Mr Baird was the NSW premier during the period. His former strategy director, Nigel Blunden, will also give evidence next week, along with other former and current bureaucrats. Mr Blunden, who is a former television reporter, was this year hired to work on the federal governments COVID-19 vaccine roll-out.
Despite the tight margin, Labor is not committing to running in Holsworthy. NSW Labor leader Chris Minns has already suggested to his shadow cabinet that they should not run a candidate in Monaro or Bega.
Mr Minns said the party needs to consider whether to run in Holsworthy; its going to be a hard ask to win.
Were weighing up the resources required and do we instead save our resources for the general election [in 2023], Mr Minns said.
A senior Liberal, who cannot be named as they are not authorised to speak on party matters, said Ms Gibbons decision had surprised party powerbrokers because it was understood that she did not have the support of local branches for preselection.
Everyone is very angry because it feels like a Gilmore situation where someone was imposed on them, the source said, referring to Warren Mundine being parachuted in as the Liberal candidate the NSW South Coast seat at the last federal election.
Ms Gibbons partner, former NSW Liberals vice-president and Sutherland Shire councillor Kent Johns, was involved in a preselection battle to run as the Liberal candidate in Hughes in 2019. Prime Minister Scott Morrison intervened to ensure Mr Kelly was preselected. Mr Kelly quit the Liberal Party in February this year.
Ms Gibbons released a statement late on Wednesday announcing her resignation after meeting with Mr Perrottet to inform him of her decision.
Given the recent speculation in the media and the community about the likelihood of me running, now is the right time for me to make this announcement, Ms Gibbons said in a statement.
After a decade of service in the state parliament and two terms on the local council before that, I know that I am the best and most qualified person to fight for and care for the people of Hughes.
Ms Gibbons said she had been overwhelmed by the number of people in her community who had asked her to run for Hughes.
Even before the four looming byelections, the state government had already lost its majority with two Liberal MPs, John Sidoti and Gareth Ward, forced to move onto the crossbench after separate investigations were launched into them.
Mr Sidoti is the subject of his own ICAC investigation relating to property deals in his electorate and Mr Ward is being investigated by police accused of sexual violence-related offences dating back to 2013. Both men have denied any wrongdoing.
The Liberal Party will be under pressure to preselect women in the safe seats of Willoughby, held by Ms Berejiklian, and Bega, which is being vacated by former transport minister Andrew Constance.
Several Liberal sources have confirmed that the frontrunner for Willoughby is the citys mayor Gail Giles-Gidney, while Eurobodalla mayor Liz Innes is the favourite to be preselected for Bega.
The Nationals will contest Monaro, the seat held by retiring former deputy premier and party leader John Barilaro. Preselection for Monaro will be held on Saturday, with local historian Nichole Overall the favourite.
Ms Gibbons Holsworthy electorate was captured in the 12 local government areas of concern during the extended Delta lockdown.
She was among Liberal MPs who wrote to Ms Berejiklian calling for residents in some suburbs within her electorate to be released from the stricter rules because of lower case numbers and higher vaccination rates
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