Santos gift to Liberal Scot Macdonald to be referred to ICAC

Media Release   1 November 2012

 Greens mining spokesperson Jeremy Buckingham will refer NSW Upper House MP Scot Macdonald to the Independent Commissions Against Corruption regarding a gift of flights and accommodation he received from gas company Santos just days after deliberating on the Parliamentary Inquiry into Coal Seam Gas as part of the Upper House Committee.

Scot Macdonald MLC, siding with Santos employees Matt Doman and Warick Moppett during a debate with farmers on coal seam gas in Tasmania 12 May 2012

Mr Macdonald declared in his pecuniary interest register the Santos paid trip to Tasmania only days after submitting his dissenting statement to the NSW Parliamentary Coal Seam Gas Inquiry Report. His statement concluded: “It is difficult to reach any other conclusion than the coal seam gas industry should be developed as quickly as possible”. (p328 http://bitly.com/IjY5fA )

Mr Buckingham said: “We think it’s outrageous that while the parliament was still considering the Coal Seam Gas Inquiry Report that he accepted a gift from one of the largest coal seam gas companies, Santos.”

“The risk is that there will be a public perception that Mr Macdonald may be unduly influenced by his relationship with Santos and the gift he has accepted when considering on the inquiry report, as well as legislation and regulations related to the industry.

“It’s a clear breach of the Parliamentary Code of Conduct, so I will refer the matter to ICAC to investigate.

“Mr Macdonald has been a brazen booster for the coal seam gas industry, even holding a forum in his home town of Armidale where he invited Santos to speak.

“We all know the old Labor Government got too close to the resource industry.  It seems Barry O’Farrell’s Government is going down the same path,” said Mr Buckingham.

Contact: Max Phillips 0419 444 916

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