NSW Trade Minister Stuart Ayres has gone on radio in an attempt to defend his role in John Barilaro’s appointment to a lucrative $500,000 posting in New York.
Ayres has come under increased scrutiny in recent days after a cache of internal documents revealed he helped develop a candidate shortlist with department boss Amy Brown.
The trade minister told 2GB only one person within his own party had asked him to stand aside after the revelations and said he had the “full support” of NSW Premier Dominic Perrottet.
“He has been really supportive through this whole exercise,” he said.
As previously reported, documents have revealed that Ayres texted Barilaro an advertisement of the trade role he was subsequently appointed to. But the trade minister has insisted he told the former NSW deputy premier that he would need to apply as a private citizen.
This morning, Ayres said if he could go back in time he would tell Barilaro it would be too politically sensitive for him to apply for the role.
“I would love to be able to go back and say to him, you probably shouldn’t do this, but it still would have been his call and he still, regardless of what you have taken place, [he] should be afforded the right to apply for a role which is available to anyone in the community,” he said.