“Over my 20-year career as an entrepreneur in a competitive and ever-changing industry environment, I have evolved into a results-oriented and solution-oriented leader,” he wrote.
“My extensive business and government experience, and my deep understanding of new state and federal government policy and business opportunities, place me in a rare position to deliver beyond expectations in such a role.”
Barilaro’s company, Ryleho Home Solutions, manufactured wooden doors and windows in Queanbeyan, a regional center bordering the ACT. What he calls “a multi-million dollar operation” and “a transformative industry leader” employed 35 people and was placed into administration in 2019.
“My Bold Vision”
Barilaro gave up his full-time business career in 2011 when he was elected to the Monaro seat for the National Party. In 2019, he was given the trade portfolio and decided to hire trade commissioners to help foreign companies who wanted to invest in NSW navigate their way through state bureaucracy, and business of New South Wales to expand into North and South America.
He told the selection panel, which included a former subordinate, Amy Brown, managing director of Investment NSW, that his decision to create the jobs was a qualification for the one located in New York.
“Where I think I stand particularly high above all the other candidates is that as NSW Minister for Trade and Industry it was my bold vision to develop the footprint NSW’s international community, to expand markets and develop inward investment, by delivering Global NSW, a government-wide initiative to support the exceptional development of industry, innovation, commerce, investment and state industry,” he wrote.
Barilaro gave no examples of companies he had helped invest in NSW or overseas other than his own. Her advanced degree was listed as a Graduate Diploma in Strategic Leadership at Churchill Education, followed by the words “in process of completion.”
The opposition is conducting a parliamentary inquiry to determine whether Barilaro’s appointment was due to government patronage. Faced with the political controversy, Barilaro decided not to hold the position.
His successor to trade minister, Stuart Ayres, says Barilaro was treated like all the other candidates, although he admits texting his former colleague the job offer, which appeared in The Australian Financial Review in December, saving Barilaro the cost of the newspaper.