One day the truth will come out as to why the O’Farrell Government specifically went against the recommendation in the Clayton Utz report and sent the investigation of EL 7270 to ICAC, rather than a Special Commission of Inquiry as recommended by Clayton Utz. The report clearly stated at page 16 that –
“Only a Special Commission of Inquiry can properly investigate the above matters and make recommendations to the NSW Government as to the preferred way for it to manage the many different public interests requiring consideration in this case. The scope of the Commissioner’s power is defined by the terms of reference for the Special Commission of Inquiry, allowing a degree of control over the process. The hearing before the Commissioner is held in public, unless there is a satisfactory reason for it to be held in private. This feature of Special Commissions of inquiry promotes transparency and public confidence.”
There are many thoughts on why an inferior process, that doesn’t follow the rules of evidence, was chosen over a much more rigorous and fairer path. But, we can be confident at the end of this debacle known as Operation Acacia and the destruction caused as a result, the truth will come out and heads may roll…….
As an example of how unfair the path chosen was, below is an extract from the opening address by Commissioner Ipp on Day 1 outlining the way the inquiry would be conducted-
“I and I alone…will decide what witnesses are to be called, it is also for me to decide what matters their evidence will be directed. I also have to determine how witnesses will be examined bearing in mind the inquisitorial rather than adversarial nature of the inquiry.”
“In an inquiry of this sort there is no legal right to cross-examination but I will to the extent that I consider it relevant and helpful to the forwarding of the inquiry allow cross-examination.”
“The basic principle I will apply is that I will ordinarily not allow cross-examination designed only to establish the credibility or lack of credibility where the cross-examiner does not have an affirmative case on the issue to which cross-examination is intended to be directed.”
Now that sounds a fair way to get to the truth???????????