Darren Webber

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Darren Webber
Member of the New South Wales Parliament
for Wyong
In office
26 March 2011 – 6 March 2015
Preceded by David Harris
Succeeded by David Harris
Personal details
Born (1981-06-29) 29 June 1981 (age 35)
Gosford, Australia
Political party Independent (2014–2015)
Other political
affiliations
Liberal (2011–2014)
Residence Mardi, New South Wales[citation needed]
Religion Anglican[citation needed]
Website Parliamentary webpage

Darren James Webber (born 29 June 1981), an Australian politician, was a member of the New South Wales Legislative Assembly representing Wyong on the Central Coast for the Liberal Party from the 2011 New South Wales state election[1] until 19 February 2014 when he moved to the parliamentary crossbench and sat as an independent after the Independent Commission Against Corruption heard evidence that Webber may have breached electoral funding laws. He retired from politics in 2015.

Early career and background[edit]

With a family history in the area dating back over sixty years, Webber attended primary school at Berkeley Vale and trade school at Wyong.[2] He was originally apprenticed as a smallgoods butcher, but terminated that and became an apprentice electrician, apparently not finishing that apprenticeship either.[3] Webber owned a business installing home theatre systems and had a long involvement with local surf life saving clubs.[4] While working, Webber was involved in a serious workplace accident and says he "experienced first hand the poor state of our hospitals",[2] which subsequently led to his decision to run for office.[2]

Political career[edit]

Preselected in 2010 by the Liberal Party, Webber is single and used this to his advantage during the election campaign by handing roses to potential voters on Valentine's Day which fell a month before polling day.[5] At the 2011 state election, Webber was elected with a swing of 14.3 points and won the seat with 52.6 per cent of the two-party vote.[6] Webber's main opponent was the sitting Labor member, David Harris, and is the first Liberal to represent Wyong.[7][8]

In February 2014, the Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC) commenced investigating allegations of corrupt conduct.[9][10][11] In response to the inquiry, the Liberal partyroom began the process of suspending MPs including Webber from the parliamentary party, even though they had just renominated for their seats. Before this process began, Webber and others resigned from the Liberal Party to sit as independents.[12] Webber did not contest the March 2015 state election.

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Mr Darren Jamess Webber MP". Members of Parliament. Parliament of New South Wales. 8 April 2011. Retrieved 18 May 2011. 
  2. ^ a b c "Darren Webber". Member for Wyong. Liberal Party of Australia. 2011. Archived from the original on 19 July 2011. Retrieved 18 May 2011. 
  3. ^ McClymont, Kate (2014-04-29). "A watchdog? Tinkler gets a crash course in real time". Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 2014-04-29. 
  4. ^ "2011 - Wyong". Crikey.com.au. Private Media Pty Lunited. 2011. Retrieved 18 May 2011. 
  5. ^ McCumstie, Alicia (14 February 2011). "Candidate says it with flowers". Central Coast Express Advocate. News Limited. Retrieved 18 May 2011. 
  6. ^ Green, Antony (4 April 2011). "Wyong". NSW Votes 2011. Australian Broadcasting Corporation. Retrieved 17 May 2011. 
  7. ^ Barnes, Denice (26 March 2011). "State election: Harris falls as Wyong also goes the Liberals". Central Coast Express Advocate. News Limited. Retrieved 18 May 2011. 
  8. ^ "Labor wipeout on the central coast". ABC Central Coast. Australian Broadcasting Corporation. 26 March 2011. Retrieved 18 May 2011. 
  9. ^ "Public notice". NSW members of parliament – corruption allegations concerning soliciting, receiving and concealing payments - (Operation Spicer). Independent Commission Against Corruption. 2014. Retrieved 22 February 2014. 
  10. ^ "Chris Hartcher resigns from NSW cabinet over ICAC inquiry". The Sydney Morning Herald. 4 December 2013. 
  11. ^ "Energy Minister Chris Hartcher resigns after ICAC raid on his offices". The Daily Telegraph. Australia. 4 December 2013. 
  12. ^ Chris Hartcher, Darren Webber and Chris Spence step down from Liberal Party amid corruption claims. ABC News, 2014-02-19.
Parliament of New South Wales
Preceded by
David Harris
Member for Wyong
2011–2015
Succeeded by
David Harris