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The Guardian - AU
The Guardian - AU
Michael McGowan

NSW building commissioner’s resignation letter sent to Icac, Dominic Perrottet says

NSW premier Dominic Perrottet
The NSW premier, Dominic Perrottet, revealed the letter was forwarded to the Independent Commission Against Corruption ‘out of an abundance of caution’. Photograph: David Swift/AAP

The resignation letter sent by former New South Wales building commissioner David Chandler when he abruptly quit last month has been sent to the state’s anti-corruption watchdog.

On Wednesday the NSW premier, Dominic Perrottet, revealed the letter, which he had previously said he had not read, had been forwarded to the Independent Commission Against Corruption “out of an abundance of caution”.

Perrottet also said he expected the document to be released on Thursday.

The letter has been the subject of intense speculation since Chandler resigned only months after extending his contract to September 2023.

Media reports have claimed that the letter references a stop-work order placed on a $500m apartment complex being built by property developer Coronation Properties.

Coronation hired former NSW deputy premier John Barilaro, after he left parliament in December last year.

On Tuesday it was revealed that Barilaro attended a meeting with recently sacked former fair trading minister Eleni Petinos on 21 June. Petinos held a separate meeting with other representatives from Coronation on 2 June.

The stop-work order against Coronation was lifted on 4 July, two weeks after Petinos met with Barilaro.

The meeting between Petinos and Barilaro was revealed on Tuesday, but both said it was a “social” meeting.

Barilaro said it occurred after he had left Coronation, and was held to “celebrate my appointment” to the New York trade job which has been subject of a separate saga.

Petinos said the meeting was disclosed in her ministerial diary “out of an abundance of caution and was social in nature”.

Petinos was sacked by Perrottet as a minister on 31 July after being accused of running an unsafe office in media reports. She has repeatedly denied all the allegations against her.

After initially standing by her, Perrottet changed course a few days later.

On 1 August he held a press conference saying he removed Petinos from the ministry after receiving “further information in relation to separate claims”.

During question time he revealed the letter had been referred to the Icac on the same day.

But the premier has insisted his decision to sack Petinos was not related to Chandler’s letter, and repeated that in parliament on Wednesday.

Labor has been urging the government to release the letter, and had moved to force its hand by passing a motion through the upper house of parliament.

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