NSW PARLIAMENT LIVE: Foley and Hazzard face-off over ICAC

UPDATE: Industry Minister Anthony Roberts has kicked off Question Time by advising Labor MPs they could go to jail if they keep badgering the former Attorney General about his involvement in an ICAC investigation.

The Opposition has been on Brad Hazzard's back all week, asking questions suggesting he might have meddled with an ICAC investigation.

The investigation, which looked into whether Deputy Crown Prosecutor Margaret Cunneen had advised her son's girlfriend to fake chest pains to delay a breath test, was shut down after the High Court ruled it fell outside ICAC's jurisdiction.

Mr Hazzard has repeatedly denied any wrongdoing. And the bombardment of questions is visibly getting on his nerves.

"Members who ask questions in this house should consider very carefully their legal and ethical obligations to protect confidential information," Mr Roberts said.

"Members must at all times abide by the law and not infringe upon the privileges of parliament for its proper functioning."

"What you've been peddling to the gallery all week is not true.

Opposition Leader Luke Foley is having none of it.

"If you want to make an allegation, have the guts to say it," he said.

"Let me be very clear. I have received no information from any member of the parliamentary committee on the ICAC.

"Game, set and match.

"What you've been peddling to the gallery all week is not true.

"Let the Minister for Family and Community Services make the same unequivocal denial that he didn't attempt to pervert the course of justice.

"He can't, and he won't."

Mr Hazzard challenged the Labor Leader to step outside the "coward's castle", where parliamentary privilege reigns, and repeat his accusations.

12.28pm: Stoner Sloth campaign costs how much?

The New South Wales Government's Stoner Sloth anti-marijuana campaign cost taxpayers $350,000 and 265 public servant work hours just to be widely ridiculed, The Greens have revealed.

The failed advertising campaign has not yet been mentioned in parliament, but you can bet it will come up during Q&A.

Greens MP Mehreen Faruqi uncovered the details under freedom of information laws.

It set us back $351,790, including $36,386 paid to advertising firm Saatchi & Saatchi.

Let us have a quick squiz at the masterpiece.

It is a lot of money.

In fact, the government could have bought about 30kg of high-quality pot, according to PriceOfWeed.com.

Here's the breakdown:

  • $64,000 for market research
  • $28,000 for Sax Institute and University of NSW literature review on the effectiveness marijuana education campaigns
  • $23,000 for University of Technology Sydney research
  • $59,000 for production company 8Com
  • $99,990 to media agency Universal McCann
  • $28,000 on actors including whoever was in that snazzy Stoner Sloth suit

As a side note, if the actor who did don that elegant costume wants to get in touch I would be most appreciative (chris.calcino (at) apn.com.au)

Here is how social media responded to the campaign.



11.40am: The smell of bitumen and progress

NORTHERN Tablelands MP Adam Marshall is a man of the senses who loves the smell of road works... maybe a tad too much.

The Nationals MP is excitedly waxing lyrical in parliament about the NSW Government's record $19.5 billion investment in country roads since 2011.

The only smell on par with rain and freshly cut lucerne, he reckons, is the heady scent of fresh bitumen.

Mr Marshall mentioned a recent visit from Disability Minister John Ajaka, who was concerned about all the roadworks.

"It was impeding our swift travel across the electorate from Moree to Armidale," Mr Marshall said.

"I wound down the windows and I said: 'Minister, breathe that in. That is the smell of progress. That is the smell of roadworks. And we love it here in the bush.'

"But it's not just the smells of this investment going on. It's the sights.

"It's the sights of the pylons going into the ground and rising up so that our new bridges can be built, and of course the sound of ribbons being cut for opening those projects.

"And, of course, the applause of grateful communities right across country NSW that are now seeing a massive injection of capital for projects that were long neglected, but now are being completed.

What about the taste, Adam?

UPDATE: Deputy Speaker Thomas George has just weighed into the taste debate, asking members who pull into the tuckshop before entering the Legislative Assembly to "kindly not carry handfuls in here and continue on eating".

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