Police investigate John Barilaro street scuffle with cameraman


An incident between former NSW deputy premier John Barilaro and a television cameraman outside a northern beaches bar is being investigated by police.

Video circulating online shows the former Nationals leader briefly clashing with a cameraman on a Manly street over the weekend.

The footage shows the pair struggling as they grab and push one another while the cameraman tries to film Mr Barilaro, who then walks away.

Police haven’t named names but acknowledge they are investigating an incident outside a Manly bar about 7.30pm on Saturday.

“Inquiries into the incident are ongoing and there is no further information at this stage,” a statement issued on Monday said.

Mr Barilaro confirmed the run-in, saying his privacy was being invaded and he felt harassed.

“The way I was confronted in the dark outside of a bar … If that was you, how would you have responded?” he said on Sydney radio 2GB.

“All I did was push a camera out of my way.”

The scuffle is the latest controversy to hit the former Nationals leader, who is the subject of a parliamentary inquiry into how he was appointed to a plum government trade job in New York.

Mr Barilaro was handed the $500,000-a-year trade commissioner job last month but quit amid a public backlash.

The NSW opposition is trying to recall state parliament on Friday to force the government to hand over documents relating to how the appointment was made.

The demand came on Monday as Premier Dominic Perrottet reached South Korea as part of a 10-day Asian trade mission.

John Graham, Labor’s acting leader in the upper house, has written to Matthew Mason-Cox, the President of the Legislative Council, asking that he recall the chamber at 10am on Friday.

He said MPs should consider “the government’s failure to comply with an order of the house to produce certain documents regarding the appointment” of Mr Barilaro to the position of Senior Trade and Investment Commissioner to the Americas.

Mr Barilaro says he wants to give evidence to the inquiry but Labor would prefer to wait until all the relevant documents are handed over.

Mr Graham also wants consideration of a “further call for papers” and a claim for privilege made by the government.

The committee has already triggered Standing Order 52 to compel the government to hand over relevant documents.

“My view is that any document that should be legally provided needs to be provided as quickly as possible,” Mr Perrottet said before leaving Tokyo for South Korea.

“Dates are set and they should be met.”

But inquiry committee member and Labor treasury spokesman David Mookhey says the government has failed to produce even one of the key documents which would show why Mr Barilaro got the job.

“We’re having to take the rare step of recalling parliament to help bring an end to the government’s obstruction,” he said on Monday.

“Our preference is for the government to obey the law and hand over the documents.

“Without them, the inquiry is stuck having to put together a puzzle without all the pieces.”

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