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'I don't sell myself': Former Labor MP Jodi McKay goes head-to-head with Nathan Tinkler's lawyer at ICAC

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Michaela Whitbourn, Kate McClymont

Testy exchange: Former Labor minister Jodi McKay leaves ICAC.

Testy exchange: Former Labor minister Jodi McKay leaves ICAC. Photo: AAP

"I don't sell myself," declared former Newcastle Labor MP Jodi McKay in a testy exchange at a corruption inquiry with the lawyer for embattled coal mogul Nathan Tinkler.

"I also don't pander to influential, powerful people."

In a dramatic day at the Independent Commission Against Corruption on Friday, Ms McKay rankled at suggestions she asked Mr Tinkler for a donation before the March 2011 election because her political future was "desperate".

"I don't pander to powerful people": Former Labor minister Jodi McKay.

"I don't pander to powerful people": Former Labor minister Jodi McKay. Photo: Chris Fowler

Ms McKay gave explosive evidence in May that Mr Tinkler offered her a "bribe" before the last election. She said she rebuffed the offer and reported him to police, the election funding authority and the ICAC.

The former MP was recalled to give evidence about attempts by her former colleagues Joe Tripodi and Eric Roozendaal to destroy her political career because of her opposition to Mr Tinkler's development plans.

In later evidence, the woman described by Ms McKay as Mr Tripodi's "eyes and ears" in Newcastle, Ann Wills, admitted that Mr Tripodi was instructing her about an anonymous smear campaign "very specifically designed to unseat Jodi McKay".

The inquiry heard allegations Mr Tripodi was involved in leaking a confidential Treasury document which supported Mr Tinkler's plans for a coal terminal in Mayfield, a project Ms McKay fiercely opposed. The coal mogul is expected to give evidence on Tuesday.

Mr Tinkler's property development company, Buildev, paid for anonymous flyers to be distributed which falsely claimed that Ms McKay's support for a rival project would result in 1000 trucks a day rattling through residential streets.

Ms Wills admitted that she was paid $4000 a month by Buildev and was instrumental in the flyer campaign.

The ICAC is also investigating allegations that Buildev made illegal donations to the NSW Liberals, including Ms McKay's political rival Tim Owen. Mr Owen resigned from parliament last week after admitting to taking illicit donations.

The inquiry was shown evidence that a former staffer to former police minister Mike Gallacher, Clint McGilvray, deposited a $7000 cheque from Buildev that was given for a Liberal fundraising event on New Year's Eve 2010. Mr Gallacher was the "star attraction".

Property developers have been banned from making political donations in NSW since 2009.

Mr McGilvray claimed he could not recall the cheque or who gave it to him, but speculated it must have been Mr Gallacher or restaurateur Peter Doyle, who hosted the event at his Circular Quay eatery.

Mr Gallacher is accused of hatching "a corrupt scheme" with Buildev to funnel illegal donations to the Liberals. He has yet to give evidence.

The ICAC has heard Ms McKay had a heated conversation with Mr Roozendaal on February 16, 2011, in which she expressed "grave" concerns about his lack of support for a rival project to Mr Tinkler's coal loader.

She said he asked her in a low voice: "Have you spoken to Tinkler?"

Ms McKay said her working relationship with Mr Roozendaal "obviously ended at that point".

"I've never spoke to him again and I don't intend to. That is when I believe that there was a need to just get rid of me."

She said from then on it was "all-out war".

The former MP rejected suggestions by Philip Strickland, SC, representing Mr Roozendaal, that her recall of the conversation might not be accurate because she was in "an emotional state".

Expected to give evidence next week are former premier Kristina Keneally, Mr Tripodi and Mr Roozendaal, along with their former Labor colleague Tony Kelly and Opposition Leader John Robertson's chief of staff Ian McNamara.

Mr McNamara, nicknamed the Triprotege, recently stood aside from his position during the inquiry.

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