NSW Fair Trading Minister Eleni Petinos sacked after bullying claims

NSW Premier Dominic Perrottet has terminated the services of Fair Trading Minister Eleni Petinos amid allegations of bullying in her office.

“Today I spoke with the Minister for Small Business and Fair Trading Eleni Petinos after some further matters concerning her were brought to my attention,” Perrottet said in a statement on Sunday night.

“In light of these matters, Ms Petinos’ service as a minister will cease with immediate effect, and I will write to the governor in this regard tomorrow.”

Petinos issued a statement in response later on Sunday night.

“I am proud of my work while I served the people of NSW as Minister for Small Business and Minister for Fair Trading,” she said.

“I fought hard for small businesses who are the lifeblood of NSW and I will continue to advocate for them regardless of my role.

“The intense pressures and stresses of such important portfolios are significant for both staff and their minister. I thank my staff for their efforts in supporting me to deliver for the people of NSW.

“I would never intentionally offend anyone or make them feel uncomfortable, and if I did, I am truly sorry.

“I pursue politics to make a positive difference and will continue to do so proudly as the Member for Miranda.”

Petinos, who was responsible for keeping the state’s workplaces safe, last week rejected accusations of improper conduct linked to her office.

“I value my staff and endeavour to provide a professional and safe environment for them,” she told AAP on Friday.

A report had claimed one of Petinos’ former advisers lodged a complaint with the Department of Premier and Cabinet about being “relentlessly bullied” by others while at work.

Petinos has had up to eight staff members leave in the past seven months, according to reports.

Minister for Customer Service and Digital Government Victor Dominello will assume Petinos’ portfolio responsibilities.