[NSW] Premier Questioned Over ICAC Funding

Written by Jonathan O'Dea MP

 

Friday, 13 March 2009

 

Member for Davidson, Jonathan O’Dea has questioned the Premier over the State Labor Government’s failure to maintain real funding of the Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC).


Mr O’Dea, who is a member of the Joint Parliamentary Committee on the ICAC, has asked the Premier a Question on Notice following a special function to mark the 20th Anniversary of establishing the anti-corruption watchdog.


“In real dollar terms, the State Government has reduced funding of ICAC by more than 25% during Labor’s 14 years in office,” Mr O’Dea said.


“You have to ask if Labor is truly concerned about the need to stamp out corruption – or if it is only concerned with appearance. ICAC performs a crucial role in NSW,” he said.


“The fact ICAC carries out its work with reduced funding in real dollar terms highlights the dedication and commitment of its hardworking staff to ensure corruption is minimized or addressed,” Mr O’Dea said.


All four ICAC Commissioners spoke at the 20th Anniversary Function, including Irene Moss and current Commissioner, Jerrold Cripps.


Former Commissioners Ian Temby and Barry O’Keefe both spoke about their efforts to fight corruption in NSW railways. Sadly, as evidenced by the eight recent ICAC Reports on bribery and fraud at RailCorp, there is a continuing strong need to fight corruption in NSW railways,” Mr O’Dea said.


“On a lighter note, former Commissioner, Ian Temby recalled how the initial ICAC offices were those of the former Labor Minister, Rex Jackson, who was sent to prison – for letting inmates out of prison!


"A strong ICAC is important for NSW. An active, well resourced anti-corruption watchdog is as necessary today as it was when it was first established by the Coalition in 1988,” Mr O’Dea concluded.