minister for Racing with effect from 30 January 2017.
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- Jacques, Owen (19 January 2017). "Baird resigns: NSW Premier to quit top job and Parliament". The Satellite. Retrieved 18 January 2017.
- "Swearing-In of The Honourable Gladys Berejiklian MP, the 45th Premier of New South Wales, and The Honourable John Barilaro MP, Deputy Premier". Vice Regal Program. Governor of New South Wales. 23 January 2017. Retrieved 27 January 2017.
- "Ministers". www.parliament.nsw.gov.au. Parliament of New South Wales. Retrieved 27 January 2017.
- Clennell, Andrew (26 January 2017). "Premier Gladys Berejiklian plans major reshuffle for cabinet". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 27 January 2017.
|New South Wales Legislative Assembly|
|Member for Bathurst
as Minister for Primary Industries
|Minister for Lands and Forestry
as Minister for Lands and Water
|Minister for Racing
|Minister for Local Government