O’Farrell resigns

A thread for discussion of today’s shock resignation of New South Wales Premier Barry O’Farrell.

New South Wales will shortly have its fifth Premier in seven years following the bombshell resignation of Barry O’Farrell, who was today embarrassed by the emergence of a card in which he thanked Australian Water Holdings boss Nick Di Girolamo for a $3000 bottle of wine he yesterday denied having received. O’Farrell is the state’s second Liberal Premier to have been brought down by the exertions of the Independent Commission Against Corruption, Nick Greiner having fallen foul of an adverse ruling in 1992 involving a job offer to Liberal-turned-independent MP Terry Metherell. It now falls to the Liberal Party to find a replacement: without being too aware of the daily machinations of New South Wales politics, my immediate presumption was that the Treasurer, Mike Baird, would be the front-runner. However, I am seeing Gladys Berejiklian, Andrew Constance, Brad Hazzard and Jillian Skinner mentioned around the place.

Author: William Bowe

William Bowe is a Perth-based election analyst and occasional teacher of political science. His blog, The Poll Bludger, has existed in one form or another since 2004, and is one of the most heavily trafficked websites on Australian politics.

721 comments on “O’Farrell resigns”

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  1. victoria

    Considering what his pension and ex premier benefits will be he will be doing a Liberace ,”I cried all the way to the bank.”

  2. victoria:

    We’ve been asking the exact same questions for the past 24hrs. Yet OM appears to still be hung up on prosecuting this whole notion of BOF as some honourable victim.

    Meanwhile the meaningful questions keep mounting.

  3. ‘Is this the most idiotic piece ever published?’

    And which Hartcher is related to another Hartcher who will be appearing at ICAC?

  4. Ex Senator/Premier Bob Carr was surprisingly gentle in his comments about BoF on local radio. So much so that the local commentator was want to say if the boot were on the other foot/feet – Abbott would have jumped in hobnails and all.

    Maybe there are some nasties in store for Labor as well?

    After all, NSW Labor has hardly had its nose out of one scandal or another for years, and destroyed at the ballot box for being so.

  5. [Yet OM appears to still be hung up on prosecuting this whole notion of BOF as some honourable victim.]

    I don’t think he’s honourable, a victim or, in any other way, noble or innocent. I do however agree with the shock of resigning over something like this. I’ve seen politicians fight to the bitter end, even when they’ve still got their hand in the till.

    I am forgoing the “he’s noble and taking responsibility” explanation and asking instead: is there more to come? Or, as a state Coalition MP put it, is it a case of O’Farrell not having the fortitude to actually fight for anything, opting to back down when things get tough (even when it means the end of your leadership)?

  6. Nick Di Girolamo did not have to produce the thank you card which was in his possession. He could have disposed of it and there could have been some doubt as to whether BOF ever recivd this gift.

  7. [508

    Murdoch will only support Abbott for as long as it suits his purposes.]

    Going to be interesting to see which of those two ruthless backstabbing shits shafts the other first.

  8. Carey M:

    The point isn’t BOF’s honourableness or victimness or otherwise, but the straight up questions that remain which have been well documented here over the past two days.

    Press gallery mob would do well to focus on those rather than opinionating over BOF’s current predicament.

  9. Another possibility: Barry’s calling someone’s bluff. He’s saying, ‘Try and replace me with a less-tainted person, if you can find one!’

    He’ll be back, and meanwhile, he won’t be leader while Op Spicer opens a few more closets.

    Thoughts? Does it float?

  10. [376

    Just Me @353: +1. Abbott and any one of that bunch of clowns known as the Federal Cabinet.]

    One is spoiled for choice.

  11. [Strangely, the alleged bludger “Everything” is MIA tonight. She must be bottling her indignation.]

    She’s lying back and basking in Bof’s reflected integrity.

  12. [Strangely, the alleged bludger “Everything” is MIA tonight. She must be bottling her indignation.]

    After the reaming we all copped last night coupled with his/her insistence we refer to the Grange as an alleged Grange (does such a thing even exist?), the absence is indeed curious.

    I’m giving ML the benefit of the doubt by assuming s/he is catching up on sleep after a very active night last night. 😀

  13. So what is the follow on ICAC investigation?

    [In Operation Spicer, the ICAC is investigating allegations that certain members of parliament and others corruptly solicited, received and concealed payments from various sources in return for certain members of parliament and others favouring the interests of those responsible for the payments. It is also alleged that certain members of parliament and others solicited and failed to disclose political donations from companies, including prohibited donors, contrary to the Election Funding, Expenditure and Disclosures Act 1981.]

    Now Nick Di Geronimo was donating money to EightByFive, the Liberal Party Central Coast slush fund, and he had Tim Koelma who was running the fund, on the AWH payroll as a consultant. Lots of other undeclared donations found their way into the slush fund.

    Who was benefitting from all this largesse? Surely not some NSW elected members of Parliament.

  14. Quenton Dempster reckons that O’Farrell was actually done in by the bad luck of this thank you message not being in evidence in the ICAC yesterday. Both Dempster and the ABC reporter who read the card while it was on screen totally ignored the fact that the word “all” was underlined in thanking Nick for all his support. Due to BOF’s resignation, I assume such issues will never be explored now.

  15. [Thoughts? Does it float?]

    From his tweets PvO is certainly hoping it does.

    My own view is once ICAC’d, never to return. But I guess we’ll see how this whole NSW thing plays out.

  16. Not where I read it, but it will do.


    The disgraced Orkopoulos referred to the two men as failed directors and thieves even though they are well known and well respected citizens on the Central Coast “who have given a lifetime of commitment to Aboriginal welfare and advancement in NSW”, according to Hartcher, cousin of Sydney Morning Herald senior writer Peter Hartcher.

  17. Henry@529

    Sarah Henderson on 7 30 just gave Nick Greiner a real grilling about the whole fiasco and Greiner’s role in creating AWH.
    Greiner was visibly furious.

    What was a Liberal MHR doing running 7.30?

  18. ICAC sorta sounds llke Ipecac. 🙂

    [ipecac, is derived from the dried rhizome and roots of the ipecacuanha. It is typically used to induce vomiting]

  19. [William, your pontification a while back regarding next March’s NSW election just went south.]

    Don’t recall that, but I’m guessing I said the Coalition was certain to be re-elected. If you believe the upshot of today’s events is that NSW voters will be ready to vote Labor back in, I think you should dial your expectations back a little.

  20. Just as a matter of interest, is there any independent evidence that the “thank you” note from Mr O’Farrell wasn’t a forgery, in the great tradition of the Zinoviev letter and the Canuck letter?

  21. The best thing about today’s events is witnessing Abbott’s press explosion, and patronising a journalist as “Madam”.

    He was clearly angry about BOF going, and his tributes to BOF were sickening.

    The press conference confirmed a lot of things we have all said about Abbott the person.

  22. [ poroti
    Posted Wednesday, April 16, 2014 at 9:05 pm | PERMALINK

    Uber mordor shill Paul Murray says “I can reveal” that Boffa is going full on for the Gladys]

    Is Gladys a single, deliberately barren woman living in sin?

  23. [ he won’t be leader while Op Spicer opens a few more closets. ]

    But having been leader, or at least very senior in the NSW party for some time, surely he will be called to give evidence on this regardless of whether or not he is currently Premier??

  24. [581
    outside left
    Posted Wednesday, April 16, 2014 at 8:51 pm | PERMALINK
    From inside of the NSW Labor bunker… we’ve been told to STFU, smile a lot and have a drinky!!!]

    Makes one proud to be from NSW

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