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NSW Premier Dominic Perrottet orders investigation into John Barilaro’s New York trade role

The NSW Premier has ordered an investigation into the process behind the appointment of John Barilaro to a plum US trade job.

Key points:


The NSW Premier has ordered a review into John Barilaro’s US trade jobThe former deputy premier’s appointment to the lucrative role has come under scrutinyAn upper house inquiry will look into the process that let to the decision

Mr Barilaro was last week appointed the state’s new trade commissioner to the US to be based in New York.

Controversy has surrounded the appointment, which comes with a salary package topping $500,000.

It has been revealed a previous round of recruitment last year identified two highly-rated candidates.

Despite that, the job was readvertised in December and Mr Barilaro, the former deputy premier, was named the successful candidate.

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Yesterday, a motion was passed in the upper house calling on the government to delay the appointment until a parliamentary inquiry into the appointment reports back in a few weeks time.

While that motion is not binding, it has ratcheted up pressure on the government.

But now Premier Dominic Perrottet has commissioned his own review.

“I’ve directed the secretary of the department of Premier and Cabinet to conduct a review, he will provide that report to me, I will review it and make it public,” he said.

Man with glasses wearing suit and tie stand in front of navy backdrop and two australian flags Dominic Perrottet says he will make the review public once complete.(ABC News)

It has also been revealed the chief executive of Investment NSW was on the interview panel that appointed Mr Barilaro, only months after he ceased to be her boss.

In NSW parliament, Trade Minister Stuart Ayres said Mr Barilaro applied for the role as a private citizen and he had not solicited his application.

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“Mr Barilaro was shortlisted for interview by [recruitment firm] NGS Global,” he said.

“The interview panel consisted of the CEO of Investment NSW, the NSW Public Service Commissioner, Investment NSW Managing Director Trade and Investment and an independent external panel member.”

A woman looking at the camera Investment NSW chief executive Amy Brown reported to John Barilaro when he was trade minister. (Supplied: Investment NSW )

As trade minister, Mr Barilaro had been one of the ministers Investment NSW chief executive Amy Brown reported to.

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He announced his resignation from politics in October.

In a statement, a spokesperson for Investment NSW said there was no conflict of interest.

“At the completion of the recruitment process including interviews, due diligence, reference and background checks, Mr Barilaro was ranked highest and recommended for the role,” the statement said.

“No conflict of interest precluded the Investment CEO from making this appointment.”

During Question Time on Wednesday, Mr Perrottet said Mr Barilaro’s employment had already been formalised.

“It would not be lawful for me as Premier to intervene in any step of the process,” he said.

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