ICAC looms but Baird fires up for first day in Parliament
WITH the resignation of his trusted Police Minister hanging over his head and the knowledge the corruption watchdog had more in store for his embattled party, Mike Baird prepared for battle on his first day in NSW Parliament as Premier on Tuesday.
Just when he thought things couldn't get worse, the Premier woke to the news ICAC would likely be suspending its investigation into allegations of illegal political donations until August with a final report expected around December - just three months before the next state election.
Mr Gallacher had been expected to be called to give evidence but Counsel Assisting the commission Geoffrey Watson asked for the current inquiry to be adjourned so further allegations of "serious electoral funding irregularities" against the former police minister and several others could be properly investigated.
ICAC has already heard Mr Gallacher, a former senior police officer, was allegedly at the centre of a scheme where thousands were funnelled from mining magnate Nathan Tinkler's business Buildev into a secret Liberal Party fund.
Operation Spicer is investigating claims Mr Gallacher was just one of several high ranking Liberal Party politicians involved in the scheme in the lead up to the 2011 election.
Lawyers for Central Coast MP's Chris Hartcher, Darren Webber and Chris Spence, who are all accused of channelling funds through bogus company Eightybyfive, argued the delay disadvantaged their client's political careers but former Supreme Court Justice Megan Latham granted the adjournment.
Mr Baird has repeatedly assured the public corruption will not be tolerated and he has the team to take the state forward.
Announcing the appointment of Western Sydney Stuart Ayres as Police Minister on Tuesday, Mr Baird
The message was lost during a series of mud-slinging matches during question time which ensured the Premier's day ended just as pleasantly as it begun.
Operation Spicer is expected to be adjourned for at least three months.
An internal inquiry into the Liberal Party, will be carried out by former ICAC investigator Michael Symons.