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Perrottet tied to ICAC investigation

By TBS Newsbot

As Gladys Berejiklian fronts the ICAC over Wagga Wagga, her replacement, Dominic Perrottet, allegedly approved the project.

As The Guardian noted, “One of former New South Wales premier Mike Baird’s top staff members questioned why Gladys Berejiklian wanted to spend $5.5m funding a clay target shooting range in the “safe seat” of Wagga Wagga, according to documents tendered to the NSW Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC).”

But while Mike Baird is set to give evidence today, we have an even juicier nugget. According to leaked internal documents, the person who eventually rubber-stamped the project was the treasurer at the time, one Dominic Perrottet.

As journalist Anthony Klan summarised, “Documents from a cache released by the NSW Commission Against Corruption (ICAC) show that just weeks before the grant was awarded to the private Wagga Wagga gun club, in August 2017, NSW Government staff were concerned about the grant process – which needed to go to the ‘Treasurer’ for approval.

“‘We need to ensure that the funding goes to public infrastructure, not to private assets on private land,’ wrote Jenny Davis of Infrastructure NSW.

“The July 8, 2017 email was to seven colleagues, spanning three NSW Government departments.

“‘The project is unusual,’ Davis wrote.

“‘The ERC (Expenditure Review Committee) minute approved it before we had ever heard of it. Our recommendation doesn’t need to go back to ERC, but it does need the Treasurer to approve it.’

“The $5.5m grant, which is at the heart of ICAC’s investigations, was approved just weeks later, in August 2017. Perrottet was NSW Treasurer at the time.”

***

The Berejiklian Government has long been plagued with scandals, including the high profile ICAC investigation into ‘dodgy dealings’ by former Wagga Wagga MP Daryl Maguire, whom the Premier admitted to having a secret long term relationship with over the course of several years.

The ICAC expanded the investigation into Mr Maguire to include an alleged ‘cash for visa’ scheme as well as further allegations he sought payment for property deals during his time as MP.

Mr Maguire resigned from the NSW Government in disgrace in 2018.

When Ms Berejiklian’s personal relationship with Mr Maguire was revealed during ICAC hearings late last year, many people suspected that the Premier knew about his ‘dodgy deals’ and chose to turn a blind eye, breaching her legal obligation to report suspected corruption within government ranks.

Under examination by ICAC, Mr Maguire repeatedly said he tried to protect the Premier from knowing too much, and that he knew that some of his activities could place her in a position of conflict.

Premier denies knowledge of corruption

Ms Berejiklian has repeatedly denied any knowledge of the various business dealings of Mr Maguire.

She told ICAC she did not recall some of the conversations and text messages played to her as evidence, and despite other inconsistencies in her testimony, she has been cleared of any wrongdoing by the ICAC, although the entire saga has left her reputation tainted and her integrity in question in the court of public opinion.

***

Ms Berejiklian has also faced accusations of ‘pork barrelling’ related to the distribution of more than $25 million in Stronger Communities Fund grants, around 95% of which were allocated to councils in Coalition seats in the lead up to the last state election, which in itself is not illegal, but many voters consider it unethical.

Following the revelation that key documents relating to the allocation of these as well as other grants had been destroyed by her office, NSW State Archives and Records (SARA) conducted its own inquiry.

It found that the Office of the Premier breached section 21(1) of the State Records Act 1988 (NSW), which makes it an offence for a person to abandon, dispose of, damage, alter or neglectfully cause the damage of a state record.

The maximum penalty for this offence is a fine of $5,500.

Despite the finding, SARA decided not to prosecute anyone from the Premier’s office.

 

This article was originally published on The Big Smoke.

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14 comments

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  1. Josephus

    So the NSW Treasurer obviously knew about the rort? Surely the NSW ICAC needs to investigate him too, or is he a special case as he is about to become a father for the seventh time and counting?

  2. BB

    Ah, the plot thickens….. Who woulda thunk it….😁😁
    It’s not just one can of worms, it’s a six pack! (or more like a slab.)
    How’s that old saying go, “There’s a dope born every minute”…
    https://www.theklaxon.com.au/home/1-gaxaw

    Australia needs a Federal ICAC now, with real teeth.
    If you haven’t already, please take the time to visit…
    https://www.federalicacnow.org/

  3. Phil Pryor

    Never trust any conservative, unless you have absolute proof of decency and honesty, because the regressive and inward nature of it is greed, ambition, dogma, doctrine, fantasy, superstition, wants and needs especially for acceptance,and a cringeing form of metooisms and incrowd gang togetherness. We are usually calmly conservative in outlook in clothes, attitudes, beliefs, daily habits, but in political matters, only a positive outlook, with a drive to decency, fairness, progressive foresight, the caretaker of the future attitudes, these must prevail. NSW has a rotten accumulating history since 1788, of poor behaviour and attitude in social, political and community standards.Criminality has been and is a potential or actual threat to the dispossessed and ignored. Interests and lusts and gains are the go. Look at this last few decades of state and local government here, and it reeks, penetrates the nostrils of our sensibilities. We “know” many stories…and now to have a mediaeval superstition drenched fool dominating attitude with archaic romanist dogma is appalling. We must fight for better.

  4. Arnd

    Two words: Quelle surprise!

  5. New England Cocky

    OK Phil, so you have been reading the Nazional$ Standard Operating Procedures Manual. Are you trying to remove them from political office and ideally from politics all together?

  6. Phil Pryor

    Cocky, as one who did a B A at UNE, while then teaching in Lismore, I knew of plenty, much of it rotten,, about Doug Anthony, Sinkers, some of the other horrors, who represented an old “seige mentality”. I knew some Page family and taught old Earle’s Great grand daughter Pru (a lovely and clever girl). One fed rep meeting, an old timer told me that his “mate” had taught young Doug briefly at a primary school (near Burringbar?) and gossiped that one of the old Stanford Binet tests was below 100. D Anthony came home by plane to Casino (then) and in a Commonwealth car, which sat, would go to Lismore’s RSL or Workers Club dining rooms (I saw this many times myself, Fridays) before the leisurely drive home. Sinclair regularly clocked up the biggest expenses claims in his day. His notorious signature of Dad George is a simmering story yet. If the country party went permanently, perhaps serving foreign interests in oil and gas, as former leaders do, it would be a relief for Australia, socially, politically, financially. I remember the acting up at the country party conference at Ballina, as I played music in the band there, early 1973. But Doug came up and thanked us nicely…he had a shrewd way…of being noticed, working the room. While I helped a lady with fodder in a flood boat (long story, 1974) Doug came down with a Northern Star photographer, got a snap near a boat, did SFA and went. The local member, Bruce Duncan, always quietly assisted on phones for SES. Far more money came into the Northern rivers and probably New England from outside than was generated inside. Simple minded greed and resentment…Australia’s rural residents deserve a fair share, but the Joyceites work for foreign tax bludging interests and Merde Dog.

  7. Max Gross

    IMHO Gladys is guilty as Hell. Why else did she prompty resign as Premier AND as an MP the instant she realised ICAC was about to investigate her shenanigans??? She could have stood aside, as is the usual move. Nope, she ran!

  8. BB

    “I don’t need to know about that bit”
    Gladys can run, but she can’t hide.

  9. New England Cocky

    Now Phil, why did I suspect that you were a closet supporter of progress in country towns rather than stagnation as the Nazional$
    prefer?

    When I became interested in politics, the local Nazional$ Party President (a solicitor naturally) campaigned strongly against sealing the Armidale to Bellingen road to the coast (now Waterfall Way) because ”It would encourage new ideas to float up from the coast and that would cause changes”. True story. Bill McCarthy (ALP) was elected and began the difficult task of dragging Northern Tablelands into the 20th century … in 1976!!

    Perhaps you forget that the ”George Sinclair” cheques were excused by the NSW Supreme Court because of the ”pressures of political work” and the fact that Sinkers was a Knox alumni and it would not be nice to give a solicitor a criminal record.

    But that is OK because Beetrooter is continuing the Sinkers philosophy of extra-curricular sexual activity and alcoholism that seems to be a pre-requisite for Nazional$ aspiring to be politicians.

    In recent years many Nazional$ politicians from northern NSW have been inflicted by a desire for secretaries to replace wives in keeping woth the much vaunted ”Nazional$ Family Values”.

  10. Phil Pryor

    Cocky, there’s raw ore here for a book, but, who would read or buy? The “free state of New England” led to a vote in the ’60’s, and the referendum lost, but, Lismore was second to New England in voting for separation from NSW. It’s sad you must endure the Joyce shit, but I have to tolerate Fletcher, the dud. (actually, Lismore’s country party was run by solicitors, some medical professionals, etc, all investor speculators. )

  11. BB

    Ha ha ha, serves cops right for thinking they make the rules and are above the law.
    Barrel O’Pork’s legal defence would do well to remember the old worms proverb…
    “When opening pork barrels you just don’t know how many worms will crawl out”
    It’s a warning shot to all pollies who think they can intimidate with defamation bs.

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