Home / World News / Liberal minister’s sensational shot at corruption watchdog

Liberal minister’s sensational shot at corruption watchdog

The deputy leader of the NSW Liberal Party, who spoke out in defence of Gladys Berejiklian as she was grilled by the state’s corruption watchdog, has taken a stunning swipe at the integrity agency in parliament.

Stuart Ayres yelled out in response to a question on Tuesday about when an independent funding model for the Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC) would emerge.

Leaning forward from his seat and tossing a sheet of papers onto the table, the Minister remarked: “When they stop wasting our money”.

Sco Mo in Sydney
Camera IconStuart Ayres was heard to say ICAC should get an independent funding model “when they stop wasting our money.” Adam Yip Credit: News Corp Australia

The question came from Greens MP Jamie Parker and was addressed to Premier Dominic Perrottet.

Following Mr Ayres’ outburst, the Premier replied there would be a proposal to reform ICAC’s funding model ahead of the next state budget in mid-June.

Ms Berejiklian had previously said she would address the funding issues before becoming the focus of an ICAC investigation herself, leading to the end of her political career.

Mr Ayres gave evidence at the former Premier’s hearing into whether she breached public trust by providing grants for Wagga Wagga projects due to her secret relationship with Daryl Maguire.

He defended one of the projects in question, saying it “had a lot of merit”, and described the idea that Ms Berejiklian was influenced by her relationship with Mr Maguire as “fantasy”.

A 2020 report by the NSW Auditor General found ICAC’s independence was at risk due to the very people it was required to oversee being the same ones controlling the money.

“When will your government respond to this report and finally act to implement an independent funding model for the ICAC?” Mr Parker asked the Premier on Tuesday.

Mr Perrottet replied: “The NSW government is completely focused on ensuring that the integrity agencies … have appropriate funding to continue the important work they do.”

Mr Perrottet said he had met with heads of the integrity agencies, including ICAC, to discuss funding issues since becoming Premier.

“I believe the proposal that we will put in place will adequately address the concerns that the individual agencies have raised,” he said.

Mr Ayres’ office was contacted for comment but had not replied at the time of publication.

About brandsauthority

Check Also

Stokes donates fees to Pakistan flood aid

Ahead of England’s Test series in Pakistan, which starts Thursday, captain Ben Stokes said he …

%d bloggers like this: