Perrottet backs Ayres over Barilaro job

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NSW Premier Dominic Perrottet continues to back Stuart Ayres as pressure mounts on the deputy Liberal leader over his role in the controversial appointment of John Barilaro to a lucrative US trade post.

A weeks-long scandal has engulfed the NSW government over the process for the appointment of the former Nationals leader to the $500,000 a year New York job, which is now the subject of both parliamentary and Department of Premier and Cabinet inquiries.

A fresh tranche of documents released on Monday has raised more questions about the propriety of Mr Barilaro's recruitment, amid criticism of Mr Ayres' involvement in the hiring for the plum trade role.

Among the new files are Investment NSW "Selection Panel Reports" for the role that Labor says show Mr Barilaro was not initially considered the best candidate, before he was upgraded and the ratings of his "main rivals" downgraded.

Mr Perrottet said on Monday he had not asked Mr Ayres to resign and continued to stand by him, saying he would take whatever appropriate action was needed after he received a report from senior public servant Graeme Head, who is conducting the premier's review.

The review could be received as soon as this week, he said.

Labor finance spokesman Daniel Mookhey said the new documents made clear that the independent hiring panel - after interviews with four candidates - had determined that John Barilaro "was not the best person for the job".

"We need to hear a clear and precise explanation from Stuart Ayres as to how it was possible that that report was changed days before the Barilaro announcement," Mr Mookhey said.

Labor leader Chris Minns said the new files were further proof the recruitment process was not independent, transparent or meritorious.

He said senior public servant Jenny West - the person first offered the job - did not get the position "for one reason: her name is not John Barilaro".

Labor has previously said the government's "fingerprints" are all over the appointment and has accused it of misleading parliament over the affair.

More documents will be released in the next 24 hours, Labor says.

Mr Ayres told reporters on Monday he had not done anything wrong and saw "no reason" to step aside.

He defended Mr Barilaro's recruitment, saying it was a public service appointment made by Investment NSW CEO Amy Brown.

"I wasn't involved in this recruitment process. I wasn't involved in the selection process," he said.

In a Facebook post on Sunday night, Mr Ayres insisted he was never personally close to Mr Barilaro and did not consider him a close friend.

Tabled documents into the appointment so far include an email sent by Ms Brown in February, saying she had discussed a shortlist of candidates with Mr Ayres, who requested adding a candidate, whose name has not been made public.

Mr Ayes said it was an ordinary update for a minister to receive from a department head and he was not requesting names be added.

Another Investment NSW document shows Mr Ayres and Mr Barilaro met on or before June 16 - the day before it was announced the former deputy premier had secured the role - and Mr Ayres had indicated he supported the appointment.

Mr Barilaro relinquished the high-profile job in June, less than two weeks after it was announced, saying the position had become untenable.

The saga continues to dog the premier, who returned at the weekend from an Asia trade mission that was constantly overshadowed by the escalating controversy at home.

Ms Brown will give evidence to the parliamentary inquiry for a second time on Wednesday, while Mr Barilaro will testify next week.

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