Barry O'Farrell resigns: Critics won't forgive foibles

Not all Illawarra commentators were willing to forgive Premier Barry O'Farrell the "significant memory fail" which caused him to resign after he was caught out at the corruption inquiry over a $3000 bottle of 1959 Grange.

Keira MP Ryan Park said Mr O'Farrell's announcement on Wednesday showed that the government was in "complete and utter disarray" after several senior cabinet members had been forced to step down.

"This was a government who promised to be squeaky clean, yet it is demonstrated that they still have issues to do with integrity," he said.

"Despite the rhetoric by Barry O'Farrell and his government that corruption was limited to one particular party, the last three years has demonstrated it's an issue all parties and all public officials have to deal with."

Mr Park said the appearance of a signed, handwritten note to Australian Water Holdings' former chief executive, Nick Di Girolamo, meant Mr O'Farrell had "no choice" but to resign.

"If this was a Labor member of Parliament, there is no way Barry O'Farrell would be saying anything but this person was on the wrong side of the ledger in terms of their integrity," he said.

Similarly, South Coast Labour Council secretary Arthur Rorris rejected Prime Minister Tony Abbott's statement that the resignation was an act of "high honour" and integrity.

"We're coming out guns blazing on this, because Tony Abbott is trying to restrict this to a question of memory and say it was an inadvertent mistake - what a load of garbage. There's even a hand-written note," Mr Rorris said.

He called on Mr Abbott to broaden the Royal Commission into Trade Union Governance and Corruption, saying this latest link between an Obeid-linked infrastructure company and the NSW government showed "the underbelly of the seedy relationships between big business and all levels of government".

Related coverage

Grange-gate costs Premier his job

'Influence, power, greed' mocking democracy

Illawarra MPs 'devastated'

Abbott's praise for an 'integrity' bar set low

Vintage not quite up with cellar-mates

How it went down: Live blog

Shellharbour MP Anna Watson is on leave and was not available for comment on Wednesday.

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