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Sth Coast Independent backs Gladys in 20-20 cliffhanger : casting vote used to save Premier

A no-confidence motion in the NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian, brought on by the Labor Opposition, was defeated on the casting vote of the President of the Legislative Council following a 20-20 vote on the motion.

South Coast Independent NSW MLC Justin Field said, “My vote against this motion of no-confidence is not a vote of confidence in the Premier or the Government. My vote is one to reserve judgement and allow the Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC) to do its work and fully inform the public and political debate.

“The actions of Daryl Maguire are disgraceful and reflect not just on him but on the political party of which he was a member and a Member of Parliament. The public should and will judge the Coalition and the Premier. 

“If the Legislative Council is to have a credible role as the House of Review we should exercise our powers on the basis of the most complete information possible. We cannot do that at this time. Pre-empting an independent inquiry by ICAC through a political process undermines the standing of the ICAC. We should protect those public institutions which protect our democratic systems. 

“It is clear that the laws and rules about disclosure of interests for Members of Parliament and rules around seeking secondary employment are inadequate. It is totally unacceptable that any Member of Parliament should make commissions for work done to facilitate property deals. The public are rightly horrified that this is not illegal.

“We should have been using our time today to pass legislation to make these sorts of activities illegal for all Members of Parliament, not just Ministers. We are all paid sufficiently to do this job full time. The public expects that we do this job full time and act at all times in the public interest,” Mr Field said. Meanwhile NSW Labor has condemned the Government for cutting short debate on the no confidence motion it brought against the Premier, Gladys Berejiklian saying:

"The Government allowed just two Labor speakers and two Liberals to address the issue. Not a single member of the crossbench was given an opportunity to speak before the matter was put to a vote.

"The Premier left the chamber before debate began.

The Manager of Opposition Business Ryan Park said: “There is no motion more serious than no confidence in a Premier. The Government’s decision to gag debate is outrageous.  

“This is a protection racket. They shut the debate down because they know the Premier’s position is untenable. 

“The Premier must be beyond reproach. The Premier must put the people of NSW first and report not just wrongdoing, but any suspected wrongdoing,” Mr Park.

“That didn’t happen. Gladys Berejiklian’s behaviour has eroded trust in the office of Premier and that’s why her position is untenable.”

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