Former New South Wales deputy premier John Barilaro has been named the state’s chief trade and investment commissioner for the Americas – a post that immediately drew fire from Labour.
The former Nationals leader takes on the role after a “highly competitive and rigorous global talent search” managed by specialist recruitment firm NGS Global, the NSW government said in a statement on Friday.
NSW Labor leader Chris Minns immediately criticized the appointment in a Twitter post.
“Let me do it right. (Premier of NSW) Dominic Perrottet has just given his close friend John Barilaro a taxpayer funded job in New York,” Mr Minns wrote.
“While giving workers a real pay cut. Are we really supposed to believe that out of 8 million people in New South Wales, Barilaro is the best person to represent us? »
Helen Sawczak, former CEO of the Australia China Business Council, has also been appointed chief commissioner for trade and investment in China. The two incoming commissioners are expected to move in the coming months.
“Mr Barilaro and Ms Sawczak will be important assets to businesses in NSW, helping them find new international markets and customers and boosting investment in the state,” said Minister for Commerce Stuart Ayres.
Mr Ayres said the former deputy prime minister’s experience as a business owner and later as trade and industry minister qualified him for the job.
He said NSW was a magnet for foreign investment from the United States, valued at over $196 billion in 2020.
Mr Barilaro resigned from the state parliament in October last year, days after the shock resignation of Prime Minister Gladys Berejiklian.
He had said it was time to freshen up, and serving as Deputy Prime Minister and Head of Nationals had been the honor and privilege of a lifetime.
Mr Barilaro said on Friday he aimed to support companies in his new role, including companies in areas such as fintech, cybersecurity, space, health and food and drink.