NSW Attorney-General Greg Smith forced to defend more jobs for the boys charges over Supreme Court judge, State Parole Authority appointment
Wyong mayor Doug Eaton has been appointed as a community representative on the State Parole Authority. Source: News Limited
ATTORNEY-GENERAL Greg Smith faces more “jobs for the boys” accusations after appointing a former barrister for the Liberal Party as a Supreme Court Judge and a former Liberal mayor as a member of the Parole Authority.
The Daily Telegraph revealed this week that Mr Smith had appointed his friend and local Liberal Party branch president Michael O’Brien to a $288,000 a year job as a magistrate.
The Premier defended that appointment, saying proper cabinet processes were followed.
It has now emerged that last June Mr Smith appointed barrister Stephen Robb QC, who acted for the Liberal Party in a recent internal dispute, as a Supreme Court judge.
In an official message published in State Legislative Council President Don Harwin’s newsletter in 2012, then NSW Liberal Party President Arthur Sinodinos described Mr Robb as “the Party’s Barrister”.
Mr Sinodinos also said Mr Robb had provided legal advice to the Liberal Party concerning a dispute the party’s state executive was having with party figures on the Central Coast.
This issue turned into a brawl which ended up in the Supreme Court, with Mr Robb defending the NSW Liberal Party, Premier Barry O’Farrell, Mr Sinodinos and then state party director Mark Neeham as joint co-defendants.
Mr Smith has also appointed the mayor of Wyong, former federal Liberal candidate Doug Eaton, to the board of the State Parole Authority.
A spokeswoman for the Attorney-General said: “Appointments are made by cabinet based on merit.
“Justice Robb is an eminent QC with more than 35 years of experience as a barrister.
“Doug Eaton is a lawyer, businessman and community leader. He was appointed as a community member at the State Parole Authority. These members have an important role on the authority, ensuring the participation of the community in the process.
“The Attorney was not lobbied for the appointment.”