Eddie Obeid faces Independent Commission Against Corruption
WITH a full public gallery and a witness list boasting the names of NSW Labor heavyweights, reporters, lawyers and a few curious onlookers prepared for round two of the Eddie Obeid corruption claims saga.
The former NSW Labor powerbroker was back before the Independent Commission Against Corruption over allegations he used his influence to rig the tender process for prime retail leases at Sydney's Circular Quay.
The latest inquiry - the second Mr Obeid has faced in twelve months - is the product of three separate investigations into the State Treasury, Department of Water and Energy and NSW Maritime Services.
In his opening address, counsel assisting the commission Ian Temby said a member of parliament was a trustee of the power vested in them by the people who acted in the public interest but that Mr Obeid had blurred the lines between being an MP and a lobbyist.
He said the former minister had engaged in "lobbying of an unusual kind" and misused his position as a senior Labor figure to influence fellow MPs and upcoming inquiry witnesses - Joe Tripodi, Carl Scully, Eric Roozendaal and Michael Costa to the point where tenders for leases sold between 2000 and 2011 were not subject to a competitive process.
Three Circular Quay retail leases were sold companies linked to the Obeid family during the period in question.
The inquiry, which is expected to take months, continues in Sydney.