Kristina Keneally has taken over from Nathan Rees as premier of New South Wales, ending a tumultuous week for the State Labor Party leadership.
Keneally, US-born daughter-in-law of author Tom Keneally, garnered 47 votes out of the 70 members of the party’s full caucus, an overwhelming show of support for the relative newcomer. She has made history becoming the first female Premier of NSW, and has also become the first female double act in Australia by installing Carmel Tebbutt as her deputy.
Rees sealed his fate when he labelled sections of his party “treacherous”, and was given his marching orders by Joe Tripodi and Eddie Obeid in a showdown caucus meeting late last night.
Despite earlier vowing not to hand over NSW to the two political powerbrokers, at 7.15pm (AEST) Rees resigned in front of his caucus, following in the footsteps of the man he replaced last year, Morris Iemma.
Keneally told colleagues after her election that she demanded respect. “I’d like to thank my colleagues for putting a great deal of trust in me. I am here to work for the people of NSW,” she said.
Tripodi will not be in her cabinet, but she said there was a place for Rees on the backbench.