NSW Premier Barry O’Farrell Denies Receiving $2979 Bottle Of Grange; Bruising Encounter With Media After ICAC Appearance

The New South Wales Liberal Premier, Barry O’Farrell, has denied receiving a $2979 bottle of Grange from Australian Water Holdings in what has been described as an attempt to butter him up over a public-private partnership proposal.


Appearing at the Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC), O’Farrell said he could not recall a phone call on April 20, 2011 to the then chief executive of Australian Water Holdings (AWH), Nick Di Girolamo. He denied receiving the wine or calling to thank Di Girolamo.

AWH is an infrastructure company with strong links to the family of Eddie Obeid, the former Labor MP and minister.

The Counsel assisting ICAC, Geoffrey Watson SC, said Di Giorlamo was trying to “butter Mr. O’Farrell up”.

The bottle of Grange is from the rare 1959 vintage. O’Farrell was born in 1959.

O’Farrell held a press conference after his ICAC appearance and was subjected to sustained questioning. Throughout he denied receiving the win.

This is the AWH statement tendered as an exhibit at ICAC. Click to enlarge:

  • Listen to O’Farrell’s press conference (30m)
  • Watch O’Farrell (24m)
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