What next for Barry O'Farrell?

Lee Jeloscek

First on 7: Barry O'Farrell has told 7News he will never run the State again, ruling out a comeback as Premier.

So what is next? A tilt at Canberra, or a role in the private sector?

In the second part of this exclusive interview, he spoke exclusively to NSW State Politics reporter Lee Jeloscek on a special journey along the Kokoda Track, as he follows the 110-kilometre trek made famous by Australian World War II diggers.

PART ONE OF THE EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW: O'Farrell on his shock resignation

And there is plenty of time for reflection under the jungle canopy, three months on since Barry O'Farrell resigned as Premier after ‘Grange-gate’

In his first interview since stepping down in April, Mr O'Farrell admits his 20 year stint in state politics is likely to end next year.

He will not go before the March election but is not expected to recontest his seat.

Mr O’Farrell said: “One of the things I do realize, Lee, is that you do not necessarily have to be an elected politician to provide public service, to work in the public's interests.

“So there is a number of things going through my mind, number of discussions that I have had."

The political jungle: 7News reporter Lee Jeloscek and cameraman Cameron Harvey on the Kokoda trail.
The political jungle: 7News reporter Lee Jeloscek and cameraman Cameron Harvey on the Kokoda trail.

There is no doubt Mr O’Farrell will be highly sought after in business, and he is is lukewarm about entering federal politics.

He revealed: “That is an option, but understand there are other ways to serve the public.”

But, for now, any talk about Canberra is just speculation.

One of the great joys I now have, Lee, despite that fact i am sitting here in the wilderness - with a Channel Seven film crew - is that if I don't want to talk to the media, I don't have to,”

But Mr O’Farrell is ruling out ever being Premier of NSW again, backing Mike Baird to do a ‘fantastic’ job.

He added: “I'm not interested in being premier of the state, Mike {baird} will do that for a very long time. The state is in fantastic hands."

However, he does admit he does miss the top job.

“There are some days when it's the best job in the world, when you meet a group of mothers in Campbelltown who can now do mothers group in the local botanic gardens which under us is free.”

Setting up camp on the Kokada trail.
Setting up camp on the Kokada trail.