Australia news LIVE: Greens lay out Voice demands as government promises to fund age care pay rise; John Barilaro inquiry continues

To one of the first major political interviews of the day, and NSW Opposition Leader Chris Minns has fronted ABC News Breakfast.

The Labor leader was asked about John Barilaro’s recent appearance at a parliamentary inquiry examining his appointment to a $500,000-a-year New York trade post.

NSW Opposition Leader Chris Minns wants to abolish several trade roles if he wins the next state election.Credit:Kate Geraghty

As regular readers of this blog will know, the former NSW deputy premier has rejected any suggestion of wrongdoing. While giving evidence yesterday, he described himself as the trade saga’s victim and not the perpetrator.

Here’s what Minns had to say about that characterisation:

Look, I mean, it’s a bit ridiculous. At this point, this is taxpayer money. We need to know how it’s been spent. Circumstances around this appointment have been completely untransparent from the very beginning. The government has worked very hard at, I guess, obscuring from the public exactly what happened in relation to the Barilaro appointment.

And in the last two weeks we’ve had a situation where the deputy leader of the Liberal Party has resigned, we’ve got someone from the panel, the Public Service Commissioner, who believes that she was misled. And most of the information has reluctantly been released from the NSW government.

So there’s serious questions to be answered and the government seems reluctant to do so … anyone would see that [the appointment] wasn’t a wise use of taxpayers’ money.

It seems as though these positions are being offered around almost like lolly bags to senior members of the NSW government.

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