Ex-fi­nance min­is­ter to quit par­lia­ment


Greg Pearce, the for­mer fi­nance min­is­ter who lost his job after be­ing ac­cused of be­ing drunk in par­lia­ment and over a se­ries of “jobs for the boys” ac­cu­sa­tions, will re­tire from par­lia­ment.

The up­per house MP told The Aus­tralian that he would go in mid-Novem­ber and he had told Premier Gla­dys Bere­jik­lian of his de­ci­sion.

His for­mer deputy chief of staff Natalie Ward, who is mar­ried to power­bro­ker Michael Pho­tios’s busi­ness part­ner David Begg, is ex­pected to re­place him in the ca­sual va­cancy in the Leg­isla­tive Coun­cil.

Mr Pearce served in the O’Far­rell min­istry from 2011 to 2013 and he was the ar­chi­tect of the O’Far­rell gov­ern­ment’s WorkCover re­forms.

“I have de­cided to go be­cause I think it’s really im­por­tant some­one with new en­thu­si­asm is in place as soon as pos­si­ble,” Mr Pearce said.

“It needs to be some­one with skills, and hope­fully a woman.

“I’m go­ing in Novem­ber. That gives me time to fin­ish some com­mit­ments and gives the party time to make a se­lec­tion.

“It’s been an hon­our and a plea­sure.”

Mr Pearce was ac­cused of be­ing drunk at a late night sit­ting. He then trav­elled to a func­tion held by power­bro­ker Michael Pho­tios in Can­berra and was forced to pay back travel en­ti­tle­ments.

At the time Mr Pearce claimed he had gone to visit the de­vel­op­ment Tralee, near Can­berra, but re­porters dis­cov­ered it was a va­cant site.

He was also at the cen­tre of a se­ries of jobs for the boys ac­cu­sa­tions, cul­mi­nat­ing in Barry O’Far­rell sack­ing him from cab­i­net after Mr Pearce did not de­clare a Syd­neyWater board ap­point­ment rec­om­men­da­tion he made in­volved his wife’s boss.

In re­cent months, Mr Pearce has helped ad­vise the gov­ern­ment on in­fra­struc­ture projects in an in­for­mal role.

Mr Pearce en­tered the par­lia­ment in 2000 and there­fore qual­i­fies for a par­lia­men­tary pen­sion.

It is ex­pected it will be more than $130,000 a year.

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