Politicians linked to team of Labor kingmakers: inquiry

TWO former NSW premiers have told what is being described as the most important corruption inquiry in the state's history that the three former politicians under investigation had links to a team of Labor kingmakers.

The Independent Commission against Corruption is investigating claims Ian MacDonald, Eddie Obeid and Eric Roozendaal were engaged in a mining conspiracy designed to inject more than $100 million into Mr Obeid's family empire.

Mr MacDonald is accused of obeying orders from Mr Obeid to rezone maps for coal exploration so his land would fall into lease areas.

Both Morris Iemma and Nathan Rees told the inquiry on Tuesday they had been ousted by a sub-right faction known as the Terrigals which was headed by Mr Obeid and former minister Joe Tripodi.

They agreed to QC Geoffrey Watson's proposition that the Terrigals had "disproportionate control" over the Labor Party.

Mr Rees also claimed it was only when an article appeared in the Australian Financial Review that he learned Mr Obeid stood to gain from of the coal leases.

Former premier Kristina Kenneally, who succeeded Mr Rees, is expected to give evidence this week.
The inquiry continues.


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