Barry O’Farrell toppled by $3000 Grange
NSW Premier Barry O’Farrell announced this morning he will resign over a ‘massive memory fail’ at ICAC over a $3000 bottle of wine.
The Premier appeared before the Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC) yesterday, where he denied being given a 1959 bottle of Penfold Grange worth $3000 for his birthday by Australia Water Holdings executive Nick Di Girolamo in 2011.
It has also been revealed that on the day of the delivery of the wine Mr O’Farrell spoke with Mr Di Girolamo on the phone.
The now ex-Premier told media this morning that he had not ‘wilfully’ misled ICAC, and, ‘As someone who believes in accountability, in responsibility, I accept the consequences of my action.’
He will formally resign at a meeting of the Liberal party next week, where a new leader of the party, and Premier, will be elected.
Prime Minister Tony Abbott described the Premier as a ‘friend’, and says the resignation is ‘an act of integrity, an act of honour, the like of which we have rarely seen in Australian politics’.
‘I admire him tremendously for this, although I deeply regret the necessity for it.’
Kiama MP Gareth Ward, South Coast MP Shelley Hancock and Heathcote MP Lee Evans in a statement today praised ‘the leadership of Barry O’Farrell as the State’s Premier over the last 3 years’.
‘Since coming to office, Barry O’Farrell has held his Government to the highest standards – today he applied those standards to himself,’ the statement said.
Mr O’Farrell was to greet the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge this afternoon, but according to The Guardian Australia, Mr O’Farrell and his wife Rosemary O’Farrell did not carry out their official duties this afternoon.
The University and local Labor MPs were approached for comment by UOWTV Multimedia but were unavailable before time of publication.
Multimedia Reporter: Andre Charadia
UOW students react to the resignation
Chelsea Anstee hit the campus grounds to ask what people thought about losing their Premier.
Multimedia Reporter: Chelsea Anstee
Twitter reacts to the resignation
O’Farrell’s resignation was sudden and unexpected, and the media reacted quickly and intensely. Of course, the internet also reacted, and fabulously so. Here’s how #Grangegate broke on Twitter.