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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