Liberal MP Stuart Ayres is poised to return to the NSW government front bench after resigning over the John Barilaro scandal, if he can hang on to his seat and the party is returned to power.
The essence of the western Sydney electorate was in Mr Ayres' veins, and NSW Premier Dominic Perrottet backed his return as a senior cabinet minister, the premier's office said.
"Stuart Ayres bleeds Penrith and has the experience and record to continue to deliver on the NSW Liberal and National's long-term economic plan to drive NSW forward," the spokeswoman told AAP on Tuesday.
"Stuart hasn't just made a contribution to his local community and improved it for families across western Sydney, he has made a significant contribution to the whole state of NSW.
"Stuart has the energy, the experience, the ideas and the drive to continue to make a strong contribution and he will be a senior minister in a re-elected Liberal and Nationals government."
Mr Ayres came under intense scrutiny after a broader upper house inquiry was launched to examine the government's appointment of former deputy premier Mr Barilaro to a desirable New York-based trade role.
He resigned from portfolios including investment, trade and sport in August last year after an independent investigation launched by Mr Perrottet found he may have breached the ministerial code of conduct.
A second review conducted by former ICAC inspector Bruce McClintock cleared Mr Ayres of breaching the code the following month.
The position is an evolution for the premier, who told reporters last year he had no intention of returning the Penrith MP to cabinet.
The Penrith electorate is hotly contested, won by Mr Ayres by a margin of 1.3 per cent at the last election and now held by 0.4 per cent on new boundaries.
Labor leader Chris Minns said "many people" would question the return of the "architect of John Barilaro's appointment" if it occurred.
"Many people in NSW would say ... it'll be back to jobs for the boys straight after March 25," he said.
"It's time for a clean sheet in NSW - a fresh start with a new team and getting rid of that culture that says old political colleagues and former deputy premiers should be rewarded with taxpayer-funded jobs."
AAP has contacted Mr Ayres for comment.