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NSW Politics

Apr 16, 2014

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New South Wales will shortly have its fifth Premier in seven years following the bombshell resignation of Barry O’Farrell, who was today embarrassed by the emergence of a card in which he thanked Australian Water Holdings boss Nick Di Girolamo for a $3000 bottle of wine he yesterday denied having received. O’Farrell is the state’s second Liberal Premier to have been brought down by the exertions of the Independent Commission Against Corruption, Nick Greiner having fallen foul of an adverse ruling in 1992 involving a job offer to Liberal-turned-independent MP Terry Metherell. It now falls to the Liberal Party to find a replacement: without being too aware of the daily machinations of New South Wales politics, my immediate presumption was that the Treasurer, Mike Baird, would be the front-runner. However, I am seeing Gladys Berejiklian, Andrew Constance, Brad Hazzard and Jillian Skinner mentioned around the place.

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721 comments

721 thoughts on “O’Farrell resigns

  1. gloryconsequence

    Abbott has denied ever meeting with Nick DG, right?

  2. zoidlord

    Retweeted by Stephen Koukoulas
    Tony Abbott ‏@TonyAbbottMHR Jul 31

    ICAC #ThisIsLabor

  3. zoidlord

    Josh Taylor ‏@joshgnosis 1m

    Well, this tweet from the PM is awkward now. http://bit.ly/1t7uajn

    Twitter replies obviously Tony Abbott DIDN’T GET the message.

  4. crikey whitey

    ICAC #ThisIsLabor.

    What does that mean, Zoidlord?

  5. Windhover

    Fatty O’Barrel concedes he must have received the bottle of ’59 Grange but has no memory of it and says that it is just a massive memory fail.

    Sounds to me like he drank the bottle . . . on his own.

  6. briefly

    [665
    guytaur

    “@latikambourke: March 11 2014 the Senate was told “The Prime Minister has not met with Mr Nick Di Girolamo.” Today PM Abbott can’t rule that out.”]

    Who else among the NSW Liberal elite have had dealings with Di-G? Abbott…seems likely. Hockey….must be a possibility. Turnbull? Who else in the NSW Cabinet?

    AWH was set up as a high-volume siphon, pumping money into the NSW Liberal Party. Money buys influence. There was a lot of money. So there’s likely to have been a lot of influence-peddling. It’s perhaps no wonder at all that Sinodinos walked even before he was sent into bat.

  7. sprocket_

    [step forward, NSW Treasurer Mike Baird (brother of Julia, Son of Bruce) – your State requires your services after an unplanned vacancy has arisen.
    ]

    though he is from the small “l” wing of the Liberal Party, so may get boned by the “Uglies” faction.

    Yes, Virginia, the NSW Liberal Party has factions too.

  8. crikey whitey

    NSW Liberal launches world wide search for ‘cleanskin’ replacement Premier.

  9. lefty e

    Gold! And it’s totally linked to Fed Libs via Sinodinis.

    Somehow the Libs have made Obeid all about them. Which in retrospect will be seen as poor management :p

    PS What sort of idiot outright denies the easily provable?

  10. briefly

    [5
    Windhover

    Fatty O’Barrel concedes he must have received the bottle of ’59 Grange but has no memory of it]

    The bad memory defence. It’s either a lie or an admission of mental incompetence.

  11. lefty e

    And so the NSW LNP enters the Nuthin’ Rees phase.

    Ps what WA Senate by-election?
    Pps nah screw that, Bullock should resign

  12. sprocket_

    Tony Abbott’s view of things

    [11:15am: Mr O’Farrell this morning sent a text message to the Prime Minister asking for him to call. Mr Abbott revealed what happened at a press conference about Badgerys Creek.

    “He texted me that I should call him and by the time I saw the text, I think he was about to go in and make his statement and we had a brief conversation and I said to him that he was acting from high honour here and I just said how sorry I was that this wasn’t happening in three or four years time because Barry is a man of honour,” Mr Abbott said.

    “He is a man of integrity. He is a very decent man and I think he has been a very capable Premier over the last three years. I think he will be missed.”

    He also expressed confidence that Mr O’Farrell inadvertently misled ICAC.

    “This is the thing, if you’re in public life, you meet lots of people, from time to time people give you things,” Mr Abbott said.

    “They might give you ties or pens or a bottle of wine, and sure, a bottle of Grange is pretty special, no doubt about that. Given that premiers and other senior politicians have very crowded busy lives, I don’t think it is reasonable to expect everything from some years ago to be front of mind.]

    Read more: http://www.smh.com.au/nsw/barry-ofarrell-resigns-after-being-caught-out-over-bottle-of-wine-20140416-36qpg.html#ixzz2z0bq2EyH

  13. gloryconsequence

    Abbott: Barry O’Farrell has innocently, inadvertently misled.

    No worries, Tone

  14. Atticus

    Did the ABC’s ICAC hearings reporter on 24News suggest that there’s a BOF text trail of not infrequent exchanges of messages with Nick Di? Did BOF indicate in ICAC yesterday that his acquaintanceship with Nick was minimal?

    Also, did the ABC reporter indicate that early in March a Telegraph journo sent a text to ask BOF if he’d received a bottle of wine from Nick and BOF, replied “No”?

    Obviously, The Tele not reporting this last March would have been different from how the Murdoch empire would have dealt with this denial if it had been a Labor Premier).

  15. rossmcg

    Lefty

    BOF should sack his brief for letting him walk into this one.
    Lawyers tell clients only yo answer the question, yes or or I don’t recall. The embellishment “I would have remembered a nettle of grange” just made for trouble

  16. Steve777

    This is a surprise. I go away for a few hours and when I come back the Premier’s resigned.

    I thought Barry O’Farrell was wiser than this. Looks like he was caught out on a lapse of judgement rather then malfeascance (as was the case with Nick Greiner) but rules are rules. The Libs will spin it this way, plus Barry doing what Craig Thomson should have done, etc.

    Can someone send Tony Abbott an expensive bottle of wine?

  17. rossmcg

    Try an edit

    BOF should sack his brief for letting him walk into this one.
    Lawyers tell clients only to answer the question, yes or no or I don’t recall. The embellishment “I would have remembered a bottle of grange” just made for trouble

  18. Asha Leu

    Holy shit. I had assumed Barry O’Farrell would be premier for years and years to come. What is in the water in NSW?

  19. crikey whitey

    Jaw drops, Sprocket @12, at Abbott.

    Grange is pretty special, no doubt about that. Given that preGmiers and other senior politicians have very crowded busy lives, I don’t think it is reasonable to expect everything from some years ago to be front of mind.

    Look out for ‘Abbott defence’ in the future.

  20. zoidlord

    Retweeted by sortius
    CFMEU ‏@CFMEU_CG 5m

    We’ve organised @barryofarrell a farewell gift… pic.twitter.com/Dlf0OhqEa4

    Oh dear.

  21. gloryconsequence

    They’re all dodgy. Only a matter of who gets caught.

    Or set up.

  22. gloryconsequence

    Sky now questioning the legitimacy of ICAC, questioning whether a bottle of wine is relevant. Like clockwork.

  23. victoria

    PVO and the other sky commentators are now bagging ICAC

  24. victoria

    gc

    How frickin predictable is this mob.

  25. rossmcg

    Glory….

    Expect nsw Tories to follow Newman lead soon and try to nobble ICAC

  26. victoria

    The commentators just cant believe that BOF has gone down for a bottle of wine.
    He is a decent and honourable man. Blah blah blah

  27. citizen

    O’Farrell obviously never heard of the vicar (supposedly teetotal) who was given a bottle of cherry brandy.

    His thank you note said: “Thank you for the gift of cherries and the spirit in which they were given”

  28. bug1

    I say we all chip in a send a bottle of wine to Tony Abbott.

  29. Libertarian Unionist

    I haven’t felt this good since Mitch Johnson took 4 out of nowhere at Brisbane last year.

    A very good question. This is either the biggest white lie balls up every, or, something fishy is going on and is still to be smoked out.

    Oh, it’s game on. Sinodinos chose to cover himself in poo like an old demented man rather than answer the questions, while BoF played down the wrong line to a straight one. The Libs are rattled.

    The whole AWH thing is looking to me like Eddie O had stumbled upon a Liberal party midnight feast, and decided to invite himself to the table.

  30. Inner Westie

    Badgerys Creek has been blown out of the water (so to speak).

  31. Libertarian Unionist

    whoops, second para a quote from above. I got a bit excited 😉

  32. Steve777

    Why bag ICAC? It’s called shooting the Messenger. Are Sky and PVO saying that ICAC should have made a call to ignore Grangegate? Sky is just another Murdoch mouthpiece so has no credibility, but PVO makes out to be a credible commentator.

  33. rossmcg

    Victoria

    How predictable the Tories and their cheer squad are
    It’s not about the wine
    Few months ago BOF would have had us believe he barely knew nick G. Now it is ” thanks for all your help”
    Spare me

  34. confessions

    [PVO and the other sky commentators are now bagging ICAC]

    Oh that’s rich.

  35. citizen

    Murdoch’s DT has been unrelenting in criticism of O’Farrell for not being extreme enough on issues they have been pushing.

    His departure will be welcomed by Murdoch.

  36. swamprat

    In 1808 it was Rum, in 2014 it is Grange.

    NSW politics seems to always have an alcohol problem.

  37. sprocket_

    Tony Abbott losing it, arguing with the media “Madam” – on high rotation on ABCNews24.

  38. victoria

    Goodness me PVO and others say that BOF may have genuinely forgot to have received the wine, but of course, Gillard was supposed to remember her role as a lawyer 20 years ago. Spare me

  39. gloryconsequence

    Abbott’s impulsive snap at the journalist who questioned the Libs was just weird.

  40. WeWantPaul

    [ but PVO makes out to be a credible commentator.]

    No he really really doesn’t – occasionally he does the pox on both your houses piece to build credibility with the gullible which he needs at times like these.

  41. Raaraa

    I take it that this is the most senior scalp to be claimed by this ICAC investigation?

  42. confessions

    citizen:

    Bushfire said the same thing about 2GB yesterday.

  43. Inner Westie

    Abbott dishing up a good serve of sour rhetorical inversion.

    O’Farrell is honourable, decent, respectable, admirable, a man integrity, a dedicated servant of the people of NSW and Australia.

    His misleading of ICAC was innocent and inadvertent.

    As Orwell said among his concluding remarks in Politics and the English Language:

    “Political language… is designed to make lies sound truthful… and to give an appearance of solidity to pure wind.”

  44. Asha Leu

    It does look very bad for O’Farrell. Either he’s been lying his arse off and is resigning before anything worse emerges, or he has been caught in some elaborate, House of Cards style set-up. Its eerily reminiscent of how the PM was forced to resign in the first season of the UK series… although, this time, I suspect there isn’t a Francis Urquhart behind the scenes planting evidence and receiving bottles of grange while disguised as Barry O’Farrell.

  45. citizen

    It is quite unprecedented how Abbott describes O’Farrell as “honourable” when resigning after proof is presented that he lied to the ICAC.

    This seems to suggest that, if Abbott were pinged under the same circumstances, he would have set up a Royal Commission into how corrupt the ICAC is.

  46. WeWantPaul

    When did the PM get the right to declare people innocent if a crime before they’ve even been charged with one.

  47. gloryconsequence

    Any other PM would have just said that he respects the Premier’s decision, is disappointed etc.

    Not give him a bloody ringing endorsement.

  48. crikey whitey

    WeWantPaul

    ‘When did the PM get the right to declare people innocent if a crime before they’ve even been charged with one’.

    Well, he is the King.

  49. shellbell

    The fight against corruption involves permanent vigilance and must be absolute.

    A sacrifice is warranted.

    Rumour around Berejiklian for Premier

  50. citizen

    [WeWantPaul
    Posted Wednesday, April 16, 2014 at 12:01 pm | PERMALINK
    When did the PM get the right to declare people innocent if a crime before they’ve even been charged with one.]

    He declared Thomson and Slipper guilty before they were even charged.

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