World

NSW Deputy Premier on Mental Health Leave Amid Koala Policy Fallout

NSW Deputy Premier John Barilaro is on mental health leave after a torrid fortnight dealing with the political fallout of his koala protection policy threat.

The outspoken NSW Nationals leader will miss next weeks parliamentary sittings and wont return to his role for up to four weeks.

Barilaros office confirmed he was temporarily stepping down to take time off for his wellbeing and mental health.

In a statement, Premier Gladys Berejiklian said Barilaro had told her of his decision on the afternoon of Sept 18.

“I have offered him any support he may need,” she said.

“I wish John and his family all the best during this time.”

His deputy Paul Toole has been installed Acting Deputy Premier and state party leader.

Toole praised his Nationals colleague for putting his hand up to take a break, and said he looked forward to his return.

“People need to know its ok to say when you are having a tough time – and thats exactly what John has done,” he said in a statement.

“The NSW Nationals support each other and stick together.”

It means hell likely miss an October 6 cabinet meeting in which the states vexed koala protection policy was expected to be debated.

Barilaro put himself in the firing line last week after threatening to implode the coalition government if concessions were not made over the policy.

He backed down when the premier gave him an ultimatum that Nationals MPs support the government or its ministers be sacked from cabinet.

Barilaro was unrepentant for his actionRead More – Source