Wagga-based MLC Wes Fang has defended his decision to vote against a motion that would provide an extra $7.3 million to NSW corruption watchdog, saying it was political posturing and preempted an inquiry on the issue.
The Greens were able to get enough upper house support for an amendment to the state budget appropriation bill on Tuesday, which allocated additional funding to the Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC)
Wagga Labor councillor Dan Hayes criticised Mr Fang and his fellow Coalition upper house members for voting against the amendment.
"Wagga has been in the spotlight in regards to ICAC investigations into Daryl Maguire and we have seen how important it was for the agency to be funded appropriately," Cr Hayes said.
"It unbelievable that Mr Fang voted against this".
Mr Fang said the motion was "politically motivated" and accused Cr Hayes of "spruiking" attack lines from Labor's head office in Sydney.
"We made the case quite clearly that ICAC is properly funded at the moment and it always has been in power," Mr Fang said.
"They often have requests for supplemental funding and in all instances we have met those requests. The actual mechanism of funding ICAC at the moment is settled and agreed on between the agency and the government; what was proposed would effectively change all of that.
"There is an inquiry that's happening at the moment into ICAC funding. What the Greens were proposing to do was change the model of funding before that inquiry is finished."
Greens MLC David Shoebridge moved the amendment, which received support from Labor, Christian Democrats and the Shooters Fishers and Farmers Party, and will now face a vote in the lower house.
NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian has said she will consider the amendment.
"I will simply say that in evidence given to the Public Accountability Committee, ICAC made it clear that it had repeatedly made funding requests to the Executive Government that had been refused repeatedly in whole or in part," Mr Shoebridge told Parliament.
"ICAC was not provided with a rationale or reason from the Government for why those funding requests were refused. I think we can all agree that there is a major structural problem with the transparency of the funding of the ICAC."
Shooters MLC Robert Borsak and Murray MP Helen Dalton's private members bill, which aimed to establish a funding model for ICAC that was independent of government decisions, has also been sent to a vote in the lower house.