New South Wales

Apr 16, 2014

O’Farrell — and NSW voters — pay the price for an inexplicable lapse

Barry O'Farrell's premiership has been brought to an end by a bizarre lapse in memory. But will politicians realise their close relations with business are the real problem?

Bernard Keane — Politics editor

Bernard Keane

Politics editor

For three years Barry O’Farrell has been an excellent premier of a state that desperately needed both good government and an end to the blatant corruption that became a feature of New South Wales Labor’s last years in power.

Like any politician, he was not above compromise and deal-making — his pandering to Legislative Council crossbenchers like the Shooters Party and Fred Nile was faintly sordid. The circumstances in which James Packer was given his way on Barangaroo — enabled by both O’Farrell and Labor — leave a particularly unpleasant taste in the mouth.

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59 thoughts on “O’Farrell — and NSW voters — pay the price for an inexplicable lapse

  1. Glen

    Thank you notes I received years ago are god knows where; even that one from the president of a global corporation. Di Girolamo apparently keeps his carefully archived, ready to play at a moment’s notice. They play it tough in NSW.

  2. Vincent O'Donnell

    I have held Mr O’Farrell in high regard, but surely the original lapse, that of accepting a notable wine that wasn’t a $25 special at a plonk warehouse, was the real lapse of judgement.

  3. paddy

    [There are few who will seriously entertain the idea that he lied]
    Sorry Bernard, I suspect the vast majority of the voting public think just that.
    He lied to ICAC and was trapped by an irrefutable piece of evidence.
    That’s not to say he wasn’t a good premier and a *vast* improvement on his numerous predecessors.
    But you can’t commit perjury and stay in the job.
    NSW will probably be the worse for his loss, as the Liberal right will no doubt profit from his departure.
    But he was caught out in the most public and humiliating circumstances lying to ICAC. The public didn’t believe Sinadinos either and he’ll probably have to follow suit “in the fullness of time”.

    The sheer toxicity of NSW politics and its long history of being beholden to colorful characters, continues to amaze and depress me.

  4. klewso

    If that’s what one bottle of Grange does to your memory ……?

  5. Mark from Melbourne

    The really sad part for us is that someone who is a relative straight shooter does the right thing and falls on their sword, whilst the real slime balls survive and thrive.

  6. Thorn

    At the end of the day, O’Farrell did lie to ICAC. He has to accept the same language that has been dished out to Labor over the years. Once someone has been caught in a lie, everything else they have touched is subject to being seen through that prism. I didn’t mind O’Farrell (at least he wasn’t some far right nutcase like Abbott) but he has done nothing of note as Premier, and some of the things he has done are against the interests of the people of NSW.

  7. klewso

    How many casks did Arfur get?

  8. Bill Hilliger

    ICAC was setup by the Liberals to rightfully expose spivs like Obeid et al and of course at the embarrass Labor as much as possible in the process. Well as the saying goes: dig a hole to trap someone else and fall in it yourself; in this instance has been poetic. So far ICAC has worked wonders for Labor, it has been instrumental in the downfall of two liberal party spivs Arthur (I know nuffing, and I cant recall) Sinodinos and now Barry (a memory fail moment) O’Farrel. What a catch! Yes Veronica, truth is stranger than fiction. The big question asked at an Abbott media conference …is the current NSW government corrupt, did to say the least, get right up Mr Abbotts nose.

  9. klewso

    It reminds me of the “Bottom of the Harbour” inquiry. And let’s not forget, this is the party that spawned Askin and it’s country cousin, Bjelke-Petersen.
    [“Let he who is without sin cast the first inquiry!”?]

  10. Liamj

    Perhaps O’Farrell took this ‘honourable’ (according to Abbott) course because there are smellier scandals drifting his way.. or is this the LNP trying to insert a sacrificial circuit breaker into the AWH scandal?

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