Newhouse letter discussed in NSW parliament

Newhouse letter discussed in NSW parliament

Attempts to get access to Labor hopeful George Newhouse's letter of resignation will be brought to a head in a NSW parliamentary vote, the state opposition says.


The NSW government and Mr Newhouse insist his nomination to run as Labor's candidate in the marginal federal Sydney seat of Wentworth is in order, but have refused to release the documents to prove it.

NSW Fair Trading Minister Linda Burney yesterday issued a statement saying Mr Newhouse's resignation as a paid member of the NSW Consumer, Trader and Tenancy Tribunal became effective on October 22.

Her statement came after allegations that Mr Newhouse may have failed to resign from the position in time to run against Malcolm Turnbull in the high-profile eastern suburbs seat.

Under electoral law, a candidate must not be receiving payment from any office of profit under the crown for at least 24 hours before the formal declaration of a nomination.

The electoral commission declared the nominations on November 2.

In parliament yesterday, opposition fair trading spokeswoman Catherine Cusack sought leave to debate a motion that, if passed, would have required the NSW government to release all documents, including Mr Newhouse's letter.

However, her efforts were blocked by the NSW government.

Ms Cusack said the matter would again be raised today.

“The motion sets a deadline for release of the documents by 5pm, Tuesday, November 20,” she said.

“Minister Burney needs to get her story straight.”

Dirty tricks campaign: Newhouse

Mr Newhouse last night said the doubt over his resignation was part of a Liberal Party dirty tricks campaign.

“The Liberal Party can say and do what they want and grasp at straws and look for their little legal tricks but ultimately the decision is going to be made by the people of Wentworth at the ballot box and not in court of law by men with wigs and gowns,” he told reporters.

“And I'm challenging Malcolm Turnbull tonight to respect the decision of the people of Wentworth.”

Premier Morris Iemma said he had received legal advice on the matter, and that the resignation letter had been dealt with in the appropriate timeframe.