Two former NSW MPs interviewed at last minute for senior trade roles, leaked emails reveal – Michmutters

Two former NSW MPs interviewed at last minute for senior trade roles, leaked emails reveal

Two former NSW MPs were given “last-minute” interviews for overseas trade commissioner roles despite there already being preferred candidates, according to an email from inside Investment NSW.

On August 14, 2021, Investment NSW CEO Amy Brown said she had been “asked” to include the two candidates in interviews for the India and Singapore-based roles.

The email, sent to Ms Brown’s assistant and the recruiter, shows the candidates were included despite the recruitment process already being well underway.

“We’ve been asked to interview two last-minute candidates for the Senior Trade and Investment commissioner roles … Jodi McKay — India/Middle East (and) Pru Goward — India/Middle East or Singapore,” she wrote.

The release of the email is likely to place more pressure on NSW Premier Dominic Perrottet over whether there was political interference in the recruitment of trade commissioner roles, after sustained scrutiny over a similar job based in New York which was given to former deputy premier and Nationals leader John Barilaro.

The Premier has launched an independent inquiry into the New-York-based role, which is expected to be finished within days.

Mr Barilaro will appear on Monday before a parliamentary inquiry, where he is expected to be questioned about his involvement in the recruitment of trade commissioners, and his appointment to the New York position.

Former NSW deputy premier John Barilaro
John Barilaro successfully applied for the New York job after leaving politics last year.(AAP: Joel Carrett)

He has since withdrawn from the role, and much of the focus has turned to how involved he and another minister, Stuart Ayres, were in the hiring process.

Last week, Mr Ayres stood down as trade minister and deputy leader of the NSW Liberal party, after a draft review raised concerns about his involvement in the recruitment process for the Americas role and whether he might have breached the ministerial code of conduct.

Mr Ayres denies any wrongdoing.

“However, I agree it is important that this matter is investigated appropriately and support the Premier’s decision to do so,” he said in a statement.

Mr Barilaro has maintained he always followed the proper process.


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