Scott Morrison has lauded the "heroic" qualities of former NSW premier Gladys Berejiklian, who has resigned after the launch of a corruption investigation into her.
The prime minister paid tribute to Ms Berejiklian on Friday as the pair gave simultaneous news conferences.
"Gladys is a dear friend of mine. We've known each other for a long time," Mr Morrison told reporters in Canberra.
"She has displayed heroic qualities, heroic qualities as the premier of NSW."
He said she had been trusted and respected by the people of NSW.
"I find her to be a person of integrity, and a person that works hard for her state," he said.
Mr Morrison said he would continue to work closely with the next premier after reeling off a list of senior state ministers the federal government had collaborated with on pandemic issues.
"I would expect nothing other than an absolute continuity of the pace and the leadership that we've seen from NSW," he said.
Ms Berejiklian has resigned as state Liberal leader and will leave parliament when a by-election can be held.
The NSW Independent Commission Against Corruption is investigating whether she breached public trust in awarding grants to several community organisations between 2012 and 2018.
It relates to Ms Berejiklian's romantic relationship with disgraced former MP Daryl Maguire.
Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce said there were many reasons for her resignation but creating clear air for her colleagues was one of the most prominent.
"Politics is a brutal profession and today has been especially hard for the premier of New South Wales, Gladys Berejiklian," he said.
"It is very sad to lose such an outstanding individual, whose decency has been evident since she was first elected to the seat of Willoughby."
Federal Opposition Leader Anthony Albanese said Ms Berejiklian had higher integrity standards than the prime minister.
"It is now more than 1000 days since Scott Morrison promised to have a national anti-corruption body," he said.
"Well, tick-tock Mr Morrison. We need a national anti-corruption commission, one with teeth, one that operates independently of government, is able to conduct its own inquiries."
Former Liberal prime ministers Tony Abbott and Malcolm Turnbull were united in lauding the 51-year-old moderate.
"She has been the one premier who's taken freedom seriously, even in a pandemic," Mr Abbott said, noting Ms Berejiklian had declined to "cling" to office amid an investigation.
Mr Turnbull said: "Gladys has been a dedicated reformer and dynamic builder. She led the state bravely and tirelessly through the bushfires and the pandemic."
State Labor premiers also spoke highly of their NSW counterpart.
"I find her to be a person of integrity and a person that works hard for her state and has been a very important partner for us," Victorian Labor Premier Daniel Andrews said.
"Contrary to some public commentary, I have always respected Gladys and found her to be good company," Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said.
Meanwhile, NSW local government minister Shelly Hancock lauded her friend as "the greatest premier NSW has ever seen".
Australian Associated Press
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