The NSW Treasurer Dominic Perrottet has made a stunning admission in NSW Parliament, confirming he referred his multi-billion dollar workers compensation agency iCare to the State’s corruption watchdog LAST YEAR – despite publicly backing the Board and saying IN PARLIAMENT LAST WEEK they’d done a “superb job” and should be “applauded”.
Mr Perrottet also revealed he’s known since early 2019 that the CEO of iCare was formally reprimanded after his wife was hired by the agency. NSW Labor said the Treasurer covered this up before finally accepting the CEO’s resignation last night when caught out by the Parliament and media.
NSW Labor Leader Jodi McKay today moved to censure NSW Treasurer Dominic Perrottet for covering up the debacle: “Dominic Perrottet has had ample opportunity to explain to the Parliament what he knew about the mismanagement of iCare, to come clean that he has referred it to the ICAC. But instead he’s blustered and given himself a pat on the back.
“Dominic Perrottet created iCare, and he is the only Minister in the Government responsible for it. But he has been trying to cover up his incompetence.
“The Treasurer must sack the iCare board. He must apologise for misleading the Parliament, and he must give a full explanation of how iCare has gotten so out of control.”
Labor Shadow Minister for Finance and Small Business Daniel Mookhey said: “There is a systemic problem within iCare. The so called ‘root and branch’ statutory review proposed by Dominic Perrottet is an inadequate response to the revelations that have been uncovered by the Parliament and the media.”
Under Dominic Perrottet's stewardship:
- iCare underpaid more than 50,000 injured workers as much as $80 million
- iCare awarded close to $120 million worth of contracts without tender in the past year
- iCare breached the law in 54% of claims they handled, according to an independent review which also warned about iCare’s long term sustainability
- iCare racked up underwriting losses totalling $4.54 billion in the past three years
- iCare's $3.9 billion surplus effectively disappeared before COVID-19 affected investment returns
- iCare sought to hike employer premiums by 4% and introduce a 'gap fee' for injured workers needing to see a doctor
A censure is a formal condemnation by the Parliament, and among the most serious levers Opposition has to hold the Government to account.