So many secrets, NSW Treasurer and Premier both caught hiding the truth

The Treasurer and the Premier must both step up and tell the truth about their involvement in separate scandals – the ongoing iCare disaster and the $250 million pork barrel known as the Stronger Community Grants for councils.

Today’s fresh revelations show the Treasurer had two paid iCare staff in his office while he publicly defended the scandal-ridden organisation and that the government desperately tried to hide the Premier’s role in granting over $100 million of partisan council grants in the lead up to the 2019 state election.

Our office worked hard to force the release of this information, including the document at right which shows how the Government amended their answers to Parliament to hide the Premier’s involvement and instead claim it was a Cabinet decision.

Greens MP David Shoebridge said:

“It is almost unbelievable that while the Treasurer was publicly defending iCare both inside and outside Parliament that he secretly had two fully paid iCare staff in his office.

“Every single cent that went to pay for the Treasurer’s two iCare staff was money that was diverted from helping injured workers. 

“This was more than a conflict of interest, this was the Treasurer taking money from injured workers to pay for political staffers.

“We have heard case after case of injured workers who have been thrown off the scheme, struggling in poverty, and now we hear that hundreds of thousands of dollars are being bled from the scheme to pay for the Treasurer’s staff.

“The Treasurer can’t hide behind the resignation of his chief of staff. He now needs to volunteer to come before the Parliamentary inquiry into iCare and explain in detail what he knew and when about iCare paying for his staff. 

“Things are just as troubling in the Premier’s office. 

“The Stronger Communities grants to councils saw almost 80% of the $250 million in council grants delivered to councils wholly in coalition held seats. 

“We now know that the Premier signed off on over half of these grants in the lead up to the 2019 state election, and that the government has been desperately trying to hide this fact from Parliament and the public.

“Documents released by Parliament yesterday show the Office of Local Government censoring out the Premier’s role when drafting answers to questions on notice in the NSW Parliament.

“Both the Premier and the Treasurer need to answer to the public about their partisan use of public money,” Mr Shoebridge said