FEDERAL Paterson MP Bob Baldwin may be asked to explain why he wrote to ‘‘implore’’ the NSW Coalition government to support Nathan Tinkler’s proposed coal-loader.
Documents with the Independent Commission Against Corruption show Mr Baldwin drafted a letter to then-state ministers Chris Hartcher, Mike Gallacher and Duncan Gay in April 2011 urging in-principle support to the $1 billion coal-loader. “I implore the New South Wales government to do everything it can to see this project come to fruition,” he wrote.
Mr Baldwin then sent it to Buildev director David Sharpe, who replied, “Thanks Bob letter looks good”.
Giving evidence yesterday, Newcastle state MP Tim Owen said he did not know how Mr Baldwin came to write the letter.
Counsel assisting the ICAC Geoffrey Watson described Mr Baldwin as ‘‘really spruiking the case’’ and ‘‘in effect [giving] Buildev a right to review the terms of his letter’’.
‘‘The process looks crook doesn’t it?’’ he put to Mr Owen, who replied, ‘‘My sense is that they were relatively close and obviously he’s a strong supporter of the project. But you’d have to ask Mr Baldwin that.’’
‘‘I can promise we will,’’ Mr Watson said. The inquiry continues.