26.5 C
Byron Shire
March 4, 2024

Penny Sharpe MLC responds to Ayres decision

Latest News

Government convenes Coastal Water Safety Roundtable today

NSW Minister for Emergency Services Jihad Dib will lead an expert roundtable looking at how more lives can be saved on NSW beaches after more than a dozen coastal drownings this summer.

Other News

Smith MP urges planning minister to call in Wallum

Yesterday the media gathered at the proposed Wallum development at Brunswick Heads as Tamara Smith, Member for Ballina, held a conference to urge the NSW planning minister to refer the development the federal environment minister.

People becoming severely ill at home due to heat

People experiencing financial and social disadvantage are struggling to keep their homes cool in summer and becoming seriously unwell from the heat, new ACOSS research has found.

Ballina bus interchange upgrade starts in one week

Ballina Shire Council will be upgrading the Tamar Street Bus Interchange in Ballina’s CBD from Monday 11 March.

Israel Palestine

Audacious, humane, sensible, permanent. Achieving such a solution to the present Middle East crisis would require persons of state,...

Byron Bay local is 2024 Glover Prize Finalist

Local watercolourist Dave Sparkes has been selected as a finalist in the 2024 John Glover Prize, Australia’s prestigious landscape award.

Investment fraud charges – Gold Coast

Detectives from the Financial and Cyber Crime Group have arrested and charged five people in relation to an alleged ‘boiler room’ investment fraud operating on the Gold Coast.

Penny Sharpe MLC, Leader of the Opposition in the NSW Legislative Council. Photo supplied.

The Leader of the Opposition in the NSW Legislative Council, Penny Sharpe, spoke to the media late yesterday about former minister Stuart Ayres being cleared of wrongdoing in regard to John Barilaro’s appointment as NSW Trade Commissioner in New York.

The review into Mr Ayres’ behaviour was conducted by Stuart McClintock SC. NSW Premier Dominic Perrottet has not yet said whether Mr Ayres will be reinstated as a minister.

Penny Sharpe MLC said, ‘The McClintock review today was a very narrow review that looked at Mr. Ayres’ actions within the ministerial code of conduct. What it did not look at was his misleading of the parliament when it came to the ability for two very well qualified women to be considered for that role.’

She said Stuart Ayres was still ‘in a lot of trouble’, and had showed ‘poor judgement’ which would continue to be examined through the Public Accountability Committee, as would the role of the premier in the scandal.

‘I don’t think that the community will think that this passes any pub test,’ said Ms Sharpe. ‘What we’ve seen is a jobs for the boys culture, and that continues.’

Stuart Ayres recently resigned as the Deputy Leader of the NSW Parliamentary Liberal Party, Minister for Enterprise, Investment and Trade, Minister for Tourism and Sport.

Will Stuart Ayres return?

Penny Sharpe said there would be a ‘lot of concern in the community’ if Mr Ayres returned to cabinet.

‘What we know is that he worked through the process that saw Mr Barilaro appointed. He told the parliament that there was no suitable candidate for that role and he stood by John Barilaro.

‘It shows at best, a willingness to mislead the parliament,’ she said. ‘Let’s understand what’s happened here – two very good women who were qualified for that very important role in New York didn’t get the job because of the actions of Stuart Ayres and him working with his department.

‘We’re looking at the secretary of his department, from evidence from the secretary of DPC last week, possibly losing her job. At the end of the day, we’re going to have jobs for the boys and Stuart Ayres will benefit if he’s returned,’ said Ms Sharpe.

‘He may not have technically breached the ministerial code of conduct, but he’s shown very poor judgment and the premier has allowed him to do that all the way along.’


While Mr Ayres yesterday described the McClintock review as an ’emphatic exoneration’, Penny Sharpe MLC suggested that the case may yet be referred to ICAC.

‘The point here is that if the premier today thinks that Stuart Ayres is cleared and there’s nothing to see here, I just think that the community don’t believe that’s the case, and nor should they,’ she said.

‘It shouldn’t be the case that after all this time, the best person who’s lined up for a plum job in New York is the ex-deputy premier who created the job for himself.’

Support The Echo

Keeping the community together and the community voice loud and clear is what The Echo is about. More than ever we need your help to keep this voice alive and thriving in the community.

Like all businesses we are struggling to keep food on the table of all our local and hard working journalists, artists, sales, delivery and drudges who keep the news coming out to you both in the newspaper and online. If you can spare a few dollars a week – or maybe more – we would appreciate all the support you are able to give to keep the voice of independent, local journalism alive.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

People becoming severely ill at home due to heat

People experiencing financial and social disadvantage are struggling to keep their homes cool in summer and becoming seriously unwell from the heat, new ACOSS research has found.

Firefighters called to Bruns Bakery yesterday

Fire and Rescue NSW say they attended commercial premises in Fingal Street in Brunswick Heads after reports of an electrical fire at 4pm yesterday afternoon.

Rifle Range Road upgrade about to start

It’s a project that has endured many delays, but Byron Shire Council says the upgrade of Rifle Range Road at Bangalow is finally due to start in early April.

Invasive Species Council gives evidence to federal fire ant inquiry

A Senate Committee inquiry will hear evidence today that changes are needed in Australia’s fire ant response – including the creation of an independent eradication authority.