The opposition had successfully moved to recall the upper house over the delayed release of documents
Key documents relating to the appointment of former New South Wales deputy premier John Barilaro to a New York trade role will be released as the government scrambles to head off a recalling of parliament.
The opposition moved to recall the upper house for a Friday sitting over the delayed release of documents requested by an inquiry into the appointment, before the Department of Enterprise, Investment and Trade agreed to hand some over on Monday afternoon.
After succeeding with the move, opposition treasury spokesperson, Daniel Moohkey, said the extra sitting day could be abandoned âshould the government provide those documents between now and Fridayâ and depending on what was provided.
Barilaro broke his silence over the controversial appointment on Monday, after an altercation with a cameraman outside a Manly venue about 7.30pm Saturday.
NSW Police confirmed an investigation is under way into the incident after a video posted to social media showed Barilaro and the camera operator grabbing at each other before people stepped between them and Barilaro walked away.
The short clip did not show what preceded the physical altercation, nor did it include the original audio.
âInquiries into the incident are ongoing and there is no further information at this stage,â a Police spokesperson said.
Barilaro appeared on 2GB on Monday morning to speak about the encounter.
âOn Saturday night I went out with friends for a few drinks, for a pizza,â he said.
âTo come out in the dark and to have a camera shoved in your face, a microphone in your face â¦ I am a private citizen â¦ All I did was push a camera out of my way. I did not manhandle an individual.â
He said he was not sure who the camera operator was working for.
âAll I know was that you could see that bright light shining in my bloody face and people have a right to protect themselves,â he added.
The NSW premier, Dominic Perrottet, said Barilaroâs privacy as a private citizen should be respected.
âThereâs no place for harassment, particularly for people who are private citizens,â he told reporters in South Korea.
âItâs very different if youâre in public life but if youâre a private citizen, his privacy should be respected.â
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Barilaro has been under intense scrutiny since he was appointed to a $500,000-a-year trade commissioner position based in New York City.
The former deputy premier withdrew from the position last month, stating at the time that the role had become untenable due to media attention. He âmaintained that I followed the process and look forward to the results of the reviewâ.
Barilaro told 2GB he wanted the inquiry to call on him to give evidence so he could explain the trade commissioner recruitment process in the public arena, rather than giving interviews to the media.
âIâm available to turn up to an inquiry,â he said. âWhat occurred on Saturday night isnât pleasant for me, or the cameraman, I will say that.â
He said the delay in calling him to give evidence was âwhy these things are happeningâ.
âThis is why cameramen are chasing me down the street like Iâm a criminal,â he said. âThere are no criminal charges against me. Iâve done nothing wrong. Nothing wrong.â
Mookhey thanked Barilaro for volunteering to appear before the committee and confirmed he would be called once the department had delivered all documentation behind the appointment.
âWeâre eager to get to the hearing and give Mr Barilaro his say,â he said.
âWe have many questions for him too, but the appropriate time for us to ask them is when we have access to all the available information.
âThe sooner the government provides these documents, the sooner we can get on with our job of getting to the bottom of this entire saga.â
Guardian Australia first reported in June how the New York trade role had been offered to public servant Jenny West in 2021 before being readvertised and Barilaro appointed to the role.
Last week, Barilaroâs former senior adviser provided an explosive submission to the inquiry, claiming his then-boss told him he would get the California office moved across the country because he wanted the job âwhen I get the fuck out of this placeâ.
In a submission, his former chief of staff Mark Connell told the inquiry he had a conversation with Barilaro in April 2019 in which the then deputy premier told him he was âoff to New Yorkâ.
Barilaro described Connellâs submission as âfictitiousâ and âfalseâ.