Former foreign minister says Australia should demand Assange release;  Omicron wave was twice the size of recorded cases

Former foreign minister says Australia should demand Assange release; Omicron wave was twice the size of recorded cases

NSW Treasurer Matt Kean says former deputy premier John Barilaro’s appointment to a plum posting in New York was the result of a “proper process,” despite the position not being presented to cabinet.

Kean on Monday would not be drawn on whether he supported Premier Dominic Perrottet’s captain’s pick for the $500,000-a-year trade commissioner role, but said he supported the process which was followed.

Former NSW National leader John Barilaro and NSW Treasurer Matt Kean.

Former NSW National leader John Barilaro and NSW Treasurer Matt Kean. Credit:AAP, Renee Nowytarger

“John Barilaro was a trade minister and he appears qualified to be a trade commissioner. I’ve been informed that this has gone through the proper process, and that’s how decisions should be taken,” Kean said.

The role – senior trade and investment commissioner to the America – was created by Barilaro when he was trade minister.

“I support the proper process being followed. I’ve been informed the proper process has been followed and I support the proper process,” Kean said.

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“It’s appropriate that appointments go through that process. This one has, I’m informed, and I support that.”

Asked what process was followed to secure Barilaro’s appointment, the treasurer pointed to “usual process, where people apply for a position that’s interrogated by appropriately qualified public servants and they make recommendations”.

The appointment announced last week has angered government MPs, including ministers.

It has also triggered an upper house inquiry which will examine the process leading up to Barilaro’s selection for the role.

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