Showing posts with label NSW Parliament. Show all posts
Showing posts with label NSW Parliament. Show all posts

Monday, 16 April 2018

One of those asssociated with the company behind the second push for a Yamba Mega Port allegedly used an alias when giving sworn evidence before a NSW parliamentray committee


An open secret finally hit the headline this month......

The Sydney Morning Herald, 12 April 2018:

Disgraced former senior tax official Nick Petroulias gave sworn evidence to a parliamentary inquiry under a fake name, it has been alleged in State Parliament - and seven MPs sitting across the table never twigged.

The Greens are now demanding a formal inquiry into the circumstances surrounding the appearance at the inquiry into Crown land, held in August 2016.

Mr Petroulias' face was splashed across the country's media about eight years earlier, when he was imprisoned for corrupt conduct during his stint as assistant tax commissioner.

But in Parliament on Thursday, Greens MP David Shoebridge alleged that Mr Petroulias used the alias "Nicholas Peterson" to give sworn evidence before the upper house committee, of which Mr Shoebridge was a member.

If the allegations are proven, it will mean Mr Petroulias was able to pull the wool over the eyes of seven politicians, including inquiry chair Paul Green of the Christian Democrats.

Mr Shoebridge pointed out that in his verdict handed down in 2008, Justice Peter Johnson found Mr Petroulias had refused to acknowledge his "clear and gross wrongdoing" and "clear impropriety and deceit".

The standing committee was tasked with looking at a range of issues relating to Crown land in NSW, including Aboriginal involvement in its management.

"Mr Peterson" appeared before the committee with three other men who all identified as members of an organisation called "United Land Councils".

The organisation, they explained, was focused on the economic development of Aboriginal land by linking land councils across Australia and attracting "large-scale international and domestic investment".

Described as the organisation's "strategy and legals executive", Mr Peterson gave evidence about a property deal he was working up with an Aboriginal land council near Newcastle.

The same deal was the subject of a Fairfax Media special investigation last year. It is now being probed by the Independent Commission Against Corruption, which has been told that Mr Petroulias played a "central role" in the transaction.

At the inquiry, Liberal MP Catherine Cusack questioned Mr Peterson about his relationship to the land council, asking whether it was a "mediation role".

"Yes, we are trying to bring them together to try to get it on a massive scale," he said.

"Could you come back to us on notice as to which land councils in NSW are part of your organisation?" asked Liberal MP Scott Farlow.

"Sure," Mr Peterson replied.

The ICAC inquiry has separately heard that Mr Petroulias has gone by several names - including Nicholas Piers, Pearson and Peterson - since his release from prison.

Fairfax Media obtained bankruptcy forms from 2015 in which he described himself as a "disabled pensioner", with his debts estimated at an eye-watering $104 million.


Friday, 14 October 2016

NSW Parliament Upper House sends U.S. presidential candidate Donald J. Trump a message - you're a 'a revolting slug' unfit for public office


Notice of Motion published in NSW LEGISLATIVE COUNCIL NOTICE PAPER No. 79 for Thursday, 13 October 2016:


The House agreed to the motion at 10:04am on 13 October 2016 and it was duly recorded in NSW Hansard.

It was passed without objection or need for formal vote.

Friday, 21 November 2014

In which Labor's Walt Secord and The Greens' Jeremy Buckingham nail NSW Nationals' hypocrisy in relation to coal seam and other unconventional gas exploration and mining in the state


The NSW Legislative Council Hansard recorded a seconding reading debate on the Petroleum (Onshore) Amendment (NSW Gas Plan) Bill 2014 which began at 12.50am and ended just before 2am on 19 November 2014.

Here are excerpts from that debate:

The Hon. WALT SECORD  [1.24 a.m.]: As the shadow Minister for the North Coast I speak on the Petroleum (Onshore) Amendment (NSW Gas Plan) Bill 2014. My observations on the bill will centre on North Coast issues. On Thursday 13 November at 10.05 a.m., without warning, the Liberal-Nationals Government introduced this bill in the Legislative Assembly. For a start, the title of the bill is a complete and absolute deception. The bill does not abolish current coal seam gas [CSG] and unconventional gas production licences currently in operation and it does not protect the Northern Rivers region of New South Wales. Furthermore, the Liberal-Nationals Government has put on the table the possibility of reopening the special area of the Sydney water catchment for CSG operations. 

If the purpose of the bill's title is to convey the Government's intention at law, then the bill should have been called the "Unlock the gate and roll out the red carpet for Metgasco on the North Coast after March 2015 bill". That is because that is the intention of this bill. It will allow CSG and unconventional gas exploration to return on steroids on the North Coast after the March 2015 State election. The bill provides no guarantee to the communities of New South Wales, particularly those on the Northern Rivers, that have made their views abundantly clear. But that is no surprise. The Liberal-Nationals Government has already flagged that it will back big corporations over the people of New South Wales every time.

That is why Labor will be moving a number of amendments to the bill to bring it into line with Labor's policy, announced by Opposition leader John Robertson on 29 October. Our amendments will ban coal seam gas from the special areas of Sydney water catchment and from the Northern Rivers, encompassing the local government areas of Ballina shire, Byron shire, Kyogle shire, Lismore city, Tweed shire, Richmond Valley and Clarence Valley……

If the Liberals and The Nationals were interested in responding to community concerns they would have proceeded with a second reading speech by the Minister and then adjourned the bill, allowing the Opposition and crossbenchers to consider it. But their motivation is simple. If the North Coast community had time to consider the bill they would find it lacking in any detail and teeth, and they would see that it was an attempt to dupe them. But what is even more shameful is that not a single member of The Nationals spoke on the bill. I say that again: not a single Nationals member of Parliament spoke on the bill. That is a big betrayal of their electorates—not a word from the member for Tweed, not a word from the member for Ballina, not a word from the member for Lismore, and not a word from the member for Clarence. And out of left field, on 14 November the member for Tamworth popped up in his local media and said he wants to protect the Liverpool Plains. After months of absolute silence, he enters the fray. It was like a scene out of Muriel's Wedding: "Deidre Chambers, what are you doing here? What a coincidence!" It is no wonder that the local community have dubbed The Nationals "Team Metgasco"……        

Mr JEREMY BUCKINGHAM [1.03 a.m.]: I contribute to debate on the Petroleum (Onshore) Amendment (NSW Gas Plan) Bill 2014. What a long and winding road it has been to get to this wafer-thin bill. After nearly five years of policy development, promises, posturing and touting their wares across the countryside the Government came up with a Petroleum (Onshore) Amendment (NSW Gas Plan) Bill that is nothing of the sort. There is no gas plan in this bill; there is no response to the Chief Scientist in this bill. This bill is a thin veneer of the Government's plan to sneak coal seam gas through the next election and launch it onto the countryside. This is more spin, more carpet-bagging, from a government that the people of New South Wales do not trust. 

The Hon. Duncan Gay: Take your koala suit off.

Mr JEREMY BUCKINGHAM: It did not take long to get a rise out of you. The Strategic Regional Land Use plan failed, the Aquifer Interference Policy failed, and the people of New South Wales do not believe a single word those opposite say on this issue. Not even the Government's backbenchers, parliamentary Secretaries or Ministers believe a single word Minister Gay says.

The Hon. Matthew Mason-Cox: Point of order: The member should direct his comments through the Chair and should stop pointing at people across the table. He should take a moment to take a deep breath, relax and be calm.

DEPUTY-PRESIDENT (The Hon. Natasha Maclaren-Jones): Order! The Minister was referring to relevancy. There is no point of order.

Mr JEREMY BUCKINGHAM: We are debating the Petroleum (Onshore) Amendment (NSW Gas Plan) Bill. Where did this bill start? It started with the Hon. Chris Hartcher introducing an onshore petroleum bill back in May 2013. Do members remember him introducing that bill and saying ad nauseam, "These are the toughest rules in Australia"? He went on to say, "These are the toughest rules in the world". What a joke that is! We heard announcement after announcement after announcement and that bill, which passed the Legislative Assembly on 28 May 2013, then disappeared; it was pulled off the Notice Paper on 10 September this year. It died an inglorious death; slowly and quietly culled—euthanased—because it was an absolutely pathetic bill that did nothing to placate the people of New South Wales who have concerns about coal seam gas.

The Hon. Steve Whan said this bill is not very broad. I have seen needles with more breadth and depth than this bill. Talk about pinpoint legislation—it is pathetic. The Government is expunging a handful of titles—and it very nearly could not bring itself to do that—when the people of New South Wales wanted substantive action in this area. They wanted, as the Government promised, areas ruled out of coal seam gas activity. We got some very sensible recommendations from the Chief Scientist that should be applied to extractive industries across the State.

The Hon. Duncan Gay: We're going to do the whole lot.

Mr JEREMY BUCKINGHAM: No you're not. There were dozens of pages in the Chief Scientist's report—I read them—and the Bret Walker report, but did their recommendations turn up in the gas plan? No they did not. Some key things are missing from the gas plan. One of the most important things missing is the recommendations of Bret Walker, SC: The rights of farmers, the rights of communities, to be empowered in arbitration and land access. It says in the Government's response to the review in the most Yes Minister type language I have ever seen:

On 15 April 2014, the NSW Government commissioned Mr Bret Walker SC to undertake an independent review of the land access arbitration processes relating to exploration under the Mining Act 1992 and the Petroleum (Onshore) Act 1991.

The Walker Report … made 31 recommendations to improve the arbitration land access framework. The NSW government has endorsed all the recommendations in the Walker Report relating to the current arbitration framework and committed to a process of implementation commencing immediately where possible."
The Government is committed to a process of implementation commencing immediately, where possible. What an absolute joke! This Government is a farce. No-one trusts this Government and no-one believes this Government. The gas plan is an absolute joke. It is just a blueprint to turn a beautiful State into a toxic gas field. No-one believes this Government.

Do Government members know who does not believe this Government, in particular? The Minister for Mental Health, and the Assistant Minister for Health and member for Wollondilly, Jai Rowell, Gareth Ward, Lee Evans, Mark Speakman, Mark Coure, Stuart Ayres, Chris Patterson, Brian Doyle, Russell Matheson, Rosa Sage, Barry O'Farrell, Don Page, Kevin Anderson, Thomas George, Chris Gulaptis and whoever the Coalition has running as a candidate in Ballina. They all rushed out within 24 to 48 hours of the announcement to state on the public record, "We're banning it. We're banning it." They knew what the community's interpretation of the NSW Gas Plan was. 

It is a carpetbagging exercise by snake oil salesmen who have come into New South Wales communities to sell them a story that New South Wales is running out of gas and this State must have coal seam gas. How many Holdens does New South Wales produce and how many mangoes? Are we completely self-sufficient concerning mangoes? Do we have to have a mangoes industry? We are a federation, a commonwealth, and this issue should be dealt with at the Council of Australian Governments [COAG], not through some carpetbagging exercise by the New South Wales Government. In the context of the most outrageous, erroneous and egregious untruths, I will refer to the Minister's second reading speech, which states:

For example, we appointed a New South Wales Land and Water Commissioner to provide independent advice to the community about exploration activities.
When referring to the framework for community engagement, the Minister stated:
We have also established the Gloucester Dialogue, chaired by the Land and Water Commissioner. The Gloucester Dialogue brings together community, industry and local and State governments to explore issues surrounding the exploration and extraction of coal seam gas in the Gloucester Basin.

This is this the first time in New South Wales this type of dialogue has occurred. Through the dialogue there is regular contact between senior departmental officers and Gloucester Shire Council. Any topic is up for discussion. A community liaison officer from my department operates out of the council chambers two to three days a week. The tenth dialogue meeting was held last Thursday. I commend the Gloucester Shire Council, particularly the mayor, Councillor John Rosenbaum …

Through the dialogue the community has access to all materials relevant to licensing decisions and approvals about AGL's Gloucester gas project.
That is unadulterated rubbish from the Minister because in that very week the man who had the idea for the Gloucester Dialogue, Aled Hoggett—a former councillor of the Gloucester Shire Council—resigned from the Gloucester Dialogue. He did that in the very week when the Minister was spruiking it as the way forward for engagement and the way to sell the Government's gas plan. Aled Hoggett stated in his letter of resignation, "The dialogue was initiated at my suggestion in February this year."…..

Mr JEREMY BUCKINGHAM: Thank you, Madam Deputy-President. "The dialogue was initiated at my suggestion in February this year", Mr Aled Hoggett stated in his letter of resignation from the Gloucester Dialogue to which the Minister referred in his second reading speech. "I hope that Mr Roberts' current assertions would become reality, that we could find a new path to coexistence between coal and gas projects in local communities. Instead I resigned my position on the dialogue early this month. In my opinion, the dialogue has failed and has become an overbearing monologue directed at our tiny and underresourced council. It is being managed to satisfy the requirements for consultation while delivering no such thing. More fundamentally, the dialogue cannot address three major problems in the New South Wales planning system that undermine coexistence between rural communities and the coal and gas industries. The first problem is that the New South Wales planning system disempowers local communities."

Mr Hoggett went on. He resigned from the committee that was his idea and that the Government enshrined in the heart of the Government's NSW Gas Plan because it is a farce—like the rest of the Government's plan. The gas plan is based on a false assumption around economics and on a belief that the Government can say just anything to the community and get away with it. I will read onto the record what Mr Jai Rowell declared in the Wollondilly Advertiser to his community in relation to the announcement of the gas plan: "'It ain't happening, it's over, we won', Wollondilly MP Jai Rowell declared last week", after the gas plan was released. Yet the gas plan refers to the very fact that the AGL gas development in Camden will remain an integral part, in the Government's opinion, of gas delivery in New South Wales. That completely contradicts what Mr Jai Rowell said—"It ain't happening, it's over, we won"; there will be no coal seam gas in Wollondilly. The community is not stupid.

The Hon. Matthew Mason-Cox: It is in Camden. It is not in Wollondilly, mate.

Mr JEREMY BUCKINGHAM: I acknowledge the interjection. The expansion plans of AGL are clearly into the Camden electorate. The member for Camden knows it. The community knows it and they are not being sold a pup on that one. Another very important element of the recommendations made by the Chief Scientist and Engineer that did not make it into the Government's NSW Gas Plan. It should serve as a warning to all people in New South Wales that the Chief Scientist and Engineer concluded her report with these words:

There are no guarantees
· All industries have risks and, like any other, it is inevitable that the CSG industry will have some unintended consequences, including as the result of accidents, human error, and natural disasters. Industry, Government and the community need to work together to plan adequately to mitigate such risks, and be prepared to respond to problems if they occur.
They are wise words by any measure in regard to risk management. How did the Chief Scientist and Engineer suggest that those risks be managed? By Recommendation 9, which states:
Recommendation 9
That Government consider a robust and comprehensive policy of appropriate insurance and environmental risk coverage of the CSG industry to ensure financial protection short and long term. Government should examine the potential adoption of a three-layered policy of security deposits, enhanced insurance coverage, and an environmental rehabilitation fund.
That is a very sensible recommendation. It is something that I would recommend in relation to any extractive industry, in all industries and most undertakings…..
Mr JEREMY BUCKINGHAM: Clearly, there is enormous concern in the community. Does the recommendation to which I have referred turn up in the gas plan bill? No. What we have from this Government is a suggestion that all this will be done after the election—just like after the 2011 State election the Government had strategic regional land use plans that covered the State and protected areas, such as water catchments—"no ifs, no buts, a guarantee". Where did that go? It went the way of the premiership of the Hon. Barry O'Farrell. Those promises were not kept and people will hold this Government to account on its word. People do not believe for one instant that this promise from the Government will be kept. That is clear from the words of Mr Kevin Anderson who, straightaway after the announcement of the gas plan, rushed out to say that he wants the Liverpool Plains to be protected. Other members on the North Coast have said that they want those areas protected. I join them in saying that those areas should be protected. This coal seam gas industry is unnecessary. As the Chief Scientist said, it has major issues in terms of risk.

The Government may argue that it did not have time to do this. Why has it not implemented the recommendations of the Bret Walker review? I would like to hear from the Minister in his reply why the recommendations have not been implemented. There is a massive configuration in the community about land access and arbitration. The Government commissioned one of the best legal minds in the nation to deal with the issue, and he made fantastic recommendations about how to deal with it. The recommendations are widely supported by the environment movement, people in social justice, the legal fraternity and all sides of politics. Yet the Government has not moved. That shows that the Government is not serious and cannot be trusted on the recommendations of the Chief Scientist; otherwise some of the low-hanging fruit in the recommendations would have turned up in this wafer-thin petroleum bill. All the bill does is set out to cancel or expunge—

Mr Scot MacDonald: Finally we can talk about the bill.

Mr JEREMY BUCKINGHAM: I will cover the whole bill in my remaining two minutes. The Government will expunge a number of petroleum title applications, which simply could have been rejected. Will the Government cancel the petroleum exploration licences [PELS] that are up for renewal? As promised, will it protect areas such as water catchments? No, it will not. With this bill, the Government thinks it can erect a thin veil and hide behind it and sneak through to the next election. However, the electors of Lismore, Ballina, Tamworth and Barwon do not want to be guinea pigs in the Government's toxic coal seam gas experiment. They understand that we are a country rich in natural resources. Former Federal Labor and Coalition governments have signed up to a massive export of LNG without proper socio-economic analysis. 

There is a parliamentary inquiry into gas supply and demand. I look forward to that inquiry. We have seen some of the submissions to the lower House inquiry from companies such as Jemena, which say there is no gas supply crisis, there is lots of gas in Bass Strait from conventional sources and all it needs to do is build a pipeline. There are other suggestions for pipelines, et cetera. The Greens are not opposed to fossil fuels…..


Friday, 7 November 2014

Twenty-four years on and three Aboriginal children still have no justice


Between September 1990 and January 1991, Colleen Walker-Craig, aged 16, Evelyn Greenup, aged 4, and Clinton Speedy-Duroux, aged 16, went missing from the same street in the small township of Bowraville. In early 1991, the bodies of Evelyn Greenup and Clinton Speedy-Duroux were found in bushland along the Congarinni Road on the outskirts of the town. Clothing belonging to Colleen Walker-Craig was also found in the Nambucca River running through the same area of bushland, however Colleen’s body has never been found. [NSWLC Standing Committee on Law and Justice, November 2014, The family response to the murders in Bowraville report]

No-one has ever been convicted of these crimes. In 2013 the media reported that the person the indigenous community has long suspected of the murders was now employed by an agency dealing with disadvantaged and troubled youth.

In 2014 the NSW Legislative Council Standing Committee on Law and Justice conducted an inquiry into the handling of the murders of these three NSW Mid-North Coast Aboriginal children and handed down its first report on 6 November, The family response to the murders in Bowraville, with a second report detailing the Government response due by 6 May 2015.

The report (together with transcripts of evidence, tabled documents, submissions, correspondence and answers to questions taken on notice) was tabled in the Legislative Council at 9.43am on 6 November 2014. Members and officers stood as a mark of respect.

Relatives of the murdered children were present in the parliament.

This first report can be found here.

There are fifteen recommendations it contains:


Sunday, 26 October 2014

Baird Government pays the price for corruption within its ranks


Image from ABC News 26 October 2014

NSW Labor claimed victory in both the by-election for Newcastle (Crakanthorp) and by-election for Charlestown (Harrison) about two hours after polls closed on Saturday night.

The NSW Electoral Commission recorded that Tim Crakanthorp had received 36.95% of first preference votes as at 12.59 pm and Jodi Harrison 49.39% of first preference votes as at 2.01 pm on Sunday 26 October 2014.

Both seats had been without a sitting member since NSW Independent Commission Against Corruption investigations revealed that the then NSW Liberal MP for Charlestown Andrew Cornwell and then NSW Liberal MP for Newcastle were involved in receipt and use of irregular and/or unlawful political donations.

Operation Spicer and Credo hearings saw a total of thirteen Liberal Party federal, state and local government politicians either resign, move to the cross benches and/or stand aside from parliamentary positions until investigations findings are published.

Knowing that defeat in these by-elections was inevitable the Baird Coalition Government chose not to contest the seats.

However, in a little over five months’ time in March 2013, the NSW Liberal-National Coalition is expected to have candidates stand in these seats at the state general election.

So Crakanthorp and Harrison have only a short time to make their mark on Hunter region voters before they have to fight to keep their newly-won seats in the NSW Legislative Assembly.

Thursday, 4 September 2014

Ex-News Corp journalist & Abbott propagandist Steve Lewis now a lobbyist with Newgate Communications


Steve Lewis, the former News Corp journalist who ran the ‘Abbott in Opposition’ political spin on many subjects, has joined Newgate Communications as a senior advisor. 

This company is a lobbyist at federal level for twenty-one companies – including Whitehaven Coal which has been mentioned in evidence in NSW Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC) Operation Jasper and Operation Spicer investigations.

Managing partner of the Australian branch of Newgate Communication is Brian Tyson who worked as a press secretary for the Greiner and Fahey NSW Coalition Governments - and states in his Linked in entry that he worked with then NSW Planning and Energy Minister Robert Webster.

Webster coincidentally is scheduled to appear at an ICAC Operation Spicer hearing today.

Monday, 1 September 2014

NSW Independent Commission Against Corruption Operation Spicer Witness List for week commencing 1 September 2014 -UPDATED


NSW ICAC Operation Spicer witness list for week commencing 1 September 2014

Monday 1 September 2014

Joe Tripodi - former NSW Labor MP for Fairfield and Minister for Ports and Waterways, in 2010 announced that he would not stand at the 2011 state election after corruption allegations made in ICAC Operation Cyrus hearings concerning his actions as minister
Ross Cadell - NSW Nationals regional co-ordinator, director at R & S Cadell Pty Ltd, manages the trading arm of family businesses including Tiny Tutus Pty Ltd, Tutu Central and P1 Race Engineering 
Kristina Keneally - former Labor MP for Heffron and former NSW Premier
Ian McNamara - chief of staff to Opposition Leader John Robertson, stood aside while Operation Spicer continues
Eric Roozendaal - former NSW Labor MLC for and NSW Treasurer, suspended from the Labor Party in 2012 during an ICAC investigation into an inducement he accepted, resigned from Parliament in 2013, now working for a Chinese development company

Tuesday 2 September 2014

Mike Fleming – former chief of staff to then NSW Labor MLC, former Minister for Lands and later Shadow Minister for Resources and Primary Production who he resigned from parliament after an ICAC investigation found that he had acted corruptly when Minister for Lands Removed from this week's list
Eric Roozendaal - former NSW Labor MLC for and NSW Treasurer, suspended from the Labor Party in 2012 during an ICAC investigation into an inducement he accepted, resigned from Parliament in 2013, now working for a Chinese development company
Chris Hartcher - former NSW Liberal Party MP for Terrigal and former NSW Resources and Energy now sitting on the cross benches as an independent MP after expulsion from the party
Bart Basset - NSW Liberal MP for Londonderry who moved to the cross bench after ICAC commissioner Megan Latham announced that new evidence had emerged to widen the inquiry's scope to examine whether Nathan Tinkler's firm Buildev tried to influence Mr Bassett

Wednesday 3 September 2014

Craig Baumann - NSW Liberal MP for Port Stephens previously mentioned in evidence given during Operation Spicer. Removed from this week’s list
Bart Basset - NSW Liberal MP for Londonderry who moved to the cross bench after ICAC commissioner Megan Latham announced that new evidence had emerged to widen the inquiry's scope to examine whether Nathan Tinkler's firm Buildev tried to influence Mr Bassett
Mark Regent - Buildev project manager on the Redbank North Richmond Joint Venture regional housing project
Matt Kelly - Newcastle Herald journalist
Gary Edwards -  NSW Liberal MP for Swansea on 14 August 2014 announced he had moved to the cross bench, after allegations during evidence that he had received an unlawful political donation
Michael Gallacher - NSW Liberal MLC who resigned as Minister for Police and Emergency Services on 2 May 2014 after being named as one of the subjects of ICAC’s Operation Spicer investigation, suspended from the Liberal Party and moved to the cross bench
Victor Yee - unknown
Mark Ryan  director of public affairs at Westfield Corporation and a director of the Lowy Institute for International Policy 
Robert Webster – Korn Ferry chairman, Brickworks Ltd independent director and former NSW Nationals planning minister

Thursday 4 September 2014

Robert Milner – chairman of Washington H Soul Pattinson & Company Limited, chairman and major shareholder in Brickworks Ltd
Lindsay Partridge  Liberal Party member, Austral Bricks managing director and CEO at Brickworks Ltd which are part-owned by Washington H Soul Pattinson & Company Limited
Lee Brinkmeyer - political donor to NSW Liberal Party, Queanbeyan property developer with Elmslea Development, possibly related to land speculator and former president of the Queanbeyan branch of the Liberal Party Alex Brinkmeyer
Mark Neeham - former State Director of the New South Wales Liberal Party, executive director polling/lobbying firm Crosby Textor
Simon McInnes - Finance Director of the New South Wales Liberal Party
Paul Nicolaou  was principal fundraiser for the New South Wales Liberal Party, former chairman of the Liberal Party fundraising associated entity Millennium Forum, former chief executive of the NSW branch of the Australian Hotels Association

Friday 5 September 2014

Philip Christensen - former Whitehaven Coal board member, heads Baker & McKenzie Brisbane law office
Natasha McLaren-Jones - Liberal Party NSW MLC since March 2011
Michael Photios - member of the NSW Liberal Party's state executive until September 2013, contracted by Australian Water Holdings in 2011 to lobby NSW O’Farrell Government
Michael Yabsley - former Liberal NSW MLC and former minister in the Greiner Government, former Honorary Federal Treasurer of Liberal Party of Australia and former member Federal Finance Committee, CEO Australia Gulf Council, founder and director of Government Relations Australia
John Pegg - member of the three-man panel appointed by NSW Premier Mike Baird to take control of the state party’s finances, property and fundraising in the wake evidence before ICAC

Thursday, 28 August 2014

RECAP: The score now stands at ICAC 14 Liberal Party of Australia 0


*Updated as NSW Independent Commission against Corruption Operation Spicer continues*

Arthur Sinodinos Federal Liberal Senator for NSW and Assistant Treasurer in the Abbott Government  - not fulfilling assistant treasurer duties for the duration of the ICAC Operation Credo and Operation Spicer investigations, after allegations concerning the corporation Australia Water Holdings of which he was a director were made during Operation Credo  .

Barry O’Farrell NSW Liberal MP for Ku-ring-gai  – resigned as Premier and Minister for Western Sydney effective 17 April 2014 and moved to the back bench when it was proven that he had not told the truth when giving evidence at a NSW Commission Against Corruption (ICAC) Operation Credo hearing in relation to an undeclared $3,000 gift from the then CEO of Australian Water Holdings.

Mike Gallacher NSW Liberal MLC – resigned as Minister for Police and Emergency Services on 2 May 2014 after being named as one of the subjects of ICAC’s Operation Spicer investigation, suspended from the Liberal Party and moved to the cross bench.

Chris Hartcher NSW Liberal MP for Terrigal – resigned as Minister for Resources and Energy, Special Minister of State, Minister for the Central Coast on 9 December 2013, suspended from the  Liberal Party and moved to the cross bench.

Marie Ficarra NSW Liberal MLC – resigned as parliamentary secretary on 17 April 2014 after it was alleged she solicited an unlawful political donation, suspended from the Liberal Party and moved to the cross bench..

Darren Webber - NSW Liberal MP for Wyong and Member, Legislative Assembly Committee on Law and Safety - suspended from the Liberal Party of Australia (NSW) after corruption allegations, moved to the cross bench and not re-contesting his seat at the 2015 state election.

Christopher Spence - NSW MP for The Entrance, suspended from the Liberal Party of Australia (NSW) after corruption allegations, moved to the cross bench and not re-contesting his seat at the 2015 state election.

Andrew Cornwell – resigned as NSW Liberal MP for Charlestown after admitting in evidence that he had received unlawful political donations and paid his tax bill with some of that money.

Tim Owen – resigned as NSW Liberal MP for Newcastle on 12 August 2014 after admitting he had not told the truth concerning unlawful political donations when giving evidence at an ICAC Operation Spicer hearing and had met with another ICAC witness allegedly to convince that witness not to tell the truth.

Garry Edwards - NSW Liberal MP for Swansea on 14 August 2014 announced he had moved to the cross bench, after allegations during evidence that he had received an unlawful political donation.

Jeff McCloy - Newcastle Mayor, resigned his mayoral position due to admissions that he had made to ICAC that he had made unlawful political donations to the NSW Liberal Party.

Ian McNamara - chief of staff to Opposition Leader John Robertson  called as witness in Operation Spicer investigation and has stood aside while ICAC hearings continue.

Bart Bassett - Liberal MP for Londonderry, on 27 August 2014 it was reported by ABC News that he had moved to the cross bench after ICAC commissioner Megan Latham announced that new evidence had emerged to widen the inquiry's scope to examine whether Nathan Tinkler's firm Buildev tried to influence Mr Bassett.

Craig Bauman - NSW Liberal MP for Port Stephens and former Port Stephens mayor who announced he was stepping aside and moving to the cross bench after giving evidence during Operation Spicer hearing on 12 September 2014

The score now stands at: ICAC 14 Liberal Party of Australia 0

See Operation Credo and Operation Spicer hearing transcripts here.

Monday, 25 August 2014

NSW Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC) OPERATION SPICER witness list for week commencing 25 August 2014 - cheat sheet (updated)


NSW ICAC OPERATION SPICER witness list for week commencing 25 August 2014

Monday 25 August 2014

Ann Wills - director at Wills Communications, former staffer for then Minister for Defence Personnel Greg Combet, former staffer for then NSW Treasurer & Minister for the Hunter Michael Costa, did work for Buildev and took part in the Stop Jodi's Trucks pamphlet campaign
David Sharpe - former co-owner and executive at BuildDev property developer

Tuesday 26 August 2014

John Hart - chairman of the North Sydney Forum, a fund-raising entity attached to the Liberal Party federal electoral conference in Australian Treasurer Hockey's seat of North Sydney and, CEO of Restaurant and Catering Australia, the national lobby group for the hospitality industry Removed from witness list for second week in a row
David Sharpe - former co-owner and executive at BuildDev property developer
Warwick Watkins – former CEO of NSW Land and Property Management Authority and current director of consultancy business WW & Associates Pty Ltd Removed from witness list this week

Wednesday 27 August 2014


Darren Williams - development manager at the Buildev Group and a sponsor of the Sydney-based Liberal Party associated entity The Millennium Forum in 2008
Ross Cadell - NSW Nationals regional co-ordinator, director at R & S Cadell Pty Ltd, manages the trading arm of family businesses including Tiny Tutus Pty Ltd, Tutu Central and P1 Race Engineering  Removed from witness list this week

Thursday 28 August 2014

Darren Williams - development manager at the Buildev Group and a sponsor of the Sydney-based Liberal Party associated entity The Millennium Forum in 2008
The following removed from this  week's witness list:
Eric Roozendaal – former NSW Labor MLC for and NSW Treasurer, suspended from the Labor Party in 2012 during an ICAC investigation into an inducement he accepted, resigned from Parliament in 2013, now working for Chinese development company
Ian McNamara - chief of staff to Opposition Leader John Robertson, stood aside while Operation Spicer continues
Kristina Keneally - former Labor MP for Heffron and former NSW Premier
Craig Baumann – NSW Liberal MP for Port Stephens

Friday 29 August 2014

Darren Williams - development manager at the Buildev Group and a sponsor of the Sydney-based Liberal Party associated entity The Millennium Forum in 2008
David Simmons - former Federal Labor MP for Calare, current director of David Simmons Corporate Communications which lists the Buildev Group as a client
Nathan Tinkler - part-owner of Buildev Pty Limited, former Patinack Farm horse stud owner and mining magnate
Tony Kelly - former NSW Labor MLC, former Minister for Lands and later Shadow Minister for Resources and Primary Production, he resigned from parliament after an ICAC investigation found that he had acted corruptly when Minister for Lands
Joe Tripodi - former NSW Labor MP for Fairfield and Minister for Ports and Waterways, in 2010 announced that he would not stand at the 2011 state election after corruption allegations made in ICAC Operation Cyrus hearings concerning his actions as minister
The following removed from this  week's witness list:
Garry Edwards - NSW Liberal MP for Swansea, moved to the cross bench after allegations during evidence given in an Operation Spicer hearing, that he had received an unlawful political donation 
Mark Regent – Buildev project manager on the Redbank North Richmond Joint Venture regional housing project
Bart Bassett - NSW Liberal MP for Londonderry

Tuesday, 3 June 2014

In which Greens MLC Jeremy Buckingham informs the NSW Parliament and Metgasco Limited's CEO Peter Henderson writes yet another letter


The political duel continues in ‘The people of the Northern Rivers and political allies versus Coal seam and tight gas exploration company Metgasco Limited and political allies’.

Excerpts from NSW Legislative Council Hansard 15 May 2014:

1838.  Mr Buckingham to move

1.             That this House notes that:

(a)        the Driller Logs and Well Completion Reports from Metgasco detail numerous alarming failures and environmental damage due to routine poor practice and the inherently risky nature of gas drilling operations,

(b)        at Bowerbird E02 well Metgasco drilled into a river bed with high water flows and the well caved in. It was subsequently abandoned,

(c)        at Corella E01 well the casing stuck and explosive cutters were required to remove the casing, the well was then abandoned,

(d)        at Corella E03 the well caved in due to water inflow at 220 metres,

(e)        following the drilling of Corella P11 Metgasco said: “We were not aware of this shale at 3m from the base, nothing was reported by the geologists from their samples, or from the experts”,

(f)        at Corella P13 380m of drilling string and the 33m borehole assembly were abandoned in the well,

(g)        Corella E17 while flaring at 18psi they noticed the annular was leaking and had to abandon the test,

(h)        at Corella P18 a drill pipe became stuck in the hole and they were unable to clear the blockage,

(i)         at Riflebird E03 the hole collapsed from 16m, there were breakdowns, pipes got stuck and a 6m HQ barrel was left in the hole,

(j)         at Riflebird E5 Metgasco said: “This site is a terrible bloody mess. The pits are still a mess” before the well collapsed at 96m,

(k)        at Riflebird E14 Metgasco’s mud log states that “gas detector not functioning but hydrocarbons can be smelled in the shaker area”,

(l)         at Wayan 01 the top bonnet seals leaked oil in the annular,

(m)      at Cedar Point 1 and NCASI-1R methane was found in the mud and there were well integrity issues,

(n)        the Kingfisher Well  has not been cleaned up properly following 19 drill pipes being ejected into the air due to rising well pressure and loss of casing integrity,

(o)        NSW Trade and Investment have said that Metgasco fracked this well despite knowing it lacked integrity,

(p)        at SCASI-1 gas bubbling was observed in the hole and they had water losses, and

(q)        at SCASI 09 the driller had a seizure.

2.         That this House calls on the Government to immediately cancel all Petroleum Exploration and Production activity in New South Wales pending a thorough investigation of these routine and alarming failures during drilling.

(Notice given 15 May 2014—expires Notice Paper No. 218)

1728. Mr Buckingham to move—

1. That this House notes that:

(a) a recent report by the Australia Institute has discredited coal seam gas industry claims that it is a significant employer,

(b) the report states that: “While the gas industry is relentless in its claims about job creation, the simple fact is that it is a relatively small employer”,

(c) despite inflated industry claims that they created 100,000 jobs in 2012, the actual number reported by the Australian Bureau of Statistics is that 9,372 jobs were created in the entire oil and gas industry in that year,

(d) in August 2013, the entire oil and gas industry only employed 0.2 per cent of the Australian workforce, and

(e) this is less than two-thirds of the workforce of hardware retail company Bunnings Warehouse.

2. That this House calls on the Department of Planning to ensure that the economic modelling associated with planning applications is accurate.

(Notice given 18 March 2014—expires Notice Paper No. 207)

Excerpts from coal seam and tight gas exploration company Metgasco Limited’s media release/statement to the Australian Stock Exchange of 29 May 2014:

Metgasco is aware of a number of statements, including some made in the NSW Parliament, that are incorrect and misleading.   Metgasco has written to all Members of the NSW State Parliament refuting these claims and setting out our views relating to the suspension of approval to drill the Rosella E01 exploration well at Bentley…..

Metgasco is aware of a recent letter which seeks to accuse us of unacceptable drilling practices on a number of our wells. The information source for these accusations appears to be well completion reports which can be obtained through the government. We note that these reports are reviewed by government inspectors who have expressed no concern about them. In our opinion, the accusations show that the author has little understanding of the drilling industry or geology. He has misconstrued comments in the well completion reports, taken them out of context and at other times selectively quoted comments. His analysis, which we believe is incorrect and uninformed, could be used in an attempt to damn all oil and gas drilling, the routine drilling required to support coal and mining industries and even the hundreds of thousands of water bores drilled throughout Australia to support agriculture, industry and domestic needs…..