Lockouts leader Barry O’Farrell resigns as NSW Premier
Barry O’Farrell – the politician who led Sydney’s controversial lockout legislation – has today resigned as NSW Premier. O’Farrell announced at a press conference this morning that he was stepping down from his position after being found to have lied in a corruption inquiry.
O’Farrell was called to give evidence yesterday in the Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC) inquiry into the family of former Labor Party politician Eddie Obeid, who are being investigated for hiding their investment in Australian Water Holdings and lobbying the NSW government for a partnership with Sydney Water that could have netted them $60 million.
O’Farrell was called to the witness box yesterday to answer questions about his relationship with Liberal Party fundraiser Nick Di Girolamo, who was linked to the Obeid family, and denied claims while in the witness box that he accepted a $3000 bottle of wine as a gift from Girolamo.
Today, Girolamo produced a handwritten note from O’Farrell thanking him for the gift, proving the former Premier had lied in his testimony. “I still can’t explain either the arrival of a gift that I have no recollection of or it’s, eh, absence which I certainly still can’t fathom,” he said in this morning’s press conference, reported by the Sydney Morning Herald. “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.”
It’s unclear at this time whether O’Farrell’s resignation will have any impact on Sydney’s lockout legislation, which came into effect in March.