“Massive memory fail” brings down Premier

NSW Premier Barry O’Farrell resigned last week, after it was discovered that he had failed to declare receiving a $3000 bottle of wine from a lobbyist. O’Farrell told the inquisitorial Independent Commission Against Corruption he had suffered a “massive memory fail”: he had no recollection of receiving the wine, despite making a phone call to the lobbyist the evening it was delivered, and hand-writing a thank you note. Although ICAC’s lawyers say found “no evidence of corrupt behaviour” as a result of the gift, journalists are questioning why the lobbyist was subsequently appointed to a government board. Economists say even small gifts can influence decision-makers: “we find it hard not to be nice to someone who has just been nice to us, even if we know it’s a trick.”