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NSW's Barilaro faces no confidence vote

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By AUSTRALIAN ASSOCIATED PRESS
UPDATED: 18:37 BST, 15 September 2020

John Barilaro's week from hell continues, with NSW parliament to vote on a no confidence motion moved against the deputy premier.

The outspoken Nationals leader found himself in hot water on Thursday when he threatened to implode the coalition government if concessions on the state's koala protection policy were not made.

He backed down on plans to move his MPs to the cross bench after Premier Gladys Berejiklian gave him an ultimatum to support her government, otherwise Nationals ministers would be sacked from cabinet.

He's since copped flack from both sides of the chamber, with prominent Liberal ministers questioning his leadership and Labor moving the no confidence motion on Tuesday.

Opposition Leader Jodi McKay says Mr Barilaro threatened the stability of government amid an unprecedented health and economic crisis, and he must resign.

The vote on Wednesday would need support from some government MPs to pass.

It comes as Ms Berejiklian maintained the coalition was moving on from the public stoush, despite lingering tensions.

Tuesday's parliamentary sitting brought together all MPs for the first time since the debacle.

Mr Barilaro is also determined to move on, telling parliament he would not resign and that he and the premier remained "tight".

But it is unclear if he still has the support of his ministerial colleagues.

During question time the Labor opposition asked coalition MPs whether they stood by disparaging comments they had made about the Nationals leader last week.

Transport Minister Andrew Constance was defiant when asked about his remark last week: "Leadership is not what we saw on display."

"I will never, ever walk away from what I said," he told parliament.

"There's been a dispute which should have been held at the kitchen table but it's on the front lawn."

The pair famously butted heads in May after both put themselves forward as potential candidates for the federal seat of Eden-Monaro.

Both then dropped out of the race after it was revealed Mr Barilaro had called Mr Constance a c*** over his decision to run.

Liberal Police Minister David Elliott had also taken shots at Mr Barilaro last week, saying he had committed "the greatest act of political bastardry in quite some time" and his position was untenable.

He would not repeat his barb in parliament, saying he had already said all he needed to.

The Nationals are concerned changes to the Koala Habitat Protection State Environmental Planning Policy limit land use on farms and the ability to rezone areas for development as more trees are classed as koala habitat.

Clarence MP Chris Gulaptis, who was the first National to threaten to sit on the cross bench over the policy, has confirmed he will still walk if the policy isn't changed.