Australia

NSW politics LIVE: Senior bureaucrat fronts inquiry into John Barilaro’s New York trade post

Amy Brown, the chief executive of government agency Investment NSW, has started giving evidence at the upper house inquiry into former deputy premier John Barilaro’s appointment in June to a $500,000-a-year US trade post. Brown is also the head of the Department of Enterprise, Investment and Trade.

The chair of the public accountability committee, upper house Greens MP Cate Faehrmann, has opened the hearing. She has urged witnesses to be careful about comments they make outside the hearing, which would not be covered by parliamentary privilege and could leave speakers open to defamation proceedings.

Investment NSW chief executive Amy Brown.Credit:Louie Douvis

Brown delivered a three-minute opening statement and said she is committed to the core values of the public service, including integrity, service, trust and accountability, and supports an apolitical and impartial public service.

She said Barilaro’s appointment was a public service decision. Brown said there appeared to be a lot of misunderstanding about how the appointments are made but “final determination rests with me as the employer”.

“I am confident that … I have fulfilled my duties … with respect to this appointment,” Brown said.

Barilaro’s contract was approved by Brown on June 16 and the role was announced publicly on June 17.

Formal contract negotiations started on May 23, Brown said, and the contract is for three years.

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