One of former Labor MP Eddie Obeid's sons demanded a $30 million payment from the chair of a major mining company for the remainder of the family's share in a tainted joint venture, a NSW corruption inquiry has been told.
White Energy boss Travers Duncan was labelled "dishonest" and a liar during hearings in Sydney on Friday, where he was repeatedly questioned on when he knew of the Obeids' involvement in Cascade Coal.
Cascade won the Mount Penny tenement in the Bylong Valley in what the Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC) says was a process rigged by Mr Obeid's former Labor colleague, resources minister Ian Macdonald.
As part of the deal to ensure the company won the 2009 tender, it's alleged the Obeids took a 25 per cent stake in Cascade - later sold for $60 million in a "sanitisation campaign" to hide the family's involvement.
ICAC has heard the Obeids have received $30 million of the payout, but are still owned the remaining $30 million.
"They asked me to pay it on behalf of (the Cascade shareholders). I said I would not," Mr Duncan said.
"They argued, whinged, pleaded and I refused," Mr Duncan replied.
"I didn't believe that I owed them the money or it was my responsibility to pay it.
"And the mere fact that they said `you're the only guy who's got any money, so what about you putting it in'."
Mr Duncan told ICAC he only became aware of the Obeids' interest in Cascade in 2010, during a "heated series of discussions" with his fellow Cascade shareholders John McGuigan, John Atkinson and Richard Poole.
"I didn't believe that they were parties we ought to be involved in," Mr Duncan said.
"If we're going to try and develop this as a property, and as a major mine, and we go out and try and borrow money from the banks, that their reputation with the bankers would make it very difficult for us."
"Did you suggest how it should be fixed?" Mr Ipp asked.
"I said `we have got to get them out of this place'," Mr Duncan replied.
The inquiry heard Mr Duncan had failed to notify the head of a White Energy Independent Board Committee, Graham Cubbin, of the Obeid stake in Cascade, despite his concerns.
Mr Watson also accused Mr Duncan of lying to the Australian Securities Exchange (ASX) and Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) over the reasons behind White Energy's decision to drop its bid for Cascade Coal, to hide the Obeids' involvement.
"You are a dishonest man, aren't you?" Mr Watson asked.
"No," Mr Duncan said.
"And you did all of this with one thing in mind - to conceal the Obeid involvement. And you did that very deliberately, because you feared that if the government ever found out about the Obeid involvement the chances of the mining lease being granted would have been negligible.
"No," Mr Duncan replied.