Dear Sir or Madam,
Please consider investing in our film, Grange-Gate: The Cheers Heard Around the World, which reveals how a recent crisis in Australian state politics has affected politics around the globe.
We investigate the circumstances behind the resignation of Barry O’Farrell, the premier (governor) of New South Wales (the Australian state where Sydney is located). O’Farrell resigned in mid-April, 2014.
At the center of the controversy is a $3,000 bottle of local Grange wine, vintage 1959, the year of O’Farrell’s birth.
Shortly after O’Farrell’s election in 2011, Nick Di Girolamo, then boss of the Australia Water Holding company (AWH), allegedly gave him the wine as a congratulations gift. At the time, AWH was “trying to secure a lucrative government contract.”
In hearings before Australia’s Independent Commission Against Corruption (IEC), O’Farrell testified that he didn’t remember the gift, in spite of the evidence against him:
- Testimony from the courier who allegedly delivered the gift.
- A record of a 28-second call between O’Farrell and Di Girolamo at the time the gift was delivered.
- A thank you note in the premier’s handwriting to Di Girolamo.
O’Farrell insisted that there was no way he could have received the gift, because on the day it was delivered he and his family—including his dog—were on holiday in Queensland, the Australian state where the Great Barrier Reef is located. Moreover, he claims not to remember writing the letter.
Recognizing that this controversy was not going away, O’Farrell resigned. In his resignation speech he maintained his innocence and introduced the possibility that he had a “brain freeze” that induced temporary amnesia. Be that as it may, he stated that he took full responsibility.
After close to 20 years in Australian government–16 years of it in the opposition party–O’Farrell’s political career was over.
Is O’Farrell a victim of a conspiracy perpetrated by his enemies?
Was it possible that O’Farrell forgot the gift because he blacked out after drinking it?
We take a deeper look into this crises and its reflection of today’s global politics.