Barilaro scandal snags Ayres in a government adrift and maladroit

by Bernard Keane
It used to be that if a minister misled Parliament, they had to quit. Stuart Ayres misled the NSW Parliament. No ifs, no buts.

It used to be that if a minister misled Parliament, they had to quit. Stuart Ayres misled the NSW Parliament. No ifs, no buts.

Dominic Perrottet, John Barilaro and Stuart Ayres (Images: AAP/Supplied)

If NSW Premier Dominic Perrottet is at all serious about better standards of governance, his Deputy Liberal Leader Stuart Ayres has to resign. It’s an open-and-shut case of misleading Parliament — something that used to be, by common agreement, the political equivalent of a capital offence.

“It is important to recognise that at the end of the first round of recruitment there was no suitable candidate identified,” Ayres told the NSW Parliament a month ago about John Barilaro’s appointment to the lucrative New York trade posting. Except we now know Ayres was told on August 17 last year that “a full recruitment process for the role of senior trade and investment commissioner (STIC) — Americas has been undertaken and a successful candidate identified”.

The “successful candidate”, a term used over and over again in the document, was Jenny West. West was, according to the document, to meet with Ayres to discuss her role in New York.

Read more about Keane’s reasons for saying Ayres must go.

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