“Deputy Director of Public Prosecutions Greg Smith was facing a deepening crisis yesterday after it was revealed he tried to call Opposition Leader Peter Debnam to discuss a politically damaging paedophile case,” this morning’s Daily Telegraph screams. “The revelations came as the Liberal Party’s star recruit for the seat of Epping embarked on a collision course with the Government and his own party by announcing he would not resign until February.”

Sussex and Holt Streets have joined together to do the DPP – and good governance is suffering.

The Telegraph and the NSW Labor machine have differing goals. Laura Norder sells newspapers, and lawyers and the Office of the DPP are obvious targets. The lads from Sussex Street just like behaving like boot boys. But their interests on this matter coincide.

The Tele’s being the Tele – but the NSW Labor machine are being hypocrites. Our very own Tammany Hall is pretending to be principled.

Let’s just go back to last week. The Tele reported then:

The NSW Liberal Party’s star recruit warned a colleague that child pornography had been found on his computer – before alerting police.

The Liberal candidate for Epping and would-be attorney-general, prosecutor Greg Smith, is now at the centre of a controversy at the office of the Director of Public Prosecutions.

A briefing document shown to The Daily Telegraph by sources close to the office of the DPP reveal Mr Smith phoned senior Crown prosecutor Patrick Power on July 4 and asked him to come into the office “urgently”.

He then informed Mr Power that explicit material – a video – had allegedly been found on his PC by an IT technician.

Mr Smith then asked Mr Power to resign and allowed him to go home. But it was not until later that day Mr Smith called the office of Police Commissioner Ken Moroney – and another two days before Mr Power was arrested by police and charged.

As we observed back then, NSW Police Minister Carl Scully went out pushing the party line about Smith and Power – yet when he was asked if he was happy with PC Plod’s performance in not searching Power’s house for two days, he automatically said they do a wonderful job. That’s hypocrisy.

And there’s more Labor hypocrisy here, too. The Sydney Morning Herald observes today:

By law a person does not have to resign from the public service until he or she formally nominates as a candidate. The Labor MP Linda Burney was head of the Department of Aboriginal Affairs until a month before her election in 2003.

Smith and NSW Liberal leader Peter Debnam have not handled themselves at all well in all this. It’s arguable that Smith has compromised his office – but it’s also crystal clear that the NSW Government has launched an unprecedented political attack on a statutory officer for purely party political reasons.

That damages the fabric of government as much as anything Smith’s supposed to have done.

Peter Fray

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