The New South Wales Minister for Small Business and Fair Trading, Eleni Petinos, has been sacked, plunging the State Government further into crisis.
- The Miranda MP was removed from cabinet by Premier Dominic Perrottet after his return from overseas
- On Friday, Ms Petinos denied any wrongdoing after an anonymous complaint was made against her
- It came from a staffer within her office, reportedly alleging bullying by Ms Petinos
The Premier has dumped the Miranda MP from state cabinet, a day after returning from an overseas trade trip.
On Friday, it was revealed an anonymous complaint had been made by a staffer from Ms Petinos’ office, reportedly alleging bullying.
The Minister denied any wrongdoing, releasing a statement saying “I reject any allegations of improper conduct”.
Speaking from India, the Premier confirmed an investigation had taken place into the complaint but he was satisfied with the outcome.
The Premier now says her position has become untenable.
“Today I spoke with the Minister for Small Business and Fair Trading Eleni Petinos after some further matters concerning her were brought to my attention,” the Premier said in a statement.
“In light of these matters, Ms Petinos’ service as a Minister will cease with immediate effect, and I will write to the Governor in this regard tomorrow.”
Ms Petinos was elevated to the Ministry in December last year, as one of three new Liberal women promoted to cabinet.
The Premier has now lost one of the seven Coalition women in his 26-person cabinet.
Her sacking comes as the Trade Minister, Stuart Ayres, has been under increasing pressure over the former Deputy Premier, John Barilaro’s appointment to a lucrative trade role in New York.
Documents released publicly to the parliament, have called into question his involvement in the recruitment process and whether he misled parliament.
Mr Ayres, who is also the deputy Liberal leader, maintains the process was conducted at arm’s length from Government and the Premier is standing by his Minister.
Ms Petinos has been the member for Miranda since 2015.
The Customer Service Minister, Victor Dominello, will take over her ministerial responsibilities.
“Tonight, the Premier informed me I would no longer be a Minister in his Government,” she said.
“I would never intentionally offend anyone or make them feel uncomfortable, and if I did I am truly sorry.”
She says she intends to stay on as the member for Miranda.
“I pursue politics to make a positive difference,” she said.
“I am proud of my work while I served the people of NSW as Minister for Small Business and Minister for Fair Trading.”