Eleni Petinos concerns relayed to ICAC peripheral to sacking, Dominic Perrottet says

Eleni Petinos concerns relayed to ICAC peripheral to sacking, Dominic Perrottet says

“As advised to you I received a call from the Minister’s Office shortly after a draft order was issued on Coronation’s Merrylands Development,” the letter said.


Shortly after speaking to Petinos’ office he said he received a message from Barilaro, “who I was advised had recently joined the Coronation Board. This contact came to me as a message on my personal phone requesting a meeting with me.”

Chandler said he copied the message to Hogan, and later met Barilaro to answer his questions. “A separate record of that meeting exists,” he wrote.

His letter pointed to the challenges that the NSW residential apartment industry faced when he entered the job in 2019 as “frankly horrific”.

“Turning around the brand of the NSW residential apartment market is now at a stage where demonstrable public confidence has lifted,” the letter said.

The building commissioner also described the difference in his engagement with the minister’s office after a reshuffle last year resulted in Petinos taking over the portfolio from now-Hospitality Minister Kevin Anderson.

Alas, the same level of engagement has not been experienced since. My personal experience has been one where engagement with the minister’s office has been problematic,” he wrote.

“Given where all the above matters now rest, I believe my continued role as NSW building commissioner is no longer viable.”

The NSW opposition used upper house orders to compel the government to release the letter after disclosures in her former ministerial diary revealed Petinos met representatives from Coronation.

Both Petinos and Barilaro have issued statements saying that Barilaro was not in attendance at a June 2 meeting between Petinos and Coronation Property. A second meeting with Coronation on June 21 was disclosed in her diary out of “an abundance of caution”, Petinos has said.

In question time on Thursday the premier conceded he was told about Chandler’s concerns in a phone call with Hogan on July 31, the same day he sacked Petinos, but said the issues were “not relevant at all to the decision that I made”.

“I had a discussion with the department secretary and the main purpose of that discussion was in relation to staff matters,” he said in question time.

Perrottet has said he was only told the letter had been referred to the ICAC on Tuesday night.

Opposition spokeswoman for better regulation and innovation Courtney Houssos said the premier was yet to explain why he sacked Petinos, adding that Chandler’s letter raised more questions.

Houssos said it “does not pass the believability test” Hogan would brief the premier on July 31 about concerns in Petinos’ office and not raise her intention to send Chandler’s letter to the ICAC the next day.

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