Macca’s ex-chief of staff to front ICAC

The Independent Commission Against Corruption’s inquiry into the Doyles Creek mining licence issued by former New South Wales Labor Minister Ian Macdonald will today hear evidence from his ex- chief of staff.

Jamie Gibson is expected to give evidence over the next two days to the ICAC.

Operation Acacia is examining allegations the Doyles Creek exploration licence in the Hunter Valley was granted to former union boss John Maitland and associates without tender because he was Ian Macdonald's friend.

The licence was granted in 2008 and has since been described as a “financial disaster for the people of New South Wales” but a “goldmine” for John Maitland and his backers.

At the recent Operation Jasper inquiry into the Mount Penny licence in the Bylong Valley, also issued by Macdonald, Gibson denied leaking information about mining tenders, ABC reported.

At the time he said he has had no contact with Macdonald since 2011 and has declined invitations to go to staff functions.

Last week, Macdonald's lawyer demanded ICAC Commissioner David Ipp step down from the investigations due to alleged bias.

But the commissioner refused.

Mining magnate Travers Duncan has also lodged a request to have Ipp removed from Operation Jasper because of alleged bias.

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