The former NSW ALP minister Ian Macdonald has been charged with two counts of misconduct in public office in the wake of NSW Independent Commission Against Corruption’s (ICAC) investigation into his granting of exploration licences to Doyles Creek Mining Pty Ltd.
A court attendance notice was served on Macdonald today over the successful granting of the licence to the company in 2008.
Last year the ICAC found Macdonald to be corrupt and recommended the former resources minister face criminal charges. It also found former union official and mining company chairman John Maitland and businessmen Craig Ransley, Andrew Poole and Michael Chester had acted corruptly and they were referred to the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) for possible criminal charges.
The ICAC was told during its hearings that Macdonald “gifted” the Hunter Valley exploration licence to Maitland without a competitive tender and against departmental advice.
Today’s notice says that Macdonald, “did in the course of and connected to his public office willfully misconduct himself” over inviting Doyles Creek Mining to apply for the licence “without reasonable cause or justification” and then granting it.
A court attendance notice was also served on Doyles Creek Mining’s then Chair, John Maitland, for two counts of being an accessory before the fact to misconduct in public office, in relation to aiding, abetting, counselling and procuring the commission of the two offences by Macdonald.
Maitland is also being prosecuted for giving false and misleading evidence before the ICAC.
Both notices are listed for mention at the Downing Centre Local Court on 18 December 2014.
The ICAC said in a statement that it is awaiting advice from the DPP on further briefs it provided following its 2013 investigation.