Recent Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC) investigations have revealed widespread corruption in the NSW branch of the Liberal Party. The former Premier Barry O’Farrell was forced to resign his position as was former federal Assistant Treasurer Arthur Sinodinos.
It has been alleged that former NSW Energy Minister Chris Harcher set up a fake consulting firm, Eightbyfive, to finance his election campaign using donations from property developers who are prohibited donors.
Federal Liberal MP for Dobell, Karen McNamara, also has allegations against her that she did not declare donations during the last state election campaign. Newcastle Liberal MP Tim Owen announced he was quitting politics in light of the allegations made about him at ICAC.
ICAC is currently looking at evidence implicating former Police Minister Mike Gallagher in “serious electoral funding irregularities” concerning an alleged Liberal Party front called the Free Enterprise Foundation. Chris Spence, Darren Webber and Maria Ficarra have stood aside as members of the parliamentary Liberal Party while the ICAC investigation continues. More resignations could be on the way.
While the extent of the corruption has been surprising to many, the truth is that it’s endemic in a system that is driven by profits.
By Gary Duffy