Macdonald's wining and dining

FORMER New South Wales minerals and energy minister Ian Macdonald has told the Independent Commission Against Corruption that he saw no problem with being entertained by people seeking mining licenses without a tender.
Macdonald's wining and dining Macdonald's wining and dining Macdonald's wining and dining Macdonald's wining and dining Macdonald's wining and dining

Former Minister for Mineral and Forest Resources Ian Macdonald

Staff Reporter

Macdonald, the subject of ICAC’s Operation Acacia hearing over his granting of an exploration lease for the Doyles Creek project to union ally John Maitland, said he had dined with premiers and policy proponents at the same lavish Sydney restaurant where he signed the deal with Maitland.

According to an ABC News report, Macdonald said being wined and dined had never influenced his decision making.

When asked if he thought that practice was proper he said: "It doesn't concern me."

Macdonald also said that he had wanted to hasten the approval of Doyle’s Creek to benefit his party politically.

“I was very aware of the slow processes involved in the public tendering,” he said in a Sydney Morning Herald report.

“I wanted some milestones … so in the Hunter we had some political advantage.

“If I had have put it to public tender, it would have taken three or four months just to work out what points to put in the tender … I would not then have had any opportunity to make any use of it in the campaign.”

The inquiry into Doyles Creek is due to finish today, but may run into tomorrow if more evidence is required.

The ICAC is expected to issue its reports on the inquiry in July.

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