ICAC hears Doyle’s Creek mining lease granted by Ian Macdonald netted John Maitland $15m


ICAC hears Doyle’s Creek mining lease granted by Ian Macdonald netted John Maitland $15m

Amy Dale
The Daily Telegraph
March 20, 201311:13AM

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THE idea of a training mine at lucrative Doyle’s Creek was considered by senior government staff to be nothing more than “a thought bubble” in the head of former union boss John Maitland, ICAC has heard today.

Barry Buffier, the former director general of the Primary Industries department, is the corruption inquiry’s first witness in the investigation into the granting of a mining lease at Doyle’s Creek by disgraced former resources minister Ian Macdonald.

Mr Buffier said he considered the idea of having a training mine at Doyle’s Creek only to be “a thought bubble” of Mr Maitland, the former national president of the CFMEU and the man said to have made a profit of $15 million from the mining lease from an original output of $165,000.

Mr Buffier said proposals to have a training mine there in 2007 was a time when the state “was in the middle of a coal boom.”

“These were valuable assets for the state,” he said.

ICAC alleges Mr Macdonald granted the lease to Doyle’s Creek Mining without a competitive tender, a decision which went against department and industry advice.

The inquiry heard Mr Buffier believed “he had burst the thought bubble” about the training mine despite the one time union heavyweight’s “keenness to pursue it”, particularly as it hadn’t been endorsed by the Mine Safety Advisory Council.

Mr Buffier said having a training mine at the site wouldn’t “extract the real value of this lease” and the proposal “certainly wasn’t the right way to be going with this.”

The inquiry continues.


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