Former NSW state MP Ian Macdonald gets 10 years for corruption

The Port of Newcastle. William West/AFP/Getty Images

Ian Macdonald, a former Labor government minister in NSW, must spend at least seven years in prison after being convicted following a corruption inquiry over a coal mining licence given to a company chaired by a “mate” and former union boss.

The Supreme Court today sentenced him to 10 years jail, with a minimum of seven years to be served before parole, after being convicted of wilful misconduct in public office.

He joins Eddie Obeid, a political ally and another former Labor minister, who was jailed in December for five years with a non-parole period of three years over his business dealings at Circular Quay.

Macdonald, 68, a former minister in charge of the state’s mineral resources, had given a coal exploration licence for Doyles Creek Mining which was chaired by John Maitland, a former National Secretary of the CFMEU (Construction, Forestry, Mining and Energy Union), a position once also held by Macdonald.

The court had heart that Macdonald and Maitland were “mates” and that Macdonald was “doing a mate a favour”.

Justice Christine Adamson said today: “The people of NSW were betrayed by Mr Macdonald’s conduct.”

Maitland, who was said to have made $6 million from the deal, was sentenced to six years jail with a non-parole of four years.

Macdonald is reportedly preparing an appeal against the conviction. He strenuously denies any wrongdoing.