O'Farrell complies with mine baron's subpoena
Barry O'Farrell. Photo: Janie Barrett
Premier Barry O'Farrell has produced documents in response to a subpoena issued by lawyers for mining magnate Travers Duncan, who is trying to shut down a corruption inquiry which has heard adverse evidence about him.
Mr Duncan, 80, whose net worth is estimated to be $665 million, has launched action in the NSW Supreme Court seeking to prevent the Independent Commission Against Corruption from handing down a report on an investigation called Operation Jasper.
The investigation relates to allegations of corruption involving a 2009 government coal tender. The inquiry has heard that decisions made by then resources minister Ian Macdonald enabled the family of former Labor powerbroker Eddie Obeid to make $30 million.
Mr Duncan is one of seven businessmen who have an interest in Cascade Coal, which won the tender for the Mount Penny exploration licence. The licence covered several properties owned by the family and associates of Mr Obeid, who used their strategic landholdings to gain a 25 per cent stake in Cascade Coal.
Documents tendered in court show Mr Duncan is trying to restrain anti-corruption Commissioner David Ipp from ''further presiding over or otherwise participating in'' Operation Jasper.
He is also trying to prevent the commissioner from handing down a final report to the NSW Parliament, which is due by the end of July.
During a directions hearing on Tuesday, Justice Peter Garling was told that Mr Duncan was claiming ''ostensible bias'' against Commissioner Ipp.
Mr Duncan is seeking access to documents and correspondence between the ICAC, the Premier's office and the Department of Planning and Infrastructure over the Mount Penny licence.
Due to allegations of corruption involving the granting of the licence, the Premier may act to prevent Cascade Coal from receiving a licence to develop at Mount Penny.
A hearing is set for March 22.