NSW's Barilaro survives no confidence vote

NSW's Barilaro survives no confidence vote

National News
John Barilaro says he and Gladys Berejiklian remain tight after last week's clash over koalas.

John Barilaro says he and Gladys Berejiklian remain tight after last week's clash over koalas.

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NSW Deputy Premier John Barilaro has survived a no confidence vote in parliament, as the fallout from last week's koala policy battle continues. The outspoken...

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NSW Deputy Premier John Barilaro has survived a no confidence vote in parliament, as the fallout from last week's koala policy battle continues.

The outspoken Nationals leader found himself in hot water on Thursday when he threatened to implode the coalition government if concessions on the state's koala protection policy were not made.

He backed down on plans to move his MPs to the cross bench after Premier Gladys Berejiklian gave him an ultimatum to support her government, otherwise Nationals ministers would be sacked from cabinet.

But before the vote on Wednesday, Mr Barilaro denied his actions were wrong and refused to rule out threatening the coalition again.

Opposition Leader Jodi McKay told parliament that was proof government stability wasn't possible while Mr Barilaro remained leader of the Nationals.

"This is not new behaviour from John Barilaro," she told parliament.

"Time after time over the past 18 months he has threatened to resign, run for a federal seat, pull the Nationals from the coalition, sit on the cross bench."

"Every time he has huffed and he's puffed, and then he's backed down."

Neither the premier nor any Liberal ministers remained in the chamber to defend the deputy premier, who also left the chamber for the debate.

But the Nationals trotted out an array of MPs to defend their leader.

Water Minister Melinda Pavey said the stoush was proof of how passionately Mr Barilaro fought for the bush.

"Yes, he's got an interesting style, but he delivers for our communities."

Deputy NSW Nationals leader Paul Toole said the motion was time wasted on political point scoring.

"We are behind John Barilaro, and those opposite know that," he said.

The cross bench joined Labor in supporting the motion, but it was defeated by eight votes after the premier and her Liberal colleagues returned to the chamber to vote against it.

Greens MP Jamie Parker said Mr Barilaro was the "boy who cried wolf", while the independent Member for Lake Macquarie Greg Piper told the Nationals the cross bench didn't want them.

"So from now on, I would ask you to take that option off your program," he said.

Ms Berejiklian on Tuesday maintained the coalition was moving on from the public stoush.

Mr Barilaro is also determined to move on, telling parliament on Tuesday he would not resign and that he and the premier remained "tight".

He called the motion an ineffectual and hypocritical political stunt.

"Labor accuses the NSW Government of misjudging priorities, but today Labor is guilty of the very thing they accuse us of, trying to create instability and wasting everyone's time," he said in a statement after the vote.

But it is unclear if Mr Barilaro still has the support of his ministerial colleagues.

On Wednesday, he appeared to accuse Liberal colleagues of leaking an email to the media, while in question time on Tuesday both Transport Minister Andrew Constance and Police Minister David Elliott refused to back down from disparaging comments they made about Mr Barilaro last week.

The Nationals are concerned changes to the Koala Habitat Protection State Environmental Planning Policy limit land use on farms and the ability to rezone areas for development as more trees are classed as koala habitat.

Australian Associated Press

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