Monday 1 August 2022 02:09 AM NSW deputy Liberal Stuart Ayres denies helping John Barilaro get US trade job ... trends now
Embattled deputy Liberal leader Stuart Ayres has insisted he did not help John Barilaro land a $500,000 trade job in New York in a lengthy Facebook post.
Mr Ayres dismissed allegations he had a hand in appointing Mr Barilaro as the Senior Trade and Investment Commissioner to the Americas.
The minister claimed the only person who had the power to make the trade appointment was the CEO of Investment NSW.
Mr Ayres added in a press conference on Monday he had only texted a copy of the job advertisement to Mr Barilaro after it had already been placed on the Australian Financial Review.
Labor accused Mr Ayres of lying after he said he did not meet with Mr Barilaro during the recruitment process and had maintained his distance.
Embattled deputy Liberal leader Stuart Ayres has insisted he did not help John Barilaro land a $500,000 trade job in New York in a lengthy Facebook post
'The selections of our Senior Trade and Investment Commissioners (STICs) appointed in India, Japan, Singapore and China, were conducted in accordance with the GSEA,' Mr Ayres wrote on Facebook.
'It was an independent, transparent and meritorious selection process and the same process was used for the STIC - Americas role.
'Not liking Mr Barilaro or his style of politics is not a suitable reason to reject his application, let alone not select him for the role.'
Mr Ayres distanced himself from Mr Barilaro saying the pair did not consider each other close friends.
'While I respected Mr Barilaro in his role as Deputy Premier, Leader of National Party and his passionate (and at times excessive) advocacy of regional NSW I don't think we ever called each other close friends,' he wrote.
'In fact I can't think of one time in the 11 years we were both in parliament together that we shared a meal or a beer together outside of a work function.'
Mr Ayres doubled down on his comments in a heated press conference on Monday, insisting he did not interfere with the recruitment process.
'I wasn't involved in this recruitment process,' he said.
'I was not involved in the selection panel. I