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Thursday, February 7, 2013

Eddie Obeid's family shame

Edward Moses Obeid was a member of the NSW Legislative Council who served between 1991 and 2011, representing the Australian Labor Party.  During his Parliamentary career, he was considered by many to be a corrupt power broker who belonged to the dominant right wing sub-faction, often referred to as The Terrigals because the inaugural meeting was held at his beach house in Terrigal.  He has nine children.

Born in Lebanon, he started out working as a taxi driver and later went into property development. Although the source of his initial wealth is unclear, Obeid and his two brothers inherited their father's houses and land back in Lebanon.

Eddie and his sons are before the NSW Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC) who allege he conspired with former Mining Minister, Ian Macdonald, to get insider information about mining tenders on land owned by the Obeid family which subsequently reaped a profit of 70 million dollars.

Journalist Amanda Devine said in her column that it was standing room only at ICAC headquarter in the city this week.  There are two areas allocated to the public who can come and watch Eddie and his family squirm.  Level 7 is where all the action happens and Level 21 is for the overflow of people who can't get in downstairs.  Although they have to watch proceedings on a big flat screen TV, nobody seems to mind, as there are no constraints on behaviour and people laughed and sneered openly at what Eddie was saying. 

Obeid put on a sterling performance, lots of bravado, pretending he knows very little about how the family business is run.  He said his sons Moses, Paul, Gerard, Damien and Edward take care of everything and he has no idea of how much money passes through the Obeid family trusts.

Eddie sent shock waves through the Labor Party as he named some Federal and State politicians who took advantage of a free holiday at his three bedroom ski lodge, The Stables, at Perisher, that costs $7500 a week in peak season. Politicians are supposed to declare freebies like holidays but in this instance, they all forgot.

Perisher Blue

But the evidence Eddie's son Paul gave yesterday has to take the cake. His performance has to be the most pathetic attempt yet by the family to lie their way out of trouble.  Paul Obeid actually said that he had no idea how top secret maps of proposed mining sites were found in his office during an ASIO raid and suggested that ASIO investigators planted them there.  In 2008, when Mining Minister Macdonald created the $100 million coal mining permit, the map reveals that it covered all three Obeid properties in the Bylong valley “like a blanket.”

Paul Obeid

To say that the people of NSW are outraged by what this man and his family did with our money, would be the understatement of the century.

And it ain't over yet.