The state government has been accused of a cover-up over the sacking of a senior member of the NSW State Emergency Service who raised allegations of millions being misspent within the rescue organisation.
The Opposition Leader, John Robertson, said Emergency Services Minister Mike Gallacher should make a public statement about what was going on within the ranks of the top brass of the SES.
Fairfax Media yesterday revealed that Deputy Commissioner Steve Pearce had been stood down on full pay an hour after investigators from the Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC) raided the volunteer-based rescue headquarters in Wollongong.
The organisation's other deputy commissioner, Tara McCarthy, was sacked in May.
It is understood that Ms McCarthy's employment was terminated after she raised concerns about how funds were being spent within the SES.
"Mr Gallacher has serious questions to answer because this has all the hallmarks of a cover-up," Mr Robertson said.
"Did Minister Gallacher receive a report into the termination of Tara McCarthy's role? What questions did he ask at the time?
"Was Mike Gallacher aware of the governance issues that Deputy Commissioner McCarthy raised - and what steps did he take to address them and give her the support that whistleblowers deserve?"
A spokeswoman for Mr Gallacher said the minister would not be commenting because the issue was now a matter for ICAC.
The corruption watchdog's inquiries do not involve the 10,000 volunteers who yesterday also expressed concern about being left in the dark.
"There has been nothing told to us, the volunteers, about what is going on," said an Illawarra volunteer who did not wish to be named.
"There is a lot of talk among the volunteers - we are sick and tired of the ivory castle being built bigger and bigger."
In February, $13 million in state funding was allocated over four years for the fit-out of a new SES headquarters, to be located in the Illawarra.
"We're the ones out ... doing the work, they only have a job because of us - they seem to have forgotten about that," the volunteer said.
NSW Public Service Association general secretary Anne Gardiner said Ms McCarthy had been sacked after raising questions about practices within the SES.
"Prior to Deputy Commissioner McCarthy going to ICAC, I was aware she had raised probity issues inside the SES and I believe the fact she was pursuing these matters was why she was sacked," Ms Gardiner said.
Ms Gardiner said Ms McCarthy was "effectively given half an hour's notice" to pack everything and leave the SES.
SES Volunteers Association chairman Charlie Moir said volunteers across NSW were shocked to learn of further allegations against senior staff.
He said no volunteers were believed to be subject to investigations and that "no matter what happens, the thousands of men and women across the state will continue their unpaid work supporting the community during floods and storms".