Explosive ICAC letter to be revealed

Explosive ICAC letter to be revealed

A resignation letter penned by NSW’s former construction watchdog boss that’s been handed to anti-corruption authorities is set to be released publicly.

The public will get to see the letter former building commissioner David Chandler wrote when he resigned last month, and opposition MPs will be among those lining up to read it.

It’s expected to reveal Mr Chandler cited a “problematic” relationship with the former fair trading minister who oversaw him, Eleni Petinos, whose office he found it difficult to get a hold of.

Ms Petinos was recently asked to resign by the Premier after he was made aware of allegations, which she denied, that she ran an unsafe office.

The letter is also expected to contain references to a stop-work order Mr Chandler issued to Coronation Property, a firm that earlier this year hired ex-deputy premier John Barilaro as its executive director.

Ministerial diaries published this week reveal Ms Petinos met twice with Coronation Property in June.

One of those meetings, on June 21, was attended by Mr Barilaro, who at the time had just resigned from the property firm where he held the title of executive director.

Mr Barilaro told The Daily Telegraph that the meeting was a “social engagement” to “celebrate his appointment” as senior trade and investment commissioner.

However Ms Petinos listed the meeting as being about “Fair Trading building related matters”.

Premier Dominic Perrottet revealed on Wednesday that a senior bureaucrat had sent the letter to the Independent Commission Against Corruption on August 1.

Mr Perrottet had not read the letter or been made aware it had been handed to the ICAC until Tuesday night.

“I’ve read the resignation letter from David Chandler to the Department of Customer Service secretary Emma Hogan,” he told parliament on Wednesday.

“This is a personal letter related to an employment matter.

“I’ve been advised by the secretary that appropriate action was taken by her in relation to the contents of the letter. Out of the abundance of caution the letter was provided to the ICAC for information.”

NSW Labor has demanded the letter be made public, believing it may shine light on why the building watchdog boss quit.

MPs on a committee investigating Mr Barilaro’s appointment as trade envoy to New York are understood to be interested in further examining contacts between Ms Petinos, Mr Barilaro and Coronation Property.

Mr Barilaro will be back before the committee on Friday and is expected to be quizzed about the matter.

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