A View to a (Political) Kill – A photographer’s view of ICAC’s Operation Spicer….

By Kate Doak.
By Kate Doak.
Further escapades through the department stores adjoining ICAC with Joe Tripodi - Photo: Kate Doak
Further escapades through the department stores adjoining ICAC with Joe Tripodi – Photo: Kate Doak

With ICAC’s Operation Spicer having recently drawn to a close, many people around New South Wales (and Australia as a whole) have been wondering over recent weeks just how deep the taint of corruption has reached within both state and federal politics over recent years.

From coal loaders & “Black Ops” in Newcastle through to property development within the Western Suburbs of Sydney, neither Labor nor the Coalition have escaped the ICAC’s 007-like wrath during Operation Spicer, with over a dozen current and former politicians having been caught up within one of the longest public inquiries of the Independent Commission Against Corruption’s history.

Between delivering detailed analysis and commentary of the events occurring at ICAC over recent months with a smattering of cricket related puns and Shakespearean prose for SBS News, not to mention live tweeting the proceedings of the commission to the point where even Counsel Assisting The Commissioner Geoffrey Watson was publicly saying that I was proverbially on fire, I’ve essentially had a front-row seat (with my Nikon D3200) to one of the most spectacular periods of political intrigue in Australia’s history over the course of the past few months.


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In response to the overwhelming political bloodbath that’s engulfed New South Wales politics as a result of Operations Spicer and Credo, I’ve decided to publish some of my favourite pics from the second round of hearings that occurred throughout August and September of this year.

From watching Jodi McKay expressing heartfelt relief at finally hearing the truth behind what happened during the 2011 NSW Election through to seeing the former Premier Barry O’Farrell jaywalking (and nearly getting hit by a bus) on Castlereigh Street, there’s been a lot of interesting moments over the past few moments that only a blessed few of us within the media have had the chance to see.

Needless to say, New South Wales and the nation as a whole is unlikely to have seen an end to this tumultuous period of political drama, with the former Speaker of the New South Wales Legislative Assembly (and my former Chancellor at the University of New England) Richard Torbay rumoured to appear before the Commission sometime before the end of the year.

Having talked with and interviewed Torbay on multiple occasions over the years (including just weeks before his resignation), I can say with utmost honesty that whatever prompted him to exit public life last year is likely to be at least as interesting as the drama surrounding the events uncovered by Operations Credo and Spicer, particularly given Torbay’s reputation as the “Ultimate Achiever” within the New England throughout his career.

Furthermore, with links to the Obeid family having emerged within Torbay’s political past and his surprise affiliation with the Nationals in the lead up to the 2013 Federal Election, it is likely that everyone from the Coalition through to Labor and the Cross-benchers will experience the wrath of the commission again within the near future.

NOTE: Un-watermarked copies of photos above can be sourced at negotiated rates by media organisations if desired.