Baird throws taunts over NSW Labor deputy leader spot

THE claws are out over New South Wales Labor's deputy leadership as Linda Burney moves towards entering the federal sphere.

Premier Mike Baird was asked in parliament to confirm whether the government had awarded $150 million worth of road contracts to Burton Contractors.

The company's directors Paul and Chris Burton were also directors of Keystone Projects Group, which went into liquidation and left a string of subcontractors unpaid.

Mr Baird began ridiculing Labor when Shadow Treasurer Jodi McKay rose on a point of order.

"It's quite a day for the Member for Strathfield to be getting up to make a point of order, when all of a sudden the deputy leadership is available," he said.

"What yesterday was the 'dream team' has come apart.

"They're now competing for the same job.

"Dream and team: where did they go?"

Ms McKay stayed on the premier's back, asking if the Burton Brothers were Liberal Party donors and whether they had attended dinners alongside him.

"I have no idea… a dinner I may have been at, these people could have been at," he answered.

"I'm happy to get those details.

"But look: if you are making an allegation, what is it?

Mr Baird accused Labor of deciding 2016 would be "the year of smear".

Ms McKay is expected to throw her hat in the deputy leadership ring alongside Michael Daly and Ryan Park if Ms Burney, the state's first Aboriginal MP, is successful in her bid to contest for the federal seat of Barton.



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