Shocking new footage has emerged showing John Barilaro and his new girlfriend lunging at camera crews after being confronted outside a bar on Sydney’s northern beaches.
The former deputy premier was locked in a scuffle with two cameramen after he was confronted during a night out, with police now investigating the very public row.
The video captured the incident outside a bar in Manly on Saturday after a Channel Seven reporter approached Mr Barilaro over Labor blocking his attempts to appear in front of an inquiry into the decision to hand him a lucrative New York trade job.
The former NSW Nationals leader initially dismissed questions, saying: ‘It’s a night out mate, it’s all good’, before the incident turned ugly.
Mr Barilaro repeatedly swiped at two cameramen before his new girlfriend, a former media advisor, attempted to grab the expensive equipment.
The freelance videographer said he was ‘scared’ for his safety after Mr Barilaro and his party lashed out at him.
‘You can’t behave like that no matter who you are,’ Matt Costello said.
Shocking new footage has emerged showing John Barilaro and his new girlfriend lunging at camera crews after being confronted outside a bar on Sydney’s northern beaches
Mr Barliaro was flanked by a security guard and joined by his new girlfriend and another friend at a bar in Manly on Saturday night
Mr Barilaro was pictured earlier in the evening having pizza and drinks at a bar on Manly Wharf, flanked by a security guard.
After leaving the venue he was confronted by the Channel Seven team, where the former deputy premier initially dismissed their questions.
As the reporter continued to press Mr Barilaro, the former MP lashed out at the camera before his security guard threw a microphone into a bush.
Ms Barilaro’s new girlfriend appeared to be restraining him from approaching the journalist, before he walked towards the second camera and lunged at it.
The pair then moved towards the cameraman again, both repeatedly attempting to knock the equipment out of his hands.
Mr Costello attempted to continue filming while blocking Mr Barilaro with his other hand, as the former deputy premier continued to swipe at him.
The group then walked away from the fracas, before appearing on 2GB on Monday morning claiming the ‘microphone and camera’ were shoved in his face.
Police are investigating footage that appears to show former deputy premier John Barilaro locked in a scuffle with a cameraman
The video captured the incident unfolded outside of a bar in Manly, on Sydney’s northern beaches, on Saturday
‘The reality is people are now piling on, harassing, intruding, not allowing me to get on with my life, I’m a private citizen,’ Mr Barilaro said.
‘They’ve turned up with a cameraman, I don’t know who it was, all I know is you could see a bright light shining in my bl***y face.’
Mr Barilaro added: ‘All I did was push a camera out of my way, did not manhandle an individual.
‘I’ll tell you what, some of those people who were at dinner with me, they were pushed and barged out of the way.’
Mr Barilaro challenged the Labor Party to call him up to the parliamentary inquiry with the former deputy premier currently not scheduled to make an appearance.
‘I’m calling out, today, I’m available to turn up to an inquiry here this week to tell my side of the story, and let’s do that before this gets even uglier,’ he added.
‘What occurred on Saturday night isn’t pleasant for me, nor the cameraman. At the same time, I have every right to defend myself and protect myself and my friends.’
Former Member for Monaro Peter Cochran claimed Mr Barilaro was being ‘denied his freedom’.
‘John Barilaro is a private citizen who has committed no offence,’ he said.
‘He’s being denied his freedom and is being harassed by the media. This will push him to the edge like it did with Gladys. The media needs to back off.’
NSW Police told Daily Mail Australia an investigation had been launched into the incident.
‘Officers attached to Northern Beaches Police Area Command are investigating an incident that occurred about 7.30pm… outside a bar in Manly,’ a spokesperson said.
Mr Barilaro claimed he was being hounded by media as a parliamentary inquiry continues into his appointment to a lucrative New York trade commissioner’s post
‘Inquiries into the incident are ongoing and there is no further information at this stage.’
Mr Barilaro stood down from the $500,000 a year posting in New York last month following backlash over the appointment.
Joseph Brayford, a senior policy adviser in Mr Barilaro’s office from 2019 to 2021, gave evidence in private to the upper house inquiry last Tuesday.
Mr Brayford said he received a text from Mr Barilaro last August about the plum trade role, according to a transcript published on Thursday.
He said his boss asked him to contact Investment NSW head Amy Brown ‘ASAP’ to ‘request a cabinet submission converting the commissioner roles to ministerial appointments’.
The request was the first time in two-and-a-half years working for Mr Barilaro that he had received a text message from his boss asking him to prepare an urgent cabinet submission, he said.
‘Nothing really surprised me with John,’ Mr Brayford told the committee.
John Barilaro requested a change that would make the the US trade position a ministerial appointment, a senior advisor in his office told an inquiry last Tuesday
He added Mr Barilaro then told him he also wanted the London and Tokyo trade roles to be changed to ministerial appointments.
The proposition to change the way trade commissioners were appointed was put to cabinet in late September, shortly before Mr Barilaro’s October announcement he would be quitting politics at the end of the year.
Mr Brayford described his former boss as an ‘interesting character’ and said he had never ‘worked with someone so keen and so ambitious’.
Mr Barilaro said he would not comment on the claims until he was asked to appear at the inquiry. He is not currently scheduled to testify.
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