Ian Macdonald’s conviction underlines the need for further reform of mining licencing
MEDIA RELEASE – 30 March 2017
NSW Greens resources and energy spokesperson Jeremy Buckingham said today that the conviction of Ian Macdonald for criminal misconduct in issuing a coal exploration licence underlined the need for a strong ICAC and further reform in an area that is prone to corruption risks.
“The Greens welcome the prospect of Ian Macdonald spending many a long lonely night in jail with his mate Eddie Obeid,” said Greens MP Jeremy Buckingham.
“ICAC have identified the granting and administration of mining licences as an area that is vulnerable to corruption. Unfortunately the government has not acted to ensure such corruption does not happen again.
“Donations from mining companies should be banned for similar reasons that donations from property developers are banned. Both industries can benefit greatly from government decisions and, therefore the perception and risk that political donations may sway decisions makers is very real.
“We also need to implement stricter regulations and cooling off periods to stop the revolving door between government and the resources sector, which calls into question whether ministers, advisors and bureaucrats are working in the public interest or for private interests.
“High profile moves through this door include current head of the NSW Minerals Council, Stephen Galilee, who used to work for former Premier Mike Baird; former federal resources ministers Martin Ferguson, became chairman of the Advisory Board of the Australian Petroleum Production and Exploration Association (APPEA) and a non-executive director of Seven Group Holdings and British Gas Group; and former federal resources minister Ian Macfarlane is now chief executive of the Queensland Resources Council
“This conviction shows the importance of having a strong and independent ICAC and it is shameful that the NSW Government has worked in recent years to weaken its body and bring it to heel.”