04 Dec 2023

Member for Kiama Gareth Ward has said that NSW Labor risks sinking back into the bad of days of corrupt conduct by senior government officials with the Minns Labor Government voting against a debate on bills that contained integrity recommendations from the ICAC on managing engagement with lobbyists.

The Minns Labor Government also avoided a vote on a Private Members Bill that would require voters to show ID and be electronically marked-off at elections.

“The Parliamentary Labor Party, supported by the Greens voted against extending the lapsing date of two of my bills so they could avoid debating and voting on their substance. This proves that Labor and the Greens are more interested in political games and parliamentary tactics than good governance,” Mr Ward said.

“I’ve got news for the Labor and the Greens, I’ll be re-introducing the bills in next year’s session of Parliament and I won’t allow the government the opportunity to delay the bills again.

“These bills have serious measures designed to improve integrity and accountability. In the case of the ICAC amendment bill, this bill seeks to legislate recommendation for Operation Eclipse in relation to lobbyists and their influence over government. Voter identification requirements and electronic mark-off come from recommendations of the NSW Joint Standing Committee on Electoral Matters.

“These bills are not controversial. So why vote against them?

“You have to ask yourself, why would Labor and the Greens not want to debate these measures? If the government has an alternative proposal, then let’s hear it.

“We know that Labor has a track record when it comes to corruption, but the Greens have now lost all credibility on this issue; preferring to side with Labor than transparency and accountability. Their vote in the Parliament will remain on the Hansard record like an indelible stain that cannot be removed,” Mr Ward concluded.