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Baird: 'New cabinet to fight for NSW'

Premier Mike Baird says the cabinet will have a mix of experience and youth. NINE NEWS.

PT1M6S http://www.canberratimes.com.au/action/externalEmbeddedPlayer?id=d-36zwy 620 349

With the NSW budget just seven weeks away, Mike Baird declared at his first news conference as Premier on Thursday that to suddenly hand over responsibility to a new treasurer would be ''a difficult affair'' and ''pretty much a classical hospital pass''.

But it is understood the first few days as Premier have convinced Mr Baird his new job will require his full attention immediately and he will be unable to fulfil both roles as initially hoped.

Mr Baird confirmed on Monday he wants to be minister for western Sydney, a position previously held by his predecessor Barry O’Farrell, because it’s an important region.

"There are some measures in there that I think will really excite NSW,": Mike Baird.

"There are some measures in there that I think will really excite NSW": Mike Baird. Photo: Britta Campion

No decision has been made about who will be appointed treasurer when Mr Baird announces his cabinet in the next day or two.

But his shift in thinking opens the way for the most logical candidate, Finance Minister Andrew Constance, who has been closely involved in budget preparation.

It has already been confirmed that newly appointed deputy Liberal leader Gladys Berejiklian will remain Transport Minister and Adrian Piccoli will keep the education portfolio.

The NSW budget will be handed down on June 17 but Mr Baird and his department have been shaping it for months.

There is particular importance attached to this year's statement as it comes just nine months before the next election.

Last week, Mr Baird said his three budgets as Treasurer were built on improving services, building infrastructure and protecting the vulnerable.

''That's exactly what this government will continue to do,'' he said.

He promised the budget would ''show a lot of the effort that has been gone into in the last three years and the results of that''.

''There are some measures in there that I think will really excite NSW,'' he said.

Mr Baird's three budgets featured across-the-board cuts and public service job losses in an effort to realign expenditure with revenue. They have also featured plans to privatise state assets including three ports and the desalination plant.

On Sunday, Mr Baird signalled his interest in privatising public hospitals as he was concerned about the ageing of the state's health facilities. He has also reiterated his view that ''if government doesn't have to do it, it shouldn't''.

He confirmed no decision to sell the electricity distribution network, or poles and wires, would be taken without an electoral mandate and that cabinet would consider the matter in due course.