Sydney; New South Wales Premier Barry O’Farrell has resigned after giving evidence to the Independent Commission Against Corruption that he did
not receive a gift of $3000 Grange wine from Australian Water Holdings.
A commission’s inquiry held yesterday unveiled that the wine was delivered to the Premier’s home to attempt to “butter him up” and encourage him to give the company a public-private partnership.
Mr O’Farrell told reporters a thank-you card signed by him for the gift has emerged.
He said he did not recall and could not explain the note.
The Premier said he yesterday gave evidence to the commission to the best of his knowledge and believed it to be truthful.
“In no way did I seek to mislead, willfully or otherwise, the Independent Commission Against Corruption,” he said.
“This has clearly been a significant memory fail on my part.
“I still can’t explain either the arrival of a gift that I have no recollection of or its absence which I certainly still can’t fathom.
“But I accept consequences and in an orderly way a new Liberal leader will be elected to take up the position of Premier of NSW.”
Yesterday he denied receiving the gift, saying over the period the wine was supposed to have been delivered, he and his family had been on holidays in Queensland.
Prime Minister Tony Abbott told reporters that Mr O’Farrell’s decision to resign was an “utterly honourable” step.
“I have enormous respect and admiration for Barry O’Farrell,” Mr Abbott said, adding that the Premier had been a “great servant” of the people of New South Wales.