NSW Labor seeks govt doc shredding ban

·1-min read

The NSW Labor opposition has introduced legislation banning the reckless destruction of government documents after those related to a pork-barrelling scheme were unlawfully shredded.

The State Archives and Records Authority last month found the destruction of "working advice notes" - which showed the NSW premier signed off on most Stronger Communities Fund grants - breached state record laws.

The entire $252 million grants scheme has been under scrutiny since analysis revealed 19 in every 20 projects funded in the lead-up to the 2019 NSW election were in coalition-held seats.

"I'm shocked we even have to introduce legislation preventing the destruction of government documents," Opposition Leader Jodi McKay said in a statement on Thursday.

"This is an important step to ensure trust and integrity in government after too many scandals and cover-ups."

Debate on the second reading of the bill was on Thursday adjourned to next Tuesday.

An adviser to Premier Gladys Berejiklian in October told a parliamentary committee she shredded the notes that showed the premier had "signed off" on $141.8 million of council grants. She also deleted electronic copies.

An unashamed Ms Berejiklian later admitted the program was pork barrelling, stating: "It's not an illegal practice."

Ms McKay again demanded Ms Berejiklian appear before an upper house inquiry into the government's grants program.

Ms Berejiklian has so far declined to do so.