Tuesday, 27 November 2012 13:45
The son of former NSW Labor MP Eddie Obeid confided to a business associate that he had inside information about coal exploration licences in the Bylong Valley, a corruption inquiry has been told.
ICAC on Tuesday heard from a former vice president at Lehman Brothers, Gardner Brook, who said Moses Obeid told him in mid-2008 he had inside knowledge about the tender process for mining licences in the area.
Asked by counsel assisting the commissioner, Geoffrey Watson, whether he knew the Obeids had inside information about the coal-rich area being opened up to mining, Mr Brook replied: "I believe so."
Mr Watson then asked: "Was that belief based on the fact that a member of the Obeids told you that?"
"Yes," Mr Brook replied.
"Who told you?" Mr Watson asked, to which Mr Brook replied: "Moses."
Earlier, the inquiry was told Moses Obeid gave Mr Brook a handwritten list of companies that would bid in a restricted government tender for mining licences in the Bylong Valley.
The inquiry has previously been told the list was part of a secret ministerial briefing that should have been seen only by senior government figures.
The inquiry previously was told that Mr Brook was asked by the Obeids to find a company, which could partner them in a mining venture in the Bylong Valley.
Mr Brook chose Monaro Mining, a small uranium company with no experience in coal.
ICAC was told Monaro subsequently entered into a deal with an entity linked to the Obeids in which Monaro promised to give up an 80 per cent stake in a mining licence they might win in the future.
Monaro ultimately withdrew its bid for the critical Mt Penny tenement, with that licence going to runner-up Cascade Coal after the tender process was reopened by then mines minister Ian Macdonald.
The inquiry has been told Cascade subsequently paid $30 million to the Obeids.
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