Geoffrey Watson

Yep, that’s about what the Green party are worth

Nathan Tinkler is being investigated and questioned by the Independent Commission Against Corruption in Australia. He is aggressive and dismissive of them.

Nathan Tinkler has always been a man in a hurry. His crash or crash through approach to life, which has seen the 38-year-old make and lose a fortune, was evident during his combative appearance at a corruption inquiry.

“Jeez, I’m starting to see why this has been going on for three weeks,” Mr Tinkler said testily not long after taking the stand at 12.30pm on Friday at the Independent Commission Against Corruption.

As soon as the commission adjourned for lunch, Mr Tinkler was overheard saying, “This is some of the most boring shit I’ve ever seen.”

For someone on the stand that is pretty aggressive, considering he faces criminal charges if the ICAC finds against him.

When asked about donations, he had plenty to say about various donations to political parties, including an apt description of his commitment to Green policies.

The former coal magnate was shown an expletive-laden email in which he complained that he had donated $45,000 to the Nationals and they had done “f— all” to approve his plans for a billion-dollar coal terminal in Newcastle.

“We had a bunch of deadbeats before and now we have a bunch of pricks scared to make a decision,” Mr Tinkler wrote in an email on April 20, 2011, in a reference to the former state Labor government and the newly installed Coalition.

The ICAC is investigating allegations that Mr Tinkler’s property development company Buildev donated tens of thousands of dollars to the Coalition before the last state election, in breach of the ban on political donations from developers introduced in 2009.   Read more »

Dodgy ALP ratbags get a bit of a reprieve

The dodgy ALP ratbags at the centre of corruption proceedings in NSW will get a bit of a reprieve as public submissions have finished.

After more than three months of sensational evidence, the NSW anti-corruption watchdog has finished hearing from witnesses in its inquiry into allegedly tainted coalfields deals involving senior NSW Labor figures.

The Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC) has been probing whether then mines minister Ian Macdonald rigged a 2008 tender process for a coal exploration licence in the NSW upper Hunter and how former Labor powerbroker Eddie Obeid may have gained.

It’s claimed Mr Macdonald did the bidding of Obeid family members, who allegedly hid their involvement in the area through complex trust and company structures.

The Obeids stood to make up to $100 million from mining deals in the area from corruption at a level not seen since the days of the Rum Corps, the inquiry was told.

Dodgy ALP Ratbags getting their beans

Perhaps the most fun in politics right now is watching the dodgy ALP ratbags get their beans in Australia at the moment:

THE words packed all the power of a hunting rifle in the crowded hearing room high above Sydney’s streets.

”Look, Mr Macdonald, what I really want to put to you is that in fact you’re a crook.”

The accusation, from the lips of counsel assisting the Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC), Geoffrey Watson, SC, seemed to suck all the air out of the commission’s gallery.

Ian Macdonald, the fellow being accused of skulduggery, was a cabinet minister in the New South Wales Parliament until 2010, when, having gained the sobriquet Sir Lunchalot, he resigned after a spot of bother concerning misuse of public funds.

Another dodgy Labor ratbag

The ALP really is full of dodgy union connected ratbags:

The son of ALP powerbroker Eddie Obeid has admitted that the former resources minister Ian Macdonald provided him with a list of mining companies which included the name of a company which went on to win six of 11 licences subsequently put to tender by the government.

And Moses Obeid conceded that his father, who was head of the faction which picked the ALP’s last three state premiers, had been kept informed of negotiations to sell a family farm which sat within one of these licence tenements: “We were not going to hide from him that the family farm was going to be sold … He knew about it.”  Read more »

Dodgy Labor man makes lazy $100m

The ongoing revelations in Australia as the ICAC investigations into dodgy unions and corrupt Labor officials are showing just how venal and corrupt they had become, with one Labor stooge trousering a lazy $100 million.

THE family of the Labor power broker Eddie Obeid received $30 million and stood to make a further $70 million using inside information on coal exploration licences provided by the disgraced former mining minister Ian Macdonald.

Not only is this ”the most important investigation ever undertaken” by the Independent Commission Against Corruption but ”it is corruption on a scale probably unexceeded since the days of the Rum Corps,” counsel assisting the inquiry, Geoffrey Watson, SC, said in his opening address on Monday.

Mr Obeid, the dominant factional player in the ALP, manipulated Mr Macdonald to do his bidding. This included rigging a public tender, demoting a senior official and even making changes to the state’s formal coal licence maps to ensure the scam would ”confer massive cascading profits upon Mr Obeid and his family”, the ICAC heard.

”In all, decisions taken or influenced by Ian Macdonald may have enabled Eddie Obeid and his family to acquire profits in the order of $100 million,” Mr Watson said. ”An important motive is money – a motive with a long pedigree.”

Forensic accountants have trawled through hundreds of accounts and traced thousands of payments through a complex web of trusts, shelf companies and nominee directors that the Obeids used to disguise their activities.

The Opposition Leader, John Robertson, last night suspended Mr Obeid from the Labor Party, describing allegations aired about him during the corruption hearing as ”shocking”.

”The gravity of the allegations that came out this morning at the ICAC in the opening statements are so shocking that I have moved to act immediately,” Mr Robertson said. ”I, like most people, can’t believe the magnitude and the seriousness of these allegations.”

Mr Macdonald’s decisions deprived the taxpayers of NSW of tens of millions of dollars in revenue, the inquiry heard.

Dodgy Labor ratbags

Labor is really taking a pummelling in Australia as corruption case after corruption case is trotted out across the country.

This drip feeding of corruption stories affect Labor across the board….but it is what happens eventually when you get in bed with the unions:

Former New South Wales premier Morris Iemma will be the first witness to give evidence at what is expected to be one of the nation’s most explosive corruption inquiries.

On Monday Geoffrey Watson, counsel assisting the Independent Commission Against Corruption, will deliver the opening address for the second of three inquiries into serious allegations of corruption involving former Labor ministers.

Operation Jasper, which is expected to run for several months, will examine the circumstances surrounding a decision made in 2008 by the then mining minister Ian Macdonald to open a mining area in the Bylong Valley for coal exploration.

The commission will investigate whether that decision was influenced by former Labor powerbroker Eddie Obeid .

The first witness, Mr Iemma, will start giving evidence at 10am on Tuesday. He will be followed by another former premier, Nathan Rees, who is currently the shadow police minister. Next on the list will be former planning minister Frank Sartor.

The evidence of the three senior ALP figures, who are assisting the corruption commission, has been the subject of much speculation. Just how frank the trio might be is causing some trepidation within Labor ranks.