Updated: Oct 26
Following the 2019 state election, Matt Kean was appointed as the Minister for Energy and Environment in the second Berejiklian ministry, with effect from 2 April 2019.
One of Mr. Kean’s first acts as Minister for Energy and Environment, within that very first week, was to appoint the former-Prime Minister, Malcolm Turnbull, as the inaugural chair of the government’s net-zero and clean energy advisory board. Mr. Kean has been described as “a close friend and protégé of Turnbull.”
Within a week of the announcement of Mr. Turnbull’s appointment, Mr. Kean was making another announcement - this time stating that Mr. Turnbull would not be appointed to the role. In a statement, Mr. Kean stated:
“The focus should not be on personality….Malcolm Turnbull AC has contributed much to our country and I know will contribute more into the future... However, no person’s role on the board should distract from achieving results for the NSW people or from the government’s work in delivering jobs and opportunities for the people of NSW.”
Mr. Turnbull believed the decision to remove him from the role was the result of “day of attacks” from what Mr. Turnbull called “the right-wing media ecosystem”. Mr. Turnbull also said that he was “disappointed” by the decision to remove him but also acknowledged “government appointments are a matter for governments”.
On the same day Mr. Kean issued his statement on Mr. Turnbull’s dismissal, Deputy Premier, John Barilaro, also made a statement:
“Malcolm Turnbull severely misinterpreted his role as chair of the advisory board. Under no circumstances did this appointment provide him with a mandate to criticise the mining industry and as a result of his comments the NSW government has decided not to proceed with the appointment…As long as I am Deputy Premier and Minister for Mining, the mining sector has the full support of the NSW government and Mr Turnbull’s comments are obsolete.”
Mr. Kean's Easter long weekend of 2021 was spent, reportedly, “glued to his phone, trying to save face and the precarious Coalition seat of Upper Hunter.”