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North Coast community leaders play critical role in corruption fight, says the ICAC

Wednesday 6 June 2007

The Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC) Commissioner, the Hon. Jerrold Cripps QC, told a gathering of North Coast community leaders this morning (6 June)‚ that they play a critical role in combating corruption in their local community.

Commissioner Cripps was addressing approximately 40 representatives from community groups, businesses and public agencies during a breakfast hosted by the ICAC in Coffs Harbour as part of its North Coast outreach visit this week.

"The cooperation of community leaders and other responsible members of the community helps the ICAC in the fight against corruption," Commissioner Cripps said.

"Last year we received and assessed more than 2,000 complaints and reports of suspected corrupt conduct from the general public, CEOs and public officials across the State. 

"These complaints and reports form the basis of much of our investigations and corruption prevention work, so we certainly encourage you to come forward with information that can help us in the fight against corruption." 

The ICAC conducts two outreach visits a year to bring anti-corruption initiatives and training to regions across NSW. "Part of our corruption prevention role involves raising awareness of the ICAC, how we work and how the community can support the work we do," Commissioner Cripps said. 

The ICAC is holding workshops, briefings and training sessions for local agencies around the Coffs Harbour area from 4-7 June, with more events planned later in the month for Ballina, Grafton, Byron Bay, Clarence Valley, Port Macquarie and Tweed Heads.

The sessions include information on how to recognise and report corrupt conduct and identifying and managing corruption risks in public sector organisations.

Police Integrity Commissioner John Pritchard is also participating in the visit, and will hold discussions with local police on anti-corruption initiatives and systems.

The ICAC's Rural and Regional Outreach Strategy has proved highly successful since its inception in 2001. The program has included previous visits to the North Coast, Mudgee, the Illawarra, the Hunter, the Far West, New England, the Riverina, the Central West and the Central Coast.