New South Wales coal scam damages Labor's standing ahead of polls
SYDNEY (AFP) - Corruption in the ranks of Australia's Labor party centred on a dodgy coal-mining deal cost New South Wales state A$90 million (S$92 million), a top official said on Thursday.
NSW Treasurer Mike Baird said he had asked the Treasury and the mining department to look into the cost of the Mount Penny scam, over which criminal charges were recommended last month against two high-profile state Labor figures.
Former party kingpin Eddie Obeid and ex-resources minister Ian Macdonald were last month found to have acted corruptly in the 2008 deal, following the largest-ever investigation by the state's Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC).
Mr Obeid is accused of conspiring with Mr Macdonald to rig a 2008 tender for a lucrative coal licence over land at Mount Penny, which he and his family secretly purchased in 2007-2008 and which soared in value once the licence was in place.