The high cost of an expensive lifestyle


The high cost of an expensive lifestyle

Andrew Clennell
The Daily Telegraph
February 14, 201312:00AM

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HOW much was enough?

Ian Macdonald, 63, was allegedly receiving up to $25,000 a month in “loans” from his business partner John Gerathy (or $300,000 a year without tax) in addition to his parliamentary superannuation – which would have been more than $100,000 a year.

There are allegations he received other payments for policy decisions and allegations he was to receive millions once the coal mine deal over the Obeids’ farm was through and that the Gerathy payments were to tide him over until then.

Perhaps one of the answers to the need for such wealth could be that that the man known as “Macca” was on his third marriage; that a life in Hong Kong was expensive and that he had become used to such a lavish lunching lifestyle on the taxpayer it was impossible to give up as a private citizen.

Another – because he had decided to maintain a house in Northbridge and an apple orchard in Orange.

Macdonald complained yesterday his financial stress began in 2009 because his wife, Anita Gylseth, had to quit her job with the Department of Primary Industries because of adverse stories (which included that she was promoted from her $90,000 a year job as a departmental liaison officer to the minister’s office to a $110,000-a-year executive job with the department).

But even Ms Gylseth received a $100,000 payout at the time. And Macdonald was on a $250,000 minister’s salary for another few months.

Everyone waited for a phone intercept to suggest Macdonald was lying to ICAC, but it did not come.

The significance that the phone taps of this inquiry only began in March 2011 – the time the Libs won office – should not be lost on anyone.

Macdonald would have been living in Hong Kong by the time they started tapping.

Amid it all, Macdonald continued his evidence that he found Mt Penny, the coal tenement, in an atlas, as tiny as it was, on page 121 and 127 of that document. “I’m pretty good at geography, yes,” Macdonald said.

One thought on “The high cost of an expensive lifestyle

  1. Neville

    13 February, 2013

    The Taxation Dept. will be interested in all this

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