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ICAC regional corruption prevention program to visit mid-north coast

Monday 3 March 2014

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

The visit, to be based in Taree, will include workshops for state and local government agencies to increase awareness about corruption risks and learn the latest ways to minimise the occurrence of corrupt conduct.

The ICAC Commissioner, the Hon Megan Latham, said the Commission's rural and regional outreach program provides an excellent opportunity for the ICAC to share its knowledge and expertise with public officials outside metropolitan Sydney. "The mid-north coast outreach program will provide opportunities for public officials and others in the area to interact in person with the Commission as it shares its expertise and knowledge about identifying and managing corruption risks in the NSW public sector," Commissioner Latham said.

"The ICAC's Rural and Regional Outreach program is also an excellent opportunity for the Commission to connect with outlying areas. Public officials will attend workshops devised to meet the needs of officers so they can better manage corruption risks in their agencies. One of the workshops scheduled for this visit concerns 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. Public officials will also have the opportunity to participate in workshops about public interest disclosures (to be conducted by the NSW Ombudsman's office), and fact-finding, which helps agencies to conduct their own internal investigations," Commissioner Latham said.

Commissioner Latham will host a community leaders' breakfast as part of the visit, which will be attended by approximately 65 people including: the Member for Lyne, Dr David Gillespie MP; Mayor Councillor Paul Hogan, Deputy Mayor Councillor Robyn Jenkins and other elected representatives and senior staff from Greater Taree City Council; Chairperson Mr Ralph Saunders and representatives from the Purfleet Taree Local Aboriginal Land Council; officials from state government agencies, local business people and community interest groups. The visit will also include Mr Chris Wheeler, NSW Deputy Ombudsman, who will address the breakfast about the role of the Ombudsman. The ICAC's Executive Director Corruption Prevention, Dr Waldersee, will talk about the role and functions of the Commission.

Agencies attending the outreach activities include the Greater Taree City Council, Nambucca Shire Council, Kempsey Shire Council, Port Macquarie-Hastings Council, Great Lakes Council, Coffs Harbour City Council, NSW Aboriginal Lands Council, NSW Food Authority, North Coast TAFE, State Emergency Service, NSW Fair Trading, NSW Office of Water, Trade and Investment – Crown Lands and the Office of Communities. 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 Central West, the Hunter, the Far West, the South East, New England and the Riverina. The Commission last visited the mid-north coast area in 2007.

Media enquiries: ICAC Manager Communications & Media, Nicole Thomas, 02 8281 5799 / 0417 467 801