NSW Premier Barry O’Farrell falls on sword and resigns over bottle of wine


CANYOURECALLNOWBARRY

Significant memory fail? yeah right, a $3000 dollar bottle of wine is pretty forgettable. NOTE he went from empathetic statements of having not receiving it, saying he would remember  if he did (maybe drank it and wrote the thank-you note and can’t recall, who knows, but he came to power on the back of atrocious corruption with the Labor government, to today being caught out with a letter he wrote thanking Nick Di Girolamo for the booze. AT least he is doing the right thing by going.

What do you think of all this readers?

HE HAS BEEN RECALLED TO APPEAR BACK AT ICAC AT MIDDAY TODAY. STAY TUNED FOR MORE

11.34pm

ICAC has been told the $3,000 bottle of wine was left at Mr O’Farrell’s door:

Counsel Assisting Geoffrey Watson SC has provided details to ICAC of the delivery of the 1959 bottle of Grange to Barry O’Farrell’s house.

He’s produced documents from Direct Couriers showing that the delivery was made on 20 April 2011.

The wine arrived at Mr O’Farrell’s Roseville home at 4.31pm after leaving Australian Water Holdings at Bella Vista at 3.38pm.

The parcel was one bottle of wine addressed to Mr O’Farrell.

ICAC was told it was left at the door, as directed.

Mr Watson says ICAC investigators have spoken to the courier who made the delivery but he has no “independent recollection” of the event.

NSW Premier Barry O’Farrell to resign over ‘massive memory fail’ at ICAC

 Video: Barry O’Farrell will resign as Premier over ICAC evidence (ABC News)

Related Story: O’Farrell denies receiving $3,000 bottle of wine
A handwritten letter and envelope from NSW Premier Barry O'Farrell to AWH executive Nick Di Girolamo expressing thanks for a bottle of wine.

A handwritten letter and envelope from NSW Premier Barry O’Farrell to AWH executive Nick Di Girolamo expressing thanks for a bottle of wine.

16-04-2014 4-07-50 PMNew South Wales Premier Barry O’Farrell says he will resign owing to a “massive memory fail” when giving evidence to the Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC) yesterday.

Mr O’Farrell has been unable to explain to ICAC a call from his phone to an Australian Water Holdings (AWH) executive who allegedly gave him a $3,000 bottle of Grange wine.

ICAC alleges the company AWH lobbied Mr O’Farrell over an agreement with the state-owned Sydney Water to roll out water infrastructure.

AWH is accused of corruptly billing Sydney Water for expenses and using the money for political donations, executive salaries and various other expenses.

PENFOLDSAWH executive Nick Di Girolamo yesterday told the inquiry he sent the Premier a $3,000 bottle of wine in 2011 to congratulate him after the election.

The bottle of Grange dated May 24, 1959 – Mr O’Farrell’s birthday – does not appear on the Premier’s pecuniary interests declaration for the period.

However, at ICAC Mr O’Farrell denied receiving the wine at all, telling the inquiry: “I’m not a wine connoisseur”.

The Premier also said he had no recollection of the 28-second call made from his phone to Mr Di Girolamo in 2011 around the time he was allegedly sent the wine.

Mr Di Girolamo had earlier told ICAC that Mr O’Farrell phoned him to thank him for the gift.

At a press conference this morning, Mr O’Farrell said ICAC had been presented with a note signed by him to Mr Di Girolamo, thanking him for an expensive gift of wine.

He says that while the evidence he gave to ICAC was “truthful”, “I do accept there is a thankyou note signed by me” to Mr Di Girolamo.

NSW Premier Barry O'Farrell says he will resign

NSW Premier Barry O’Farrell says he will resign

Profile: Barry O’Farrell

  • Elected Premier on 26 March 2011
  • Elected as NSW Liberal Leader in April 2007
  • Represents the electorate of Ku-ring-gai
  • Elected to NSW Parliament in 1995
  • Served as NSW state director of the Liberal Party in the mid 1990s
  • Worked as a public policy advisor at both state and federal levels in the late 1980s and early 1990s

 

“I’ve accepted that I’ve had a massive memory fail. I still can’t explain either the arrival of a gift that I have no recollection of or its absence, which I certainly still can’t fathom, but I accept the consequences in an orderly way,” he said.

“A new Liberal leader will be elected to take on the position of NSW.”

He said that he did not seek to “wilfully” mislead ICAC, and, “As someone who believes in accountability, in responsibility I accept the consequences of my action”.

He continued: “As soon as I can organise a meeting of the parliamentary Liberal Party for next week, I will be resigning the position and enabling a new Liberal leader to be elected – someone who will then become the Premier of NSW.”

Mr O’Farrell has been recalled to ICAC to give evidence at midday today.

Honour and integrity rarely seen: Tony Abbott

Prime Minister Tony Abbott said Mr O’Farrell had demonstrated “integrity” by resigning over what he said was an innocent and inadvertent misleading of ICAC.

“We are seeing an act of integrity, an act of honour, the like of which we have rarely seen in Australian politics,” he said.

 

“I admire him tremendously for this, although I deeply regret the necessity for it.”

He described Mr O’Farrell as a “friend”, who had always strived to do the “right thing” by NSW.

“I have known Barry for two decades. He has been a friend of mine throughout that time,” he said.

“He has been a great servant of the Liberal Party, a great servant of the people of NSW and of Australia.

“He has constantly worked to do the right thing by the people of NSW and we were together as recently as last Friday in China winning trade and jobs for our country and our state.

“Obviously, as we now know, he innocently, inadvertently misled ICAC yesterday and he has taken the utterly honourable step of resigning as Premier.”

 

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MP Angela D’Amore BUSTED Senator Ruth Webber BUSTED…


A never ending list of greedy privileged politicians scourging away, snouts deep in the trough as far as they can dig. But it does not end when they leave parliament? NO they just continue on the gravy train. Why the bloody hell do they get these benefits anyway? They are well paid. The bloke at Harvey Norman does not get free 50 inch TV’s for all the good service he gave while there. No he moves on.Why the friggin hell should these well connected mob get such a privilege. The old excuse has always been oh well we need to get the best candidates, we need to reward them… bullshit.They got rewarded with excellent pay. Nobody made them become politicians. Stay in the private sector, with all your skills…They are there purely for the “networking” and conditions. That is why they leave when they lose power. The ego cannot handle it.Nothing to do with serving the community.They become “Advisers” (a good word, but really means introducer to power brokers) I hate the system. I know what can we do, because when you look at it, a great career move for a want to be mover and shaker, with LIFE LONG benefits…BUT FOR SOME, THAT IS EVEN NOT ENOUGH…they dig for even more

I may make a NEW segment  politician watch, on all the shonky bastards…Remember the slogan, keep the bastards Honest? that was a joke, “Keep the rorts going”, that’s what it should of been

Member for Drummoyne, Angela D'Amore arrives at an earlier Independent Commission Against Corruption hearing

AN “angry and frustrated” Premier Kristina Keneally has sacked her corrupt MP Angela D’Amore from the Labor party after ICAC found she rorted staff entitlements.

Ms Keneally has refused to ask Ms D’Amore, who can remain as an independent, to resign from parliament in light of damaging findings from the ICAC.

The Labor party will seek a new candidate for Drummoyne after sacking Ms D’Amore from the party.

“These are serious findings and what I would say to the people of Drummoyne is this – I acknowledge that the member for Drummoyne has broken that fundamental trust between the community and their elected representative,” Ms Keneally said.

The premier faced a barrage of questions over why she wouldn’t demand Ms D’Amore, a factional ally, resign from the parliament.

She said such a demand was not within the powers of the premier’s office.

Related Coverage

Ms D’Amore was found to have acted inappropriately in falsifying sitting day relief entitlement forms so her staff could work in her parliamentary office when they should have been working in her electorate office.

Ms D’Amore is parliamentary secretary to the police minister and the sister-in-law of controversial retiring MP Joe Tripodi.

A statement from the ICAC said the DPP should consider charged Ms D’Amore with two offences of misconduct in public office.

The commission report found that “Ms D’Amore instructed or authorised (Agatha) La Manna and another temporary staff member, Karen Harbilas, to complete false claims for sitting day relief during 2006 and 2007, which resulted in the staff members concerned receiving combined payments from parliament of $4,500 to which they were not entitled.”

The ICAC also found Ms D’Amore to have been an unreliable witness.

And this, in Victoria, greedy bloody pigs, well paid pigs, who still dig in deep in the trough after they go, enjoying a free ride!

Former senator Ruth Webber has been enjoying the high life since losing her seat in 2008, She must not of known about the free dental plan!

A LITTLE-known former Labor senator who went on a two-year taxpayer-funded flight of fancy has been forced to repay almost $20,000.

Ruth Webber, who lost her seat in 2008, chalked up 147 flights costing $116,000 under the Gold Pass scheme for retired federal MPs.

Ms Webber took one flight every five days on average and while taxpayers picked up the bill, she earned more than 200,000 frequent-flyer points.

But Department of Finance officials decided Ms Webber took too many trips and ordered her to repay $18,855 for 20 flights.

Ms Webber questioned why bureaucrats didn’t warn her she had exceeded her allowed number of flights.

Records show Perth-based Ms Webber took 37 business-class flights to Melbourne, 21 to Canberra and 18 to Sydney. There were 35 flights between Melbourne and Canberra, and 19 between Sydney and Canberra. She took a four-day return trip from Sydney to Hamilton Island.

Related Coverage

The department confirmed there was “no purpose test” for the free flights beyond the fact they should not be for commercial use.

Former MPs are not required to tell the department the reason for the flight.

The documents do not reveal Ms Webber’s reason for taking the flights. She could not be contacted yesterday and has previously declined to comment about her retirement travel.

The revelations come as the Gillard Government is considering the future of the Gold Pass scheme, which costs taxpayers $1.2 million a year.

A top-secret report by former public servant Barbara Belcher recommends sweeping changes as part of a wider overhaul of MPs pay and entitlements.

Special Minister of State Gary Gray has urged Cabinet to close down the Gold Pass scheme for new MPs and curb its use for existing MPs.

One option is banning holiday travel.

There is a fierce battle inside the Government, with some MPs desperate to keep the scheme.

Travel documents also show former National Party leader Ian Sinclair and his family took 112 flights between January 2009 and June this year costing $46,000, including 24 flights to the holiday resort of Lord Howe Island where he has a cottage.

Millionaire former Howard minister Geoff Prosser has charged taxpayers $28,000 for 40 flights between Perth and Broome.

MP Angela D'Amore BUSTED Senator Ruth Webber BUSTED…


A never ending list of greedy privileged politicians scourging away, snouts deep in the trough as far as they can dig. But it does not end when they leave parliament? NO they just continue on the gravy train. Why the bloody hell do they get these benefits anyway? They are well paid. The bloke at Harvey Norman does not get free 50 inch TV’s for all the good service he gave while there. No he moves on.Why the friggin hell should these well connected mob get such a privilege. The old excuse has always been oh well we need to get the best candidates, we need to reward them… bullshit.They got rewarded with excellent pay. Nobody made them become politicians. Stay in the private sector, with all your skills…They are there purely for the “networking” and conditions. That is why they leave when they lose power. The ego cannot handle it.Nothing to do with serving the community.They become “Advisers” (a good word, but really means introducer to power brokers) I hate the system. I know what can we do, because when you look at it, a great career move for a want to be mover and shaker, with LIFE LONG benefits…BUT FOR SOME, THAT IS EVEN NOT ENOUGH…they dig for even more

I may make a NEW segment  politician watch, on all the shonky bastards…Remember the slogan, keep the bastards Honest? that was a joke, “Keep the rorts going”, that’s what it should of been

Member for Drummoyne, Angela D'Amore arrives at an earlier Independent Commission Against Corruption hearing

AN “angry and frustrated” Premier Kristina Keneally has sacked her corrupt MP Angela D’Amore from the Labor party after ICAC found she rorted staff entitlements.

Ms Keneally has refused to ask Ms D’Amore, who can remain as an independent, to resign from parliament in light of damaging findings from the ICAC.

The Labor party will seek a new candidate for Drummoyne after sacking Ms D’Amore from the party.

“These are serious findings and what I would say to the people of Drummoyne is this – I acknowledge that the member for Drummoyne has broken that fundamental trust between the community and their elected representative,” Ms Keneally said.

The premier faced a barrage of questions over why she wouldn’t demand Ms D’Amore, a factional ally, resign from the parliament.

She said such a demand was not within the powers of the premier’s office.

Related Coverage

Ms D’Amore was found to have acted inappropriately in falsifying sitting day relief entitlement forms so her staff could work in her parliamentary office when they should have been working in her electorate office.

Ms D’Amore is parliamentary secretary to the police minister and the sister-in-law of controversial retiring MP Joe Tripodi.

A statement from the ICAC said the DPP should consider charged Ms D’Amore with two offences of misconduct in public office.

The commission report found that “Ms D’Amore instructed or authorised (Agatha) La Manna and another temporary staff member, Karen Harbilas, to complete false claims for sitting day relief during 2006 and 2007, which resulted in the staff members concerned receiving combined payments from parliament of $4,500 to which they were not entitled.”

The ICAC also found Ms D’Amore to have been an unreliable witness.

And this, in Victoria, greedy bloody pigs, well paid pigs, who still dig in deep in the trough after they go, enjoying a free ride!

Former senator Ruth Webber has been enjoying the high life since losing her seat in 2008, She must not of known about the free dental plan!

A LITTLE-known former Labor senator who went on a two-year taxpayer-funded flight of fancy has been forced to repay almost $20,000.

Ruth Webber, who lost her seat in 2008, chalked up 147 flights costing $116,000 under the Gold Pass scheme for retired federal MPs.

Ms Webber took one flight every five days on average and while taxpayers picked up the bill, she earned more than 200,000 frequent-flyer points.

But Department of Finance officials decided Ms Webber took too many trips and ordered her to repay $18,855 for 20 flights.

Ms Webber questioned why bureaucrats didn’t warn her she had exceeded her allowed number of flights.

Records show Perth-based Ms Webber took 37 business-class flights to Melbourne, 21 to Canberra and 18 to Sydney. There were 35 flights between Melbourne and Canberra, and 19 between Sydney and Canberra. She took a four-day return trip from Sydney to Hamilton Island.

Related Coverage

The department confirmed there was “no purpose test” for the free flights beyond the fact they should not be for commercial use.

Former MPs are not required to tell the department the reason for the flight.

The documents do not reveal Ms Webber’s reason for taking the flights. She could not be contacted yesterday and has previously declined to comment about her retirement travel.

The revelations come as the Gillard Government is considering the future of the Gold Pass scheme, which costs taxpayers $1.2 million a year.

A top-secret report by former public servant Barbara Belcher recommends sweeping changes as part of a wider overhaul of MPs pay and entitlements.

Special Minister of State Gary Gray has urged Cabinet to close down the Gold Pass scheme for new MPs and curb its use for existing MPs.

One option is banning holiday travel.

There is a fierce battle inside the Government, with some MPs desperate to keep the scheme.

Travel documents also show former National Party leader Ian Sinclair and his family took 112 flights between January 2009 and June this year costing $46,000, including 24 flights to the holiday resort of Lord Howe Island where he has a cottage.

Millionaire former Howard minister Geoff Prosser has charged taxpayers $28,000 for 40 flights between Perth and Broome.