NSW MP Tim Crakanthorp has been asked to resign as a cabinet minister and referred to ICAC over a “significant breach of ministerial conduct”.
Premier Chris Minns said in a snap press conference on Wednesday he had concerns Mr Crakanthorp “may have acted in matters in which he had a conflict between his public duties and private interests of members of his family”.
The Premier said he had “lost confidence” in Newcastle MP, who he said did not detail “all known holdings by family members until recently”.
“In short, Minister Crakanthorp did not supply information about substantial private family holdings in the Hunter Region until recently when he should have, constituting a clear breach of the Ministerial Code,” Mr Minns said.
Mr Crakanthorp was first elected to the NSW lower house in 2014 as the Newcastle MP. He was given the portfolios for the Hunter, and Skills, TAFE, and Tertiary Education after Labor won the election in March 2023.
The Premier confirmed he had asked Mr Crakanthorp to resign as minister on Wednesday, to which Mr Crakanthorp agreed.
The Premier confirmed he has also referred the information, and “other information” to the Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC), which will decide independently if it will commence a formal inquiry.
Mr Minns said the scope of Mr Crakanthorp’s family holdings included commercial and private personal properties held by family members, including his wife, and in-laws in the Hunter Region.
The Premier reiterated concerns Mr Crakanthorp “may have acted in matters that rendered material benefit to him, or his family as a result of decisions he made”.
“Obviously we were elected not long ago with the promise to restore trust and integrity to public matters and public life,” said Mr Minns.
“Breaches to the ministerial code in this matter, are a clear breach of that undertaking and as a result I had to act and as a result Mr Crakanthorp will not be a minister in my government.”
In the interim, Deputy Premier and Education and Early Learning Minister Prue Car will take on the portfolio for Skills, TAFE, and Tertiary Education, with Police Minister Yasmin Catley appointed as the interim minister for the Hunter.
In a statement from Mr Crakanthorp, he said the “self-reported a breach of the Ministerial Code of Conduct to Premier Chris Minns and resigned as a minister in the NSW government”.
“I will continue as the Member for Newcastle.”
Opposition Leader Mark Speakman used the opportunity to attack the government for their behavior during question time.
“The Government has shown a blatant disregard in Parliament to questions regarding a number of perceived conflicts of interest of other Ministers,” Mr Speakman said.
“Given today’s revelations and referral to the ICAC, the Premier must now provide answers to questions asked by the Opposition regarding perceived conflicts of interest and give confidence to the people of NSW that relevant steps have been taken to manage any perceived conflicts of interest.”
More to come