The NSW Upper House has ordered the release of secret documents about a controversial $150 million investment fund overseen by Deputy Premier John Barilaro that includes investing $3.33 million into one oyster farm. ABC South East reports that Labor's spokesman for Primary Industries, Mick Veitch, says oyster growers on the south coast are still contacting him with their concerns following the government's investment in Australia's Oyster Coast.
The Berejiklian Government voted against the order but crossbench MPs sided with Labor in a major defeat for the Berejiklian Government on the floor of the Legislative Council.
The fund, named GO NSW Equity, first came to prominence in 2018. South Coast oyster farmers criticised the Government for playing favourites and investing $3.33 million into one oyster farm.
It was later revealed that former Liberal Party employee, David Trebeck, was the Chairman of the winning oyster farm.
Another $3.33 million was invested into a Wagyu beef business. It later turned out that the Government’s investment advisers, ROC Partners, had a financial interest in the Wagyu beef business.
Mr Barilaro told Parliament the investment decisions was made at arm’s length from Government.
It was later revealed that Mr Barilaro personally signed off on the investment.
The Government now has 28 days to provide documents about the Go NSW Equity fund to the NSW Upper House.
“NSW Labor has previously has asked questions in parliament and budget estimates and Minister Barilaro would not answer or could not answer. The Government left Labor with no option other than to pursue this parliamentary vote,” Shadow Minister for Primary Industry, Mick Veitch, said.
“Taxpayers have a right to know there money is being spent wisely and affected small business owners deserve answers.”
“While the Berejiklian Government voted in favour of secrecy, Labor and crossbench MPs sided with taxpayers.”
Above: luscious Sydney Rock oysters are a highlight of any visit to the SE NSW Oyster Coast