Research by John Barilaro Overshadows Dominic Perrottet’s Journey to Tokyo

Perrottet went on to ease a series of restrictions, including removing crowd density limits and dropping QR codes and masks in most environments in mid-December, as the number of cases rose. He had to reconsider his decision two days before Christmas.

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He made that first decision despite advice from trusted Chief Health Officer Kerry Chant that masks should stay as the state faced tens of thousands of new COVID-19 cases. In that case, Perrottet believed his stance on reopening was correct.

At the time, he said it should be up to elected representatives, “not the public service”, to make decisions. “That’s just not the Westminster system,” Perrottet said.

But when it comes to Barilaro’s highly controversial appointment, Perrottet has happily taken a completely hands-off approach, leaving it to the public service to justify and defend the decision.

Assuming the announcement of an independent inquiry by his department of prime minister and cabinet would suffice, the prime minister has allowed controversy over Barilaro to rage on, much to the despair of many of his colleagues.

Perrottet may not have been the one to give Barilaro the coveted $500,000-a-year job in Manhattan, but the prime minister has failed to put an end to a problem that has drained all the oxygen from his government. If the appointment was not made by him, then the lingering harmful consequences are.

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