Premier accused of lying about Wallarah 2

Premier Barry O'Farrell is facing claims he misled Parliament and breached his own code of conduct over contact with businessman Nick Di Girolamo, who is the subject of a corruption investigation.

A day after telling Parliament he was approached only twice by Mr Di Girolamo for meetings about the $800 million Wallarah coal project for which he was lobbying, Mr O'Farrell conceded on Thursday there was a third approach.

Responding to opposition questions, the Premier said he was approached by Mr Di Girolamo for a meeting on February 17, 2012. He said the request was ''declined'' but did not say why.

Mr O'Farrell also conceded that Mr Di Girolamo was not registered as a lobbyist when he attended a meeting on February 28 with then resources minister Chris Hartcher and Kim Shin-jong, president of Kores Australia, the company that is proposing the Wallarah 2 project.

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Mr O'Farrell admitted on Wednesday he had ''dropped in'' to the meeting for five minutes to ''say hello'' and apologise to Mr Kim for not being able to see him previously.

Apart from Mr Di Girolamo's February 7 request, Kores and the Korean ambassador had also made approaches for meetings which were declined, he explained.

But the meeting had gone ahead before Mr Di Girolamo registered as a lobbyist - a breach of the ministerial code of conduct.

Mr O'Farrell also ''clarified'' that he discussed Wallarah 2 during a May 2011 meeting with the Korean ambassador.

Mr O'Farrell has come under fire because the Independent Commission Against Corruption has named Mr Di Girolamo and Mr Hartcher in a forthcoming inquiry.

One allegation being examined is that as chief executive of a water infrastructure firm, Australian Water Holdings, Mr Di Girolamo agreed the company would make ''regular payments'' to a company called Eightbyfive. Eightbyfive was owned by Tim Koelma, who became Mr Hartcher's senior policy adviser.

ICAC says it is alleged that in return Mr Hartcher ''favoured the interests of AWH''.

Wallarah 2 has not been mentioned by ICAC. But in 2009, as opposition leader, Mr O'Farrell held a rally with Mr Hartcher to oppose the project and promised it would not proceed under his government.

Last week's announcement that the Department of Planning would support it has drawn attention to relations between Mr Hartcher, Mr Di Girolamo and Mr O'Farrell.

On Thursday, Opposition Leader John Robertson said Mr O'Farrell had misled Parliament and breached the ministers' code of conduct.

''The Wallarah 2 process must be suspended until ICAC hands down its findings and the Premier answers the growing questions over why his position on Wallarah 2 has changed,'' Mr Robertson said.

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