The Parliamentary Secretary to the Premier has referred a request by Member for Shellharbour, Anna Watson, to strip the former State Member for Newcastle, Tim Owen AM, of his Australian Honours Award, to the Federal Government for action.
Ms Watson wrote to the Premier, Mike Baird MP, in December 2014, requesting that he take action to strip Mr Owen of his Order of Australia (Military Division) honour following his evidence to the Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC) over dodgy election donations, which engulfed the NSW Liberals last year. Mr Owen subsequently resigned from the State Parliament causing a by-election.
“Appropriate action has been taken against other former State Members of Parliament in recent times to strip Order of Australia Honours from them over findings by ICAC.
“I see no justification for that appropriate action not to be also visited upon the former Liberal State Member for Newcastle, who resigned in disgrace following his evidence to an ICAC public hearing last year.
“I am pleased that the Parliamentary Secretary to the Premier has acted on my request and has referred the matter to the Federal Government for action.
“I think it’s important that Premier act on this matter to assure the people of New South Wales that we all expect – regardless of party-political affiliation – the highest standards are maintained in the award of Australian Honours to citizens in this state”, she said.
Ms Watson said she was disappointed that the State Member for Kiama, Gareth Ward MP, didn’t make the same request at the same time he sought the withdrawal of the Australian Honour awarded to Mr Eddie Obeid.
“Mr Ward has been strangely silent on taking the same action against his Liberal colleague, Tim Owen, for some reason”, she said.
24 February 2015