Labor hopeful refers claims to the ICAC

·3-min read

A potential NSW Labor candidate for next year's state election has referred allegations against him to the Independent Commission Against Corruption.

Bankstown MP Tania Mihailuk launched an extraordinary attack on Canterbury Bankstown mayor Khal Asfour in NSW parliament on Tuesday night, linking the proposed upper house candidate to disgraced former ALP powerbroker Edddie Obeid.

"Candidacy for such a privileged position, you would expect, warrants comprehensive scrutiny," Ms Mihailuk said.

"I raise my legitimate and longstanding concerns regarding Asfour's character and his unprincipled actions in furthering the interests of developers and identities, in particular Eddie Obeid."

Mr Asfour has written to the ICAC calling on them to review Ms Mihailuk's "outrageous and unsubstantiated" claims.

"She has used parliamentary privilege to launch a cowardly attack on me and my family and I call on her to produce evidence of any wrongdoing," Mr Asfour said.

"My family is deeply upset and rightly so."

Parliamentary privilege allows MPs to voice claims that would normally draw legal consequences, like defamation proceedings, if made in public.

Labor leader Chris Minns said he had not heard such allegations against Mr Asfour before but would have referred them to the ICAC if he had.

"We take any allegations of impropriety or corruption or criminality very seriously," Mr Minns said.

Mr Minns will meet with Ms Mihailuk later on Wednesday to receive more details of the claims.

"I'm not going to make a determination or judgement in relation to her future until I've fully ventilated the issues around the allegations," he said.

In her speech late on Tuesday night, Ms Mihailuk detailed "discrepancies" in planning controls for a Bankstown central business district revitalisation plan involving property linked to the Obeids while Mr Asfour was mayor.

Mr Asfour said on Wednesday his council had independent planners and probity advisors in place to ensure due diligence.

Ms Mihailuk also said Obeid attended Mr Asfour's wedding, gave him a "generous gift" and propped up his tenure as mayor.

Mr Asfour will soon be officially endorsed for a spot on the upper house ticket at Labor's next state conference, which involves the party choosing who will face NSW voters at the March election.

Ms Mihailuk pointed to the ICAC woes which dogged Labor's last term in state government and warned the party should not choose "tainted" figures.

"I have never taken a backwards step against corruption, and I never will. The recent attacks against me have strengthened my resolve," Ms Mihailuk said.

The latter is a reference to reported accusations of bullying and improper spending at Ms Mihailuk's Bankstown electoral office.

The Greens had also called for Ms Mihailuk's accusations to be referred to the ICAC.

"These allegations are alarming, especially coming from a sitting Labor member of Parliament," the Greens' Jamie Parker said on Wednesday.

NSW Treasurer Matt Kean said the accusations were matters for individual MPs.

"Certainly we expect the highest standards of behaviour in the parliament," he said.