On Tuesday morning, Stuart Ayres’ political profession was dealt a hammer blow in a small Pyrmont radio studio.
Ayres, the deputy NSW Liberal Social gathering chief and one of the senior ministers in Premier Dominic Perrottet’s authorities, had sat down with 2GB host Ben Fordham to mount a defiant stand in opposition to requires his resignation over the John Barilaro commerce publish affair. It didn’t go to plan.
As an alternative, Fordham skewered Ayres with brutal precision by way of this query: “Let me simply sum this up. John Barilaro created the job in New York. It was provided to Jenny West after which taken away. John Barilaro took a proposal to cupboard permitting ministers to nominate the commerce commissioners. He resigns from politics a number of weeks later. You ship him a textual content message with the job commercial. An impartial course of decides he’s not the most effective candidate. He will get the job anyway. Then his rating as a candidate mysteriously adjustments to make him the most effective individual for the job. You advised parliament Jenny West was by no means a profitable candidate. Then paperwork present up seeming to indicate in any other case. And also you anticipate everybody to consider that you simply’ve executed completely nothing incorrect?”
I listened to the interview and thought Ayres wouldn’t have the ability to get well from it. He quit the next day however solely after an encounter with Perrottet through which the premier offered him with the draft report of an impartial inquiry which shattered the minister’s repeated insistence that the recruitment course of was carried out “at arm’s size” from politicians.
It by no means hurts to reward a competitor and, on this case, additionally a colleague (2GB is owned by 9, which additionally owns The Sydney Morning Herald). Fordham’s query was a killer, and a very good abstract of two months of damaging revelations about what went on behind the scenes.
A lot of this work has been executed by Herald reporters Alexandra Smith, Lucy Cormack, Tom Rabe, Natassia Chrysanthos, Michaela Whitbourn, Harriet Alexander and Deborah Snow. I’m very happy with the best way the Herald recognized this a critical story from the beginning and refused to let it drop.
However as Alexandra Smith wrote this week, Ayres’ resignation received’t carry an finish to the scandal.
“Liberal colleagues are frightened. They are saying Ayres has made it clear that if this saga brought about his downfall, he wouldn’t go down alone. The premier would be a part of him. Hell hath no fury like a minister scorned,” she wrote.
“Ayres’ obvious threats could be nothing greater than robust speak from a minister combating for his survival. However, if not, it may spell extra catastrophe for Perrottet.