ICAC’s New Business – Smear4Cash – First Pilot: Ryde

In a previous post, I spelt out the ICAC acronym as: Inept Calamity Assisting Corruption.

Unfortunately, that’s because it is exactly what this organisation, originally intended to fight corruption, has become.

The most accurate info you’ll get on the very unsatisfactory situation in Ryde – where a right wing Liberal-led clique is abusing process and the public iterest to sneak in an outrageous ICAC inquiry into local government shenanigans – is right here at SaveRyde.com

Ivan Petch's 2004 Local Government Election Team - with disgruntled low-flyer, Bill Pickering, appropriately located on the far right

Veteran councillor Ivan Petch leads a team of hopefuls at the 2004 local government elections long before Bill Pickering (pictured, far right) moved to the far right and got all his far right mates to help him and former Ryde Council GM John Neish drain any integrity ICAC had left, by engineering a Vexatious Public Inquiry (Pic: TWT)

The ICAC probe into Ryde Council is wholly intended as a political smear campaign against respected Mayor Ivan Petch, who has loyally served the community for 37 years on the trot!

Right wing Liberal councillor Bill Pickering didn’t get his way after he and the unpopular, now-departed ex-GM John Neish, led a push against the community in an attempt to impose a twin-tower monstrosity on Top Ryde and its surrounding residents.

They cried foul when six ‘good guy’ councillors – buoyed by strong community opposition – put an end to their gravy train.

Someone forgot to tell them this is considered an excellent outcome in the context of democratic process.

Unpopular and controversial former Ryde GM John Neish

Since then Neish and Pickering have made it their mission to make the honest, community-driven ‘good guy’ councillors pay for interfering with their little Ryde fifedom.

Pickering is a paid lobbyists who employs the NSW Attorney General Greg Smith’s son, Nathaniel. The Attorney General meanwhile is the ultimate legal authority in this state and has direct oversight for ICAC and its resourcing.

So what happens? While the high-profile Eddie Obeid-related matter has generated a waft of adulation throughout the community for the work of ICAC and leaves many thinking “well maybe ICAC isn’t as useless as the evidence thus far would indicate”, a wet-lettuce public inquiry into Ryde is green-lighted.

When this inquiry runs its course, for an estimated 10 days after it kicks off on July 15, the stunning unremarkable ammunition they’ve scrounged up to attack Ivan Petch, will be judged by the public to be a spectacular waste of public money.

The situation becomes rather more alarming when one considers the matters ICAC chose not to investigate – matters which demonstrate clear cut corruption as opposed to the output of what is a political witchhunt, motivated largely by retribution.

But also, it now appears that it is also a desperate tool being used by the Libs in efforts to retain the seat of Bennelong in the federal election, amid widespread community indifference with their sitting MP.


Required reading:


GREG SMITH, the man expected to become the state’s next attorney-general, used taxpayer money to engage a company that employs his son Nathaniel, a plumber turned political lobbyist.



Gary Sturgess may not be a household name, but it should be. As the architect and father of the NSW Independent Commission Against Corruption his legacy has been longer lasting than he expected, or wanted. By now, he thought, ”it really ought not to exist”. It should have had such a marked effect on the culture of public life that no one would dare put a foot out of line.







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