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Best man for the job or someone needing an escape route?

Far be it from me to suggest a politician has ever done anything wrong – mainly because they make sure everything they do is considered “within the rules” they set, and secondly because they have an unhealthy penchant for defamation suits.

So it is with no comment that I provide the following information regarding John Barilaro.

On October 4 last year, John Barilaro resigned as NSW Deputy Premier. A few days later, it was reported that he and his wife had “quietly” split up.

On October 25, Mr Barilaro was called to give evidence at the ICAC investigation into Gladys Berejiklian. He stated that she should have declared her relationship with Daryl McGuire. In what may have been a warning from Ms Berejiklian’s legal team, Barilaro was then asked (three times) if he had declared all of his intimate personal relationships to the Premier. His attempt at answering that “difficult question” can be viewed here.

As reported by Shane Dowling, two days later, a person sent a complaint to the NSW ICAC suggesting that John Barilaro had perjured himself when he stated that he had declared all intimate relationships and alleging that he was currently in a personal relationship that he had failed to declare. ICAC responded on December 1, thanking the complainant for “drawing this matter to our attention”, adding that “this information will assist with the ongoing work of the Commission”.

On December 11, the Daily Telegraph published a story about the “new woman” in Barilaro’s life – his former media advisor Jennifer Lugsdin.

In early October, the SMH reported “Barilaro’s long-time media adviser and uber-loyalist Jennifer Lugsdin” had taken a new job in September as a senior media adviser at Investment NSW.

That’s the same Investment NSW whose CEO Amy Brown, also a former subordinate of Barilaro’s, chose Barilaro for a very high-paying post politics job in a role he created when Deputy Premier.

There are other questions swirling around that ICAC has taken an interest in about public money given by Barilaro to bodies connected with Angus Taylor and his family. It’s worth noting that Angus Taylor’s sister-in-law, Bronnie, is deputy leader of the NSW Nationals party. Her husband Duncan has been the CEO of an organisation that has received millions in government grants.

I can understand why Barilaro might want a fresh start in a new country away from inconvenient questions of both a personal and professional nature.

What I can’t understand is what qualifications or expertise make him the best candidate in the world for a job he created, which will cost the public purse a motza, whose function and benefit no-one seems able to explain.


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  1. Harry Lime

    Hello ICAC,goodbye Giovanni.

  2. Josephus

    Australia had become a banana non republic, barely a democracy. Can’t mr pork barrelaro be investigated, banned from taking that job? Will Labor intervene? The greens? I am sure he is innocent, but needs to remain here to be cleared.

  3. Terence Mills

    Barilaro will be able to get together for cocktails – Manhattans perhaps – with his old mate Arfur See-no-donors who I believe is still representing Australia in the US.

    Why do the Sopranos come to mind ?

  4. Douglas Pritchard

    We could not choose a more appropriate candidate for the “school for Scoundrels” that is Washington to date.
    Its gripping news that one day they uphold a law permitting guns to be carried as a basic right (fortifying schools to appease the wimps) by their loyal citizens.
    The next they decide what 50% of the population is allowed to do with their bodies, or maybe thats simply a bold move to distract the taxpayers from more diobolical behaviour.
    And we treat the country like its somewhere we all aspire to live………bonkers.
    USA is ruined, broken, and run casually by the likes of our errant pollies.

  5. paul walter

    Nothing makes me sick.

  6. Terence Mills

    Douglas Pritchard

    The interesting point is that what the Supreme Court are doing in America is narrow black-letter law : it is blunt without nuance.

    On guns what they have said, in essence, is that the second amendment (the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.) is a Constitutional guarantee and the states (in this case New York) cannot trump the constitution : so laws governing the right to keep and bear arms can only be amended or instituted federally by the Supreme Court in accordance with the Constitution.

    On abortion the argument is reversed : as I understand it they argue, Roe v Wade cannot stand as it is a federal decision trumping states rights : but only a state has the legal power to enact legislation in this area (the federal jurisdiction has no constitutional authority to do so) : so the individual states have to set their own laws on abortion as, in fact, is the case in Australia.

    It is convoluted unbending law but, as is the case here, the US government can only exercise power where such power is granted to it by the constitution and they don’t have that power over abortion but they do over guns.

    That’s my understanding and I would be happy to have anybody correct or enlarge on what I have attempted to rationalise.

  7. Kaye Lee

    Constitutions, laws, and jurisdictions can all be changed. This decision won’t stop abortions. Those who can afford it will travel to have them and the poor will go to the backyards again. Will the morning after pill be sold on the black market? It’s utter rubbish. Family planning clinics saved women here long before the government said it was ok. I hope the same will happen there.

    Supreme Court judges can sit there in silly get-ups making people bow and banging gavels. As if that will make women cede control of their own bodies. These laws will be renowned for their lack of compliance and for the violence they may re-ignite.

  8. Kaye Lee

    Premier Dominic Perrottet announced he was commissioning his own review into Barilaro’s appointment, assigning the task to the secretary of the department of Premier and Cabinet, Michael Coutts-Trotter who then passed the job off to Graeme Head, a former Commissioner of the NSW Public Service who is currently a partner at EY Port Jackson Partners.

    Alumni of Port Jackson Partners include ACCC chairman Rod Sims and Energy Minister Angus Taylor.

    I guess true “independence” is hard to find in this incestuous circle.

  9. Phil Pryor

    One can only imagine a huge canted circle of Australian conservatives, the big bumboy gang of gettitandgrabbitandkeepit types, slightly angled to the right but meeting, literally or figuratively up each other, after a big circumference of greed, filth, iniquity, and of course, acquisition. There in a scrum of filth is Barilmafialaro, plotting the contrived superannuation due to a keen grafter, crook, pal and operator. New York’s foul gutters might seem cleaner if he fell in, a relative comparison, for this dud from nowhere, a cowpat of cowardly coercion, is nightsoil…

  10. RomeoCharlie29

    Once again a forensic piece of information collating Kaye Lee. Not being a citizen of the state of corruption this is only of passing interest to me, but of interest none-the-less. As indeed are the goings on of SCOTUS but it seems to me that this is an interventionist and very conservative group which has taken too much power into itself particularly on abortion. On the guns issue once again the decision seems to be based only on a partial reading of the second amendment and ignores the part about bearing arms as part of a militia, which private gun ownership clearly is not. Who suggested we all aspire to live there? I think even the huddled masses would be doing some rethinking of that

  11. Terence Mills

    Whether we like it or not both the US and Australia have granted only certain powers to our federal governments – through section 51 in our constitution.

    For instance, there is no uniform national firearms legislation in Australia. The Commonwealth controls importation (section 51 (i)) and the states each have their own legislative schemes to regulate the ownership and use of firearms. We differ from the USA in that respect as their second amendment to their constitution made gun ownership a federal (not state) matter.

    As Kaye has noted, we can change these things but it means either a constitutional change (a referendum) or in certain circumstances states can pass their powers to the commonwealth to facilitate uniform national law.

    As it stands in Australia the states are responsible for abortion law and, again, their is no uniformity : there could be !

    In WA in 1988 the question of abortion law reform was highlighted when two Perth doctors were to be prosecuted under the Western Australian laws that make abortion a crime : early termination of a pregnancy was unlawful in WA at that time. This ultimately brought about a change to the WA law culminating in the passage by the Western Australian parliament of legislation introducing what is in many respects the most liberal abortion law in Australia : the legislation passed with some amendments on 20 May 1998.

    In Queensland abortion law was very murky and it had been unlawful under the Criminal Code subject to qualification by the common law McGuire ruling, which continued to make abortion unlawful unless the abortion provider had a reasonable belief that a woman’s physical or mental health was at risk.

    Probably driven by the WA situation Queensland introduced the Termination of Pregnancy Act passed by Parliament of Queensland on 17 October 2018. This legislation has liberalised abortion in Qld and removed the criminal penalties from the Criminal Code.

    So when it comes to abortion laws in Australia it is a mish-mash of state laws but at least we only have six states : in the USA they now have to try and accommodate the laws of fifty states some of whom are more concerned with their God than they are the welfare of women or their foetus.

  12. Henry Rodrigues

    Pork Barillaro is just following in the grubby footsteps of Joe Hockey, Nick Minchin, and many other coalition arsewipes. When they’ve exhausted all means of gaining undue advantages here, they then set themselves up in foreign countries to continue with the rorts. And where better than the good ole USA, the country that gave the world Trump and a Supreme court who think its alright to curtail the natural rights of 50% of their population but give more power to the maniacs to acquire arsenal of deadly weapons to terrify and kill innocent children. America has lost its way, thanks to the conservative bible thumpers, carpet baggers, and starry eyed religious hypocrites.

    Scummo might even announce his plan to join Trump’s 2024 election campaign !!!!!!!!

  13. Kaye Lee

    When it comes to abortion, the laws have never been followed. Sure, it makes it harder or even impossible for some, and it can make it more dangerous, but religious nutters or male politicians and their laws will not stop it. I cannot believe we are still having this conversation. The consequences of an unwanted pregnancy are life changing. It is not a decision for anyone else to make be they politician or pope. It also shows the madness of appointing a few judges for life to impose their “interpretation” on the rest of the population. They themselves don’t agree. Six people have made this decision that affects hundreds of millions of people and will only lead to violence and division.

  14. Fred Engels

    From my online search, Giovanni Domenic “John” Barilaro DoB: 14 November 1971 (51 Years old) has an Education Level of Certificate IV, Frontline Business Management (HIA) Certificate IV, Quantitative and Tendering, (HIA) 2003 Certificate IV, Construction and Building Services, (HIA), 2003 Year 12 Certificate, St Edmunds College, 1989 Please update if there are further qualifications. In one of my vocational capacities during my working life, I have sat on many interview panels. IMHO, this is not someone I would be appointing to this position. There is no applicable education at a level that would fulfil this position. There would have to be a highly impressive work history and tabulated and proven levels of achievement. I cannot see this at all. IMHO, a totally inappropriate appointment to the position outlined.

  15. Kaye Lee

    He started working at Woolies with his brother Tony Barilaro. The pair both helped out at the family business, Ryleho, “Canberra’s timber window and door specialists”, with John becoming managing director. At age 36, Barilaro was elected as an independent councillor of Queanbeyan City Council and served on the council until he ran for the National Party in the seat of Monaro at the 2011 state election.

    According to the Canberra Times, “A single driving force led John Barilaro’s step into politics when he ran for a seat on the Queanbeyan council. His passion for sport saw him step up, to lobby for more sporting grounds in Queanbeyan.”

    Aside from abusive comments about colleagues, he is best remembered for threatening to move the Nationals to the crossbench in opposition to the government’s policy to protect koalas

  16. Pete Petrass

    I see yet another very twisted LNP web here. Amazing how often Angus Taylor’s name pops up in such things. Just follow the very large money trail.
    As for qualifications PorkBarilaro has none, he was just a politician with public servants there to do all the work for him. Aside from that (as Bob Carr stated) these positions existed many years ago and were cancelled due to a complete lack of any sort of real achievements. It would seem PorkBarilaro has decided (before quitting) to create himself a nice little job in a place where he wanted to be with a nice big pay packet and big beefy allowances, and just to make it look good created another 3 in different countries.

  17. Phil Pryor

    Baril-Musso-laro-Lini is one only of the poxes, plagues, pestilences and pustules involving NSW conservatives. A loudmouthed fascist frau named senator Hughes has been attacking education, a difficult concept for the illiberals. Saying that teachers (all?) were marxist activists and greenies and any other stupid childish term she “knows”, Ms. Hughes shows that education and free expression are enemies of the filth that infests NSW conservative ranks. Peter Duckwit-Futton must love that type…

  18. Harry Lime

    Phil,Otto von Dismal Dutton has a secret weapon…he has a first edition copy of Private Baldrick’s little black book of ‘Cunning Plans’,personally notated by Captain Blackadder…working a treat so far.The NSW neocons are fucked, thanks to the now invisible Liar,but expect him to surface somewhere as a night shift manager at a Woolies…if he can bullshit his way in.

  19. Kaye Lee

    My comment to Senator Hughes on her facebook page….

    How unbelievably disappointing that you try to blame teachers for the failings of your party. How utterly facile of you.

    Coalition idea of education…
    Rote learning
    School chaplains
    The superiority of Western civilisation and some spurious thing called Judeo-Christian heritage
    Standardised testing for 6 year olds
    Basics basics basics

    And get rid of that sustainability crap There vill be no critical thinking here!! Initiative and creativity are for Marxist lefties.

    I despair that this is the calibre of those who seek to lead us.

  20. Fred Engels

    BRAVO Kaye Lee!

    The extraordinary superior attitude and behaviour associated with the elites of the LNP is breathe taking.
    I know … let’s crack on with the war that the conservatives keep talking up with their outbursts of provocative language … maybe with the Chinese or the Russians
    Win or Lose … IMHO, we’d pretty much lose … that would give the LNP good reason to replace The Marxists in the education system
    IMHO, this LNP lot are a gang of misfits that have a record of openly lying (Robodebt, etc) and creating falsehoods + corrupting democratic parliamentary administrative processes eg FOI, PMO accountability, etc and misappropriating tax payer funds, etc

    BRAVO Kaye Lee!

  21. Michael Taylor


    Any mention of George Soros?

    Who, incidentally, is one of twelve billionaires who’ve come together to put their weight behind the Democrats in the U.S. mid-term elections due later this year.

    Yes, the rumours are true: George is a lefty. (And we’re grateful for the $25M he donates to The AIMN every year. The $150,000 a year from the ALP and the $100,000 from the unions fall way short of our needs. Our negotiations with the trustees of the Clinton Foundation are ongoing.)

  22. Canguro

    I’m not suggesting that Barilaro is a total idiot; clearly he has some capacity but just what it is is somewhat obscure. Challenging Berejiklian on the need to maintain koala habitat didn’t help his career trajectory. Nor his exchanges with Constance & Dominello.

    But he is, it seems, somewhat functionally deficient when it comes to literacy and the capacity to express himself via the use of the written word. On this count, he would have been a perfect fit for the Machiavellian goings-on of the medieval courts of the 14th & 15th centuries, where a capacity to express oneself via written language was certainly not a prerequisite for courtly success.

    Surprising then, somewhat, that he rose through the ranks to the modest heights that he achieved; one supposes, mainly through force of personality, in the crudest sense, by being the biggest prick in the room.

    One hopes that reason prevails and he is summarily dumped from his shameless grab for a $500K do-nothing sinecure.

  23. Terence Mills

    Perrottet has conceded that two senior trade postings, to Tokyo and London were signed off by Cabinet yet the appointment to New York was not.

    Perrottet says that those two appointments (Tokyo and London) didn’t need to go to cabinet and that it was a mistake.

    The Premier is digging a hole for himself , my advice : stop digging !

  24. Arnd


    Australia had become a banana non republic, barely a democracy.

    You seem to be struggling to accurately characterise Australia’s political arrangements. May I helpfully suggest Bunyip aristocracy.

    As you can readily ascertain by perusing the linked Wikipedia page, though originally defeated, the 19th century proposal to establish such a hereditary class of the perennially entitled has now nevertheless been almost entirely realised by stealth:

    To create a colonial nobility with hereditary privileges.

    To construct an Upper House of Legislature in which the people will have no voice.

    To add eighteen new seats to the Lower House, only one of which is to be allotted to Sydney while the other seventeen are to be allotted among the country and squatting districts.

    To squander the public revenue by pensioning off the officers of the Government on their full salaries, thus implanting in our institutions a principle of jobbery and corruption.

    To fix irrevocably on the people this oligarchy in the name of free institutions so that no future Legislature can reform it even by absolute majority.

  25. Albos Elbow

    Even out of parliament, Porkie Barilaro still has a corrupt influence.

    Someone had to make way for the corrupt pig because of a change in “government policy” so he could get his plum $500K a year new job in America.

    NSW will never be able to rid itself of the stench of corruption while people like Dom Perignon are in power.

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