Regional corruption prevention program to visit south coast

Friday 24 April 2015

The NSW Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC) will visit the state's south coast next week, as part of the Commission's program to bring anti-corruption initiatives and training to regional NSW.

The visit will be based in Batemans Bay. It will include workshops for state and local government agencies to increase awareness about corruption risks and learn ways to minimise corrupt conduct.

The ICAC Deputy Commissioner, Theresa Hamilton, said the rural and regional outreach program is an important part of the Commission's corruption prevention functions. "Rural and regional outreach visits enable the Commission to provide hands-on training for state and local government officials in the area, and to enable them to raise corruption prevention issues directly with ICAC staff," Ms Hamilton said.

"We know through our investigation work that corruption can occur anywhere in the state, and is not just confined to metropolitan areas. Those who serve in our state and local authorities need to be aware of the risks, and our workshops will help to equip them with the tools to prevent corrupt conduct in their agencies. I welcome those agencies that will be participating in the program, and am pleased to see that so many are taking a proactive approach to managing corruption risks," Ms Hamilton said.

Workshops scheduled for this visit include corruption prevention for managers, which focuses on the role of managers in corruption prevention and how they can recognise and respond to the occurrence of corrupt conduct. Other workshops planned include corruption prevention in procurement, which is aimed at equipping managers and staff involved in procurement responsibility to better handle this area, and a fact finder workshop, to help agencies to conduct their own internal investigations. The Commission will also hold a corruption prevention workshop for Local Aboriginal Land Councils (LALCs) which will look at LALC processes and activities and how best to make them resistant to corruption risks.

The Commission's Executive Director Corruption Prevention, Dr Robert Waldersee, will host a community leaders' breakfast as part of the visit, to be attended by close to 50 people including representatives from Eurobodalla Shire Council, the Ulladulla LALC and representatives from state government agencies, local business people and community interest groups. The visit will also include Mr Max Britton, Senior Investigation Officer with the NSW Ombudsman's Office, who will address the breakfast about the role of the Ombudsman.

Agencies attending the outreach activities include Bega Valley, Cooma Monaro Eurobodalla Shire Councils, Kiama, Goulburn Mulwaree, Palerang, Shellhabour City and Yass Valley councils, Merrimans, Mogo and Ulladulla LALCs, South East Local Land Services, Juvenile Justice NSW, Southern NSW and Illawarra Shoalhaven Local Health Districts, Fire & Rescue NSW, NSW Public Works, Roads and Maritime Services, NSW Rural Fire Service, NSW Trade & Investment, NSW Department of Planning and Environment, NSW Environment Protection Authority, TAFE NSW Illawarra Institute and Transport for NSW.

The ICAC rural and regional outreach program has proved highly successful since its inception in 2001. Previous visits have included the central coast, the Illawarra, the Hunter, the far west, the south east, the central west, the Riverina, the northern inland and the north coast. The ICAC last visited the south coast area in 2009.

Media enquiries and interview requests: ICAC Manager Communications & Media, Nicole Thomas, 02 8281 5799 / 0417 467 801
News Directors/Ed's note: Media are welcome to attend the Community Leaders' Breakfast at Batemans Bay Soldiers Club, 2 Beach Road, Batemans Bay, at 7.15 am on Wednesday 29 April. Please RSVP to Nicole Thomas at the above numbers or email by 3 pm on Friday 24 April 2015.