NSW Premier Dominic Perrottet admits he and David Elliott talked about potential jobs the Transport Minister could do after retiring from politics, but denies any promises were made.
“The allegations in relation to the creation of a role that I would give to somebody outside politics is completely false and offensive,” Mr Perrottet told Sydney radio 2GB on Monday.
It is the first time the under-pressure Premier has directly responded to weekend reports he offered to create an overseas trade job for Mr Elliott or make him the agent-general in London.
“David Elliott was never promised a job outside of politics,” he said.
“That is deeply offensive and wrong,” he said.
A Nine News report said Mr Elliott and Mr Perrottet talked about post-politics jobs after the minister flagged his interest in running for a federal seat in the May election, but then changed his mind.
“From time to time discussions will be had in relation to when someone retires, what they would like to do,” Mr Perrottet said.
He admitted other roles were discussed and did not deny the job of NSW governor was raised.
“I have colleagues speak to me from time to time about what roles they could play in the NSW parliament to continue to serve the people of NSW.
“These are natural conversations that a premier or a prime minister has with their team,” he said.
Mr Perrottet was speaking just before former deputy premier John Barilaro makes his highly anticipated appearance before a NSW parliamentary committee on Monday, to be grilled about how he got a plum job as US trade commissioner.
The controversial appointment has plunged the NSW government into crisis after a public backlash.
Mr Barilaro resigned as senior trade and investment commissioner to the Americas in June, less than two weeks after his appointment to the $500,000-a-year New York posting was revealed.
The seven-week saga has already claimed the scalp of former deputy Liberal leader Stuart Ayres, after a draft review indicated he had not remained at arm’s length from the hiring process and may have breached the ministerial code of conduct.
Labor wants the inquiry examining the appointment of Mr Barilaro to be expanded to include other postings and says it will abolish overseas senior trade roles if it wins next year’s election.
The NSW Liberal party room will meet on Tuesday to elect a new deputy leader, with Mr Elliott and Treasurer Matt Kean being touted as the top contenders.
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