ICAC DELAY: LABOR ASKS PREMIER TO SEEK PUBLICATION OF ANY RECOMMENDATIONS FROM CORRUPTION HEARING
The NSW Labor Leader Jodi McKay has written to the Premier, urging her to request submissions by Counsel Assisting at the Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC) relating to her involvement in Operation Keppel be made public.
“If, as you maintain, you have done nothing wrong on this matter then surely you will have no objection to Counsel Assisting’s recommended findings being made public without delay,” Ms McKay wrote.
The submissions, due today, have been delayed. They are expected to detail what findings should be made based on evidence heard at Operation Keppel – the inquiry into the disgraced former Liberal MP Daryl Maguire.
The recommendations could include:
- A finding of corrupt conduct
- Referral for prosecution
- Potential breaches of ministerial codes
- Reflections on the candour of witnesses
“Gladys Berejiklian did not disclose her relationship with Daryl Maguire. I believe there are questions to answer in regard to a breach of the ministerial code of conduct,” Ms McKay said; “In the interests of transparency, Ms Berejiklian should ask the ICAC to lift the suppression order on submissions relating to her evidence.”
Ms McKay said such a move is possible under Section 112 of the ICAC Act.
“I am not advocating for the release of information relating to any other witnesses including Daryl Maguire. But when a sitting Premier gives evidence at an important corruption hearing, it’s vital the public be kept informed.”
Ms McKay said the Premier should clarify what she knows about the ICAC delay: “I would ask Gladys Berejiklian if she knows why this delay has occurred and whether it concerns her.”
The call for transparency comes as the Premier visits far western NSW: “Menindee Lakes is about as far as the Premier can get from Sydney on the day that ICAC Counsel Assisting was to have provided his interim recommendations in Operation Keppel,” Ms McKay said.
“It’s disgraceful because the Premier was nowhere to be seen in their time of need, when Broken Hill and Menindee were crippled by drought.
“I visited the region in September last year and drove through the dust bowls that were the Menindee Lakes. The Premier was missing at the height of the water crisis that her Government made worse by prioritising water allocations for upstream users. Now Gladys Berejiklian is using the fish kill catastrophe and response to distract from the ICAC investigation.
“The Premier must call for full disclosure from ICAC regarding Counsel Assisting’s recommendations that relate to her in Operation Keppel. Anything short of full exoneration will underline that the Premier’s position is completely untenable,” Ms McKay said.