Since being elected Premier of NSW in 2017, Gladys Berejiklian has led the state through one of the most tumultuous and disaster-riddled periods in its history. There was the devastating drought declared in 2018, the Black Summer bushfires that followed, and now the COVID-19 pandemic.
But ultimately, it was a political crisis that brought the veteran politician undone.
After close to two decades in NSW Parliament, Berejiklian announced her resignation on Friday afternoon. With the state still in the grips of its deadly Delta outbreak and just weeks away from a planned easing of public health restrictions, it was a move that — in Berejiklian's own words — "could not happen at a worse time".
"Resigning at this time is against every instinct in my being and something which I do not want to do," she told gathered media. "I love my job and serving the community, but I have been given no option following the statement issued."
Watch: Gladys Berejiklian resigns as Premier and Member for Willoughby. Post continues below.
The statement she was referring to was released earlier on Friday by the Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC). In it, the watchdog announced it will conduct an investigation into whether Berejiklian was in a position of "conflict between her public duties and private interest" when she was in a relationship with former Liberal MP Daryl Maguire.
"To continue as Premier would disrupt the state government during a time when our entire attention should be focused on the challenges confronting NSW," Berejiklian said. "I do not want to be a distraction from what should be the focus of the state government during this pandemic, which is the wellbeing of our citizens."
So how did we get here? And what happens next? Let's take a took.
What exactly is ICAC investigating?
ICAC is an independent body that serves to investigate allegations of corruption in the NSW public sector.
Its forthcoming investigation into Berejiklian — which is due to begin on October 18 and span roughly 10 days — aims to determine whether she breached public trust when she awarded grants to several community organisations in the NSW Riverina region between 2012 and 2018.