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Barilaro faces illegal donations claims

AAP logoAAP 15/11/2016 Stefanie Menezes

Just a day after he was appointed NSW's new deputy premier, John Barilaro is facing claims he accepted illegal political donations from his wife.

The Labor opposition says it's obtained documents allegedly showing Mr Barilaro's wife Deanna donated to the NSW Nationals on separate occasions while she was the director of two property development firms.

The donations, which were made between 2014 and 2015, were valued at $8810.

Mrs Barilaro became director of the two companies, Kotsobola Group and Euro Partners in 2012, after Mr Barilaro resigned to become the MP for Monaro.

In a statement made shortly after the accusations were aired during question time on Wednesday, the NSW Nationals said Mr Barilaro and his wife had not broken the law.

"Prior to the 2015 election the NSW Nationals made a determination that Mr Barilaro and his wife Deanna were not considered property developers under the Expdenditure and Disclosures Act," it said.

"Under the NSW law the onus is on political parties to determine whether a donor is a prohibited donor.

"We have reviewed that determination again today and we stand by our assessment".

Mr Barilaro appeared surprised by the allegations when he was questioned in parliament.

"All donations for candidates are made through our party organisation and as far as I know they deal with this particular matter," he said.

"As far as I know, I'm not sure what they are referring to".

Labor's deputy leader Michael Daley criticised Mr Barilaro for not clearing up the matter.

"We tried to get information about this serious issue from the deputy premier in NSW parliament," he told AAP.

"As usual the government was ducking and weaving and refusing to answer the question," he said.

Mr Barilaro was sworn in the state's 18th deputy premier on Tuesday after being elected unopposed as the new leader of the Nationals following the party's disastrous showing at the Orange by-election.

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