FARMERS who have fought the Doyles Creek mine since Christmas Day, 2008, had a cheery message for corrupt politicians Eddie Obeid and Ian Macdonald, and former union boss John Maitland, after hearing they will be prosecuted.
"Merry bloody Christmas," said Appletree Flat farmer Craig Chapman, quoting Doyles Creek Mining founder Craig Ransley's notorious email to colleagues in 2008 when the mine licence was corruptly gifted to his company.
"When this first started I didn't think we'd have a hope in hell of ever seeing this day," Mr Chapman said.
"It was just a one in 1000 chance of beating them, and it looks like we have."
Mr Obeid and Mr Macdonald will face charges of misconduct in public office, and Mr Maitland will face court for being an accessory to misconduct in public office, for helping Mr Macdonald commit alleged offences relating to the mine.
Mr Chapman's Appletree Flat neighbour Ian Moore, who fought the mine in court despite being legally blind, said the process "does knock you around a bit".
"But what they said wouldn't happen, has happened. People have been charged, and that's a good thing.
"If the Independent Commission Against Corruption couldn't get a result here, then it may as well have been disbanded because what it would have said was that we'd never get a corruption outcome. But here we are.
"I'm very proud of ICAC.
"It's been told it's a toothless tiger, but I think it's done exceptionally well," he said.
On Christmas Day, 2008, the day after the mine exploration licence was announced in a media release from Mr Macdonald's office, Mr Moore handed the release to his neighbour, the late Don Barry.
"Here's a Christmas present for you," Mr Moore said, but there were tears.
Mr Chapman said a fitting Christmas gift for the small Hunter group that fought Doyles Creek from that day would be more prosecutions.
"Merry bloody Christmas to the whole lot of them, to all those cowboys," he said.
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