Premier focused on budgets, not brother's whereabouts
Dominic Perrottet says he's focused on household budgets, not a Labor "smear campaign" trying to track down his younger brother and two other Liberal members.
The NSW premier's 26-year-old brother, Jean-Claude Perrottet, former Liberal state executive member Christian Ellis and his mother, Hills Shire councillor Virginia Ellis, have so far avoided being summonsed as witnesses for a parliamentary inquiry into the council established in December.
Ms Ellis was elected to the northern Sydney council in 2021 after the Liberal party nominated just three of its nine sitting councillors.
One of those dumped from the 2021 ticket - Adam Haselden - said some new candidates didn't live in the council area or in the ward where they sought election.
"I found that a little puzzling as well, because ... local government is about community politics," he told the upper house inquiry on Thursday.
The probe was launched after Liberal MP Ray Williams used parliamentary privilege in June to allege several senior party members had been paid to install councillors onto the Hills Shire Council to be friendly to developer Jean Nassif.
Mr Nassif, the boss of Toplace, denies any wrongdoing. He was offered the opportunity to appear as a witness via video link from Lebanon but declined for legal reasons.
The inquiry last week heard claims Jean-Claude Perrottet and Mr Ellis asked a Sydney businessman in 2019 to contribute $50,000 to a campaign to unseat a federal Liberal MP from another faction.
Jean-Claude Perrottet and Mr Ellis have been unable to be contacted to confirm or deny the claim.
The NSW premier on Thursday told reporters Mr Williams' claims had been put to the Independent Commission Against Corruption, which had decided to take no further action.
Asked why he couldn't help the inquiry locate his younger brother, Mr Perrottet said he was "not focused on the games that have been played by Labor" in the upper house.
"This issue demonstrates a difference between the Labor party and the Liberals and Nationals," he said.
"The Labor Party is playing games and smear campaigns in the upper house a month out from an election.
"We're focused on ... delivering our long-term economic plan to keep our state moving forward, to put downward pressure on household budgets."
The committee behind the inquiry has resorted to employing and sending process servers on a 2000km hunt around Sydney and southern NSW. Ten attempts to serve them were made at various properties.
Cr Ellis did not attend a council meeting on Tuesday night. Council management on Wednesday afternoon said no apology was received, nor was a leave of absence granted.
The committee had previously been in contact with Mr Ellis and Jean-Claude Perrottet in January.