NSW GOVERNMENT MINISTER ASKED TO EXPLAIN CONFLICT OF INTEREST

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For the second day in a row a Berejiklian Government frontbencher is in trouble over pecuniary interest declarations and a conflict of interest.

Stuart Ayres was asked in Parliament this afternoon if he had accepted and not disclosed accepting corporate hospitality at sports games.

And if - after being wined and dined - he rewarded his hosts with a huge taxpayer-funded sponsorship.

NSW Opposition Leader Luke Foley identified the conflict of interest for Mr Ayres, who is both Sports Minister and Minister for WestConnex.

Revealing that Labor had documents showing Mr Ayres had – like most Members of Parliament – accepted corporate hospitality at sports events but - unlike everyone else – failed to disclose it on three occasions:

  • 23rd August 2014 – GWS vs Collingwood at Spotless Stadium;
  • 9th May 2015 - GWS vs Hawthorn at Spotless Stadium; and
  • 14th June 2015 - GWS vs Collingwood at the MCG.

But he had also, as Minister for WestConnex, overseen a major sponsorship for the GWS Giants from the mismanaged WestConnex road project. Mr Ayres joined with GWS Giants officials recently to announce the WestConnex sponsorship.

Mr Foley said the Government had point blank refused to tell NSW taxpayers how much of their money was being spent on a costly propaganda sponsorship.

Quotes attributable to Opposition Leader Luke Foley

“This is classic snout-in-the-trough Liberal behaviour. A Minister, nosebag on, first in line at a corporate function – and giving every indication of rewarding his hosts with taxpayer money.

“The Government is determined not to tell anyone how much taxpayer money has been given to the GWS Giants – whose chairman is the former boss of the controversial WestConnex Delivery Authority. What we’re left with is a massive exercise in taxpayer-funded Liberal Party propaganda.

“Every sports lover would appreciate being wined and dined in a corporate box – but Mr Ayres, uniquely, is in a position to repay that with a huge amount of taxpayer money.”