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Guidelines backed by Irwin.

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Guidelines Backed By Irwin 19th August 2005

Federal Member for Fowler, Julia Irwin, told Parliament last week that the Orange Grove issue, in which 400 jobs were lost in the designer outlet closure by the NSW government because of development consent concerns raised with the Land and Environment Court by shopping complex giant Westfield, pointed to the need for better guidelines in dealing with lobbyists.

An investigation conducted by the Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC) into the process found there was no evidence of corruption by any of the parties involved.

“There was an awful lot of smoke but ICAC says it could not find the fire,” Mrs Irwin told parliament last week.

“ICAC’s recommendations point to the real problems in this case. These include amending the ministerial code of conduct to include guidelines about lobbying activities and a protocol for managing allegations of corrupt conduct made against external parties.

“If these had been in place at the time, they would have been clearly breached and would have significant consequences for those involved. But that is no consolation for over 400 workers who lost their jobs at Orange Grove.”