Wednesday, 13 November 2013

NSW State Emergency Service under the ICAC microscope

For many years I have heard female volunteer State Emergency Service workers complain about the blokey administrative culture of this vital agency.
Less often I have heard allegations about behaviour which came close to being unethical at best and at worst something else entirely.

Now The North West Star on 8 November 2013 reveals that these types of complaints may have some basis in fact:

NSW State Emergency Service Commissioner Murray Kear will come under the microscope at an ICAC inquiry next month.
The Independent Commission Against Corruption announced on Thursday that it would hold an inquiry from December 3, as part of an investigation into the sacking of former SES deputy commissioner Tara McCarthy.
The inquiry will probe whether Mr Kear dismissed Ms McCarthy in May in reprisal, after she alleged her colleague SES Deputy Commissioner Steven Pearce had acted corruptly.
It is expected to run for up to two weeks. The inquiry will also examine allegations that Mr Kear failed to appropriately investigate Ms McCarthy’s claims regarding Mr Pearce.
Mr Kear is also alleged to have made false statements or attempted to mislead an officer of the commission.
ICAC Assistant Commissioner Theresa Hamilton will preside over the inquiry, while Michael Fordham, SC, and Callan O’Neill will act as counsel assisting....

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