Perrottet says controversial NSW MP Gareth Ward should remain suspended

“Under no circumstances would we make a deal with Gareth Ward in the NSW Parliament, even in the event of a hanging Parliament,” Minns said. “I think that’s completely unreasonable. I’m going on Ben, we’re not going to favor him in the upcoming election. ”


Former journalist and union leader Katelin McInerney denies Kiama for the Labor Party.

The Prime Minister later said Ward’s suspension from Parliament last year was the Government’s decision and his position remains the same “pending on these matters [before the court] are resolved”.

Asked if he would support a new motion to re-suspend Ward in the new general election, he said: “Yes. This situation has not changed.”

Police alleged Ward indecently assaulted a 17-year-old boy in Meroo Meadow in February 2013 and sexually assaulted a 27-year-old man in September 2015. Ward has pleaded not guilty to all charges.

Ward hit back Monday, insisting he was entitled to the presumption of innocence pending a due process.

“I’m too busy working for my community to care about what people are saying about me on the campaign trail. However, it should worry every citizen that political parties believe that they should decide who will represent our community in Parliament. That’s unforgivably arrogant,” Ward said.

“It should also concern communities that those who should be defending fairness and due process continue to defeat the presumption of innocence.”

Ward added he was not surprised he would not have Labor support.

“It reflects the total disregard they have shown my constituency.”


Perrottet also on Monday slammed comments from NSW Treasurer Matt Kean suggesting the government was ready to step in to extend the life of the Eraring power station in the Hunter region beyond its planned closure in 2025 . However, he insisted the two were not at odds.

“No, that’s not part of our plan. We have an energy roadmap that provides $32 billion in private sector investment to ensure we have a long-term, reliable and clean energy future. That’s our plan,” he said. “We’re completely on the same page.”

Minns said Monday he was not ruling out buying back the Eraring power plant.

“At the moment there is no prospect of us ruling that out as we may need this power station to power the east coast of Australia and NSW in particular. It accounts for 25 percent, so if you take that out of the market, you have a deficit,” he said.

The Morning Edition Newsletter is our guide to the day’s most important and interesting stories, analysis and insights. Login here. Perrottet says controversial NSW MP Gareth Ward should remain suspended

Justin Scacco

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