The NSW State Elections are fast approaching. But who is representing you? Whether it be NSW Labor leader Chris Minns or NSW Liberal leader and current premier Dominic Perrottet, each candidate is adamant on their plan for success for NSW. 

Who is Dominic Perrottet?

Representing the seat of Epping in Northern Sydney, NSW Liberal party leader and current serving premier of NSW is Dominic Perrottet. Being appointed the youngest premier of NSW at just 39 in October 2021, following former premier Gladys Berejiklian’s shock resignation, Perrottet has been a controversial figure at times. 

But who is he? Perrottet was born on September 21, 1982. He is the first leader of the Liberal party to take the top spot in the state from the conservative wing of the party. Before politics, Perrottet was a graduate of the University of Sydney and a practising lawyer at Henry Davis York up until being elected into the NSW State Parliament in 2011 at just 29 years old. Serving as Minister for Finance, Services and Property from April 2015, Perrottet was appointed Treasurer and Deputy Leader of the NSW Liberal party in early 2017. Labelling himself as “a family Premier”, Perrottet has not shied away from presenting himself as having a strong family connection and values, and being a father to seven children with his wife, Helen.

Scandal has rocked the Premier’s career at different points.

He has been accused in the media of financial and operational mismanagement of the icare compensation scheme, as well as his Catholic upbringing in a school linked with conservative religious order Opus Dei.

In January he apologised after revealing he had worn a Nazi uniform to his 21st birthday party. The admission came after a colleague warned him that it may be revealed in the press.

In November 2016, following the first-term election of US President Donald Trump, Perrottet stated in a Facebook post that Trump’s win was a “victory for people who have been taken advantage of by the elites”, ending his post with “it’s time for a conservative spring”. It prompted senator Mehreen Faruqi to say: “Perrottet is a far-right ideologue and should be treated as such.”

He’s been shown to have flip-flopped on some issues. In 2018 he mocked the proposal on Facebook to raise the Aboriginal flag over the Sydney Harbour Bridge, claiming it was a “lavish exercise of trendy virtue signalling”, and “Labor’s latest social justice warrior cause”. But, in 2022, one of the first things he did as Premier was to install it atop the Bridge, saying he was “surprised it takes this long” for this act of unity to be achieved, and even: “I’ll go to Bunnings myself and climb up there and put the pole up.”

Who is Chris Minns?

Representing the seat of Kogarah in Sydney’s South-East the leader of the NSW Labor Party (ALP), is a married father of three.

The 43-year-old is intent on delivering a ‘Fresh Start Plan’ for NSW after “12 long years” of the Liberal government in power. Despite being the leader of the ALP for just over two years, Minns’ main issue has been the lack of recognition of him by the public, with up to 60 per cent of people surveyed in his seat of Kogarah not being able to identify him.

Studying his Bachelor of Arts at the University of New England and Master of Public Policy from the US ‘ivy league’ school, Princeton University, Minns has held a variety of positions, previously working as a firefighter, an advisor in the NSW Government and as the Assistant Secretary of the NSW Labor Party among others. Entering parliament in 2015, Minns served as the Shadow Minister for Water from 2016 to 2019 and the Shadow Minister for Corrections and Transport from 2019 to May 2021, until his appointment as leader of the NSW Labor Party in June 2021. 

Minns has been criticised for his ‘laid-back’ and relaxed approach to campaigning. Many have claimed that while the calm approach worked in the federal election for Anthony Albanese, for Minns, differing factors are making this angle harder to be successful.

Political reporter Ashley Raper identified three main differences as to why the relaxed angle is less likely to work for Minns in the state election: Minns is less known than Albanese in the public sphere, the mood to “boot out a government” is not as strong as the ‘Anti-Morrison’ factor in the federal election, and the general public consensus that state elections are not as important as federal elections. 

With the election just days away, all eyes are on the candidates to see who will take the state’s top spot. The NSW State Election for 2023 will be held this Saturday, March 25.

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