‘Untruthful’ MP slams ICAC report, vows to fight

FORMER New South Wales police minister Mike Gallacher has rejected ICAC's finding that he lied under oath and assured voters he is "not corrupt".

The suspended Liberal MP - who remains on the Legislative Council crossbench - vowed to remain in politics, saying he would work to protest against ICAC's findings to clear his name.

The investigation found the former police officer had been "untruthful" and was involved in plans to channel illegal developer donations into the Liberal Party.

Mr Gallacher issued a statement emphasising ICAC had not found him to be corrupt.

In fact, the commission lacks the authority to find anyone corrupt after a raft of changes limiting its powers were ushered through parliament following a High Court challenge to its authority late last year.

Mr Gallacher was not one of the MPs ICAC recommended should face criminal or civil charges.

Here is his full statement:

I am not corrupt and I did not lie to the Independent Commission Against Corruption.

On 2 May 2013, I stood down because of an allegation by Counsel Assisting the ICAC that I supposedly "hatched a corrupt scheme to make donations to the Liberal Party using the Eightbyfive business".

Despite repeated demands for the basis on which that allegation was made, no detail or evidence was produced in relation to the matter and the allegation was not persisted with in final submissions.

I have not been referred to any external agency for investigation, there is no recommendation for any charges to be laid against me, and I reiterate, the Commission did not find me corrupt.

As for the other assertions and observations by the ICAC, I refute the wholly, and deny any accusation of untruthfulness.

In addition, a number of the findings rely on the evidence of one witness, Hugh Thomson, whose credibility and motives the ICAC did not allow to be properly tested.

I have requested the ICAC release all file notes and documents related to any dealings it or its officers had with Mr Thomson prior to him being called to give evidence at the public hearing.

I have also requested ICAC release all the submissions that were made to it and which it states it took into account when preparing its report.

Such a step is in the public interest and provides transparency and fairness.

I will continue to vigorously protest these findings.

I will have more to say on them specifically when parliament resumes.

Despite the deeply disappointing response from the ICAC, on a personal note, I am relieved the substantive part of the inquiry has concluded and the report from the Commissioner, such as it is, can be put aside.

I will now concentrate on my parliamentary duties on the crossbench.

Irrespective of the Commission's vague findings, they present no impediment to me continuing to be an advocate din the NSW Legislative Council.

My membership of the Parliamentary Liberal Party, I have been informed, will remain suspended.

I am however still a member of (the) Liberal Party, and will continue to advocate for conservative political causes in the Legislative Council.

The character of the Liberal Party has changed considerably since I was a minister in the Liberal-National Coalition government.

There have been many unwelcome challenges for conservative politics in Australia in recent years, mine amongst them.

I give a firm commitment to my supporters, particularly to those in the Hunter and Central Coast who selected me for endorsement by the Liberal Party for the Legislative Council, that I will continue to raise their concerns in the chamber and be a strong voice for conservative values.

-ARM NEWSDESK