"I stand by everything I have done and the way I behaved": Opposition Leader John Robertson. Photo: Supplied
Opposition Leader John Robertson says he has no regrets not reporting an alleged $3 million bribery attempt to police when he was the head of Unions NSW and denies his leadership is under threat.
On the weekend, the Opposition Leader disclosed that as head of Unions NSW he was offered the bribe by murdered stand-over man Michael McGurk, who was trying to buy the union-owned retreat, Currawong, with developer Ron Medich for $30 million.
Mr Robertson said he rejected the approach ''outright'' but failed to report it to authorities. Attorney-General Greg Smith leapt on the admission and will refer the matter to the Independent Commission Against Corruption.
Asked on Monday whether, with the benefit of hindsight, he made a judgment error in not reporting the alleged bribe, Mr Robertson said he stood by his actions in rejecting the offer and allowing the tender process to take its course.
''Is it worth going over what I might have done and how I might have done it? No. And the reason the answer is no is because I had made it abundantly clear to this individual that he was not going to help his cause because my integrity was not for sale under any circumstances,'' Mr Robertson said.
Asked whether he believed he had concealed a serious offence, Mr Robertson said he had acted appropriately. Section 316 of the NSW Crimes Act requires anyone with knowledge of an indictable offence to report it to police.
''I stand by everything I have done and the way I behaved and acted throughout this whole process,'' Mr Robertson said.
''The bottom line was that I made it abundantly clear that when this offer was made, I immediately rejected it and made it clear to this individual that a proposal like this was not going to advance the cause of the bid he was part of and it was the only way that the matter was to proceed, a formal offer had to made through the formal processes.
''I had full confidence in the process that we had in place to deal with the sale of Currawong. And that process concluded with this bid not being successful.''
The disclosure of the alleged bribe attempt has raised speculation about who else could lead Labor at the 2015 election. But Mr Robertson rejected speculation his leadership was under threat or that he has considered resigning: ''No, and why would I?''
The prospect of leadership change is also being played down more broadly within the NSW Labor Party. While some Labor MPs have been less than satisfied with Mr Robertson's leadership for some time, the most popular alternative, Luke Foley, does not want the job due to family reasons.
Former premier Nathan Rees and shadow treasurer Michael Daley are being discussed as potential replacements. Neither returned calls on Monday.
However, one Labor source said ''no one is making phone calls'' to discuss a leadership change.
''No one is organising. No one wants it,'' one senior Labor source said. ''There is a sense of frustration and a sense of we are not making any hits against this guy [Premier Barry O'Farrell].''