AT 11AM: NSW Premier and Minister for Western Sydney, Barry O'Farrell sensationally resigned this morning after ICAC was presented evidence of a thank you card he sent Nick Di Girloamo for a $3000 bottle of wine.
"The contest to replace BOF is essentially a two-horse race between Treasurer Mike Baird and Transport Minister Gladys Berejiklian" — Sean Nicholls
The Herald's state political editor, Sean Nicholls, says the contest to replace Mr O'Farrell is essentially a two-horse race between Treasurer Mike Baird and Transport Minister Gladys Berejiklian.
Read more here.
But for all our phone calls, all attempts to reach Mr O'Farrell's western Sydney colleagues for comment have so far been knocked back. Except for Epping MP Greg Smith who told us through his office that he declined to comment.
Mt Druitt MP Richard Amery was more forthcoming.
Here's what our MPs said (or didn't say) to us:
Mrs Davies declined to comment.
Mr Rees' office said a text message was sent to the former Labor Premier to contact us, but it would be "up to him if he responds".
"If he wishes to get back to you, he will," Mr Rees' office said.
"I can't do anything more than that."
Mr Lee's spokesman said he was in a meeting and Mr Lee would return calls "as soon as he gets out"..
Mr Amery was another call when we first rang him but later told us he was shocked by the announcement. ‘‘It’s a sad day,’’ he told Fairfax Media.
"I’m still numb that ICAC has tripped up the Premier" — Richard Amery
‘‘If you told me on Sunday the Premier would be gone by the end of the week, I wouldn’t have believed you.
"I’m still numb that ICAC has tripped up the Premier.
"There’s lots of other things going on such as the announcement of Badgerys Creek airport but the biggest story of the day is about a bottle of wine that wasn’t declared. It’s good argument of why government agencies should be in charge of providing essential services, instead of private companies.’’
Mr Amery said he hadn’t yet spoken to Opposition leader John Robertson.
He said it shows that NSW has one of the best corruption processes in Australia in ICAC.
‘‘Corruption is a cancer can affect both sides of government,’’ he said.
‘‘It shows how effective the process is if it can bring down a Premier who was elected with a record majority.’’
Mr Robertson's parliamentary office said ‘‘all hands were on deck’’ and they would get back to us.
Mr Elliott said he had Barry O'Farrell on the other line when we called and that he'd ask him to call us back.
Asked his thoughts about Barry O'Farrell's shock resignation, he said he didn't have enough information at this stage to comment.
Mr Conolly's office told us he was unavailable.
Mr Kean's office asked us to schedule a time to speak with him as he was unavailable to talk.
Mr Perrottet's mobile went to message bank when we made the call.
Mr Smith's office said Mr Smith had declined to comment.
AT 12PM: At noon today we received this release from Australian Industry Group NSW Director, Mark Goodsell:
“Barry O’Farrell made a huge contribution to delivering a new level of business confidence for NSW and providing the leadership needed for the state in uncertain economic times.
"His successor needs to maintain momentum to ensure NSW is at the forefront of the strengthening and re-balancing of the national economy that is required as the impacts of the mining boom recede" — Mark Goodsell
“The circumstances of his departure are at the same time honourable and incomprehensible given his genuine decency and the high standards that he has applied during his premiership.
“Barry O’Farrell put a welcome focus on the needs of Western Sydney in infrastructure and employment and recognised the area as a major economic region in its own right.
“He also introduced the concept of customer-focused delivery of public services – an initiative that needs to be maintained.
“His successor needs to maintain momentum to ensure NSW is at the forefront of the strengthening and re-balancing of the national economy that is required as the impacts of the mining boom recede.
"As the largest state, NSW has a disproportionate role to play and it can do so by building on its strengths across the range of industrial sectors.
"This will entail continuing to innovate in service delivery, creating mature partnerships with the private sector, taking the lead in the national debate on taxation reform and by facilitating the provision of new and much needed infrastructure including by ‘recycling’ capital through carefully managed privatisations of existing public sector assets.
"It is also crucial that NSW deals effectively with the massive transition in the national gas market including by accelerating the development of new gas reserves in NSW."