KIAMA MP Gareth Ward will retain his role as the State Government’s deputy-whip after not contesting the ballot for the recently vacated whip’s position.
The position will be filled by the Liberal member for Camden, Chris Patterson.
The position came available following the revelation at the Independent Commission Against Corruption’s hearings last week that the then current whip, Charlestown MP Andrew Cornwell, had accepted a $10 000 bribe from a property developer.
Mr Cornwell resigned from parliament today.
Despite being named acting chief whip when Mr Cornwell stepped down from the position last week, Mr Ward said he chose not to put his name forward for the position on a full-time basis. ‘‘I wasn’t a candidate, I didn’t run for parliament to be a minister or to have a position like that of the whip, I ran so I could work hard for the people of Kiama.
‘‘I want to make sure Kiama is well represented and there’s a cost to opportunities like this, the position of whip is quite involved and I wouldn’t have had as much time to represent the people of Kiama.’’