Photos have emerged of Colin Barnett’s developer son spruiking WA property to Chinese investors with his father’s image projected on a screen behind him during a recent business trip.
As Labor demanded answers over the unauthorised use of the Premier’s image, the State Government was mired in fresh dysfunction, with Agriculture Minister Dean Nalder barred from a scheduled regional Cabinet meeting in Moora to avoid media scrutiny.
Images of the property seminar in Xi-an, Shaanxi Province, posted to Chinese social media network WeChat, suggest Sam Barnett was billed as a speaker with official connections in Australia.
Sam Barnett speaks at a seminar in China in front of an image of Colin Barnett. Picture: Supplied
The Premier’s face appeared on a slide that carried the name of South Perth-based property developers Sincerity Group and Sam Barnett was described on a placard as a representative of a team of Australian leaders introducing beneficial policies towards China.
The trip had already made headlines after revelations of a tumultuous break-up between Sam Barnett and his former girlfriend, swimwear model Samantha Shvetsova, who had accompanied him.
WA Police met Sam Barnett at Perth Airport on his return on August 16 to issue him with a 72-hour restraining order preventing him from contacting Ms Shvetsova. The matter is set to be the subject of a future Magistrate’s Court hearing.
China is a key market for Sincerity Group, which targets its Perth subdivisions to parents sending their children to study in WA.
Sam Barnett toldThe West Australian he had no financial relationship with Sincerity Group but was friends with Mr Zhu.
“(I was) just seeing China and talking about WA property, appearing as a private businessman giving a speech, like many people do,” he said. “I don’t speak Chinese so I don’t know why there was a photo of Dad.”