News

NSW Govt denies knowledge of Cansdell allowance allegations

Deputy Premier Andrew Stoner
Deputy Premier Andrew Stoner Adam Hourigan

COALITION leaders have told the State Parliament they were not aware of allegations that former Clarence MP Steve Cansdell rorted a staff allowance to help the Nationals during the 2010 federal election campaign.

It was revealed this week that the Independent Commission Against Corruption referred the allegations to the Speaker of the Legislative Assembly Shelley Hancock in November, two months after Mr Cansdell resigned from politics for falsely signing a statutory declaration to avoid a speeding fine.

Allegations of the potential rort were made to ICAC by Kath Palmer, who said she was required to work on Kevin Hogan's campaign in the federal seat of Page.

Mr Cansdell was allegedly claiming a staff allowance for Ms Palmer at the time.

Mr Hogan told APN paper The Daily Examiner this week he "assumed she was volunteering".

Ms Hancock, who as Speaker was Ms Palmer's employer, told Fairfax this week she decided in November not to act on the information referred to her by ICAC "since verification of the material would be difficult".

But the Liberal MP for South Coast has now asked parliamentary officers to review the material, which according to Fairfax included Ms Palmer's work diaries and claim forms.

During question time on Thursday, Opposition Leader John Robertson asked Premier Barry O'Farrell and his deputy Andrew Stoner separately whether the Speaker alerted either, or anyone in their offices, about the allegations relating to the staff allowance.

Mr Stoner said the question contained "some fairly inflammatory and inaccurate terminology", and then set about outlining the sequence of events relating to the false statutory declaration.

He concluded his answer by saying: "As to whether I have had any conversations with the Speaker in relation to these matters, as I have reported to the House on previous occasions the answer is simple, no."

Mr O'Farrell said: "No, I had no knowledge. There was no consultation prior to the (Fairfax) report today.

"I certainly did talk to the Speaker after I saw the report today and she repeated what was published in today's paper.

"There was no prior conversation or contact with me or my staff about the Independent Commission Against Corruption matter."

The Opposition then failed to have standing orders suspended to allow Ms Hancock to make a statement to the Parliament about the matter.

Topics:  coalition, nsw government, o'farrell government, steve cansdell



Snapper grom aiming high

TALENTED: Snapper surfrider Pacha Light is representing Australia at next month's World ISA junior titles at the Azore Islands in Portugal.

Surf Scene: Pacha Light on her way to the worlds

Students sleeping rough for homeless

SCU Gold Coast chaplain Kate Morris, Masters of Social Work student Angie Walker and YHAF CEO John Lee.

Students sleeping rough for a cause

Latest deals and offers

The Hard Word reviews Kyzer Soze

Kyzer Soze are playing Brisbane tomorrow at the Crowbar in Fortitude Valley. Photo Contributed

Kyzer Soze summon the evil for this mighty slab of death metal

Britney Spears 'almost drowned' in Hawaii

Britney Spears has revealed she 'almost drowned' while on holiday

Doco reveals real story behind Black Hawk Down

Former Black Hawk pilot Mike Durant shares his story, which helped to inspire the movie Black Hawk Down, in the TV series No Man Left Behind.

FORMER pilot recounts ordeal which inspired a Hollywood movie.

What's on the big screen this week

Toby Kebbell and Jack Huston in a scene from the movie Ben-Hur.

AN OLD classic returns to the big screen with a new young star.

Bachelor Richie gives bacon-loving Noni the boot

Noni Janur features on this season of The Bachelor.

TOOWOOMBA swimwear designer still single but focusing on her career.

Zumbo's Just Desserts serves up magical dishes

Gigi Falanga, left, joins hosts Adriano Zumbo and Rachel Khoo on the TV series Zumbo's Just Desserts.

ADRIANO Zumbo’s decadent creations have become prime-time viewing.

ISLAND FOR SALE: Cheap Fraser Coast island drops price again

Suna Island in the Great Sandy Strait will be auctioned by Ray White Hervey Bay on Saturday morning.

This is the cheapest island you will find for sale in Australia

How a family home can fit on a 250sq m block

This is what you can build on 250m2.

Here's the floor plan of a home built on 250sq m

Investors eye Gladstone's $4m island with resort approval

UP FOR SALE: Turtle Island is on the market.

CHINESE and Sydney investors flag interest in Gladstone island.

Take a sneak peek at this $19m Whitsunday mansion

Mandalay House features a private helipad.

Mandalay is currently on the market with an asking price of $19m

Guess which Sunshine Coast suburb cracked the million dollar list?

This four-bedroom home at 26 McAnally Dr, Sunshine Beach was for sale for $7 million.

List of Australia's five most-expensive suburbs

Does it get any better than this? Check out this $2M home

LUXURY LIVING: The Coral Cove home built by Steve Coates Constructions that took out the best home over $2 million and the Wide Bay Burnett House of the Year at the Master Builders Wide Bay Burnett Housing and Construction Awards.

Wide Bay's best home is right on our doorstep