Foley distances himself from Labor “cowboys” as ICAC investigation continues

New South Wales Labor minister Luke Foley has vented anger towards former colleagues for their demonstration of "shameless contempt" for environmental protection and coal exploration licence approvals.

Foley said the "cowboys were in control" and the NSW Labor government declared itself "open for business" after the departure of former Premier Bob Carr, the SMH reported.

“Once Carr departed, the then-dominant clique inside the government went out of its way to repudiate Labor's environmental agenda," Foley said.

"They were shameless in their approach to questions of planning and natural resources management.

"They essentially were for letting it rip whether it be coal, coal seam gas or property development," Foley said.

The outburst comes as the NSW Independent Commission Against Corruption this week continues its investigations into alleged corruption of the former Labor government's dealings with coal exploration licences.

Foley said that former resources minister Ian Macdonald, who is currently at the centre of the ICAC investigations had a "sneering contempt" for community concern over mining development.

Australian Mining has been covering the ICAC investigation which continues to look into decisions made by former mining minister Ian Macdonald about whether mining licences in New South Wales Bylong Valley area were designed to benefit colleague Eddie Obeid, who owned property in the region.

Image: Newcastle Herald

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