Newcastle MP Tim Crakanthorp found to have breached Ministerial Code of Conduct, despite non-corruption findings

NSW Premier Chris Minns says he will not be taking any further action against Newcastle MP Tim Crakanthorp, despite the Independent Commission Against Corruption finding he breached the NSW Ministerial Code of Conduct.

The probe was launched last August when it was discovered Mr Crakanthorp had failed to declare his family holdings in the Hunter Region, while he was Minister for the Hunter.

He was stripped of his portfolios once the revelations came to light, but has remained in the NSW Parliament as a backbench MP.

The ICAC had been investigating the matter until Wednesday, when it announced it had terminated the probe saying it was satisfied that there are no reasonable prospects of finding Mr Crakanthorp’s conduct is sufficiently serious to justify a finding of corrupt conduct.

A final report with details about the investigation was handed to the Secretary of the NSW Cabinet Office, which was released on Thursday.

In it, the Commission said it was satisfied that, “when minister for the Hunter, Mr Crakanthorp knowingly failed to declare a conflict of interest arising from interests in property in or around the Broadmeadow Investigation Area and the Hunter Park Sport and Entertainment Precinct held by him, his wife and his in-laws, and that such failure constituted a breach of public trust.

“The Commission is also satisfied that Mr Crakanthorp’s conduct in participating in meetings when minister for the Hunter that could affect his and his extended family’s properties constituted a breach of public trust,” the report said.

Mr Crakanthorp submitted to the Commission that he participated in those meetings “solely for the purpose of enabling him to identify and manage his potential conflict of interest.”

The Commission responded saying “The Commission is satisfied that Mr Crakanthorp knew before the first meeting that he had a conflict of interest. It was not necessary for him to attend that or any of the subsequent meetings in order to identify that he had a conflict.”

In conclusion, the Commission said that Mr Crakanthorp’s conduct were “substantial breaches of the Code” but was not satisfied that there were any findings of corruption.

Premier Chris Minns addressed the issue on Thursday morning after reading the report in full and says he will not be expelling Mr Crakanthorp from the Labor party.

“I’ve made a decision based on the findings in the report that as a result of them not finding his actions corrupt conduct that this is a matter of the sanction to be imposed on Mr Crakanthorp.

“Removing him from the Cabinet was the right decision to make in August and I also want to affirm that he will not be returning to the NSW Cabinet as a member of the Labor party.

“I will not be moving for him to be removed from the parliamentary Labor party,” Mr Minns said.