NSW Premier Mike Baird took to Twitter this morning to announce his resignation from politics, which could be effective from as early as next week.
I'm retiring from politics. It's been an honour to serve you, NSW. pic.twitter.com/eFInOqoC19— Mike Baird (@mikebairdMP) January 18, 2017
In what is sure to be taken as good news by Keep Sydney Open campaigners, confused greyhounds, West Connex protesters and hordes of other disgruntled communities (many of whom rallied in an unprecedented anti-Baird protest in May of 2016), the NSW premier issued a public statement outlining little reason for this shock decision, instead saying “I have made clear from the beginning that I was in politics to make a difference, and then move on.”
He goes on to list the achievements of his term and team (with a special shoutout to crowd-favourite Barry O’Farrell) saying, “we have repaired the State budget, rejuvenated the economy, created jobs in unprecedented numbers, boosted frontline services and unleashed an infrastructure boom in Sydney and the regions, which everyone can see with their own eyes”.
It’s not clear yet what the reasons for Baird's surprise departure may be, but so far the public reaction is overwhelmingly jubilant. The tone of the majority of Twitter responses to his retirement message could be described as one giant ‘Bye Felicia’ gif, with many balking at his description of mass developments, dodgy dealings and nightlife evisceration as an “infrastructure miracle”. This celebratory spirit is certainly going to imbue the mood of this Saturday’s Keep Sydney Open nighttime rally with a little more triumphant oomph.
Shocked to hear Mike Baird has extended the lockout to his own office.— Colley (@JamColley) January 18, 2017
my thoughts go out to everyone who made a Baird related sign for this saturday's #KeepSydneyOpen protest & will now have to make another one— shut up, xavier (@XavierRN) January 18, 2017
Uncertain too, is who will take the throne. Rumours have been swirling around treasurer Gladys Berejiklan for a while now, and this looks to be a pretty optimistic for those in favour of late nights — her lockout stance is softer, she appears to consider the views of young people and is not a known for blurring the lines of church and state. Win!
Bye, bye, Bairdy
There is a third Sydney lockouts protest happening this weekend. Join the movement for a dynamic city after dark and have a boogie while you're there.