It was a bomb that shocked an entire country.
New South Wales Prime Minister Gladys Berejiklian resigned an hour after the Independent Anti-Corruption Commission (ICAC) said she The subject of the investigation.
The watchdog will assess whether there was a conflict of interest between Ms Berejiklian’s public duties and private interests when she was in a relationship with former Liberal MP, Daryl Maguire.
It will specifically examine “grant or promised” grant funding for the Australian Clay Target Association and the Riverina Conservatorium when Mr. Maguire was a local Wagga Wagga member.
Now that the dust has settled, Australia’s largest state is looking for a new leader.
Here’s what happens next.
When will a new prime minister be chosen?
While Gladys Berejiklian ran unopposed for prime minister in 2017, that may not be the case for her successor.
A new leader will be elected in one of two ways.
One option is that the government could hold a secret ballot, in which each party member votes for their preferred candidate.
The Liberal Party Chamber meeting has been scheduled for Tuesday, when that vote can take place.
Alternately, behind-the-scenes deals can be struck between party factions, meaning a candidate can be promoted to prime minister without a vote.
If that happens, the successful candidate can claim the top job early tomorrow.
Who is in the running?
Treasurer Dominique Perot has long been considered a candidate for prime minister, due to his strong parliamentary performance.
Minister of Planning Rob Stokes He has already indicated his intention to run and is considered a strong contender.
Many of the great liberals have not yet governed themselves or are out.
Attorney General and Deputy Cronulla Mark Speakman is a safe and capable option, stemming from the moderate faction of the party.
Western Sydney Tourism Minister Stuart Ayres has also found himself in the mix, with experience in several portfolios.
Veteran politician and Member of Parliament from Bega Andrew Constance has been a member of the Cabinet for the past decade.
Although considered an outside opportunity, the fame he gained during the wildfire disaster could make him cross the line.
Will Ms. Berejiklian remain in Parliament?
In addition to stepping down as Prime Minister, Ms Berejiklian also announced her intention to resign from the NSW Parliament “to give the new leader and government a fresh start”.
This decision will lead to a by-election at its Willoughby headquarters, which it has occupied since March 2003.
The electorate is a liberal safe seat, occupying them by a margin of 21 percent.
No date will be set for by-elections until Ms Berejiklian formally submits her resignation to the Speaker of the Legislative Council.
Despite this, it remains unclear when the Electoral Commission will decide to hold the by-election, given the current COVID-19 restrictions.