News State NSW News Barilaro wanted NY job years ago: Staffer
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Barilaro wanted NY job years ago: Staffer

Explosive evidence at John Barilaro inquiry

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John Barilaro’s former chief-of-staff says his old boss told him three years ago he wanted a lucrative NSW government trade job in New York.

“This is the job for when I get the f— out of this place’, the former staffer quoted Mr Barilaro, in a statement tabled in NSW parliament on Wednesday.

Mark Connell, who worked for the former deputy premier when he was trade minister, submitted the statement to a parliamentary inquiry into Mr Barilaro’s appointment as trade commissioner to the Americas.

Mr Barilaro has relinquished the appointment amid a backlash.

Mr Connell recounted a conversation with his boss in April 2019, following a meeting Mr Barilaro had with then treasurer Dominic Perrottet and investment minister Stuart Ayres.

“He said, ‘I’ve just come from a meeting with Dom and Stuart regarding trade and we’re going to bring back the agent-general in London, as well as a bunch of other postings around the world’.

“He then stated, ‘This is it, this is the job for when I get the f— out of this place’.”

Mr Connell said he told Mr Barilaro the London posting would be filled before his retirement.

“Mr Barilaro then said, ‘I don’t want to go to London, f— that, I’m off to New York.’

“Mr Barilaro responded and stated, ‘I’ll get them to put one in New York, that’s where I’m off to’.”

Mr Connell finished working for Mr Barilaro in December 2019 and said he felt compelled to disclose the information after learning of Mr Barilaro’s appointment in the media.

Mr Perrottet issued a response to the allegations after they were tabled in parliament.

“The former deputy premier, Minister Ayres and I had numerous discussions in 2019 in relation to the establishment of Global NSW and at no point in any of those discussions was it ever raised that the former deputy premier may want to hold a position as a trade commissioner,” he said.

Comment has also been sought from Mr Ayres and Mr Barilaro.