The trials and tribulations of ICAC, the Obeid family and Labor

The ICAC saga of Ian Macdonald, the Obeid family and coal mining licences in the NSW Bylong Valley yesterday continued to play out.

And like any good drama there were a few people biting their finger nails and sitting on the edge of their seats as Moses Obeid, son of Labor power broker Eddie Obeid took the stand.

He did not disappoint either.

Moses Obeid admitted he received inside information from state's former mining minister, Ian Macdonald.

But when ICAC questioned him about the Obeid family finances, Moses Obeid denied his family potentially stood to profit $100 million from the mining tenders in question.

Instead, he told the inquiry it was only $75 million.

Obeid admitted he used his father’s connections to gain access to Macdonald and received information from the former minister.

He denied any knowledge that the information received was confidential and highly sensitive, saying it seemed to him that the Department of Primary Industries was "leaking like a sieve".

Throughout the course of questioning there were fiery exchanges between Obeid and the Council Assisting the Inquiry, Geoffrey Watson.

Watson also accused Obeid of lying on several occasions.

"I want to suggest to you now in general terms … that you have not been open or full in respect of the information you received from Ian Macdonald, that you have not told us everything," Watson said.

Obeid taunted Watson, saying he obviously did not know the way business was done.

Laughter subsequently erupted in the packed public gallery.

"If you're suggesting someone is going to go and spend $6 or $7 million based on what a politician tells you, you're off your rocker," Moses Obeid said.

Moses Obeid conceded that his father was kept informed of negotiations to sell a family farm which sat within one of these licence tenements.

“We were not going to hide from him that the family farm was going to be sold… He knew about it,” Moses Obeid said.

Watson ended yesterday's hearing early saying he was exhausted and he was sure Obeid was too.

Moses Obeid today faces more questions at the corruption enquiry.

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