The Investment NSW boss who appointed John Barilaro to his plum trade job canceled the independent recruitment search for the role the day before Barilaro announced his resignation from politics.
Investment NSW chief executive Amy Brown emailed the global recruitment firm running the talent search on October 3, 2021, saying that their services would no longer be needed because the trade positions would now be ministerial appointments.
Barilaro, who Brown reported to the trade minister, announced the next day that he would be quitting politics, citing the toll that public life had taken on him.
NSW Premier Dominic Perrottet has moved to distance himself from the appointment of Barilaro to the $500,000-a-year trade role in New York, which is developing into a worsening scandal for his government. Perrottet insisted the appointment was made at arm’s length from the government and on Thursday announced he had directed the secretary of the Department of Premier and Cabinet to conduct a review into how it was made.
In her email to the recruitment firm, Brown said the changes to the recruitment process were “outside our control” and said the New York posting would now be handled internally, rather than by an outside firm.
Two months later, NSW Treasury placed an advertisement in The Australian Financial Review readvertising the positions, including the New York role with Barilaro secured.
“I appreciate that you’ll keep this confidential, but we’ve now had confirmed instructions to commence the preparation of legislation to convert the global Senior Trade & Investment Commissioners [STICs] to statutory officers (ie Ministerial appointments),” Brown’s email said.
“The Agent General for London and STIC for Tokyo will be transitioned across to the new arrangements. This means that the recruitment process for the STIC positions in Singapore, India/Middle East and China will need to be ceased, and all candidates informed that we’re not going any further with the process.