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John Barilaro's former chief-of-staff has made explosive allegations his former boss eyed a lucrative trade job in New York City more than three years ago, and planned to take up the role when he exited politics.
In a letter sent to NSW parliament, Mark Connell claimed the former deputy premier told him in April 2019 the government planned to bring back a number of overseas trade postings, and he was "off to New York".
Mr Barilaro refuted the claims on Tuesday, calling them "fictitious", while the opposition said the letter showed signs of a conspiracy.
"This is the job for when I get the f*** out of this place," the former staffer quoted Mr Barilaro, in a statement tabled in NSW parliament on Wednesday.
Mr Connell recounted a conversation with his boss in April 2019 following a meeting between Mr Barilaro and then treasurer Dominic Perrottet and investment minister Stuart Ayres.
"He said, 'I've just come from a meeting with Dom and Stuart regarding trade and we're going to bring back the Agent General in London as well as a bunch of other postings around the world'."
Mr Connell said he told Mr Barilaro the London posting would be filled before his retirement.
"Mr Barilaro then said, 'I don't want to go to London, f**k that, I'm off to New York'," Mr Connell said.
"Mr Barilaro responded and stated, 'I'll get them to put one in New York, that's where I'm off to'."
The alleged meeting would have taken place in the weeks following the 2019 state election, shortly after Mr Barilaro was appointed the state's industry and trade minister.
Mr Connell said it was mutually agreed he would stop working for Mr Barilaro in December 2019, when his boss stopped taking his advice and sought outside counsel.
Mr Connell made the allegations to an upper house inquiry investigating Mr Barilaro's appointment as senior trade and investment commissioner to the Americas.
Mr Perrottet said numerous discussions took place about the establishment of trade commissioner jobs in 2019.
"At no point in any of those discussions was it ever raised that the former deputy premier may want to hold a position as a trade commissioner," Mr Perrottet said in a statement on Wednesday.
Mr Barilaro said Mr Connell's claim served as a reminder to why the pair parted ways.
"The conversation he has recalled is fictitious, false," Mr Barilaro said in a statement.
Mr Barilaro said if the inquiry was genuinely interested in the truth he should have been called to provide immediate detail on the allegation.
"The continued drip feed of select information from the inquiry into the public domain goes against all procedural fairness," he said.
Shadow Treasurer Daniel Mookhey called the revelations "explosive" and said efforts to create the trade commissioner role began shortly after the state election.
"What (the letter) makes clear is that a conspiracy to create this New York position started within weeks of the government getting re-elected in 2019," Mr Moohkey said.
"The only reason why the people of NSW are now learning about this conspiracy is because this person has come forward with a statement about what he was told at the time.
"It is important that Mr Barilaro explain why we should believe him when it's clear that all of the events that Mark Connell predicted have in fact come true."
Comment has also been sought from Mr Ayres.