News

Labor ministers deny being friends with Eddie Obeid

TWO senior Gillard government ministers have denied being friends with former Labor MP Eddie Obeid despite staying free of charge at his Perisher apartment.

The former New South Wales minister is the subject of an Independent Commission Against Corruption inquiry into his business interests and allegations of corrupt mining deals.

In the final moments of Tuesday's proceedings Mr Obeid revealed several senior Labor party figures had been guests at his New South Wales ski resort.

Those figures included former NSW premier Morris Iemma, former NSW minister Carl Scully, and former federal Labor Minister turned lobbyist Mark Arbib.

After the hearing on Tuesday Environment Minister Tony Burke, Communications Minister Stephen Conroy and NSW Opposition Leader John Robertson also admitted to having stayed at Mr Obeid's apartment.Mr Burke updated his register of pecuniary interests on Tuesday, indicating he and his family had twice stayed at a Perisher Valley apartment owned by Mr Obeid in 2004 and 2006.

"I have absolutely no doubt that what I put on the register yesterday was not required … (and) was not required some years ago," Mr Burke told reporters in Canberra today.

"That was entirely in a personal capacity and it was long before I was minister.

"Since I have become a minister I have made sure that I disclose a lot more than what the rules actually demand."

While no members of the Obeid family were present during Mr Burke's stay, he did invite ministerial colleague Stephen Conroy to the apartment.

Senator Conroy, who was this week elected the government's Leader in the Senate, said he had no prior knowledge of who owned the apartment and it was "simply a spare bed for a couple of nights".

Asked why he had not previously declared the hospitality, Senator Conroy said: "Eight years ago, I didn't know there'd be an ICAC investigation, and I didn't think to ask who owned the apartment in case there was."

Senator Conroy also updated his pecuniary interests to reflect the accommodation.

The Perisher apartment is part of a ski resort called The Stables, which currently charges more than $8000 a week during the peak season for a stay in a lodge apartment.

Mr Burke also said it was a "big stretch" to describe Mr Obeid as a friend, considering he had not met him for many years.

"No one wants to be mentioned in the same breath as the deeply serious allegations that are quite properly being investigated in Sydney at the moment," he said.

"What's been the subject of discussion in respect to me over the last 24 hours has nothing to do with those allegations."

Topics:  australian labor party eddie obeid independent commission against corruption inquiry


Stay Connected

Update your news preferences and get the latest news delivered to your inbox.

End of an era: Last opening ever at Lismore Gallery

FINAL OPENING: The current gallery building in Molesworth Street.

Last opening ever at Lismore Gallery in Molesworth St

REVEALED: A new Northern Rivers music festival in 2017

Lismore Music Festival co-directors Scott Cooper and Paul Connelly.

Mark March 10 and 11 in your calendar

Dreams and culture in them there hills...

Sophie Moeller, Lismore Echo Editor. Photo Cathy Adams / The Northern Star

Hall's stories bring local history alive through song and dance

Local Partners

Officers 'used reasonable force' in alleged police bashing

OFFICERS who pinned alleged police bashing victim Corey Barker to the ground, stood on his hand and dragged him face-down appeared to have used reasonable force

End of an era: Last opening ever at Lismore Gallery

FINAL OPENING: The current gallery building in Molesworth Street.

Last opening ever at Lismore Gallery in Molesworth St

REVEALED: A new Northern Rivers music festival in 2017

Lismore Music Festival co-directors Scott Cooper and Paul Connelly.

Mark March 10 and 11 in your calendar

Local arts organisations receive funding for 2017 projects

Djurra will be NORPA's locally-developed show in its 2017 season.

Byron Bay and Lismore initiatives focus on aboriginal art

Sia, Keith Urban top Aussie Grammy nominations

Nicole Kidman and Keith Urban at the 50th Annual Country Music Association (CMA) Awards

Beyonce dominates with nine nods for 2017 Grammy Awards

REVEALED: NCEIA Dolphin Award winners 2016

THE BIG ONE: Northern Rivers musician and SCU lecturer Leigh Carriage won Album of the year for her new release Weave.

The list of the best local musicians for this year has been revealed

Hailey Baldwin: I don't understand Taylor Swift's squad

Hailey Baldwin has taken a quick stab at Taylor Swift and co.

Taylor Lautner 'spotted smooching co-star'

Taylor Lautner has been romantically linked to Billie Lourd

David Beckham's tattoos come to life for UNICEF campaign

David Beckham has called for an end to violence against children

Pop star Liam Payne's Facebook hacked with porn

"Things that can happen to you when you don't have sex."

Residents wary of showing sand mine hand early

Public meeting for the proposed sand mine at Maroochydore last week.

Coast MP calls on Minister to stop KRA proposal with stroke of a pen

INSIDE STORY: The highlights of your $150 million CBD

GRAND PLAN: The highlights of the Ipswich CBD redevelopment and where they will be located.

Work on city heart's radical transformation to begin next year

Developer's grand new multi-million dollar estate

NEW ESTATE: This is the only plan revealed by the property developer's new Billabongs Estate in Agnes Water.

DEVELOPER given the go ahead for a massive estate with 149 homes.

Banks reclaim Gladstone homes as job losses bite

LONG FALL: Property experts Heron Todd say, based on key market indicators, Gladstone is still travelling to the bottom of the market, with property prices set to get cheaper.

Property valuers say Gladstone housing market hasn't hit the bottom

The million dollar property to test Mackay's market

This Victoria St building will go to auction Tuesday and investors will be watching closely to see how much it sells for.

'High profile architect designed CBD asset' goes to auction

Ready to SELL your property?

Post Your Ad Here!