Home > Corrupt licences cost NSW taxpayers $90m: Baird

Corrupt licences cost NSW taxpayers $90m: Baird

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New South Wales treasurer, Mike Baird, claims corrupt mining deals have directly cost the state $90 million.

After months of investigations, the Independent Commission Against Corruption last month found former Labor government ministers Ian Macdonald and Eddie Obeid engaged in corrupt activity over the granting of an exploration licence for the Mt Penny mine.

A report has found if the Mt Penny and Doyles Creek licences were not issued corruptly, NSW would be $90 million better off.

ICAC is due to hand down its findings on the licence Macdonald awarded over Doyles Creek shortly.

Baird has reported the findings to a Budget Estimates hearing and says more money would have come into consolidated revenue, the ABC reports.

"They were the up-front fees that should have been paid in relation to those two licences," he said.

The amount is the culmination of unpaid upfront fees for both coal licences, The Australian reports.

Baird explained the state is also missing out on about $50 million annually in royalties while the coal resources were not being mined.

"I sit here and shake my head. If the licences were not issued corruptly or negligently this state would be $90 million better off,'' he said.

"The licences, when they were first allocated, were done so without the information about the size or potential value of those resources at Doyles Creek and Mt Penny.

"Those resources were effectively given away."

Baird said the $90 million is a conservative figure based on current prices, not prices that could’ve been secured during the mining boom.

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