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NSW treasurer survives no-confidence vote

NSW Treasurer Dominic Perrottet has survived a no-confidence motion in state parliament over his role in the icare scandal.

The state-owned insurance agency has faced growing scrutiny amid reports of poor financial management and staffing issues.

Mr Perrottet has come under fire after it emerged two icare-paid ministerial staffers had been recruited to work on secondment in his office.

Labor MP Daniel Mookhey on Wednesday moved the motion of no confidence, which failed after Liberal MP and legislative council president John Ajaka cast his deciding vote against it.

The opposition say Mr Perrottet misled parliament about icare’s financial state and covered up warnings from regulators about its performance.

“There are 3.6 million people at work today in NSW insured by this agency,” Mr Mookhey told parliament.

“Basically, the government is saying they will have to wait indefinitely in case we ever get around to taking these claims seriously.

“Nothing will change in the NSW workers compensation system if the same people are left in charge.”

Premier Gladys Berejiklian has insisted her office played no part in staffing decisions, which prompted the resignation of Mr Perrottet’s chief of staff Nigel Freitas.

Mr Perrottet defended the staff secondment to his office but said he regretted that an administrative error had occurred.

John Nagle, the chief executive and managing director of icare, quit earlier this month and a statutory five-year review of the company’s workers’ compensation scheme was expedited.

NSW Treasury Secretary Michael Pratt AM has been asked to audit the office, while the statutory review is being headed by former NSW Supreme Court judge Robert McDougall QC.

icare is an employer-funded workers’ insurer, owned by the state but independent from government. It was one of three organisations that replaced WorkCover in 2015.

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