NSW election results 2023 LIVE updates: Interim Labor ministry sworn in; majority government in doubt as vote count continues across the state – Sydney Morning Herald

NSW election results 2023 LIVE updates: Interim Labor ministry sworn in; majority government in doubt as vote count continues across the state - Sydney Morning Herald

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Watch live: Premier Chris Minns and health minister speak

Newly sworn-in Premier Chris Minns and Health Minister Ryan Park are due to speak at Liverpool Hospital.

Watch live below.

Minns’ first move as premier: Addressing the waitlist for surgery

By Angus Dalton

Newly sworn-in Premier Chris Minns, alongside Health Minister Ryan Park, has announced Labor has directed the health department to set up its promised Surgical Care Taskforce to tackle the 100,000-person waitlist for elective surgery.

Making the announcement at western Sydney’s Liverpool Hospital, Minns said 17,000 people on that list were waiting longer than clinically recommended.

“The list includes 4000 children,” Minns said. “Of course, it’s an urgent priority for this incoming government.”

The taskforce would identify policies and initiatives that speed up wait times, particularly for people who are waiting longer than clinically recommended.

Park said the taskforce would report back to him in three months’ time and wants language around non-urgent surgery to change.

Here’s what he said:

Everyone knows that COVID put a big dent into the ability for people to access surgery. And from now on, I’m going to start calling it planned surgery.

You’ll note that in opposition, I didn’t like the term elective surgery. It sounded like people had a choice.

This is surgery that they need to reduce the pain and suffering that they’ve experienced. It’s also surgery that can allow them to go back to work that, allow them to be an active member of the community.

It’s important to me and language is important. And I want to make sure that change, we all adopt.

Labor behind in all of its remaining seats

By Angus Dalton

It looks like Labor’s majority may be trouble.

With 60 per cent of all votes counted, Labor is now behind in every seat still in contention. Most of the electorates yet to call are split by a small number of votes.

The party needs one more seat to claim a majority, which it had until a batch of votes in the Labor-claimed seat of Terrigal put the electorate back into contested territory. Liberal candidate Adam Crouch now leads Labor’s Sam Boughton by 87 votes in the seat.

Independent Gareth Ward is now ahead of Labor in Kiama by 613 votes with 77 per cent of the vote counted.

The Liberals lead Miranda by 532 votes or 2.2 per cent, Holsworthy by 342 votes or 1.4 per cent and Goulburn by 306 votes or 1 per cent.

Meet NSW’s new ministry

By Christopher Harris and Angus Thomson

Premier Chris Minns and his interim ministry will officially take the reins of government in NSW after Governor Margaret Beazley swore them into office this morning.

The government’s interim cabinet were sworn in this morning.

The government’s interim cabinet were sworn in this morning.Credit:Jessica Hromas

So, who are they, and what do they bring to their new portfolios?

Meet the senior Labor figures at the centre of the new Minns government.


Ward says he is ‘looking forward to winning’ his case and Kiama

By Sarah McPhee

Former Liberal minister Gareth Ward, who has contested the seat of Kiama as an independent, has spoken to reporters outside court after his arraignment in Nowra District Court on sexual and indecent assault charges.

Here is what he had to say this morning:

Well, there’s a lot of things I’d like to say about this case but I think that you know that I’m prohibited from saying what I’d like to say.

Today I have entered not guilty pleas to all of the charges that have been laid before the court and I am incredibly confident that I will prove my innocence when given the opportunity.

This matter is something that has been going on and dragging on for the last two years, and it has been a really difficult two years.

He said he “passionately” believes in the presumption of innocence.

Ward added, “I’m looking forward to not just winning this case but winning the election as well.”

The 41-year-old will face court in Sydney next week for a pretrial hearing.

Kiama remains too close to call, with Labor candidate Katelin McInerney leading the count by about 600 votes or 1.8 per cent of the two-candidate preferred vote.

Independent Berejiklian tried to recruit wins Wollondilly

By Angus Dalton

Independent Judy Hannan has unseated the Liberal incumbent for Wollondilly, Nathaniel Smith.

The Herald called the south-west Sydney seat for Hannan as she leads Smith by 6 per cent in the two-candidate preferred count.

Hannan, a former mayor of Wollondilly, says she espouses the values of fellow Climate 200-backed candidates and received funding from the organisation but does not define herself as a teal. (Orange is her campaign colour).

Hannan has said she’s a classic female candidate the Liberal Party has lost to the independent movement.

“I probably should have been [a Liberal],” she said. “It’s a shame. In all parties, it’s the same. They don’t stick to their word and are controlled by factions.”

Gladys Berejiklian asked Hannan, an independent since 2009, to join the Liberals ahead of the 2019 poll, but she failed to secure support of local branches and Smith was preselected to run and win the seat.

The Wollondilly state electorate stretches from Camden and Campbelltown to the Southern Highlands.

Greens prepare for a ‘historically large crossbench’

By Lucy Cormack

The new all-female NSW Greens insist they were not beaten to the punch by independent MPs who offered Labor confidence and supply on Monday night, as the ongoing election vote count leaves the incoming government’s hopes of a majority in doubt.

Re-elected member for Newtown Jenny Leong said it was clear the final numbers were tightening, giving the Greens resolve to continue pursuing its agenda on rental reforms, cashless gaming and climate action.

Greens MP upper house Cate Faehrmann, Greens MP Jenny Leong (Newtown), Greens candidate Kobi Shetty (Balmain) in Glebe ahead of the election last week.

Greens MP upper house Cate Faehrmann, Greens MP Jenny Leong (Newtown), Greens candidate Kobi Shetty (Balmain) in Glebe ahead of the election last week.Credit:Edwina Pickles

“It’s not a winner takes all in this parliament. What we’re looking at here is a historically large crossbench,” she said.

“The Greens will have three women sitting on those crossbenches with Kobi Shetty, the new incoming member for Balmain, along with my Greens colleague Tamara Smith in Ballina.”

Labor is currently sitting on 46 seats after Terrigal, which was called for Labor on Saturday night, flipped back into contested territory with the Liberals pulling ahead.

Labor candidates are neck-and-neck in six other seats. They need 47 seats to form a majority.

Influential independent MPs Alex Greenwich, Greg Piper and Joe McGirr on Monday said they would guarantee confidence and supply to the new Minns government if needed.

Leong said any change in numbers over the next four years could see a “considerable mix up in the power balance” of how the lower house functions.

For the upper house, Greens MP Cate Faehrmann said votes were still being counted and that the party had not given up on a third Greens candidate gaining a seat.

“There’s still a long way to go when it comes to the upper house votes. We’re looking at it very closely,” she said.

“Of course what is very important to us is that it’s a progressive upper house, that we are able to get as much as possible [of] what the community has called for this election which is action on climate, action on the rental crisis, [ending] native forests and logging and gambling reform.”


Oatley called for the Liberals

By Angus Dalton and Matt Wade

The Herald has called the south Sydney seat of Oatley for the Liberals.

Incumbent Liberal MP Mark Coure is ahead of Labor candidate Ash Ambihaipahar by about 900 votes.

Mark Coure won the seat for the Liberal Party off Labor in 2011.

Mark Coure won the seat for the Liberal Party off Labor in 2011.Credit:Anna Kucera

Coure is the former minister for seniors and multiculturalism and has held the seat since 2011.

At 2015’s election he increased his margin by 2.8 per cent and earned the largest swing towards the Liberal Party in that poll.

With about 75 per cent of the vote counted from Saturday’s election, the party has copped a 10.13 per cent swing against them this time around.

The Oatley win takes the Coalition’s seat count to 30. There are still seven seats in doubt.

Watch: Premier and interim ministry sworn in

Labor Leader Chris Minns was sworn in as the 47th premier of NSW alongside treasurer-designate Daniel Mookhey, and key ministers Prue Car (education), Jo Haylen (transport), John Graham (roads), Penny Sharpe (environment), and Ryan Park (health).

Watch the ceremony below:

Gareth Ward pleads not guilty to sexual abuse allegations

By Sarah McPhee

As the seat of Kiama remains too close to call after Saturday’s state election, independent Gareth Ward has faced Nowra District Court on historical sexual abuse allegations, maintaining his not guilty pleas to the charges.

Ward, who has served as the Kiama MP since 2011, is ahead of Labor challenger Katelin McInerney on first preference votes.

Gareth Ward has served as the Kiama MP since 2011.

Gareth Ward has served as the Kiama MP since 2011.Credit:Louise Kennerley

The former Liberal minister entered not guilty pleas in the Local Court in August last year and was committed to stand trial in the District Court, where he was formally arraigned on Tuesday on one count of sexual intercourse without consent, three counts of indecent assault, and an alternative count of common assault.

“Not guilty,” Ward said five times, as he faced court in Nowra.

He is alleged to have indecently assaulted a 17-year-old boy at Meroo Meadow, in the Shoalhaven, in February 2013, and allegedly sexually assaulted a 27-year-old man in Potts Point in September 2015, “knowing he was not consenting”, the court heard.

A pretrial hearing has been listed in Sydney’s Downing Centre District Court on Monday to determine issues including the location of the trial and a severance application to split the two matters. No trial date has been set.

Ward’s lawyer Robert Foster had sought for his client to be excused from attending. However, the prosecutor said he “would’ve thought he should be present in court when interlocutory arguments are being run”. Judge Christopher O’Brien said he was not prepared to excuse Ward from facing court in Sydney next week.

Ward was suspended from the state’s lower house in March 2022, two days after he was charged. He had moved to the crossbench in 2021 amid reports of a criminal investigation.

Earlier this month, former NSW premier Dominic Perrottet said Ward should remain suspended from parliament as long as his matter is before the courts. Incoming premier Chris Minns pledged he would not do a deal with Ward in the case of a hung parliament during the campaign.

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Source: smh.com.au

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