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Public servant who reported to John Barilaro in the job panel for his trade role in New York

Written by Javed Iqbal

The CEO of Investment NSW was on the interview panel that appointed former Deputy Prime Minister John Barilaro to a plum trading job just months after he stopped being her boss.

Barilaro has been appointed the state’s new trade commissioner to the United States to be based in New York.

The role comes with a salary package of $ 500,000.

But controversy has surrounded the appointment, and it has been revealed a previous recruitment round last year identified two highly rated candidates.

Despite that, the job was re-posted in December, and Mr Barilaro was appointed last week.

A woman looks at the camera
Investment NSW’s CEO Amy Brown reported to John Barilaro when he was trade minister. (Delivered: Investment NSW )

In the NSW Parliament, Commerce Secretary Stuart Ayres said Mr Barilaro was seeking the role of private citizen and that he had not applied for his application.

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

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

As Minister of Trade, Mr Barilaro had been one of the ministers to whom Investment NSW’s CEO Amy Brown reported.

He announced his resignation from politics in October.

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

“At the conclusion 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.

A proposal supporting the opposition’s call to postpone Mr Barilaro’s appointment until a parliamentary inquiry reports back was passed in the upper house yesterday.

Labor leader in the upper house, Penny Sharpe, said she expects the survey will take “weeks, not months” to report back.

The proposal is not binding, but has increased the pressure on the government to postpone Mr Barilaro’s start in this new job.

During Question Time, Prime Minister Dominic Perrottet said Mr Barilaro’s appointment had already been formalized.

“It would not be legal for me as Prime Minister to intervene at any stage in the process,” he said.

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Javed Iqbal

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