Impact of Hartcher exit ‘enormous’ in Illawarra

The resignation of  Chris Hartcher from the frontbench after ICAC raided his office would send shockwaves through the community, Keira MP Ryan Park said yesterday.

Mr Park said due to the importance of the resource sector and the controversy surrounding the coal seam gas industry in the Illawarra, Mr Hartcher’s resignation as Energy and Resources Minister would have an ‘‘enormous impact’’.

‘‘This has an enormous impact on people in the Illawarra because coal seam gas is an issue that is important to many community members,’’ he said.

Hartcher quits after ICAC raid on offices

‘‘They will be looking for a minister more reasonable and in touch with the concerns ... articulated over the past two years over the impact on our precious water catchment and supply areas.’’

Member for Wollongong Noreen Hay said it was appropriate for Mr Hartcher to stand down while being investigated, as  he had not been slow to call on others to stand down when questions had arisen over integrity. 

Member for Kiama Gareth Ward said he didn’t believe the government’s reputation would suffer as a result.

‘‘I think the people in the Illawarra will judge us on our record and that’s delivering record funds for roads and transport,’’ he said.

He said there had been a  ‘‘conga line’’ of ministers and Labor MPs before the ICAC in the dying days of the Labor government. 

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