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Local News

What made these politicians pray?

A meeting between political rivals ended with a prayer, so is the new game of politics love not war?

By Helen McCabe
In a State where politics has attracted dozens of dubious characters from Eddie Obeid to child sex offender Milton Orkopoulos, a brief prayer session marked a significant turning point in the way business is conducted in Macquarie Street.
The man with the balance of power in the NSW Upper House, the Reverend Fred Nile, 80, finished a meeting on Tuesday afternoon with the question "Do you mind if I have a prayer?"
Mr Baird, who was accompanied by his Chief Of Staff Bay Warburton, replied: "No I’d love you to."
The three - according to The Financial Review - prayed that God would guide them to do his will and Mr Nile asked that God bless the Premier and "help him in his role."
It is a far cry from the battles in Canberra between the two houses of Parliament, where Prime Minister Tony Abbott has been at war with the likes of Clive Palmer and previously Tony Windsor.
The elevation of Mr Baird has changed the tone of politics, at least in NSW.
Reverend Fred Nile holds the balance of power in the NSW Upper House.
Labor Opposition Leader Luke Foley also got into the spirit of it by calling the Premier a "formidable opponent and honourable man" in his concession speech on Saturday night.
In response Mr Baird thanked his opponent for his 'gracious' words.
In a further sign of change Mr Baird then elevated the first female, Gladys Berejiklian into the role as Treasurer and appointed the country's first minister dedicated to fighting domestic violence.
Pru Goward takes on the role after the numbers of women being killed by a partner or former partner continues to grow.
It comes two days after Bexley mother Salwa Haydar, 45, was stabbed to death.
In another significant elevation of female talent Mr Baird promoted former banker and corporate lawyer Gabrielle Upton into the role of Attorney-General while Leslie Williams picked up Early Childhood Education.
Under Mr Abbott there are only two women in cabinet, Foreign Minister Julie Bishop and Health and Sport Minister Sussan Leys.

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