The New South Wales Opposition has formally written to the head of the Department of Premier and Cabinet asking him to seize all documents in the office of sacked Finance Minister Greg Pearce, to prevent any information being shredded.

After weeks of controversy, Mr Pearce was sacked yesterday for not disclosing a conflict of interest when he recommended his wife's boss be appointed to the board of Sydney Water in 2011.

The Premier, Barry O'Farrell, says Mr Pearce appointed lawyer Richard Fisher to the Sydney Water position and did not disclose that Mr Fisher worked with his wife Shauna Jarrett at the University of Sydney

Mr O'Farrell previously stood by his Minister as the scandals against him mounted.

When he was alerted to the latest claims by the media yesterday, he says it was a clear breach of the Ministerial Code of Conduct and he had to act.

The Opposition's Walt Secord believes there is another reason too.

"He's 10 days out from budget estimates where the Minister will be questioned under privilege about his activity, and we think the Premier has been dragged kicking and screaming to this position," he said.

He wants all the board appointments Greg Pearce made to be reviewed.

The State Opposition has now referred a number of matters involving Mr Pearce to the ICAC.

Greens MP John Kaye says the issues around Mr Pearce can not be swept under the rug.

"There is only one solution now, whether it is parliamentary or ICAC," he said.

Dr Kaye says the sacking proves both sides of New South Wales politics have a problem with a "jobs for the boys" culture.

He says he is backing calls for further investigations of Mr Pearce's actions, but says that needs to be accompanied by a wider look at the issue of transparency.

"The community of NSW is sick of politicians using the public purse for their own advantage," he said.

"Barry O'Farrell can't just get rid of these problems by sacking Greg Pearce.

"What needs to happen here is an inquiry which not only looks at what Greg Pearce did, but also asks the question of how can we avoid this happening again."

Mr Pearce is said to be furious he has been sacked.

The Ageing and Disabilities Minister, Andrew Constance, will stand in as the new Finance Minister.

John Ajaka is taking over Mr Constance's role as Minister for Disability Services, and picking up Mr Pearce's portfolio of the Illawarra.

Mr Pearce came under strong criticism after being in June this year and of breaching ministerial travel rules.

He fronted the media after the allegations surfaced to announce he was taking leave to deal with stress and exhaustion.

Yesterday, the Premier said the announcement was a reminder of the importance of maintaining the highest standards of government.

"Mr Pearce was clearly disappointed, he was clearly unhappy, but the fact is we have codes of conduct, we have them in place to ensure people act appropriately," he said.

"Here, there's no vagueness, there's no lack of clarity, here was a clear breach of the Ministerial Code of Conduct and I'm enforcing that Code of Conduct."

Mr O'Farrell had previously released a statement saying Mr Pearce had been warned about his behaviour.

NSW Opposition Leader John Robertson says the sacking has come two months too late.

"This is a minister who's had very serious questions raised about his behaviour, about the use of taxpayer funds for weekend travel and board appointments," he said.

"Instead of sacking Greg Pearce two months ago, the Premier's been running a protection racket, protecting this minister by refusing to have these matters referred to the ICAC."

Mr Robertson says while he has no reason to believe documents would be destroyed, he wants them seized just in case.

"I want to make sure that we don't see that occur," he said.

"What I don't think should be happening, is the Premier allowing staff of the former minister to spend the night shredding documents that might lead to other findings being made against Mr Pearce."

The state's Attorney-General, Greg Smith, has conceded it has been a bad week for both sides of politics in New South Wales.

But he says there is a stark difference between the Government's problems and Labor's.

"I think there's quite a deal of difference between corrupt conduct and, say, a poor judgment, which seems to be the issue with my former colleague," he said.

"The other issues are corruption, and the Labor party still hasn't shown the community that they've got rid of that corruption that seems to pervade their whole being."

About News.net

Publishing Services International Limited (PSIL) is the publisher and operator of a worldwide network of online news sites dedicated to delivering fair, accurate and relevant reporting from a variety of the world’s most trusted sources – from the biggest cities to the smallest towns.

We deliver positive and powerful messages to our readers, providing up‑to‑the‑second news that matters to the individual.

Our promise is to serve communities and individuals worldwide, delivering information that hasn’t always been available to them. We will give them back a voice – a voice that’s empowering because it is theirs – and provide a platform to communicate between themselves and the world.

We believe people are not just generic demographics; they are individuals with their own preferences and curiosities. We are about understanding these individuals, listening to them, and serving them.

We are the new pioneering spirit of news – we’re not talking to everyone, we’re talking with every one.

If you want your news, your voice, your way, on your time – we’ve got news for you.

 

FAQs

Email

If you have any questions or concerns please email us on support@news.net

Phone

  • Australia, Toll Free 1-800-983-421
  • Hong Kong, Toll Free 800-906-187
  • Singapore, Toll Free 800-852-3871
  • USA/Canada, Toll Free 1-800-830-4132

Advertise With Us

Interested in being awesome?
Contact us by email or phone.

Cancel