Home > Current Affairs, Harry's Growl - Election 2013, Politics - Domestic, The EYE-BALL HGZ [Harry's Growl Zone] > EYE-BALL’s Harry’s Growl on – Election 2013 – Growl No: 8 – Obeid has decided to take a few with him –

EYE-BALL’s Harry’s Growl on – Election 2013 – Growl No: 8 – Obeid has decided to take a few with him –

February 5, 2013
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– 15th Dec – Lenore Taylor – Chief Political Correspondent for the SMH  – A correspondent with her own political agenda  –


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– 27th Nov – The Dogs have their BONE Part I – Gillard’s kicked them out the house –


– 23rd Nov – The ALP and Obeid Train Wreck  – is it meant to distract from Gillard & the AWU Scandal –


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– 27th Oct – Julia Gillard does not understand Hypocrisy – ALP Powerbrokers dump Penny Wong – makes Gillard look foolish over her ‘sexism’ claims –


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Title:
– Election 2013  – Growl No: 8 –
– Obeid has decided to take a few with him – 
| Author: EYE-BALL’s Harry’s Growl | 6th Feb 2013|

The Obeid [Senior] testimony went viral late on his second day in the witness box.

When the prosecutor questioned Obeid about his generosity towards his fellow partner in the ‘coal lease’ scandal Ian MacDonald, Obeid delivered testimony that implicated four senior ALP MP’s, including two Federal ALP Ministers, a former Federal Senator, and the current Leader of the NSW ALP. One of the Federal Ministers has denied the allegation and an unnamed Federal Minister has come forward and verified it was he who holidayed at the ski lodge.

He also named lesser MP’s in his testimony, and the question now is why would he volunteer information about other ALP MP’s who were beneficiaries of the Obeid generosity? What was the payback for those free ski holidays? The story is re-published below:

Labor mates snowed under by Eddie Obeid’s generosity


| Author: Kate McClymont, Linton Besser, Sean Nicholls | Date: Feb 6th, 2013 | Link to On-Line Story. |

THREE of Labor’s most senior politicians – the federal Environment Minister, Tony Burke, Communications Minister, Stephen Conroy, and the NSW Opposition Leader, John Robertson – have been dragged into a corruption probe after admitting they accepted lavish ski trips from the ALP powerbroker Eddie Obeid.

In his final moments in the witness box at the Independent Commission Against Corruption on Tuesday, Mr Obeid named six senior Labor figures he said had accepted thousands of dollars worth of hospitality from his family at a lodge in the Perisher ski resort.

Mr Obeid was being questioned about his generosity to the former state mining minister Ian Macdonald, who is accused of giving the Obeid family confidential information about a government coal tender. Mr Macdonald was given a rent-free holiday at the Obeids’ three-bedroom ski lodge, The Stables, at Perisher, which costs more than $7500 a week in peak season. The Obeids also picked up Mr Macdonald’s meal tab.

Mr Obeid denied that providing such hospitality was to impose obligations on other people. ”We’re generous people and we like to share our generosity with our friends,” he said.
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He added that he thought the federal Employment Minister, Bill Shorten, had had a holiday on the slopes with Mr Burke. Mr Obeid was mistaken. It was not Mr Shorten, who doesn’t ski, but his colleague Mr Conroy, who issued a statement last night saying: ”I wish to declare one stay for two days at this apartment in either 2005 or 2006.”

In a statement Mr Burke said: ”Given the media interest which has emerged today, I declare two separate stays at this accommodation in the period 2004 to 2006.”
Eddie Obeid leaves the ICAC after giving evidence today.

Eddie Obeid leaves the ICAC after giving evidence today. Photo: Dallas Kilponen

Mr Burke and Mr Conroy said the Obeid family was not present during their stays. Both stated that although they had accepted Mr Obeid’s generosity in a personal capacity, they believed it was in the public interest to clarify the matter. The Federal Parliament’s disclosure rules state that ”any sponsored travel or hospitality received where the value of the sponsored travel or hospitality exceeds $300” must be declared.

Mr Obeid said the former NSW premier Morris Iemma, the former NSW minister Carl Scully, and the former federal minister turned lobbyist Mark Arbib had all stayed at The Stables.

Mr Iemma denied the claim. Mr Scully said he had stayed there twice but ”as this was from a fellow parliamentary colleague I did not at the time believe I was required to declare it in the pecuniary interest register”.

Mr Robertson and Mr Arbib confirmed they had stayed there but said it was before they entered Parliament.

Mr Robertson said his trip, with his family, occurred in 2007 when he was the head of Unions NSW. He said no politicians or members of the Obeid family were present.

The disclosure comes days after Mr Robertson unveiled new transparency reforms to clean up Labor’s image in NSW and counter the impact of the ICAC inquiry.

Mr Arbib, who is now a lobbyist for James Packer’s Crown Limited, said he had spent a weekend at Mr Obeid’s lodge in 2005 when he was the general secretary of NSW Labor.

Mr Obeid’s testimony came as a result of a two-year investigation undertaken by the ICAC into an allegedly corrupt 2008 coal licence tender run by Mr Macdonald that led to windfall gains for the Obeid family of more than $75 million.

During his second day of interrogation by counsel assisting the inquiry, Geoffrey Watson, SC, Mr Obeid was grilled about his own

pecuniary interest declaration, which did not mention the millions of dollars flowing through the Obeid family trust of which he and his wife were the ultimate beneficiaries.

Mr Obeid repeatedly said he did not know and could not explain the workings of the accounts, including how it was that payments made to his family’s business partners, staff and even to himself were channelled through his wife’s loan account.

Although he said he had trained and worked as an accountant early in his career, Mr Obeid said: ”I have no knowledge of these accounts.”

Taking Mr Obeid through page after page of mysterious account entries, Mr Watson said: ”It looks shonky, doesn’t it?”

”I don’t believe my family does anything shonky,” Mr Obeid said, becoming increasingly angry at the questions asked of him. This was despite the fact that he had not declared the $2.3 million he had drawn from his family trust between 2001 and 2011.

After several hours of grilling over what the commissioner, David Ipp, QC, described as the family’s ”bewildering” trust accounts, Mr Obeid told Mr Watson: ”I have spent more money than you have made in your lifetime.”

Read more on-line

The transcript of the testimony off the ICAC website covering yesterdays testimony can be read using the links below:

  1. Morning hearings
  2. Afternoon hearings

 Copied transcript of the testimony [afternoon] is reproduced below:

… from page 3836T …

…MR WATSON: Tell me some of the people that you’ve picked up bills for, 30 are they perhaps Ministers who could make – – -?—Well, I’m not sure – – –

– – – decisions favourable in the Obeid family?—I cannot, Carl Scully’s been there, John Robertson’s been there, Mark Arbib’s been there, I think Iemma’s been there. Over the years we have allocated time that is our family time and if the family can’t use it some of the friends ask for it so you – – –


… from page 3838T…

…MR HALE: Commissioner, nothing arising from those questions. There are two aspects that have arisen which previously have not been asked about which I would seek leave to ask about.

THE COMMISSIONER: What are they?

MR HALE: They are the ski lodge and, and the meeting at Moses’ house.

THE COMMISSIONER: Yes, proceed.

MR HALE: In relation to the ski lodge I think you identified some of the others who have stayed there, they included I think the then Premier Mr Iemma?—I, I believe so.

Tony Burke, now – – –

THE COMMISSIONER: Mr Hale, please speak over the microphone.

MR HALE: I’m sorry, Tony Burke?—Yes.

Bill Shorten?—I’m not sure if he went with Tony or whoever they take with them, I’m not sure. But a number, a number of Labor colleagues have stayed at the lodge over many years?—Yes, yes.

THE COMMISSIONER: Free of charge?—Free of charge, yes.

You entertain freely and lavishly?—Mr Commissioner, we have – – –

I’m not saying that’s a bad thing?—We own the lodge, we own the lodge, we have allocated ten weeks for ourselves. If we can’t use it we’d, we’d allow one of our friends who wants to use it.

Well, I’m not sure about friends, you certainly seem to give it to colleagues? —Well, friends and colleagues and many other friends have used it.

MR HALE: And where is this lodge?—Perisher.

Perisher And how many, how many bedrooms in that lodge?—Three bedrooms. … continues …

The prosecutor is headed in a direction with this line questioning and we all get a sense of who might be making an appearance at the ICAC inquiry.  Late yesterday Tony Burke, Steven Conroy, and John Robertson confirmed their stay at the ski lodge. We all know where this is headed … and it makes Gillard’s Ministry more tainted.

The ALP brand under Gillard is finished and you can count the days until it will be over … perhaps in two weeks when the next poll comes out, perhaps sooner, but all you have to know is that the backbenches are sweating on the swing numbers and whether they have a chance to retain their seat under Gillard’s leadership.

When the shift in support happens it will be a herd mentality, and given Rudd is supposed to already have 45 of the 52 caucus votes required, when the herd moves to switch camp it will be a landslide.  It will need to be if Rudd is to accept – if he does decide to accept the leadership he will call an election sooner rather that later, all in the hope of giving disgruntled ALP voters a chance to come back to the fold before any more damage is done to the ALP brand.

He will get rid of Thompson, the Slipper vote won’t be required, and the Unions will be shunted as a condition of the Leadership mantle.

If the above happens it will worry Abbott – his soft pedal in the House yesterday gave every indication he is waiting in the winds to see how the ALP troubles play themselves out.

All that can be said is that more will follow.


To bring some much-needed levity – there is always the Larry Pickering Cartoons … below is a sample of his summer offerings – his images page can be access here[click on image below to enlarge] … enjoy and don’t hurt yourself with the belly laughs …

Larry Pickering also writes some very intelligent blogs including many on the AWU scandal.  Whilst not as regarded as Hedley Thomas in journalistic circles – his penmanship and his heady wit give him a take on things not easily publishable in mainstream media.  None the less … his take on events cuts to the chase and he does not mince words … his Facebook page can be accessed here


Added 1st Feb 2013:

Added 31st Jan 2013:


Added 28th Jan 2013:

Added before 28th Jan 2013:

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  1. barry
    February 6, 2013 at 3:50 am

    Labor or Liberal , is there any difference? http://www.infowars.com/ann-bressington-exposes-agenda-21-club-of-rome/ Perhaps “this” is of more concern !!!!!

  2. February 6, 2013 at 8:34 am

    An update on the ‘Ski Lodge’ gifts as reported in The Australian – linked here …

    … extract … Minutes later, in an attempt to ameliorate this evidence, Mr Macdonald’s barrister, Tim Hale QC, elicited the information that state Opposition Leader John Robertson, former Labor senator Mark Arbib and Mr Burke had also availed themselves of the Obeids’ generosity at Perisher.

    Mr Robertson and Mr Arbib confirmed the information, stressing their holidays occurred before they entered parliament.

    The information was also confirmed by Mr Burke and was followed by Senator Conroy coming forward with his own information.

    Apartments at the Stables can cost as much as $2690 for a weekend during peak season.

    Mr Burke said in a statement last night: “Given the media interest which has emerged today, I declare two separate stays at this accommodation in the period 2004 to 2006. On both occasions I stayed with my family. On neither occasion was any member of the Obeid family present. Although the resolution relating the declaration of interest excludes interests received in a personal capacity, I believe it is in the public interest to clarify this matter.”

    Senator Conroy, on his first full day as the Gillard government’s Senate leader, volunteered a similar statement, saying he stayed in the apartment once in either 2005 or 2006.

    Mr Burke’s office subsequently confirmed one of his stays was with Senator Conroy.

    Both MPs have written to the registrar in charge of the pecuniary register to amend their entries.

    Mr Obeid also said former NSW premier Morris Iemma and former state police minister Carl Scully had stayed at Stables. Mr Iemma denied the claim; Mr Scully is overseas and could not be reached for comment.

    Mr Burke last week publicly declared how “unimpressed” traditional Labor voters in western Sydney were with the rorting and corruption that have been alleged at ICAC. “The allegations represent the opposite of what the rest of us, and what those members in western Sydney representing the Labor Party aspire to, what they believe in, and the reasons that they do their job every day,” Mr Burke said on Friday.

    The opposition seized on the revelations, particularly Senator Conroy’s description of Mr Obeid’s gift as “personal”.

    Opposition Senate leader Eric Abetz said: “This belated disclosure some eight years late indicates such a close personal relationship which Senator Conroy is claiming obviated the need for the disclosure of the commercial value. As such the disclosure raises more questions than it answers.”

    Senator Abetz demanded Senator Conroy make a statement to the Senate today explaining his links to Mr Obeid.

    School Education Minister Peter Garrett last night brushed off the revelations about Mr Burke and Senator Conroy, telling ABC’s Lateline that they stemmed from an incidental comment at ICAC and did not represent “the main game in what’s going on up in NSW”.

    The grind continues … it’ll get there in the end and the people know how to smell graft … You’re done Burke – Conroy as well but as a Senator he has a different march to walk …

    The question arises – is ‘association’ with, and the accepting of ‘personal gifts’ from proven corrupt Politicians a reason to quiz the reasons and motivation behind the ‘gifts’.

  3. Iu22 Probes
    February 6, 2013 at 8:53 am

    These are in fact impressive comments.

    You have touched some nice things here. Any way keep up writing.

  4. February 6, 2013 at 9:22 am

    Thanks for the Link Barry – some good reading and will get more into as time permits …

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