The NSW opposition and Greens are calling for NSW Treasurer Dominic Perrottet to stand aside after his chief of staff resigned over a scandal involving the beleaguered state-owned insurance agency icare.
Nigel Freitas on Thursday night quit over revelations two ministerial staffers’ salaries were paid by icare as part of a secondment.
The revelation comes as the Treasurer has been forced to defend the agency over media reports of poor performance and financial management.
NSW Labor and the Greens on Friday called for Mr Perrottet to stand aside, saying the secondment was improper.
“How could Dominic Perrottet not have known all this time two of his political staff were being paid by iCare? Appalling that money for injured workers being used to fund his political operation,” Labor leader Jodi McKay tweeted on Friday.
Icare is an employer-funded workers’ insurer, owned by the state but independent from government. It was one of three organisations that replaced WorkCover in 2015.
In a statement Mr Perrottet defended the secondment of the staff to his office.
He said secondment from government sector agencies like icare to ministerial offices are allowed, but that an administrative error had occurred in this case.
He said he was told of the error on Wednesday, after Mr Freitas was informed by icare that correct document had not been provided.
“At all times my understanding was that all staff arrangements in my office were in order, and I regret that they were not,” Mr Perrottet said.