The Liberal NSW Government has a woeful record on dealing with corruption in public life.
After a parade of 11 Liberals appeared before the ICAC on political donations violations, including the establishment of two slush funds, they are the same old Liberals.
“The Liberals talk about integrity and transparency but the truth of the matter tells a very different story,” Labor Leader Michael Daley said.
RECORD ON ICAC:
When Daryl Maguire resigned last year from the seat of Wagga Wagga after he admitted he sought payment to help broker a deal with a property developer, Mr Daley, called on Premier Berejiklian to launch a wider inquiry into the conduct of Mr Maguire and other MPs. She refused to do so.
He was the 11th Liberal MP to leave the NSW Parliament under a cloud following an ICAC investigation. The other 10 were: Chris Hartcher, Darren Webber, Chris Spence, Marie Ficarra, Mike Gallacher, Andrew Cornwell, Tim Owen, Garry Edwards, Bart Bassett and Craig Baumann.
The Liberals also cut the ICAC budget and restructured it to engineer the removal of Megan Latham, the commissioner who led the investigation into Liberal Party fundraising before the 2011 state election, which ended the careers of two Liberal Premiers, Nick Greiner and Barry O’Farrell, and a number of Liberal Party MPs.
The Liberals no longer have a single member in the Hunter because of a deliberate slush fund and rorting of political donations through the Millennium Forum and Eight by Five.
By comparison, Labor has always been an advocate for a strong ICAC. Labor will restore ICAC to its former strength and extend measures aimed at improving the scrutiny of politicians to include political advisors, senior public servants and local government.
RECORD ON ILLEGAL DONATIONS:
Last year, the NSW Liberal Party fought a court decision ordering it to repay almost $250,000 in illegal donations involving money given to the party by two candidates at the last state election.
In 2016, the New South Wales Electoral Commission found the state's Liberal party received almost $600,000 in unlawful donations in the lead-up to the 2011 state election, including from property developers.
The Commission had frozen $4.4 million in election funding in the wake of revelations the party had used money from banned donors to help bankroll its 2011 state election campaign.