New South Wales (NSW) Trade Minister Stuart Ayers has resigned from all ministerial positions, including deputy leader of the State Liberal Party.
After a draft review of how former NSW Deputy Premier John Barillaro won a well-paid U.S. trade role raised concerns about whether Ayers violated a ministerial code of conduct.
“In my view, no such violation has occurred. However, I agree that it is important that this matter is properly investigated and that we support the Prime Minister’s decision to do so,” Ayers said. said in a statement dated August 3.
“I have always applied the highest level of integrity in my conduct as a minister.
“In order to maintain the integrity of the Cabinet, I have decided to resign as Minister to complete the investigation.
Ayers will remain a member of West Sydney suburb Penrith.
Previously, Ayers had admitted that he should have told Barillaro not to apply for the job.
“Even if he were a private citizen and could apply for the position, I should have told him…it’s probably not in his best interest or the state’s best interest,” Ayers said in August. He told reporters on the 2nd.
“Given what Barillaro has gone through, he, too, would seriously question whether it was in his best interest to apply for this job.”
A draft report submitted to a congressional committee reviewing the recruitment process also cast doubt on Ayers’ role.
New South Wales Prime Minister Dominic Perrotet said Mr Ayers denied any wrongdoing, but said the report “undoubtedly” raised questions about possible violations of the minister’s code of conduct.
Perrotet continued to support Ayers throughout the Saga, despite continued pressure on the Prime Minister to remove the Commerce Minister.
Labor finance spokesman Daniel Muckay said on Aug. 1 that an independent hiring committee determined that Barriaro “was not the right person for the job” after interviewing four candidates. said the document shows.
“We need to hear a clear and precise explanation from Stuart Ayers about the possible changes to that report days before Barillaro’s announcement,” Mookie said.
On the same day, Ayers defended Barillaro’s appointment, saying it was a public service appointment by Investment NSW CEO Amy Brown.
Brown is scheduled to appear at a congressional inquiry on Aug. 3 to provide evidence.
At an earlier hearing, former senior civil servant Jenny West said she was formally offered the trade role before it was withdrawn.
Barillaro resigned less than two weeks after the appointment was announced in June, saying it was no longer acceptable.
AAP contributed to this report.