NSW Premier Mike Baird.
NSW Premier Mike Baird. LUKAS COCH

Baird to introduce bill to keep ICAC findings valid

URGENT laws will ensure all past Independent Commission Against Corruption findings will be validated, NSW Premier Mike Baird has announced.

The watchdog's wings were severely clipped last month when the High Court ruled it had no power to investigate corruption allegations against NSW Crown Prosecutor Margaret Cunneen.

ICAC said the decision would force it to overturn other corruption findings, including those against Travers Duncan and three businessmen over dealings with former Labor minister Eddie Obeid over mining leases.

Mr Baird said he would immediately introduce a bill to ensure past findings were set in stone.

"While the High Court's recent decision raises important questions about the ICAC's jurisdiction for the future, it should not provide those who have done the wrong thing in the past with a loophole," he said.

"We need a strong ICAC, and we will have one."

No guarantees were made about ICAC maintaining its former investigative powers into the future.

However, Mr Baird said he would commission an immediate review to consider the High Court decision and make recommendations about ICAC's "appropriate scope" going forward.

A review panel will report back to the government in July to determine whether a second round of legislation is needed.


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