NSW Government's renewel already blemished at ICAC

NSW Premier Mike Baird's battle to restore public faith in the Liberal Party took another hit on Monday as his parliamentary secretary and energy minister became the latest ICAC fodder.

Marie Ficarra is accused of soliciting a $5000 political donation from a property developer while serving under former Premier Barry O'Farrell.

Just hours after Monday's hearing began, Mr Baird confirmed he had asked Ms Ficarra to stand aside pending the outcome of the inquiry.

Ms Ficarra has denied she was part of the network targeted by Operation Spicer, which is examining whether a handful of MPs including and government officials worked together to draw more than $400,000 in alleged corrupt payments.

Sidelined Resources Minister Chris Hartcher and his fellow Central Coast MPs Darren Webber and Chris Spence are among those accused of being part of the network.

On Monday night, serving Energy Minister Anthony Robert's job hung in the balance following allegations he had failed to declare a developer-funded holiday to Hamilton Island.

In the coming week, ICAC is expected to hear from a number of powerful businessmen regarding their links to Eightybyfive - a company run by Mr Hartcher's former aid Timothy Koelma.

Central Coast based mining magnate Nathan Tinkler will be called to give evidence about an alleged $66,000 transaction between his horse stud and Eightbyfive.

ICAC is also looking at an alleged $183,000 donation from Obeid-linked company Australian Water Holdings.

The hearing, before former Supreme Court Justice Megan Latham, continues in Sydney.


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