New ICAC Commissioners to attend Riverina Murray outreach visit

Thursday 24 August 2017

The NSW Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC) new Commissioners will visit the Riverina Murray next week, where the Commission will be conducting a rural and regional outreach program to bring anti-corruption initiatives and training to centres across the state.

The visit, to be based in Albury from 28 to 31 August, will include workshops for state and local government agencies to raise awareness of corruption risks and learn ways to prevent corrupt conduct.

The new ICAC Chief Commissioner, the Hon Peter Hall QC, will host a community leaders’ breakfast on Tuesday 29 August as part of the visit. Chief Commissioner Hall will be joined by the new Commissioners, Patricia McDonald SC and Stephen Rushton SC. The Commissioners will discuss the roles and functions of the ICAC at the breakfast, which will also feature special guest, Acting NSW Ombudsman Professor John McMillan AO. Professor McMillan will talk about the role of the NSW Ombudsman.

Chief Commissioner Hall said that corruption prevention is a very important function of the Commission, and noted that the high level of interest shown in the visit by local public officials was very encouraging, with over 60 public officials from around 20 agencies already enrolled in the workshops. “The response to the upcoming Riverina-Murray outreach visit indicates that the agencies and officials located in the area are keen to learn about corruption prevention and how they can apply the skills and knowledge that the Commission’s experts will be sharing with them in the face-to-face activities next week,” Chief Commissioner Hall said.

Workshops scheduled for this visit include: corruption prevention for managers, which focuses on developing an understanding of the nature of corruption, how and why it occurs, and what managers can do to prevent it; corruption prevention for planning professionals, designed for town planners and related public officials working within the planning system; corruption prevention in procurement and contract management to assist managers and staff responsible for procurement to identify where systems weaknesses and corruption opportunities may lie; and fact-finder, which is an introductory workshop for those who may be required to conduct an internal fact-finding investigation into a complaint or allegations of staff wrongdoing, including misconduct or corruption.

Approximately 45 people will attend the community leaders’ breakfast, including Mr Greg Aplin MP, Member for Albury, Albury Deputy Mayor Councillor Amanda Cohn, and representatives from local and state government agencies and community interest groups. Agencies attending the outreach activities include the NSW Department of Premier and Cabinet, National Parks and Wildlife Service, Murrumbidgee Local Health District, Department of Primary Industries, Charles Sturt University, Department of Education, Legal Aid NSW, Department of Justice, Office of Environment and Heritage, Fire and Rescue NSW, the NSW Police Force and TAFE NSW. Albury City, Murrumbidgee, Riverina Water County, Leeton Shire, Edward River, Narrandera Shire, Lockhart Shire, Goldenfields Water County and Hay Shire councils are also expected to participate.

The ICAC rural and regional outreach program has proved highly successful since its inception in 2001. Previous visits have included to the central coast, the Illawarra, the Hunter, the south east, the central west, the north coast, the northern inland, the south coast, the central west, the far west, and the Blue Mountains. The Commission’s rural and regional outreach program last visited the Riverina Murray in 2012.

Enquiries and interview requests: ICAC Manager Communications & Media, Nicole Thomas, 02 8281 5799 / 0417 467 801 News Directors/Ed’s note: Media are welcome to attend the Community Leaders’ Breakfast at the Atura Hotel, 648 Dean Street, Albury, on Tuesday 29 August at 7.15 am. Please RSVP to Nicole Thomas at the above numbers or email nthomas@icac.nsw.gov.au by 3 pm on Thursday 24 August 2017.