Three truck drivers who lied to the NSW corruption watchdog about paying off a heavy vehicle assessor to obtain a truck licence could now face prosecution.
The Independent Commission Against Corruption is inquiring into allegations that former heavy vehicle competency assessor Christopher Binos received kickbacks for falsifying log books.
The inquiry has heard Mr Binos, who worked on behalf of Roads and Maritime Services, received up to $1800 from truck drivers to make false log book entries.
The entries made it appear applicants had passed a driving competency test.
It’s alleged Mr Binos falsely certified 91 people as competent to drive heavy vehicles despite spending no driving time with them.
Alexander Daubney told the second day of the inquiry he paid $1500 to Mr Binos last year to have him fill out his log book.
He said Mr Binos told him he could do the assessment – the final step in obtaining the licence in NSW – two ways.
“(He said) you can actually do the test or not do the test and he’d fill out my forms,” Mr Daubney said on Thursday.
Mr Daubney admitted to counsel assisting ICAC, David McLure, that he gave false evidence during an initial examination.
“You knew that when you were giving evidence to the commission that it was an offence to give false or misleading evidence?” Mr McLure asked.
“Correct,” Mr Daubney replied.
Mr Daubney later told ICAC Commissioner David Ipp he did not realise the seriousness of the case and panicked.
“I was a bit intimidated because I use my licence on a daily basis,” he said.
Fellow truck driver Mark McDonagh also admitted to lying when he was first brought before ICAC.
Mr McDonagh told the inquiry on Thursday he paid Mr Binos $1800, gave him his log books and collected them later when the pair met at Burger King in Hoxton Park.
Shane Florio, who gave evidence at the inquiry on Wednesday, also admitted to giving incorrect information initially.
His lawyer told Mr Ipp his client had panicked, but on reflection, realised that was wrong.
Mr Ipp will consider whether to refer the drivers for prosecution over giving false statements to ICAC.
He said had the truck drivers told the truth, a public inquiry may not have been needed.
“So these two days have been spent because they lied,” he said.
Mr Ipp said it had been a waste of money for ICAC, a matter very close to his “heart”.
The inquiry has concluded and a report will be prepared.