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May 12, 2021

Metgasco linked to Obeid company

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Mining and resources minister Anthony Roberts. Photo AAP
Mining and resources minister Anthony Roberts. Photo AAP

In a bombshell announcement yesterday resources minister Anthony Roberts has linked Metgasco with tainted Obeid-related company Australian Water Holdings.

Mr Roberts said he had referred information about shareholdings and interests in Metgasco to the Independent Commission against Corruption.

The referral is connected to the Obeid-linked Australian Water Holdings and ERM Power Limited, which owns about 12 per cent of Metgasco.

Tony Bellas is a non-executive chairman of ERM Power.

‘We have nothing to do with Metgasco’s operation; we’re just a shareholder,’ Mr Bellas told media yesterday.

But Mr Bellas has also been on the board of the now-defunct Australian Water Queensland, an Australian Water Holdings offshoot that employed former NSW MP Eddie Obeid’s son, Eddie Jnr.

The NSW corruption watchdog has heard evidence that the Obeid family had a secret shareholding in Australian Water Holdings, which paid $183,000 to an alleged NSW Liberal slush fund.

Last night the Sydney Morning Herald reported that Mr Bellas and Eddie Obeid’s nephew, Dennis Jabour, are shareholders in the Queensland company Gasfields Waste Water and Services, of which Mr Jabour is the sole director.

The paper also revealed other murky associations around the granting and renewal Metgasco’s PEL 16.

The licence was first granted in 1996 to Carlita Holdings, owned by Peter Gray, who was also an investor in Cascade Coal, which is being investigated by ICAC.

‘In August 1999, it was transferred from Carlita Holdings to Metgasco, when Mr Obeid Snr was minister for mineral resources,’ the paper says.

‘Mr Obeid renewed the licence in 2000 and it was again renewed by Ian Macdonald in 2006.’

Mr Macdonald was also embroiled in various ICAC investigations, including Cascade Coal and its link to the Obeid family.

‘The licence was most recently renewed last year, under former Liberal resources minister Chris Hartcher. Mr Hartcher is currently the subject of an ICAC inquiry involving Australian Water Holdings.’

Read the SMH’s full report here.

Mr Roberts would not detail the matters before ICAC and said it would not be up to him to say whether mining would go ahead at Bentley.

‘There are processes that are open and transparent,’ he told reporters on Thursday.

– with AAP


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  1. “There are processes that are open and transparent,” he (Roberts) told reporters on Thursday.” Love it! The LNP NSW Government are like the Sorcerer’s Apprentice, now they’re really scared by the North Coast ballot box threat they unleashed with their seriously loony plan to set 800 or so riot police onto all the grannies and farmers and all those others at the Bentley Blockade. So now Minister Roberts is just like a squeaky rat trying to swim away from the sinking ship, and is blaming Obeid and Labor! That’s a good one! Perhaps he thinks we’ll all forget about how the Libs and Nats have been smooging up to the bent mining lobby, not to mention the Australian Water Holdings/ ICAC scandal since then?

  2. So. we have won the what looks like a victory at Bentley, but on the grounds of questionable processes involved in granting the license for the drilling, NOT on the grounds that the industry is a clear and present danger to our water, air, and general environment, or that a large majority of the population do not want it anywhere near them, or anywhere upstream.
    So it looks like this issue is not completely dealt with quite yet. Celebrate for sure, but dig out your old fridge magnets and stay alert

  3. all share holders are responsible for the companies they invest in and all share holders should be fined if anything is found not just the companies. that will force investors to learn who they are investing in and stop a lot of corruption. i will be contacting my supper company to make sure they dont use my money to fund oil or gas but to fund sustainable energy.both labour and liberal are funded by mining companies vote green stop coruption.

  4. What is the : “…and said it would not be up to him (Roberts) to say whether mining would go ahead at Bentley”. Who then makes that decision? Say ICAC can find no wrong? He then is the responsible person for a yea or nay. He pulled the license so it is up to him if he restores it.

    They constantly amaze me with their spin and nonsense. He said yesterday they he “…never walked away from a fight” – presumably meaning (with) the good people protecting our land. I am sure he will be happy to fight us, but we will not oblige. We do things differently to “Macquarie Street”.

    I think I will carry on with my belief that it was our massed protests that put paid to his (correctly stated) loony plan. Everything else he is saying is just spin, obfuscation & face saving.

  5. Perhaps they realised that the Australian public would be downright furious with money being pulled from schools, health, and other essentials, but being poured into this government’s overkill policing of peaceful protestors. Of course the protectors have them worried; the people are a force to be reckoned with, united as we are. I, like so many others, am very keen to see real criminals behind bars, and do gain delight in ICACs involvement, though.

    A heartfelt thank you to the police who have been offering their encouragement to the protectors. 🙂

    I wonder if Peter Henderson has recovered yet? He usually has more to say.

  6. Thank you to all the people who worked so hard to stop this threat to our land and water. The campaign was so well organised and operated.

    We know the political process is completely corrupt and the community has the power to change it.

    Unless the community unites and transfers the campaign skills that worked so well at Bentley to ensure only people with the right ethics and principles are elected to represent our communities, rather than sitting back and allowing corrupt political parties to impose corrupt, cigar smoking spivs on us, then we will get more of the same.

    Time is running out.


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