Former NSW Deputy Premier John Barilaro has quit his high-paying U.S. trade job before he even started. He accepted that his appointment to the controversial commissioner position is untenable and was a “distraction”.
Per the Sydney Morning Herald, the NSW Government has been under fire for the last couple of weeks after Barilaro was handed the very plum job (which had a $500,000 salary). It caused multiple inquiries into how exactly he landed the prime gig, which produced some pretty spicy intel.
“It is clear that my taking up this role is now not tenable with the amount of media attention this appointment has gained,” Barilaro said.
“I stress, that I have always maintained that I followed the process and look forward to the results of the review.”
Damn, man didn’t even get the chance to do the time-honoured tradition of taking a dump on company time. Ya hate to see it.
The inquiries into Barilaro’s short-lived gig found that the job was “verbally offered” to a woman named Jenny West after a recruitment process, but was apparently revoked after sudden instructions from the state government.
“She was verbally offered the role and then I was given a direction by [the] government to cease the recruitment due to a change in government policy to convert the roles into statutory officers appointed by a minister,” Head of Investment NSW Amy Brown said at the upper house inquiry.
She said the potential policy change would have come through the “responsible minister” which would have been the Minister for Industry and Trade.
And who was in that ministerial position at the time? None other than ya boi Johnny Barilaro.
When the proposed policy change didn’t happen, people started asking questions as to why West wasn’t re-offered the trade commissioner role.
Shortly after that, Barilaro was selected for the high-paying role from a pool of 12 potential candidates in a second round of recruiting, which stunk to high heaven.
A separate independent inquiry into Barilaro’s appointment will also be conducted by former NSW public service commissioner, Graeme Head.