A composite of two headshots, with the man on the left in a navy suit and the woman on the right speaking to media

Barilaro’s meeting with sacked minister in spotlight amid questions about Western Sydney development

It’s been revealed former New South Wales deputy premier John Barilaro met with then fair trading minister Eleni Petinos weeks before a building ban was lifted for the developer for whom he has been working since leaving parliament.

The meeting with Ms Petinos — who was sacked from cabinet last month — threatens to cause further headaches for the New South Wales government amid the ongoing inquiry into Mr Barilaro’s appointment to a lucrative US trade job.

After resigning from politics in October 2021, Mr Barilaro took a job with Sydney-based developer Coronation Property.

At the time, the company’s Merrylands Road development had been hit with a stop-work order.

On June 2 and June 21, 2022, former Small Business and Fair Trading Minister Ms Petinos met with Coronation Property representatives, with Mr Barilaro present at the latter meeting.

The stop-work order was then lifted on July 4, 2022.

The revelations come after Ms Petinos filed notes in her ministerial diary about the meetings.

Mr Barilaro said the function on June 21 was to celebrate his appointment as the state’s Senior Trade and Investment Commissioner (STIC) to the Americas, which he later drew from.

The recruitment process for that role is now at the center of a parliamentary inquiry.

“I attended a social engagement with the former minister to celebrate my appointment to the STIC Americas job,” Mr Barilaro said in a statement.

“I was no longer an employee of Coronation.

“I did not meet with the minister during my time with Coronation.”

Ms Petinos says the revocation of the stop-work order had nothing to do with her and was a decision made by the Office of the Building Commissioner.

“The issuing and revocation of stop-work orders is a matter for the Building Commissioner, not the minister,” she said.

New South Wales Building Commissioner David Chandler abruptly quit in late July, telling the public he thought the time was right for a “reset”.

The state opposition now wants to see Mr Chandler’s resignation letter after reports his relationship with Ms Petinos had soured.

Debate on a motion to compel the government to hand over a copy of the letter is expected on Wednesday.

Ms Petinos was sacked from her ministerial appointment last month over bullying allegations, which she denies.

Yesterday, Premier Dominic Perrottet was pressed about the fresh revelations concerning Mr Barilaro.

“Premier, what action will you take to investigate revelations … that John Barilaro met with the [then-]Minister for Fair Trading while representing his then employer, Coronation Group, after Mr Barilaro told the parliamentary inquiry yesterday that no such meeting occurred?” Labor MP Sophie Cotsis asked in parliament.

Mr Perrottet replied that he would seek the “requisite advice”.