ICAC to examine the shredding of documents by NSW Premier’s Office

From the Office of Mayor Darcy Byrne

Friday 22 January 2021

The NSW Information Commissioner has now referred the destruction of documents by the Premier’s Office approving the $252 million Stronger Communities council grants slush fund to ICAC for further investigation.

Inner West Mayor Darcy Byrne said this referral was yet further evidence that the operation of the slush fund was improper and repeated the call for a forensic examination of the Department of Premier and Cabinet’s server.

“This referral from the NSW Information Commissioner to ICAC is more evidence that serious maladministration of the Stronger Community Fund has occurred,” said Mayor Byrne.

“The Deputy Premier will be giving evidence in February and the Auditor General is set to commence an investigation shortly afterwards. This rort stinks to high heaven.

“That is why Inner West Council and Canterbury Bankstown Council have briefed Bret Walker SC and are considering pursuing legal action against the NSW Government over this shocking impropriety,” Mayor Byrne said.

The attached correspondence received in November 2020 from Tim Reardon, Secretary of the NSW Department of Premier and Cabinet states that the Premier’s permission is required for a forensic review of the server to be undertaken.

“The Department’s Secretary has made clear that a forensic review of the IT and records system can be undertaken. This will finally identify all the documents relating to this slush fund,” said Mayor Byrne.

“We simply don’t know what documents originally existed and which contained the Premier’s approval for projects under the slush fund.

“I call on the Premier to allow this independent review of her office’s server to be undertaken so that all destroyed documents can be recovered,” Mayor Byrne said.

Find attached correspondence regarding destruction of stronger communities documents (PDF 157.1KB).

Media enquiries to Bill Hawker, Mayoral Media Officer, 9392 5685 or bill.hawker@innerwest.nsw.gov.au


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Page last updated: 04 Feb 2021