Mr Barilaro, the leader of the NSW Nationals and the Member for Monaro, confirmed his resignation on Monday morning just days after Gladys Berejiklian revealed she would step down from the state’s top job.
Ms Berejiklian’s decision to resign on Friday afternoon followed a statement from the NSW Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC) confirming an investigation into the Premier.
She said her resignation “could not happen at a worse time”, with the ICAC investigation occurring “during the most challenging weeks of the most challenging times in the history of NSW”.
NSW Deputy Premier John Barilaro are seen celebrating the further easing of COVID-19 restrictions March 2021 in Sydney. Picture: NCA NewsWire / Jeremy Piper
Mr Perrottet has emerged as the front runner to replace Ms Berejiklian, with the Liberals to vote on the party’s next leader on Tuesday.
Mr Barilaro said he has “no doubt” the next state Liberal Party leader will be Mr Perrottet.
“Someone I call a friend,” he told Monday morning’s press conference, where he confirmed his resignation.
“Someone I know, who will take this state right now at a time that needs strong leadership through the opening up, the end of the pandemic, the start of the recovery.
“And I genuinely believe in his role as Treasurer he has all the skills and all the ability and if endorsed as the leader of the Liberal Party, Premier of this state, he will do a wonderful job.”
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Mr Barilaro said emerging from coronavirus lockdown represents a new beginning for the state and presents an opportunity “for a refresh”.
“I’m confident that this state now has bright day ahead of us and it is the right time for the state, for me, the Liberal Party and the National Party, a refreshness of the government of the day,” he said.
“And I look forward from the sidelines to be cheering and I am confident that under Dominic Perrottet and whatever the National Party will elect as leader will get there.”
Mr Barilaro was asked how Mr Perrottet reacted to the news of his resignation, claiming the Treasurer tried to keep him locked in as Deputy Premier.  
“Dominic is a friend. It is rare to call some of these people your friend,” Mr Barilaro said.
“He tried hard to coop me to stay. He was always excited to have the opportunity of a Perrottet-Barilaro Government.”
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Mr Perrottet announced on Sunday he had formed a ticket with Jobs Minister Stuart Ayres who would serve as his Deputy should the pair win a party room ballot on Tuesday.
The Treasurer and father of six told reporters the pair would provide “stability, unity and experience” to continue forward from the outgoing Premier.
“I know that this is a time of challenge in our state but I have complete hope and optimism that NSW is in a very good place,” Mr Perrottet said.
“We are very fortunate in our parliamentary party to have many many talented people, and we have discussed with colleagues over this period of time – Matt Kean is a very important part of our team and has endorsed this ticket to put our names forward for next Tuesday.”
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