A Minns Labor Government will abolish the Liberals’ and Nationals’ senior trade and investment commissioner roles.
The Liberal and National Government announced in November 2020 that it would spend millions on six overseas senior trade and investment commissioner roles, who will receive salaries of up to $500,000 per year.
Labor’s announcement comes after a series of embarrassing revelations surrounding the Government’s touted Global NSW Strategy.
Serious questions have been raised about whether the multimillion dollar scheme has delivered taxpayers value for money.
These contracts will not be renewed, and after two failed processes to fill their $500,000 position in New York – which has been mired in scandal and secrecy – now is the time to stop.
Labor will work with the business community and industry groups about a suitable replacement program that deliver meaningful investment and growth for NSW industries, and work with Austrade to align our investment activities.
The role of Agent-General for NSW in London was axed in 1993 after an expenses scandal, used to fund an extravagant lifestyle.
The late former-premier John Fahey described the position as a sham, saying the position was a throwback to colonial days when it was important to have “garden parties and participate in ceremonies.”
Chris Minns, NSW Labor Leader, said:
“With our hospitals overstretched and teachers under-resourced, the Government has failed dismally to demonstrate value for money of its senior trade commissioners.
“Labor will prioritise rebuilding NSW’s domestic manufacturing capacity and delivering local job opportunities.”
Anoulack Chanthivong, NSW Shadow Minister for Industry and Trade, said:
“The Government is unable to establish how much trade or investment can be directly attributed to its grandiose senior trade roles.
“The Government’s senior trade roles have been mired in scandal – not only about who is being appointed to these roles and how, but also the overseas activities at taxpayers’ expense.”
CHRIS MINNS MP
NSW LABOR LEADER
ANOULACK CHANTHIVONG MP
NSW SHADOW MINISTER FOR INDUSTRY AND TRADE